This essay explains the eight stages that Erik Erikson proposes that everyone goes through. I have given real-life examples that has happened to me.

Essay by swelchUniversity, Bachelor's February 2003

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The best-known neo-Freudian was Erik Erikson. He formulated his own theory of personality development. He projected that everyone goes through psychosocial stages rather than psychosexual stages as Freud proposed. Erikson has identified eight stages of psychosocial development that each person goes through during their entire life span. In Erikson's theory, the stages of development process unfold as we go through life. Each of these stages has tasks that have to be mastered in order to build toward a satisfying and healthy developed life. Those who do not master the task will have a hard time dealing with crises.

According to www.top-psychology.com/9043-Erikson and http://azaz.essortment.com/psychosocialdev_rijk.htm the eight stages of Erikson's theory are as follow and are briefly described:

Trust vs. Mistrust

This stage is during the first year to eighteen months of a life. A child is completely dependent upon others to satisfy their needs. If the child gets the satisfaction of the fulfillment and continues to receive the satisfaction on a regular basis, they will develop trust.

Mistrust will develop if these needs are not fulfilled on a regular basis. If mistrust were to develop, the child would have trouble developing close relationships in the future.

Autonomy vs. Doubt

This stage is from 18 months to three years old. The child is trying to become more independent. A sense of autonomy is being developed by the child from its parents encouraging the child to try new things. By offering reassurance from the parents, even if the child fails, will help the sense of autonomy to develop. If the parents don't offer reassurance or show disapproval the child will become doubtful or ashamed of their selves.

Initiative vs. Guilt

This is the third stage a life goes through. The age range for these tasks is from three to six. This is...