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Psychosocial Development

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Study of Psychosocial Development

Stage 5 of Erickson's psychological development:

* Identity verses role confusion- 12-18 yrs of age This occurs during the adolescence period when a person begins to explore the different possibilities in area's such as career path's, different hobbies and areas of interest, choice of friends etc. They are basically in a 'who am I' search for themselves to gain an identity. Unfortunately, this is the time of life that probably causes parents the most grief, because this is when the adolescence begins to experiment with different behaviors and value's from what they have learned at home. They may feel the need the experiment with drugs, sex, crimes and religious beliefs among various other things. They are trying to define themselves different from their parents, basically trying to become their own person. This can prove to be an especially difficult process if there is a particular parent that the adolescent strives not to be like, (mother) if it's a young lady (father) if is a young man. This is a time where an individual begins to worry more about how they appear to others and may possibly make decisions based on this fact. Kendra Van Wagner, of psychology.about.com states, "Those who receive proper encouragement and reinforcement through personal exploration will emerge from this stage with a strong sense of self and a feeling of independence and control. Those who remain unsure of their beliefs and desires will be insecure and confused about themselves and the future." The adolescence period can be a time where confusion is king, confusion about identity, confusion about aspirations or just general self or as Erikson described it himself as an "Identity crisis". According to Erikson at the web courtland.edu website "If the adolescent can not make deliberate decisions and choices, especially about vocation, sexual orientation, and life in general, role confusion becomes a threat".

The best characters that I can identify with this stage are child actors, no one in particular but you have an unlimited line up to choose from. Actors such as, Todd Bridges (Different Strokes), Dana Plato (Different Strokes), Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family); all of these actors/actress never got a chance to be themselves because they spent there adolescence being who America or the world wanted them to be and when they couldn't be these images anymore they became confused and frustrated with life and turned to whatever eased their pain.

Stage 6 of Erickson's psychological development:

Intimacy verses isolation- 19-40 yrs age, the task at hand here is to achieve some degree of intimacy, as opposed to remaining in isolation.

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