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Erikson's 8 stages of Psychosocial Development
Terms in this set (8)
Basic Trust vs. Mistrust
For the first year of life, the
child learns that the world is a trustworthy place and that he or she is also trustworthy. Failure to achieve this end leaves the developing child with a sense of insecurity and an inability to trust others
Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
From about ages 1 to 3, the developing nervous system affords the opportunity to walk, retain faces, and exert all sorts of self-control. The child can practice leaving mother and returning. But these attempts are not always successful, and failures can lead to self-doubt and shame.
Initiative vs. Guilt
From about ages 3 to 6, the growing child
attempts to exert influence and follow the leads of curiosity, using his or her budding cognitive and motor skills. The social environment is, however, becoming increasingly important, and when the child violates rules, he or she may feel guilt about the transgression. Of course, this life crisis is exactly contemporary with Freud's Oedipal period. The desire to possess mother and to annihilate father are manifestations of initiative, and the superego, born at this time, is the structural container for guilt. Erikson redefines the essential dynamics of the Oedipal drama to put a greater focus on the role of the social environment
Industry vs. Inferiority
During the latency years, about ages 6-12, the child is turning away from parents and to ward peers as objects of identification. He or she will seek
to excel at sports, school, or other childhood endeavors. The reward is the satisfaction of accomplishment and success. The risk is failure; the child who is benched at softball or who scores a "C" on a math test may learn to feel inferior
Identity vs. Identity diffusion
During puberty and addlescence, the teen is asking, "Who am I?" and constantly revising the answer. A common solution during these years is to assert one's independence by acting, dressing, and talking like everyone else in one's peer group. Identifiertion is an important tool for establishing identity, but it raises the threat of diffusing that sense of individuality.
Intimacy vs. Isolation
In young adulthood, the task is to attain a sense of emotional, sexual, and spiritual maturity with a view toward social responsibility. But intimacy carries risks. People are often hurt in trying to establish closeness with others, and if they fail to adapt success fully, they may be inclined to retreat into emotional isolation.
Generativaty vs. Self absorption
Middle age is marked by a different kind of questioning, centering on one's place in the larger scheme of life. Generativity is a sense of living on through succeeding generations without becoming overly involved. At the opposite pole is a view that one's life is completely self-contained and finite. Most often, this crisis is played out in raising one's children, but generativeity can be accomplished through philanthropy, teaching, entrepreneurship, or other avenues.
Integrity vs. Despair
In the closing phase of life, one ideally comes to a sense of balance between owning responsibility for his or her choices and accepting the fate that one has been dealt. Erkison's descriptions of integrity, drawn from observations across cultures, render a richly-textured view of spiritual connections with past and future. The task of achieving this goal is daunting and one is threatened with a sense of futility and isolation in the face of impending mortality
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