Erik Erikson 's Theory Of Psychosocial Development Essay

1810 Words Nov 25th, 2016 8 Pages
Erik Erikson was an ego psychologist who emphasized that the ego develops successfully as it resolves crises that pertain to social factors in nature. Erikson strongly believed that personality builds upon the stage before it, which is referred to as the epigenic principle (McLeod, 2013). His theory of psychosocial development includes eight stages wherein a person will face a crisis that pits psychological needs against societal needs. If a crisis is handled positively, the psychosocial development will be healthy whereas if the crisis is resolved negatively, the development will be impaired (Bernstein, 2016, p. 399). Each of Erikson’s eight stages presents a problem that must be resolved, and leaves the individual with a new personality trait.
The first stage occurs during the first years and focuses on the crisis of trust versus mistrust. Infants in this stage trust that their needs will be met by their primary caregivers. If their needs are not met or if they are mistreated, infants will learn to mistrust everyone and everything around them. For example, if a child is not fed by their caregiver, most likely the mother, they will not trust anyone to take care of them in the future. This initial stage is the most important because if a child grows up not trusting anyone, their chances of forming relationships with others is very low. The child will also have difficulty performing future crises effectively, and may resolve the crises negatively since their psychological…

Related Documents