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Erik Erikson’s Timeline

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Erik Erikson’s eight stages of life are very similar to Sigmund Freud’s psychosexual stages of libido. Much like Freud, Erikson believes that personality develops through a series of stages. Erikson’s theory though believes that these stages go one throughout a person’s lifespan. There are eight stages of Erikson’s timeline or stages of psychosocial development; trust & mistrust, autonomy vs. shame and doubt, imitative vs. guilt, industry vs. inferiority, identity vs. confusion, intimacy vs. isolation, generativity vs.

stagnation, and integrity vs. despair. These stages start at infancy and go on well into adulthood.

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For me personally, I feel that I am in a couple different stages at the same time. I feel that I am stuck between stage 6 intimacy vs. isolation, and stage 7 generativity vs. stagnation. Stage 6, intimacy vs. isolation generally occurs during the adult ages between 19 and 40. This stage is mainly exploring personal relationships. Erikson believed that people need to develop close personal, committed relationships with others.

Young adults should try to form intimate, loving relationships with other people because success can lead to strong relationships, and failure of this can result in loneliness, depression and/or isolation.

Stage 7, generativity vs. stagnation generally occurs later in life between the ages of 40 and 65. This stage mainly focuses on work and parenting. Adults often feel the need to create or nurture things that will outlive or last longer than them, usually having children or having a positive change that will benefit others around them. Success of this stage can lead to feelings of accomplishment and of being worthy or usefulness; meanwhile, failure can result in limited or no involvement with others around them.

I feel that I am in between these two stages because I am still trying to figure myself out, find love and a loving committed relationship, and I am raising two children. Even though I am 38 years old, I am at a stage or point in my life that I have just figured out what I want to do with the rest of my life, or you can say, when I grow up. I have basically floated around not exactly knowing what I wanted out of my life, or what I wanted my life to be. Now that I am older, more mature, I know I want to work with special needs people.

I have also not been very successful at finding a loving committed relationship. Most of my relationships have been long term, many years together, but never very healthy. I am now ready, mentally, physically and financially for a lasting relationship with the right person. I have raised one child; he is 19 years old and in college as well. I am now raising my second, she is 5 years old and getting ready to enter kindergarten in the fall. I know that I am a very successful and good mother to both of my children. I have a wonderful respectful son, and confident that my daughter will be the same.

My son, Zachary who is 19 years old and in his first year of college I feel is in stage 5, identity vs. confusion. Stage 5, identity vs. confusion is the stage where teens can feel the need to develop that sense of self and trying to figure out and deal with personal identity. Success at this can lead to the ability to stay true to them and what they want and need, where-as failure can lead to self-confusion or a weak self-esteem. He is struggling with what he wants to do with the rest of life, what he should major in in college and looking for where he fits in with his current friends.

No matter what stage a person is in, figuring out who they are, what they want, and where they fit can be struggle. Knowing these eight stages of development can help them understand why they struggle and help them figure out where they need to be.


McAdams, D. P. (2006). The person: A new introduction to personality psychology. (4th ed. ). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. New York Times. (2011). About. com. Retrieved from http://psychology. about. com/library/bl_psychosocial_summary Cherry, K. (2011). About. com. New York Times. Retrieved from http://psychology. about. com/od/psychosocialtheories/a/psychosocial

Cite this Erik Erikson’s Timeline

Erik Erikson’s Timeline. (2017, Mar 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/erik-eriksons-timeline/

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