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Erikson's Stages Of Psycho-social Development

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In reading about Erik Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development, I found his views on the different stages in which one explores, studies and learns to master throughout their lifetime to be very informative and direct. Erickson believed that we undergo several stages (Conflicts) to achieve social and emotional development (Enlightenment), basically human growth throughout our entire human lifespan. Each stage of development has a specific conflict (the name of the stage) that the child has to overcome and work their way through before moving on to the next stage. If the child is unsuccessful in navigating through the earlier stage, then it is that stage in which the child will remain until the child can resolve the issue he or she has with this particular conflict. For example, a vital conflict during the infancy (birth-1 year of age) period involves establishing a sense of trust with your care giver and in your environment (the world around you). Success and failure in dealing with the conflicts at each stage can impact one's overall functioning throughout life. During the infancy stage, for example, failure to develop a sense of trust with ones caretaker and environment would result in mistrust in everyone around you and in all aspects of one's environment. The same goes for all of the other stages Erikson speaks of, such as the primary conflict during the adolescent period, Identity vs. Identity Diffusion. In one establishing a sense of personal identity, if one should fail then it would affect their overall functioning in their adulthood, thus leading to identity diffusion (role confusion).

Erik Erikson's stages (Conflicts) are:

Stage (Infancy) - Conflicts (Trust vs. Mistrust) - which lasts from birth to one year of age and involves a child learning to trust the world and the people in it thus, creating a sense of security, Stage (Early Childhood) - Conflicts (Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt) - which lasts until about the third year of life and requires the child to explore and learn about their own body, skills and existence as to what they are capable of and are not capable of when it comes to being proud of what they can and cannot do independently, Stage (Play Age) - Conflicts (Initiative vs. Guilt) - which occurs between the ages of three to five and involves the child learning how to play by creating imaginative roles and imaginative situations, i.e. playing house, doctor or being a princess or knight in shining armor, also they must find a balance between restraint and spontaneity, Stage (School Age) - Conflicts (Industry vs. Inferiority) - which is from the ages of six to twelve and requires the child to gain a sense of self-confidence within their abilities and the things that are expected of them, Stage (Adolescence) - Conflicts (Identity vs. Identity Diffusion (Role Confusion)) - which occurs from the ages of eight to eighteen and where the child experiences their first taste of adulthood (responsibility) during which they will develop their own individual identity, Stage (Young Adulthood) - Conflicts (Intimacy vs. Isolation) - which is between the ages of twenty to forty and results in the individual forming close and personal friendships and forming a relationship based on commitment and intimacy with another individual, Stage (Middle Adulthood) - Conflicts (Generativity vs. Stagnation) - which is between the ages of forty-five to sixty and involve an individual learning to be a member of society and take on family, job or community type responsibilities to benefit others and Stage (Late Adulthood) - Conflicts (Integrity vs. Despair) which is from sixty-five to death and involves one reflecting back on their life's goals, dreams, wishes, successes and failures to establish a sense of satisfaction with what they have accomplished and how they went about doing it, thus to acknowledge how their life has been worthwhile.

Erikson's early stages of Psychosocial Development, involving birth to adolescents, overlaps with Piaget's stages of Cognitive Development, however Erickson's later stages involving adulthood are in no way comparable because this area is not one of interest to Piaget



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