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Erik Erikson’s Eight Stages Of Development

1153 words - 5 pages

According to Magill, “Erik Erikson's identified the eight stages of psychosocial development which to cover a specific period of time and is biologically based” (Magill, 1998, p. 225). Erikson wanted to try to combine Sigmund Freud’s emphasis on sexual drives with the emphasis on social motive stress by other theorist (Wittig, Belkin, & Wittig, 1990, p. 279). The stages will be discussed later in the essay. I will be also giving a brief history introduction of Erik Erikson.
Erik Erikson
Erik Erikson was born in 1902 in Frankfurt, Germany. His mother and stepfather were both Jewish. As a child, Erikson was considered an outsider due the blonde hair and blue eyes. During his adulthood, he graduated from Psychoanalytic Institute in 1933 where he met the daughter of Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud. He also migrated to the United States where he became and U.S. Citizen. He published his first book named Childhood and Society, which explains the theory he was in the process of developing. He wanted his theory to be based on Freud theory of psychosexual development. Erikson concluded that personality is developed over a life span of an individual. He coined the idea of the eight psychosocial stages of development, which encompasses the period of old age.
Oral-Sensory Stage: Trust vs. Mistrust
This stage is during infancy. During the first years of life, the child experiences the psychosocial conflict Erikson identified trust versus mistrust (Wittig, Belkin, & Wittig, 1990, p. 225). According to Magill, The infant is functionally helpless and dependent on his or her relationship with the parents (Wittig, Belkin, & Wittig, 1990, p. 225). For example, when the mother breast-feeds the infant, this is a sign of a trustful relationship.
This stage determines can the child could trust the world he or she is living in. The infant must experience the syntonic and dystonic element of trust and mistrust before an optimum development can occur. The syntonic element is the harmonious or positive, where the dystonic element is the opposite, disruptive or negative. This two together created a psychosocial crisis faced by the individual.
Muscular-Anal Stage: Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
This stage involved the early childhood life where the child experiences the psychosocial conflict of autonomy versus shame and doubt. As the child continues to develop, they are able to do certain tasks. Also, the child is learning how to walk, talk, and feed his or herself and talk. The child learns to hold on to objects and say small words like “no”. When the child is learning how to walk, he or she will hold on to something until they feel ready to let go of the object.
According to the Webster Dictionary, autonomy is the state of existing or acting separately of others. (Merriam-Webster, 2014) For example, when the child starts to toilet train they feel independent and they can use the toilet without his or her parent being in the room. Erikson...

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