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8 STAGES OF LIFE

For Erikson, the most important force that drives human behavior and which helps in the development of personality was “social interaction”.

His developmental theory of the “8 stages of man” (Erikson, 1950) was unique and different in the sense that it covered the entire lifespan rather than childhood and adolescence development.

He believed that social environment combined with biological maturation results in a set of “crises” that must be resolved.

The individual passes through the “sensitive period” in different stages which has to be resolved successfully before a new crisis is presented. The result of the resolution, whether successful or not, passed on to the next crisis and provide the foundation for its resolution.

Psychosocial developmental stages

1.Basic trust vs. mistrust (oral-sensory stage) Birth-18 months Infancy Develops a sense of who and when to trust, when to protect oneself and be cautious.
2.Autonomy vs. shame and doubt 18 months-3 years Early childhood Develops a sense of balancing independence and able to understand and recognize his limitations. Same occurs when child is overly self-couscous when negative exposed. Self-doubt occurs when parents overly shame the child (about elimination).
3.Initiative vs. guilt 3-6 years Late childhood Able to tryout and explores various things. Indulges in various activities, both motor and intellectual. Guilt arises after doing the negative act (aggression).
4.Industry vs. inferiority 6-11 years School age Child is busy in creating, building and accomplishing. Receives systematic instructions as well as fundamentals of technology. Learns norms and standards of society in which he lives. Socially decisive age → gains self-esteem.
5.Identity vs. role diffusion 11-18 years Adolescence Coherent sense of self. Plans to actualize one’s abilities or become confused when unable to accomplish tasks. Problem may result in impulsive attitude or extended immaturity. In extreme cases, possibility of antisocial behavior.
6.Intimacy vs. isolation 18-25 years (beginning in the early 20s and  may extend to the 40s) Young adulthood Young adults focus on maintaining one’s individuality, making friends, relationship and intimacy.
7.Adulthood generatively vs. stagnation 40-60 years Middle adulthood Age of creativity, productivity, concerned in guiding and helping the next generation, concern for others or self-indulgence, impoverishment of self.
8.Ego integrity vs. despair 60 years- end of life Old age Develops a sense of acceptance of life as it was lived. Importance of the people and relationships that individual developed over the lifespan. Comes to terms with approaching death. Some sort of despair is inevitable.

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