Erik Erikson Stages of Psycho-Social development

Stage 1: Trust vs. Mistrust:

From birth to approximately 18 months of age, during this stage, they are completely helpless at this age, they depend on others to care for them and love them. If they receive good care and love, they learn to trust and will generally feel safe and secure in the world. If they don’t receive good care and love, they struggle to trust and will generally feel insecure and fearful of the world.

Stage 2: Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt:

From ages 2 to 3 years of age, during this stage if they successfully complete toilet training and are allowed to gain more control over food choices, toy preferences, etc., they will develop autonomy and generally feel more secure and confident. If they feel overly controlled, criticized and fail to gain autonomy in these years, they will generally feel more shame and doubt.

Stage 3: Initiative vs. Guilt:

From ages 3 to 5 years, during this stage, they learn to assert themselves in social settings. If they succeed, they will develop initiative and generally feel more capable. If they feel disccouraged in pursuing independent activities, dismissed, criticized in their efforts, they will generally be left with more guilt, self-doubt and lack of intiative.

Stage 4: Industry vs. Inferiority:

From ages 6 to 11 years, during this stage, if they are encouraged to improve their abilities and if their accomplishments are commended, they are likely to develop a sense of confidence. If they are discouraged, not allowed to demonstrate their skills, receive negative feedback and/or ridiculed by parents, teachers, or peers, they are more likely to doubt their abilities, which may lead to lack of confidence and feeling of inadequacy.

Stage 5: Identity vs. Confusion:

From ages 12 to 18 years, during teenage years, they can receive affirmation of their ideals, values, and sense of self, receive various forms of derision and rejection. Those who have their sense of self positively reinforced develop stronger feelings of independence and control. Those who don’t receive positive reinforcement restricted in their space to explore, they may struggle to identify their purpose or path with feeling of more insecurity and confusion about identity of themselves and their future.

Stage 6: Intimacy vs. Isolation:

From ages 19 to 40 years, during this stage, the focus is developing intimate, loving relationships with others through close, committed relationships in their early adulthood, their lifelong relationships are more likely to be enduring and secure. Because each stage of development builds upon the others, the ability to form strong and committed relationships is closely tied to whether or not they developed a strong sense of self in their teen years. Those without a strong sense of self are more likely to have less-committed relationships and suffer isolation and loneliness.

Stage 7: Generativity vs. Stagnation:

From ages 40 to 65 years, the focus is more on building their lives premirely through carrers, families and contribution to society, if they succeed in building a good and productive life, they are likely to feel like they are contributing to the world. If they fail to build a good and productive life, they are likely to feel uninvolved in the world, leading to self absoption, lack of growth and feeling of emptiness.

Stage 8: Integrity vs. Despair:

From ages 65 to death, in their later years, they tend to look back on life, taking inventory of what they have achieved or unachieved. If they can develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments, they are likely to feel satisfied. If they fail to develop this pride, they are likely to feel they have wasted their life, failed to achieve their goal, have made poor decisions they may experince despair.

Latif Ziyar MD

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