Freud And Erikson's Five Stages Of Development

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The study of human development became an exciting subject, as western civilizations grew very fond of the concept of self, during the past 2 centuries. The main focus of early developmental theorists was childhood development, since it is during that time that humans undergo most of their physical and cognitive changes. Original theories are based on stages of biological, emotional, social and cognitive development.
While Darwin conducted probably the first scientific study of developmental psychology, at the beginning of the 20th century, Freud’s theory of psychosexual development caused an uproar that masked preceding ideas. According to his theory, the 5 stages of development are: the oral (0-1 years), the anal (1-3 years), the phallic
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Each stage is characterized by both a biological and a sociocultural transition. During this transition, each individual is confronted with a challenge, a psychosocial crisis. An unresolved crisis may recur as a behavioral problem at a later stage, but it will not interrupt the transition. Successful resolution on the other hand, will result in gaining a virtue and transcending to the next stage with an advantage. All stages are burdened with an existential question.
The stages briefly are: oral/sensory (0-2 years), anal/muscular (2-4 years), genital/locomotor (4-5 years), latency (5-12 years), adolescence (13-19 years), young adulthood (20-39 years), middle adulthood (40-65), late adulthood (65-death). The psychosocial crisis of each stage respectively is: trust/mistrust, autonomy/shame and doubt, initiative/guilt, industry/inferiority, identity/role confusion, intimacy/isolation, generativity/stagnation, integrity/despair.
The stages up to adulthood had been elaborately analyzed by previous theorists. What is interesting is that Erikson considered early adulthood as the time of love, the time when we tend to become isolated in fear of rejection, the time when we seek for intimacy. Indeed it is during that time when we are biologically mature and it is socially acceptable in most western cultures to
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During this turbulent period, the middle of our lifespan we realize that our time is not infinite. We assess our doings to this point and evaluate our original expectations. We examine the resources and the time we have left to realize past dreams and goals. There are many ways in which this exploration may manifest in terms of behavior. Feelings of dissatisfaction and discontentment with one’s lifestyle are very common. These result in restlessness, irritability, sadness and often anger. A deep sense of remorse for unachieved goals may often be experienced. Sexual desire tends to either extreme, either dramatically increased or greatly decreased. In the formed case, sexual affairs with younger partners are very frequent. Any kind of compulsion is frequent, for example shopping, food, drug or alcohol consumption. Individuals are inclined to question all past decisions and choices, as well as the way their life turned out. This may lead to a very high or very low self-esteem, followed by significantly increased or decreased

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