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Stages Of Development: Erikson Vs. Freud

1842 words - 7 pages

In 1905 Sigmund Freud theorized that childhood development happens in stages, which are called “Psychosexual Development Stages.” In 1950 Erik Erikson developed “Psychosocial Stages,” which are greatly influenced by Freud’s theories. Freud’s theory centers on psychosexual energy or the libido. Erickson’s theory centers on issues and tasks being met at specific ages. Even though we are sexual beings, our developmental stages do not focus entirely on sexual pleasures. Both theories do show that personality develops in stages. Although, Erickson’s theory is the better theory.
A few differences, is Freud’s theory focuses on sexual pleasure, and when failure occurs the individual becomes fixated on that failure, which could lead to personality disorders. Erickson’s theory centers on tasks, and issues needing to be completed at specific ages. He believed that if one fails to complete a stage successfully, they move on to the next stage with remnants of the previous stage. Those unfinished remnants, could follow an individual into adulthood and lead to problems in relationships, both with partners and with children that they conceive.
The first stage is age’s birth through one. Freud calls this stage the Oral Stage. The main source of pleasure is derived through the mouth such as eating, sucking, and tasting. The child can develop trust with the caregiver since they are the source of feeding the child. McLeod said, “Freud said oral stimulation could lead to an oral fixation in later life. We see oral personalities all around us such as smokers, nail-biters, finger-chewers, and thumb suckers” (McLeod 11). Erickson calls this stage trust vs. mistrust. This is one of the most important stages in a child’s life. The child is dependent upon the caregivers from the time they are born. This is where they will learn to either trust or mistrust the world around them. The success of this stage is measured by the feeling of safety and security of our world. This will set the child up for success for the rest of their life. The other side is failure that would lead mistrust and the feeling of insecurity of the world around them. This will set them up to have issues especially in relationship. McLeod mentions, “For example, if the care has been harsh or inconsistent, unpredictable and unreliable then the infant will develop a sense of mistrust and will not have confidence in the world around them or in their abilities to influence events” (McLeod 19).
The second stage is age’s one through three. Freud called this stage the Anal Stage. The children start to potty training and learn that they control how and when they go. This the only area that they can fully control. This can develop two different personalities. Anal retentive can develop when potty training is done too early or is too harsh. McLeod wrote, “Early or harsh potty training can lead to the child becoming an anal-retentive personality who hates mess, is obsessively tidy,...

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