ECE 335 / Children’s Literature
Using Quality Literature to Foster Psychosocial Development
Beginning in the womb, human beings were designed to evolve and develop in stages. Mid-century maturationists knew just this and categorized the many approaches as stage theories. The psychosocial development theory owes its origin to Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and views children and adults as caught in conflict. (Rathus, 2010-2011) Erik Erikson, who modified Freud’s theory of psychosexual development to include three latter stages of adult life, expanded the theory and focused on the individual life cycle. Erikson theorized that a young child’s social relationships can accurately predict future success in the three stages of adulthood. During each of the 8 stages of the life cycle, we are all confronted with psychological tasks that depend on our growth as human beings. Like developing peer relationships during adolescence and intimate relationships in adulthood. How we solve these “life crises” depends on the family influences we receive as children. Erik Erikson described these 8 stages as: Infancy, Toddler, Early Childhood, School Age, Adolescence, Young Adulthood, Adulthood, and Maturity. During Infancy: Trust versus Mistrust, loving care from parents often creates a sense of trust towards others, and generally about the world. During Toddler: Autonomy versus shame and doubt, children are egocentric, mastering self-control and gaining independence. During the early childhood and school age stages, Initiative versus Guilt and Industry versus Inferiority, families are to allow children to develop initiatives and to encourage accomplishments. In the adolescence stage, Identity versus Role Confusion, puberty causes hormones to work in overdrive, creating tumultuous situations and behaviors. Educators can use Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development to...