Last Updated 18 Jun 2020

Ericksons Psychosocial Theory

Category Social Theory
Essay type Process
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ERICKSON’S PSYCHOSOCIAL THEORY 1. Erickson’s Psychosocial Theory PSY 104-275 ERICKSON’S PSYCHOSOCIAL THEORY 2. ABSTRACT Erickson’s Psychosocial Theory, PSY 104-274. Erick Erickson was a psychologist that was born in Germany and became famous for his Theory of eight stages of development. Erick believed there were eight influential stages in a human’s life. At each stage, a unique developmental task confronts individuals with a crisis in which must be resolved. According to Erickson the crisis is not a catastrophe, but a turning point marked by both increased vulnerability and enhanced potential.

Key Words: psychoanalytic, psychoanalysis, Autonomy, Generativity, Stagnation ERICKSON’S PSYCHOSOCIAL THEORY 3. ERICKSON’S PSYCHOSOCIAL THEORY 4. Erik Erikson was born in 1902 near Frankfort, Germany to Danish parents. Erik found himself in quite an identity crisis while growing up. He was a blonde hair blue eye Jewish boy that found it difficult to study in Jewish temple because of his looks. And in grammar school he was out casted for being Jewish. He also studied art and a variety of languages during his school years, rather than science courses such as biology and chemistry.

He did not like the atmosphere that formal schooling produced, so instead of going to college he traveled around Europe, keeping a diary of his experiences. (Personality Theories, Dr c. George Boeree. ) After a year of doing this, he returned to Germany and enrolled in art school. After several years, Erikson began to teach art and other subjects to children of Americans who had come to Vienna for Freudian training. Erick than met a Canadian dance instructor named Joan Serson who was also teaching at the school where he worked. The couple married in 1930 and went on to have three children.

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In 1933 he came to the U. S. and took a teaching position at Harvard. In addition to teaching at Harvard he also had a private practice in child psychoanalysis. Later he held teaching positions at Yale, San Francisco psychoanalytic, Austin Riggs center and the center for advanced studies of behavioral Sciences. He published a number of books on his theories and research, including Childhood and Society and The Life Cycle Completed. His book Gandhi's Truth was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and a national Book Award. Erick retired in 1970. He however continued to write, do research and occasionally lecture.

In 1950 serious health problems ERICKSON’S PSYCHOSOCIAL THEORY 5. forced him into full retirement. Erick died in 1994 at the age of 91. (Personality Theories, Dr C. George Boeree. ) Erick Erickson was however probably known best known for is Psychosocial Theory. Erickson’s theory was one in which eight stages of psychosocial development unfold through out a humans lifetime. Each stage consists of a unique developmental task that confronts individuals with a crisis in which must be faced. (Santrock, 2008,16) The first stage, Trust vs. Mistrust, occurs from approximately birth to one year.

Erikson defined trust as an essential trustfulness of others as well as a fundamental sense of one's own trustworthiness. He also said that some mistrust is necessary to learn to discriminate between honest and dishonest persons. If mistrust wins over trust in this stage, the child will be frustrated, withdrawn, suspicious, and will lack self-confidence. (Santrock, 2008,16) The second stage, Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt, occurs between ages two and three. During this period it is important that the parents create a supportive atmosphere for their child so it can develop a sense of self-control without a loss of self-esteem.

In this stage, Erikson said the child encounters rules, such as which areas of the house he is allowed to explore. (Santrock, 2008,16) The third stage, Initiative vs. Guilt, occurs between ages ERICKSON’S PSYCHOSOCIAL THEORY 6. four and five. This is the stage in which the child must find out what kind of person he/she is going to be. The child develops a sense of responsibility in which the child increases initiative during this period. If the child is irresponsible and is made to feel too anxious then they will have uncomfortable guilt feelings.

Erikson believed that most guilt is quickly compensated for by a sense of accomplishment. (Santrock, 2008,16) Erikson's fourth stage, Industry vs. Inferiority, occurs between six years and puberty. This is the period in which the child wants to enter the larger world of knowledge and work. One of the great events and influences of this time is the child's entry into school. This is where he is exposed to the technology of his society: books, multiplication tables, arts and crafts, maps, microscopes, films, and tape recorders.

However, the learning process does not only occur in the classroom according to Erikson, but also at home, friend's houses, and on the street. (Santrock, 2008,16) Components of Erikson's prior four stages contribute to the fifth stage, Identity vs. Identity Confusion. This occurs during adolescence. During this period the identity concern reaches climax. (Santrock, 2008,16) Erikson's sixth stage, Intimacy vs. Isolation, occurs during young adulthood. Intimacy with other people is possible only if a reasonably well-integrated identity emerges from stage five. The main concern of Erikson's seventh stage, Generativity vs.

Stagnation, is to ERICKSON’S PSYCHOSOCIAL THEORY 7. assist the younger generation in developing and lead useful lives. When the individual feels that he has done nothing to help the next generation then they experience stagnation. The final stage, Integrity vs. Despair, occurs during late adulthood. This is the time in which the individual looks back and evaluates their life. If the previous stages have developed properly then they will experience integrity. If the previous stages have not developed in a positive way then they will feel despair. (Santrock, 2008,16)

Erickson’s model has some advantages and disadvantages to it. One of the advantages is that it is a good model to follow in infancy and in early childhood when there is little or no communication being done between child and parents. The model sets a “measuring stick” to a child’s normal development that a doctor and parents can use to see if the child is developing behind schedule or ahead of schedule. This all also allows doctors and parents to possibly diagnosis a possible mental abnormality or learning disability. However I believe this model is good to use to assume only if a child is healthy.

Once a child or adult is diagnosed with a mental illness of some sort the model cannot be really used anymore. The model also has limitations to it. As I mentioned in the prior paragraph once a child or adult is diagnosed with a mental illness the theory cannot be really only used to a degree. Dependent on what type of learning disability or mental disability the child or ERICKSON’S PSYCHOSOCIAL THEORY 8. adult may have the person may not be able to recognize these developmental needs that happen throughout his or hers life.

The adult or child will heavily depend on his or her caretaker to either support these developmental stages for them or the caretaker may have to be the one that actually supplies these needs and offers the reassurance that is needed to person’s stages. The relevance to society this offers is that it shows us how a healthy individual should develop through life. It is a model for us to follow to know proper developmental stages of a human being from infancy to late adulthood. It helps parents know what is the “norm” for there children and if maybe there is something developmentally wrong.

In older adults it also helps us guide our way into later stages of life. It may help people who feel that they have not been successful in society feel that they are in the normal. They may see that they have developed and contributed to what the normal is expected. This paper helped me realize that there was such a model to develop developmental stages. I realize looking back to my adolescence years I have hit these stages and remember dealing with these problems. It also prepares me for what’s ahead and what to expect in later developmental stages.

Being better prepared for my upcoming stages should make my transitions through them much easier. ERICKSON’S PSYCHOSOCIAL THEORY 9. References Essential of lifep development, John Santrock, University of Texas at Dallas, published 2008 Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development, Kendra Cherry, http://psychology. about. com/od/psychosocialtheories/a/psychosocial. htm Simply psychology, Erickson’ theory, Saul McLeod, published 2008, updated 2013. http://www. simplypsychology. org/Erik-Erikson. html#sthash. byyb8hC6. dpbs Personality Theories, Dr c. George Boeree. http://webspace. ship. edu/cgboer/erikson. html

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