Erik Erikson’s approach to personality development is different from Jane Loevinger’s theory. Although their approaches are different their perspectives corresponds in how human individuality develop across the lifespan. Loevingers theory brings attention to how people perceive their experiences and make sense of them; whereas, Erikson’s psychosocial development is focused more on the “what” instead of the “how.” He questions what types of psychosocial dilemmas a person confronts in his or her lifetime. Erikson proposes that important facets of human individuality are best understood in developmental time. Adolescence and young adulthood is the fifth stage in Erikson’s developmental design. This stage of identity versus role confusion is a period of immense questioning. Generativity versus stagnation is the seventh stage in Erikson’s developmental design. It is the period that comes after young adulthood but before the “senior” years (McAdams, 2006).
One important characteristics of Generativity versus stagnation is the need to care for and be needed by others. I am experiencing this stage. Other characteristics of generative expression are bringing up children with good character and integrity, and the need to pass on family values to the next generation (McAdams, 2006).
How I can leave a legacy for succeeding generations is the central question posed during this period in my life. “How can I fashion a gift”? (McAdams, 2006, p. 348). I have sought to answer that question in several ways. I have been keeping a journal for the past 10 years because I want to share significant peak experiences with my children, grandchildren, and succeeding generations. I want them to know my challenges, my successes, and my insights into major life events. Further, I can continue the legacy my parents and grandparents passed down to me by teaching my offspring how to make quilts, my grandmother’s favorite pie, and quote my father’s favorite poems.