Analysis of Erikson's Theories on Development

Essay by julestx72College, UndergraduateA+, February 2009

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Key Elements of Erikson's Theory"Erik Erikson believed that we develop in psychosocial stages versus psychosexual stages that Freud developed" (Santrock, 2008, p.23). "The word 'psychosocial' was Erikson's term that he derived from the words psychological meaning mind and social meaning relationship" (Chapman, 2007). Erikson was concerned with how personality and behavior is influenced after birth. Erikson stood strong on his belief concerning nurture and experience.

The key element within Erikson's theory was ego identity. According to Erikson, "the ego identity was our conscious sense of self development through all processes of social interaction" (Ratti, 2008). Within Erikson's key elements were eight stages that unfold and develop as we go through life. "In each one of the stages a distinctive developmental task confronts individuals with a situation that must be worked through in order to have a constructive outcome" (Santrock, 2008, p.23).

Erikson's concept significantly incorporated cultural and social aspects; this helped Erikson's eight stages of theory develop into a powerful representation.

"Each stage involves a crisis of two opposing emotional forces. Each one of the crisis stages relates to a corresponding life stage" (Chapman, 2007). When individuals pass through each stage successfully they achieve a healthy balance between two opposing forces. If an individual does not pass through a stage successfully they develop a tendency towards the opposing force which then becomes a behavioral tendency.

There are eight stages that develop within the key elements of Erikson's theory. The elements are:Trust versus mistrust which represents the infant stage, autonomy versus shame and doubt which represents the toddler stage, initiative versus guilt which represents the preschool stage, industry versus inferiority which represents the schoolchild stage, identity versus role confusion which represents the adolescent stage, intimacy versus isolation which represents the young adult stage, generatively versus stagnation which represents the mid-adult...