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Psychology Essay Example: Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development

2 pages
546 words
George Washington University
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Human beings have many personality traits that are influenced by the environment in which an individual is brought up. Erik Eriksons theory of psychosocial development underscores the social-cultural determinants of development. It divides them into eight stages of psychosocial conflicts that every person must successfully deal with for him or her to adjust excellently to the environment. The theory states that every person goes through a certain crisis that contributes to his or her psychosocial growth at each of the eight stages. This essay looks at the Eriksons Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development and how I managed to go through them.

The first stage is known as Trust vs. Mistrust and usually begins from infancy up to the age of about eighteen months. Infants are expected to learn how to trust other people, especially those looking after the basic needs. I managed to survive this stage by trusting my parents. At this stage, I learned that my parents loved me and would do anything to protect me while providing everything I need. Stage two is called Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt, and ranges between 18 months and three years. It is at this time when a child learns the basic ways of looking after themselves. My parents taught me basic skills such as feeding and dressing. I was often embarrassed when my peers did things that I could not; something that spurred me to do learn them.

Stage three takes place between the ages of three and five years, and is called Initiative vs. Guilt. Children tend to explore and learn things on their own as they continue growing up. They also apply lessons learned in school into real life. At this stage, I was aware that I had to do what I had learned on my own, or ask for help. However, I always got embarrassed asking for assistance; hence I always put a lot of effort to do things on my own. Stage Four is called Industry vs. Inferiority and occurs from the ages of five to thirteen years. Children are mature, self-aware, and tend to understand logical reasoning. They also tend to be more competitive. While at this stage, I put a lot of effort to compete with my classmates, especially in academics. Consequently, my grades improved and I was always a top ten student.

Stage Five, called Identity vs. Role Confusion usually takes place during a persons teenage years. It is characterized by sexual maturity and an identity crisis that is caused by the transition from childhood to adulthood. This stage was rather difficult for me since I had to cope with intense peer pressure. Thankfully, my parents and teachers were there to guide me and it did not turn out to be as bad as was for some of my peers. Stage Six is known as Intimacy vs. Isolation, and is a time when people are expected to find the ideal life partner. It occurs between the aged of 21 and 39 years. This is the stage that I am currently in at the moment, and I have to admit that it is quite challenging. While I am yet to find the right partner, I have been in several relationships that presented me with a lot of experience of how to interact with others.

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