Erik Erikson's Eight Stages of Development
CCBC Owings Mills
Monday, April 7, 2014
Erik Erikson's Eight Stages of Development
Erik Erikson was a “German-born American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on psychosocial development of human beings”("Erik Erikson.”). Many of his ideas were influenced by Sigmund Freud; “an Austrian neurologist who became known as the founding father of psychoanalysis”("Sigmund Freud.”). Now, Freud believed that our actions were psychosexual “of or involving the psychological aspects of the sexual impulse.” ("Psychosexual - Google Search.”) and Erikson thought our actions were based off of the culture and society we live in, this is considered psychosocial development. They both believed that our developmental stages begin during birth, but Freud was confident that the developmental stages only last for five years, and Erikson believed the stages last until our late adulthood. Trust v. Mistrust
The first stage of his theory is the trust versus mistrust stage, this is where the infant; 0-1/2 years of age, learns wether they should trust or mistrust their surroundings and the people in it, an infant is first introduced to trusting when the caregiver consistently gives them any type of affection, especially when it comes to being fed. The baby trusts that when he/she cries the mother will know that the baby must be hungry, so when the mother complies and feeds them this will only reinforce the babies trust in the other human being . Of course I'm too young to remember this stress-free part of my life, but from personal experience I can relate to this stage of development in my young adult years. When I made the cheer squad in high school we got comfortable with cheering that we thought we knew everything. So after many long and tiring practices of going back and fourth with our coach about the direction of the performances she decided to let us take over the team.So we made our own routine, of course it was harder than we thought and we hardly finished the routine. We didn't trust our coach because we thought we knew what we were getting into, but unfortunately the routine we had was not something the judges were looking for. When we finally decided to let the coach lead the team we went on to have an outstanding season with consistent success. Because we gained a new respect for our coach it allowed us to trust her and the system so we could continue on and be an effective. Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
The second stage of development is the autonomy versus shame and doubt phase, the child will learn how to be independent between the ages of 18 months and three years old. When the parent allows the child the freedom to make their own decisions in a stress free environment they will start to develop some sovereignty; you should not allow the child fail too much that they start to feel shamed, but enough to promote their own free will. When i was younger any money i made was given to my parents to ensure that i wouldn't use the money freely. As i got older they allowed me to handle my own finances as to give me the opportunity to be personally accountable for my own things. This is important when raising a child because you want them to continuously rely on their caregivers a little less each year so they can be healthy functioning self governing adults. Initiative vs. Guilt
“Around age three and continuing to age five, children assert themselves more frequently.” (McLeod). The main attribute of this stage is the child initiating relationships with fellow classmates, or any neighboring kids, they will be learning that its okay to be vocal, while also learning self control with their newly found openness. I can recall, around this age specifically, riding in the car with my parents on numerous occasions and just feeling free enough to ask as many questions as i wanted to. There is a system used in elementary school to gauge how good you were with the use of colored cards, green being good, yellow is satisfactory and red was bad. My card was most likely always on yellow because my teachers said i had an issue of talking too much, asking too many questions during class. My mom often joked that i should have my own talk show the way i went on. Im grateful that i was able to express myself without being put down because moving on in my school life i knew that if there was something i didn't know then i should ask, and to not feel guilty about asking a dumb question. So many students are afraid of how they will be judged if they open their mouths with a silly question, but as we have learned through life there is no such thing as a dumb question, but i somewhat disagree; a conversation for another time. Industry vs. Inferiority
Industry (proficiency) versus inferiority is where “the child now feels the need to win approval by demonstrating specific competencies that are valued by society, and begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments.” (McLeod). During these years the child needs to be reminded that what they are doing is enough as to boost their confidence in themselves. This belief is portrayed well when it comes to playing sports. My dad is actually the coach for my little brother Jordan’s basketball team, and while he may not be the best on the team he has never felt discouraged to play the game because he is reminded that his efforts are adequate. Since my father understands that these are children and they play for fun and not solely competition he makes sure to constantly boosted them up so they know they're doing well, as well as give them some criticism to push for improvement, but never too much as to put the child down. They feel good enough after the loss that the following week they come back to play like they've never lost before. Making a child feel weak start a bad trend of them feeling inferior to many things in life because they were not reinforced for the efforts they made. Identity vs. Role Confusion
Stage five of the development theory is centered around the adolescent years ages 12-18, Adolescents begin to question who they are, what is important to them, and what sort of person they want to be. Adolescents that are successful in this stage emerge with a strong sense of self and a lasting ability to stay true to who they are. Those who are unsuccessful have a weak sense of personal identity and are confused about their place in the world.” (“Stage 5 - Identity vs. Role Confusion.”). A good example, although not personal I see my friends who have grown up in really strict religious homes, now they do not disregard their families views they just want the opportunity to explore their own thoughts and beliefs. if your parents are unwavering this can be hard for the child because they are now being pressured into a role that they are not ready to assume. You have to give them the freedom to understand who they are and what they want or they may struggle with what they believe in and that is the basis of your personality, believing in something. This can cause frustration personally and towards your family because while we seek their approval we want them to have faith in our decision making and that we’ll assume the identity that is best for ourselves. Intimacy vs. Isolation
“Occurring in young adulthood (ages 18 to 40), we begin to share ourselves more intimately with others. We explore relationships leading toward longer term commitments with someone other than a family member.” (McLeod). I’m not too sure if you can go back stages but I'm sure I have seen and been through this sixth stage and have felt myself drifting back to mistrust. “Erikson believed it was vital that people develop close, committed relationships with other people. Success leads to strong relationships, while failure results in loneliness and isolation.” (Cherry). Developing a love for someone else and trusting them is important for us to learn what a healthy relationship is and how critical it is to know that having a sexual relationship does not indicate intimacy. Having this relationship between a partner does not mean you are committed and if not clear this can cause a lot of confusion for someone. I personally had to go through a lot of tears to understand everyone who likes you physically does not mean they care and that bodily interaction will not keep that person in your life. The earlier we understand that the sooner you can pursue healthy love lives. Conclusion
I will end this paper here as it is the last stages that I have not gotten too, I still have Generativity vs. Stagnation, knowing that we have helped the next generation grow and Ego Integrity vs. Despair, feeling that I accomplished everything in life that I've wanted to. I will try to be a better person in my later years for myself and others, so that we can continue to prosper. The biggest thing i took form this assignment is learning to balance every stage we go through, you never want to be too harsh or too sweet with yourself or your kids, this is very instrumental in developing ourselves and our children to be better people.References
Cherry, Kendra. "Intimacy Versus Isolation." About.com Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. .
"Erik Erikson." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 June 2014. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.
"Erikson's Stages of Development." Erikson's Stages of Development. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2014. McLeod, S. A. (2008). Erik Erikson. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik-Erikson.html "Psychosexual - Google Search." Psychosexual - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.
"Sigmund Freud." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 May 2014. Web. 05 Apr. 2014.
"Stage 5 - Identity vs. Role Confusion." N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. .