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Home Behavioral Psychology Erikson's Stages of Human Development

Erikson's Stages of Human Development

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Developmental psychologist Erik H. Erikson ( 1902-1994) was best known for his theory on social development of human beings, and for coining the phrase identity crisis.

The theory describes eight stages through which a healthily developing human should pass from infancy to late adulthood. In each stage the person confronts, and hopefully masters, new challenges. Each stage builds on the successful completion of earlier stages. The challenges of stages not successfully completed may be expected to reappear as problems in the future.

(Approx. ages) Stage & Psychosocial crisis

Significant relations

Psychosocial modalities

Psychosocial virtues

Maladaptations & malignancies

(0-1)
Infant
Trust vs mistrust

Mother

to get,
to give in return

hope,
faith

sensory distortion
withdrawal

(2-3)
Toddler
Autonomy vs shame and doubt

Parents


to hold on,
to let go

will,
determination

impulsivity
compulsion

(3-6)
Preschooler

Initiative vs guilt

Family

to go after,
to play

purpose,
courage

ruthlessness
inhibition

(7-12)
School-age child

Industry vs inferiority

Neighborhood and school

to complete,
to make things together

competence

narrow virtuosity
inertia

(12-18)
Adolescent

Ego-identity vs role-confusion

Peer groups, role models

to be oneself,
to share oneself

fidelity, loyalty

fanaticism
repudiation

(20-45)
Young adult
Intimacy vs isolation

Partners, friends

to lose and find oneself in a
another

love

promiscuity
exclusivity

(30-65)
Middle aged adult
Generativity vs self-absorption

Household,
co-workers

to make be,
to take care of

care

overextension
rejectivity

(50+)
Old adult

Integrity vs despair

Mankind or "my kind"

to be,
through having been, to face not being

wisdom

presumption
despair

Erikson's ideas on how we grow up as create identities is in contrast to Freud's, who proposed sexual motives behind our behaviour.

Sources: [1]

Read about Freud's Stages of Psychosexual Development here →

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