Lifespan of Human Development
Final Research Paper
Throughout life human beings are continuously changing, and it is not only due to biological factors. Erick Erikson shows how a multitude of different factors can effect development as well. By using a social context for explaining how development can be influenced by peer groups, schools, and cultural values Erikson created the psychosocial theory (Poole 23). The development of ego identity played a large role in his psychosocial theory. Ego identity is the conscious sense of self that we develop through social interaction. One factor of ego identity is that it is constantly changing because of new experiences and gained information (Cherry 1). Everyone deals with significant changes throughout their lifetime, but over time developmental aspects and factors change as well, which allows all people to go through Erikson’s psychosocial development and have very diverse experiences.
Erikson developed eight stages dealing with social challenges that occur throughout one’s lifespan. He believed that each stage in his theory deals with becoming competent in an area of life. Competence motivates behaviors and our actions, so if the stage goes well then the individual will feel a sense of mastery but if the stage does not go well and the individual fails then they will feel inadequate. As one grows older they will progress further into the eight stages of psychosocial development and face more challenges, but previous issues are not dealt with and can be put aside for good (Poole 23). The first stage in Erikson’s psychosocial development is known as basic trust vs. mistrust which normally occurs from birth to eighteen months and is based on the consistency of their caregivers. From eighteen months to three years of age is the autonomy vs. shame and doubt. In this psychosocial stage one can successfully become more confident in themselves if they are encouraged and being supported with their new found independence. Initiative vs. guilt occurs during preschool years and can allow children to be confident in their abilities as a leader. From six to twelve years people go through industry vs. inferiority where kids can start to develop dignity in their accomplishments. Successful adolescence in identity vs. role confusion begin to form their own personal identity. Intimacy vs. isolation occurs around nineteen to forty years of age and is a time when people are exploring different relationships that are more personal. From forty to sixty-five years of age people are continuing to build their lives and start to give back more to communities, this is generativity vs. stagnation. The final stage of Erikson’s psychosocial development is ego integrity vs. despair is when the elderly begin to reflect back upon their lives to see whether they feel as though they lead a successful life (Heffner).
To expand on a few of Erikson’s stages I related them to my own personal life and also the life of my mother, Kerrin Frey. My mom and I grew up in the same town and also share a lot of the same interests so I felt as though it would be interesting to compare and contrast her experiences and my own. Erikson’s forth stage, industry verses inferiority, occurs through about age six to eleven. Children are now able to develop a sense of pride for their accomplishments and strengths through social interactions. Teachers, peers, and parents that encourage and support children will allow those children to develop that greater sense of pride in their work. On the other hand children who are not provided with enough positive reinforcement will increasingly doubt their work and struggle more. These children are more likely to not reach their full potential and feel inferior. This stage affects self-confidence in the long run.
When speaking with my mom she said that she knew her parents supported her in everything that she did and they were always very positive so she was able...
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