Erikson's Fifth Stage of Psychosocial Development

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Erikson’s Fifth Stage of
Psychosocial Development
Eastern Florida State College

Abstract
As a developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst, Erik Erikson crafted eight stages of human psychosocial development. The stage that has impacted my life the most is Identity versus Role Confusion, the fifth stage. This stage deals with adolescents twelve to eighteen years old. Erikson’s fifth stage prompts teens, like me, to ask ourselves who we want to be, what we want out of life, and what values and beliefs we live by.

Erikson’s Fifth Stage of Psychosocial Development
Erik Erikson was a developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory of human psychosocial development (New World Encyclopedia, 2013). Erikson’s theory has eight stages. They span from birth to death. According to Gorrindo, Fishel, and Beresin (2012, pg. 282-283), “Erikson’s stages . . . describe challenges for the individual based on cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal/social issues.” Erikson’s model of psychosocial development consists of those eight stages, but each stage is characterized by a psychological “crisis” (New World Encyclopedia, 2013). The Encyclopedia has stated that “when the outcome of the crisis is favorable, the person achieves a certain virtue or strength; when it is unsuccessful, the person develops a maladaptive character and continues to struggle with this conflict later in life.” The theoretical stage that most impacted my development is Erikson’s fifth stage, Identity versus Role Confusion, which takes place in the adolescent years of twelve to eighteen. As described in Myers’ Psychology textbook (2010, pg. 201), the fifth stage addresses teenagers working at refining a sense of self by testing roles and then integrating them to form a single identity, or they become confused about who they are. Erikson’s fifth stage makes adolescents wonder, “Who am I as an individual? What do I want to do with my life? What values should I live



References: Douvan, E. (1997). Erik Erikson: Critical times, critical theory. Child psychiatry and human development, 28(1), 15-21. doi:10.1023/A:1025188901554 Gorrindo, T., Fishel, A., & Beresin, E. V. (2012). Understanding Technology Use Throughout Development: What Erik Erikson Would Say About Toddler Tweets and Facebook Friends. FOCUS: The Journal of Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry, 10(3), 282. Kasinath. H. M. (2013). Adolescence: Search For An Identity. I-manager 's Journal on Educational Psychology, 7(1), 1-6. Retrieved July 13, 2014 from http://search.proquest.com.portal.lib.fit.edu/docview/1476284556?pq-origsite=summon Myers, D. G. (2010). Psychology in modules, ninth edition. New York: Worth; New World Encyclopedia Contributors. (2013, October 2). Erik Erikson. New World Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:16, July 13, 2014 from http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/p/index.php?title=Erik_Erikson&oldid=974321

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