Erik Erikson’s and Lawrence Kohlberg developed several different theories that demonstrated each phase of our lives. Their theories demonstrated how each stage developed and how the stages help to make us who we are today. We develop, learn, and revolutionize through developmental and moral developments. This paper will illustrate how each developmental and moral development represents each stage of life.
Erik Erikson’s stages of developmental theory consist of eight stages of development versus Lawrence Kohlberg’s six stages of moral developmental theory. Both of these theorists beliefs were different when it came to the breakdown of each stage. Erikson’s infant stage which consisted of trust vs. mistrust which is “the need for maximum comfort with minimal uncertainty to trust himself/herself, others, and the environment( Patient Teaching, 1990).” This is a stage that I cannot relate to because I do not have any memories from infancy. Kohlberg’s first stage is “obedience and punishment” which relates that a “child assumes that powerful authorities hand down a fixed set of rules which he or she must unquestioningly obey (Kohlberg, 1958b). For example, your principle in your elementary school down to your teacher is an authority figure. I relate to Kohlberg’s stage because I can remember growing up and knew that my parents, teachers, and principles were my authority figures. I knew that I must obey them and if I did not that it would result in severe punishments and sometimes multiple punishments from each individual. Being a female, a felt that I feared authority figures more than my brothers or other boys in my class.
Second stage of Erickson’s was the “toddler” stage “autonomy vs shame and doubt-works to master physical environment while maintaining self esteem “The second stage occurs between 18 months and 3 years. At this point, the child has an opportunity to build self-esteem and autonomy as he or she learns new skills and right from wrong. The well-cared for child is sure of himself, carrying him or herself with pride rather than shame. During this time of the “terrible twos”, defiance, temper tantrums, and stubbornness can also appear. Children tend to be vulnerable during this stage, sometimes feeling shame and low self-esteem during an inability to learn certain skills (Erikson, 1968).” Kolberg’s second stage “Individualism and Exchange” “At this stage children recognize that there is not just one right view that is handed down by the authorities. Different individuals have different viewpoints (Kohlberg, 1963, p. 24).” Both Erikson’s and Kohlberg’s theory can be a demonstrated at an early childhood stage. One learned that they were an individual and that one had to respect authority figures. I can remember a time that I was in preschool and I was asked why I took another child’s crayon. I remember stating to the teacher that I wanted my crayons to remain new. I was already developing a sense of being selfish and using others. That was not the route to take which was expressed to me by both my teacher and my parents.
The third stage is “Initiative vs. Guilt” which demonstrates “purpose” “During this period we experience a desire to copy the adults around us and take initiative in creating play situations. We make up stories with Barbie’s and Ken’s, toy phones and miniature cars, playing out roles in a trial universe, experimenting with the blueprint for what we believe it means to be an adult. We also begin to use that wonderful word for exploring the world—”WHY?”(Erikson, 1968)” Whereas Kolhberg’s stage result in “good interpersonal relationships” At this stage children--who are by now usually entering their teens--see morality as more than simple deals. They believe that people should live up to the expectations of the family and community and behave in "good" ways. Good behavior means having good motives and interpersonal feelings such as love, empathy, trust, and concern for...
References: Crain, W.C. (1985). Theories of Development. Prentice-Hall. pp. 118-136.
Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: Norton.
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