Analyzing Erikson's Stages Of Psychosocial Development

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Erik Erikson was a German-born American psychologist who proposed a lifespan model of development that took into account eight developmental turning points (Dobozy, 2014). He focused his theories toward the child’s social influences and how it affects their sense of self (Heffner, 2014). Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development represent the turning points that all people encounter (O’Donnell, 2016, p. 152. These are:

Trust vs mistrust: This crisis occurs during the first year. During this stage, the infant has a sense of uncertainty, which they seek care and guidance from their primary caregiver (McLeod, 2008).

Autonomy vs shame, doubt: During early childhood, a child begins to show signs of independence. Erikson believed it is critical
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A child begins to make up games and if given the opportunity, they develop initiative and take on a leadership demeanor. However, if they are discouraged they can develop a sense of guilt (Heffner, 2014).

Competence vs incompetence: This stage is developed through primary school and the child starts to master the formal skills of life. These may be acknowledging rules, including formal and informal play like sport. The child is full of initiative and trusting. However, the child will experience doubt and defeat if they are not fully developed through this stage (Parenting Today Staff, 2011).

Identity vs role confusion: During middle and high school a child “aquires self-certainty as opposed to self-consciousness and self-doubt” (Parenting Today Staff, 2011, para.8). A sense of confusion about themselves can be present if this sense is hindered (Heffner, 2014).

Intimacy vs isolation: Throughout this stage, which occurs during early adulthood, we open up with others exploring relationships. Successful completion of this stage can lead to a positive attitude towards commitment, which will allow successful relationships. Avoiding intimacy can lead to psychological feelings of depression, anxiety and loneliness (McLeod,

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