Life is a series of challenges which helps us to develop; each stage in our life presents us with a challenge to face and a lesson to learn. Failing to overcome any challenge in one stage of life dearly affects as in next stage or later stages of life as we would have missed out on an important lesson. Erickson’s model of development offers a wonderful way of explaining our development stages. The theory outlines eight major development stages that a person undergoes in his/her life. Different terms are used to explain Erikson’s model, for instance bio-psychological or bio-psychosocial. All this terms refer to the identical eight stages of Erikson psychosocial model. This model is one of Erikson’s most distinctive works. (Roazen, 1976).
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Erikson eight stages in life
Eriksson’s concept is simple and neat, however, it is very sophisticated, and the concept is a base for extensive or complex discussion and examination of personality and behavior. The concept is also important for understanding and also for facilitating personal development – of oneself and others. (Crain, 1985).
The main elements in the concept are
Stage One; Birth to 12 to 18 Months the Oral Stage; Trust vs. Mistrust
This is the infant stage; the infant is basically feed and comforted by the mother through teething and sleeping. This stage is characterized by the infant developing trust or mistrust towards people according to how it will be treated especially by the mother. (Crain, 1985).
Stage Two 18 Months to 3 Yrs Old; Muscular Anal Stage; Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt
The child starts learning and being able to undertake simple activities like controlling bodily parts and walking. At this stage the child is taught toilet manners and walking. The toddle has self doubt and should be guided well. (Crain, 1985).
Stage Three 3-6yrs Old; Locomotor Stage; Imitative Vs. Guilt
The child has reached a level of discovering and exploring new things, the child plays a lot and takes a lot of adventure. However, this stage is characterized by the child being imitative and or felling guilty. (Crain, 1985).
Stage Four 6-12 Years Old Latency stage; Industry vs. Inferiority
This stage of development sees the child going to school where he/she starts to learn a lot from teachers, friends and neighbors. The child achieves and accomplishes some activities. Psychological the child will be industrious or become inferior. (Crain, 1985).
Stage Five 12-18 Years Old; Identity Vs Role Confusion; Peer Relationships
Stage five is reached when in adolescent stage, the adolescent forms association with peer groups and he/she is influenced by this peer groups. The person also has a challenge resolving his/her identity and getting direction in his/ her life, the person in this stage is becoming an adult and undergoes role confusion. (Crain, 1985).
Stage Six 19-40 Year Old; Intimacy vs. Isolation; Love Relationships
The person is in young adulthood and forms intimate relations and gets into love relations, start a family life by marring. The person also in this stage is employed or has other professional activities he/she is involve in such as business. Here, an individual has a social life that he/she is involved in. (Crain, 1985).
Stage Seven 40-65 Years Old; Generativity vs. Stagnation; Parenting
The stage is reached in mid –adult and the person have children to take care of and the community to contribute to. The individual is a parent and undergoes generativity against stagnation. The individual is challenged by finding a way of satisfying others. (Crain, 1985).
Stage eight 65-80 Years Old; Wisdom and Renunciation
According to Erikson, this stage is reached by adults in their late years, a person reflects on the purpose of life and the achievement he/she has made. The person is concerned about the welfare of the community and of the world as a whole. The person is either wise or suffer from renunciation. (Crain, 1985).
My present stage; Stage Seven 40-65 Years Old
This is my present stage in life. The stage where according to Erikson, you must find a way to satisfy the next generation well, I’m certainly doing that. I have four children at my current age of 32 years old. I see the changes of raising a family, and taking care of the children. It is very challenging since the children need a lot of care from me. Sometimes I wish I had only one because four are such a hectic to deal with. Yet, they offer a lot of joy. I was raised up to believe in my self and to trust other in my early childhood. Thus, I easily trust people and easily form good relationship with others, and that is why I easily trusted my husband and quickly got these four children. On the other hand a hate liars and pretenders as they don’t keep their promises.
I understand how this concept has impacted my development. I was raised to be respectful to adults and follow direction of teachers. I helped out at home a lot with chores, like washing dishes and other house cleaning chores. I asked very little of any one for my own needs I take care of my self. I had very good conduct in school, very good grades and always tried to please my mom and my teachers. I formed a strong belief in following rules and laws of the society. I grew up to be successful business owner and functional contributing citizen to our community. I balance my work with the raising of my children and school. I attribute my current status in life to how I develop as a child as far as being independent and carrying forward a strong sense of self esteem.
Crain, W. C. (1985): Theories of Development, 2Rev Ed, Prentice-Hall.
Marcia, J. E., (1966): Development and validation of ego identity status, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 3.
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Roazen, P. (1976): Erik H. Erikson: The Power and Limits of a Vision, N.Y.; The Free Press.