Erik Erikson developed the eight stages of life theory. Erikson’s theory focuses on the development from birth to death, social context, and interpersonal relations during each stage of life (McAdams, 2009). In the same manner, each stage of life is comprehendible in three levels, such as the body, ego, and family and culture. The eight stages of life are infancy (trust vs. mistrust), early childhood (autonomy vs. shame and doubt), childhood (initiative vs. guilt), childhood (industry vs. inferiority), adolescence and young adulthood (identity vs. role confusion), young adulthood (intimacy vs. isolation), mature adulthood (generativity vs. stagnation (or self-absorption)), and old age (ego integrity vs. despair).
After reviewing Erikson’s eight stages of life, I believe I am currently in the seventh stage. The seventh stage is known as the mature adulthood (generativity vs. stagnation (or self-absorption)). I am only 22 years old; however, I have completed stage six of young adulthood (intimacy vs. isolation). According to McAdams (2009), “In intimacy versus isolation, the young adult seeks to form long-term bonds with others, epitomized in marriage or long-term romantic commitments,” (p. 382). I have seized my identity and have found intimacy. The intimacy I have found has been characterized into marriage. Since my husband and I have high levels of identity, we were able to establish and maintain a stable relationship with one another.
With perseverance of stage six, I have now entered the seventh stage of life. The seventh stage focuses on generativity vs. stagnation. McAdams (2009) states, “To be generative is to generate a legacy of the self for the good of future generations,” (p. 382). There are four types of generative, such as biological, parental, technical, and cultural. The primitive stages of generativity are bearing, giving birth and raising children. Other forms to be generative are volunteering, charitable contribution, or other endeavors that will generate an individual’s legacy. During this stage a central question is posed, how can I fashion a “gift”?
I believe I have consciously answered the following question. I am aware of every decision I make in my life. I know the outcomes to each decision and how they will affect everyone in my life. To understand how I answered this question I will reflect back to the four types of generativity I have performed. My primary stage of generativity is bearing, giving birth and raising a child. By bearing and giving birth to a child, I have given a gift to my family and friends. Bearing and giving birth to a child is seen as a blessing. By raising my daughter I am also...