Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development looks at a person’s progress personality wise from birth to death. Erikson’s theory breaks down the development of personality by explaining eight different stages. As we go on through life our personality is consistently changing according to what stage we are in and what we are trying to accomplish at that stage. Comparing where I am at in my life now and according to Erikson’s theory I can look back and see how I have really developed and how I will continue to develop.
According to his theory the first stage is infancy and occurs from birth to 18 months. At this point in my life I was developing a sense of trust. I depended on my parents to provide me with reliability, care, and affection. In this stage an important event for me was my parents feeding me. If my parents hadn’t properly provided me with those things I would have developed a mistrust in my mom and dad. At the ages of two and three a basic conflict I would face is autonomy versus shame and doubt. With the assistance of toilet training I developed a sense of personal control over my physical skills and a type of independence because I was victorious at this. If i hadn’t been successful I would have felt shameful and doubtful of myself. At the ages three to five i went through my preschool stage. Here I used exploration to assert control and power over the environment, if I had failed and had exerted to mush power I would have experienced disapproval and felt a sense of guilt. I experienced a sense of purpose at this stage. From the ages six to eleven, I was in my school age stage. I needed to cope with my new social and academic demands. I was successful at this stage and I felt competence, if I failed I would have felt inferiority. My social relationships have most recently an important issue in my life.
I have been experiencing an identity and role confusion since I was twelve. I have developed a sense of self and personal identity. I have developed the ability to stay true to myself. At this stage if I had failed I would fell confused and have a weak self. I am now approaching the age nineteen, the young adulthood stage. I’ll be here till about the age of forty. While in this stage I will battle between intimacy and isolation. I’ll need to form intimate and loving relationships with other people. If I am successful it will lead me to strong relationships. If I fail I will feel loneliness and isolation. When I am forty to sixty-five I will be in a young adulthood stage. A conflict of mine will be generativity versus stagnation. Work and parenthood will play an important role to me. With success here I will create a positive change that benefits more than just me. I should have accomplished something by then and feel useful. If I do not I will fell a lack of involvement amongst the world. When I am at the age of sixty-five till death I will look on what I have done with my life and I should feel a sense of fulfillment. I will have reached the maturity stage and will be fighting between ego integrity and despair. I might need to just reflect back on my life and I should be fulfilled with what I have accomplished by then. When I am in this last stage of personal development I should fell wise and beyond content, if I fail at this stage it will result in me having regrets and I would have feelings of bitterness and despair.
At each of the stages of personal development I have reached and will continue to reach towards a better understanding of self. I have been successful with the stages I have already experienced and will continue on my journey of self-identity. With success at each of the stages it put me at a closer step to what I have to accomplish at the next. If I had not been successful at any point and stage that would have and will affect me later on when trying to get passed another stage. Each stage coherently works together to reach the final stage of personal development. In each stage, Erikson deemed people are tested with a struggle that distributes a turning point in development. In Erikson’s outlook, these battles are centered on either developing a psychological quality or failing to develop that quality. Amid these times, the dormant for personal growth is elevated, but so is the dormant or failure. Reference
Macionis, John J. (2011) Society: The Basics, 11th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.