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Psychosocial Stage of Development Paper

By cra1013 Feb 06, 2011 1188 Words

Psychosocial Stage of Development Paper
Tristam Craig
PSY 504
Oct 03, 2010
Elisa Doebler-Irvine

Psychosocial Stage of Development Paper
The theory of Erik Erikson is that the early childhood years are very important stages of the development of the personality of an individual. This theory followed many of the principals of theories developed by Sigmund Freud, in relation to the id, ego and superego and the theory of sexuality in infancy. Erikson disagreed with the theory Freud used in describing personality based only on sexuality, and where Freud was under the belief that personality was developed by the age of five years, Erikson believed that personality continued to develop past the age of five (Davis & Clifton, 1995). Erikson was of the belief that all of the stages of personality were present at birth, unfolding throughout life developing according to an innate scheme and the structure of the family and culture of an individual growing up. Erikson is of the belief that each stage of personality development derives from a psychosocial crisis, based upon psychosocial development, with emphasis placed upon the demands from either society or from the parents or both. These crisis need to find resolution by the ego during that stage of development in order for the development to advance efficiently. How the stage is resolved is not a permanent resolution, and may altered later through other experiences at later stages in life. A combination of the traits developed at each stage exist within all individuals with personality development being deemed successful only if more good traits are developed than bad traits (Davis & Clifton, 1995). The theory developed by Erikson believes the ego is very important, and a part of the ego has the ability to function independently of the id and superego. His theory also is of the belief that the ego has the ability to relate to various situations, which enables the promotion of mental health, and both sexual and social determinants have an affect the development of personality within an individual. In the psychosocial development theory of Erikson, there are eight stages of development, beginning at the early stages of life where a child develops basic trust from their parents, as long as there is consistent, adequate and nurturing care, enabling the child to understand that people are dependable and the child senses a safe environment. This gives the child hope and confidence, along with a sense of security (Niolon, n.d.). These stages of development carry right through life until an individual expires at the end of their life, where older adults reflect back on their lives, and have a sense of fulfillment in their life accomplishments. The sense of attaining wisdom may develop, along with a sense of regret, bitterness or despair comes at the later stage of personality development according to this theory. At this stage of my personality stage of development, there is a combination of these stages. Stage eight of the personality development theory has become a part of my life, where I have reflected much of my past life, feeling a sense of fulfillment, along with some resentment from failed relationships that have had a strong affect on my personality. My life now is focused on creating a positive change in life that will result in a better society for future generations. These stages of personality development fall within stages six and seven of the psychosocial stages Erikson has established with the basic conflicts in life being intimacy versus isolation, with the emphasis on the events in life being relationships. The experiences of some failures in relationships in life had led to some loneliness in life because of these failed relationships, missing the family that was once the primary reason for my existence it seemed, and the acceptance of moving on with life at such a late stage. Stage seven is where my work in human services, and the need to feel that there are other things in life such as contributions in life that are important in maintaining a sense of being needed at this stage in life development. Having success gives a sense of usefulness in life and contributing gives a sense of accomplishment that somehow make failures in life easier to put behind, while the focus becomes more on accomplishing other goals. This falls under the stage of basic conflict being generativity versus stagnation, and the feeling that there are still meaningful things in life to focus attention. Although my personal relationship has rejuvenated, the disappointment of my past relationship still has an affect on my personality development. This is primarily because of the disappointment of that failed relationship after so many years that meant so much, and of the importance of those years of my life that no longer are a part of my life. Those experiences will not be able to be shared at my current stage of life, and current personal relationships, although meaningful and important bring a different sense of personal satisfaction than the past relationship with family and a different stage of life. The stage of personality development life has come to now, takes me to relive stage five where although I am no longer a teenager, I find myself redefining myself and having a need to develop a personal identity at this stage of my life. Being successful will lead to my ability to remain true to myself, while failure in the goals and vision I have established, although are not an alternative, remain realistic possibilities. Such failure may once again result in confusion, and a weak sense of self due to the inability to achieve something very important to my purpose in life at this stage of my personality development. This conflict based upon the psychosocial stages theory of Erikson are identify versus role confusion, and the primary emphasis is focused on my social relationships, and my perception of others from the work and goals I am pursuing in my life at this stage of personality development. Just as in the Epigenetic psychosexual stages, Erikson theorizes that childhood is very important in personality development, and how Erikson theorizes that personality continues to develop past the age of five. Erikson also theorizes how each stage is determined through a psychosocial crisis, which is based on physiological development, but is also characterized by demands placed upon an individual by either their parents and society or a combination of both (Davis & Clifton, 1995). There have been several crisis in my life that have had an influence in characterizing my personality development at my current stage of personality development. This has been through what my parents taught me in life as a child, and my family and life experiences, and at the current stage primarily by society and my self-perception by those individuals within society. References

Davis, D., & Clifton, A. (1995). Psychosocial Theory: Erikson. Retrieved October 1, 2010, from Niolon, R. (n.d.). Erickson's psychosocial stages of development. Retrieved October 1, 2010, from

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