8 Stages of Moral Development
By: Tammy Tajeddine
My immediate purpose is to provide the audience with a well-researched theory on moral development according to Eric Erikson. I chose Erikson’s theory because of his passion on this topic and his research included himself. Experiencing feelings of ‘not belonging’ from early on, he was prompted due to questions about his own identity as he grew. I hope to give the audience an idea on how our development or social molding begins at birth and continues through-out our lives.
Beginning with stage 1:
Trust VS. Mistrust
Infancy to 18 months
This stage begins the moment the infant is born to around 18 months to 2 years old. A baby is totally dependent from minute 1- The babies life depends on the caregiver. If the infant does not receive the essential care, worst case scenario, the baby will die. At this stage an infant needs all of his needs met in order to develop the beginning stages of trust.
This stage occurs between the ages of 18 months to approximately age two to three years. According to Erikson, children at this stage are focused on developing a greater sense of self-control. They see things in simple ways like ‘good/bad’ , ‘yes/no’ , ‘yours/mine’. Gaining a sense of personal control over the world is important at this stage of development. Toilet training plays a major role; learning to control one’s body functions leads to a feeling of control and a sense of independence. Other important events include gaining more control over food choices, toy preferences and clothing selection. Children who successfully complete this stage feel secure and confident, those who do not are left with a sense of inadequacy and self-doubt
This begins preschool years ages 4 to 5. Children begin to really engage their surroundings. During the initiative versus guilt stage, children begin to assert their power and control over the world through directing play and other social interaction.
Children need to begin asserting control and power over the environment by taking initiative by planning activities, accomplishing tasks and facing challenges. During this stage, it is important for caregivers to encourage exploration and to help children make appropriate choices. Caregivers who are discouraging or dismissive may cause children to feel ashamed of themselves and to become overly dependent upon the help of others.
Play and imagination takes on an important role at this stage. Children have their sense of initiative reinforced by being given the freedom and encouragement to play. When efforts to engage in physical and imaginative play are stifled by caregivers, children begin to feel that their self-initiated efforts are a source of embarrassment. Success in this stage leads to a sense of purpose, while failure results in a sense of guilt.
The positive outcome of The stage occurs during childhood between the ages of six and eleven. School and social interaction play an important role during this time of a child’s life. Through social interactions, children begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments and abilities. During the industry versus inferiority stage, children become capable of performing increasingly complex tasks. As a result, they strive to master new skills. Children who are encouraged and commended by parents and teachers develop a feeling of competence and belief in their skills. Those who receive little or no encouragement from parents, teachers, or peers will doubt their ability to be successful.
According to Erikson, this stage is vital in the development of self-confidence. During school and other social activities, children receive praise and attention for performing various tasks such as reading, writing, drawing and solving problems. Children need to cope with new social and academic demands. Success leads...