Who is Erik Erikson? - Background
Stages of Development 1 – 4 (Rocky)
Stages of Development 5 – 8 (Dan)
Additional Works and Criticisms
3. Erik Erikson: The Father of
“Children love and want to be loved and
they very much prefer the joy of
accomplishment to the triumph of hateful
failure. Do not mistake a child for his
- Erik Erikson
4. Erik Erikson’s Biography
• Born June 15,1902 Frankfurt, Germany
• Died May 12, 1994 Massachusetts, USA
• Nationality American/ German
• Fields Developmental Psychology
• Influences Sigmund Freud/ Anna Freud
• Coined the term Lifespan Development
• Key Idea Theories of Social
Erik Erikson 1902-1994
5. Erik Erikson’s Biography
• He was an artist and a teacher in the late 1920s when he met Anna Freud,
an Austrian psychoanalyst. With Anna’s encouragement, he began to study
child psychoanalysis at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute.
• He immigrated to the US in 1933 and taught at Yale and Harvard University.
• It was at this point in his life that he became interested in the influence of
society and culture on child development. To satisfy his curiosity, he
studied groups of American Indian Children to help formulate his
theories. Studying these children enabled him to correlate personality
growth with parental and societal values.
6. Field of Research
• He studied groups of Aboriginal children to learn about the influence of
society and culture on child development. From this, he developed a
number of theories, the most famous being his psychosocial development.
• He believed that humans have to resolve different conflicts as they progress
through each stage of development in the life cycle.
• Erikson’s theory consists of eight stages of development. Each stage is
characterized by a different conflict that must be resolved by the
individual. If a person is unable to resolve a conflict at a particular
stage, they will be confront and struggle with it later in life.
8. Ego Identity
• Ego identity is developed by human
interaction and how an individual
becomes more conscious of themselves
and their surrounding.
9. Ego Strength
• Ego strength deals with an individual
becoming competent in different areas of
life, by becoming competent in life they
feel more important.
• Conflict is a turning point during which an
individual struggles to attain some
psychological quality. Sometimes referred
to as a psychosocial crisis, this can be a
time of both vulnerability and strength,
as the individual works toward
success or failure.
12. Erik Erikson and the
8 Stages of Development
• Best known theories of personality and
• Personality develops in a series of
• Psychosocial, and not psychosexual.
• In each stage of development
conflicts acts as turning points in life.
• Personality consists of all the relatively
stable and distinctive styles of thought,
behavior, and emotional responses that
characterize a person’s adaptations to
14. Why Study Personality?
• Identify patterns in the way people
• Explain the differences between
• Explore how people function in life (The
good and bad).
• How to improve life.
15. Psychosexual Stages of
• Oral Stage (Birth to 1) Sucking/Pleasure With Mouth
• Anal Stage (1 to 3)
• Controlling Bowel Movements
• Phallic Stage (3 to 6)
• Discovery of reproductive organs
• Latency Period (6 to 13)
• Cognitive skills learned while interest in sexuality is
in the background
• Genital Phase (adolescence)
• Sexual interests arise
17. Psychosocial Development
• According to Erikson- Each part of the
personality has a particular time in the life
span when it must develop, if it is going to
develop at all. If it failed to developed on
schedule, the rest of the development is
unfavorably altered. The individual is
then hindered from dealing effectively
18. Psychosocial Stages
• Stage 1- Trust vs. Mistrust
• Stage 2- Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt
• Stage 3- Initiative vs. Guilt
• Stage 4- Industry vs. Inferiority
• Stage 5- Identity vs. Role Confusion
• Stage 6- Intimacy vs. Isolation
• Stage 7- Generativity vs. Stagnation
• Stage 8- Integrity vs. Despair
19. Stage 1-Trust vs. Mistrust
• Age- Birth to 18 months
• Conflict- Trust vs. Mistrust
• Relationship- Mother
• Strength- Hopes
• Question- Can I trust the world?
• Key Event- Feeding
20. Stage 1-Trust vs. Mistrust
• Children are completely dependent on others
• Trust: Established when babies given
adequate warmth, touching, love, and
physical care-Dependable & Reliable.
• Mistrust: Caused by inadequate or
unpredictable care and by cold,
indifferent, and rejecting parents-
Undependable, Unpredictable &
21. Stage 2-
Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt
• Age- 18 month to 3 years
• Conflict- Autonomy vs. Shame
• Relationship- Parents
• Strength- Will
• Question- Is it ok to be me?
• Key Event- Toilet Training
22. Stage 2-
Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt
• Autonomy: Doing things for themselves
such as body control & making choices.
- Secure and confident self.
• Shame: Overprotective or ridiculing parents
may cause children to doubt abilities
and feel shameful about their
actions- Inadequacy & self doubt.
23. Stage 3- Initiative vs. Guilt
• Age- 3 years to 6 years
• Conflict- Initiative vs. Guilt
• Relationship- Family
• Strength- Purpose
• Question- Is it okay for me to do,
move & act?
• Key Event- Independence
24. Stage 3- Initiative vs. Guilt
• Initiative: Parents reinforce via giving
children freedom to play, use imagination,
and ask questions- Creative, Constructive.
• Guilt: May occur if parents criticize,
prevent play, or discourage a child’s
questions- Always being wrong, Failed
to explore world.
• Initiative and Guilt should be balanced
in order to have moral judgment.
25. Stage 4- Industry vs. Inferiority
• Age- 6 years to 12 years
• Conflict- Industry vs. Inferiority
• Relationship- Neighbors, School
• Strength- Competence
• Question- Can I make it in the world
of people and things?
• Key Event- School
26. Stage 4- Industry vs. Inferiority
• Children's have to cope with new social
and academic demands
• Industry: Occurs when child is praised for
productive activities, such as painting and
building- Sense of competence
• Inferiority: Occurs if child’s efforts are
regarded as messy or inadequate-
Weak sense of self, Incapable to take
27. Stage 5-
Identity vs. Role Confusion
• Age- 12 years to 18 years
• Conflict- Identity vs. Role Confusion
• Relationship- Peers, Role Model
• Strength- Fidelity
• Question- Who am I? what can I be?
• Key Event- Peer relationships
28. Stage 5-
Identity vs. Role Confusion
• Children learn a number of different roles.
• Identity: One’s organization of individual
drives, abilities, beliefs, and experience
into consistent image of self. Who we are.
• Role Confusion: Failure to establish
an individual identity separate from
the family and having no peer
relationships and plans for an
occupation- Ego diffusion
29. Stage 6-Intimacy vs. Isolation
• Age- 19 years to 40 years
• Conflict- Intimacy vs. Isolation
• Relationship- Friends, Partners
• Strength- Love
• Question- Can I love?
• Key Event- Love relationships
30. Stage 6-Intimacy vs. Isolation
• Start of families
• Intimacy: Ability to care about others and
to share experiences with them-
• Isolation: Feeling alone and uncared
for in life- Loneliness
31. Stage 7-
Generativity vs. Stagnation
• Age- 40 years to 65 years
• Conflict- Generativity vs. Stagnation
• Relationship- Household, Workmates
• Strength- Care
• Question- Can I make my life count?
• Key Event- Parenting
32. Stage 7-
Generativity vs. Stagnation
• Primary developmental task is one of
contributing to society and helping to
guide future generation.
• Generativity: Interest in guiding the next
generation- Social involvement, Parenting
• Stagnation: When one is only
concerned with one’s own needs and
comforts- Material possession,
Physical well being, Non productive
33. Stage 8-Integrity vs. Despair
• Age- 65 years to Death
• Conflict- Integrity vs. Despair
• Relationship- Mankind, My kind
• Strength- Wisdom
• Question- Is it ok to have been me?
• Key Event-Reflecting on and
acceptance of one’s life
34. Stage 8-Integrity vs. Despair
• In the last stages of life individuals look
back over their lives and judge them.
• Integrity: Self-respect; developed when
people have lived richly and responsibly-
Feeling of wisdom and meaning
• Despair: Occurs when previous life
events are viewed with regret;
experiences heartache and remorse-
1 Infancy Trust vs. Mistrust Hope Maternal
2-3 Early childhood Autonomy vs.
Shame and Doubt
Willpower Both parents or
4-5 Preschool Initiative vs. Guilt Purpose Parents, family and
6-11 Middle Childhood Industry vs.
12-18 Adolescence Identity vs. Role
18-35 Young adulthood Intimacy vs.
Love Spouse, lover,
35-65 Middle age Generativity vs.
Care Family, society
Over 65 Old age Integrity vs. Despair Wisdom All humans
36. Assessment in Erikson’s Theory
• Psycho historical Analysis
– Application of lifespan theory to lives of
• Psychological Tests:
– Instruments based on crisis in stages
37. Research in Erikson’s Theory
– Evokes need to feel closer to others
– Correlated with extraversion, openness to
– Likely to be involved in community, social
38. Research in Erikson’s Theory
– High ego integrity: spent much time reviewing
• Ethnic Identity
– Ethnic minorities: ethnic identity significant
factor in determining sense of self
39. Erikson’s Contributions
• He made major contributions in the area of child development by
studying groups of Native American children and developed the
concept of identity crisis.
• He was concerned with the relationship between society/culture and
child development, which he termed “psychosocial development”.
• This interest led him to develop the Eight Stages of Development.
• In each stage, the individual encounters a developmental crisis.
• In order to move on to the next stage, the individual must resolve
40. Criticisms of Erikson
• Ambiguous terms and concepts
• Lack of precision
• Some terms are not easily measured
• Experiences in stage may only apply to
• Identity crisis may only apply to those
affluent enough to explore identities