Erikson's Philosocial Theory

Decent Essays
Erik Erikson, a German psychoanalyst, discusses a theory of development that occurs throughout the lifespan. While Erik discusses his development theory in eight stages, this essay will be addressing the first five stages. Considering family and society the resolution of positive and negative crisis depends on interactions which makes these stages very important to infancy, childhood, and adulthood development.
Infants are born helpless because they depend on others for their needs. Stage 1, Trust vs. Mistrust teaches a child from birth to 2 years of age if the world they live in can be trusted. To develop trust that the world is safe and predictable, infants must first learn to trust their parents or caregivers. Responsive caregiving tells
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Meaningful work creates strong interest or passions which encourages children to push through obstacle and succeed. At stage 4, Industry vs. Inferiority children are creating and accomplishing new skills and knowledge. Encouragement and reinforcement from parents and teachers help children believe in their abilities to succeed. children learn to master the art of “going into business,” relating to their peers, educational studies and teamwork. Competence is learned through success. A child’s peer group will greatly impact their development of pride at this stage. They begin to compare themselves to their peers. When this comparison isn’t satisfying and things get tough, children may begin to feel inferior. Success at this stage builds a child’s competence. This may sound like a “big job” for a school age child, but remember this theory was developed in 1959. Erikson claimed that this stage stopped at age 18, but today individuals reach the next stage well before 18 years of …show more content…
Unlike the first four stages, stage 5, Identity vs. Role Confusion depends on what the actual person does and not what is done to that person. The adolescent develops a sense of sexual identity. Erikson claimed that a sense of identity must be achieved in occupation, sex roles, politics, and religion for a teen to be successful in understanding fidelity. Otherwise he/she may feel insecure and confused about their lives and their futures. The successful individual will push through a straight path without doubt. When faced with an obstacle, a person will give up making them unsuccessful and showing that they were not deeply committed. This was not an issue with Erikson when his theory was criticized by many.
There have been numerous questions criticizing Erikson’s theory. What are the necessary experiences needed to successfully move on to the next stage? What about the inconsistencies? There are overlapping meanings in his theory. For example, autonomy and initiative are in two different stages, but fall in the same category. Many critics question whether his theory applies more to boys than girls. They argue that his theory focus more on infancy and childhood than adulthood. Erikson’s theory does not consider individuality of culture or spiritual beliefs. It does not address

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