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Psychology Paper Example: Freud Stages Versus Erickson Stages

2 pages
437 words
Vanderbilt University
Type of paper: 
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The paper compares and contrasts the first stage of Freuds psychosexual stages (oral stage) with the first stage of Ericksons life stages (trust and mistrust). According to Freud, oral stage occurs for a newborn child between zero and the first year. In this period, the babys libido is centered on the mouth which is the source of his or her satisfaction. Every action is mouth-oriented such as biting, sucking hands, and breastfeeding. Additionally, the infant depends on the caregiver to meet basic needs to reduce cases of oral-passive or oral-aggressiveness in later life (Villegas, 2013).

Trust and mistrust, on the other hand, entails a first stage which occurs during the first few years of life. Erickson argued that this is the stage where the infant is uncertain about the world hence depending on a caregiver for protection and stability. The infant develops trust if they receive adequate and consistent care from the caregiver and may build mistrust if the care is unpredictable and inconsistent. Furthermore, Freud argued that trust bring a virtue of hope to the infant while mistrust results to anxiety and insecurity during later stages of life (King-Hill, 2016).

Both Freud and Erickson theory has numerous similarities. Firstly, the theories emphasize the importance of touch as a primary mode of conveyance to the child. The infant gains trust if they receive consistent breast milk and other needs during early stages of life. Similarly, the two theories show that negligence on the part of the caregiver is likely to cause problems to a later life of the infant. The infant is expected to develop mistrust and fear for being denied some needs hence engaging in smoking, thumb sucking, nail biting and other oral behaviors in later life (Bode, 2015). Equally, the baby develops an oral fixation during the oral stage which is caused by too little or too much fulfillment of pleasure gained in the mouth area. As a result, the baby either gains trust or mistrusts in later life and likelihood of developing different personality depending on the care they received from their caregivers (Parrish, 2014).



Al Odhayani, A., Watson, W. J., & Watson, L. (2013). Behavioural consequences of child abuse. Canadian family physician, 59(8), 831-836

Bode, C. (2015). Psychosocial Development in Middle Childhood and Early Adolescence. A Handbook for Icehearts Educators, 11-120.

King-Hill, S. (2016). A critical discussion upon the relationship between the Psychoanalytical perspective of developmental psychology and its adaptation to educating teenage mothers. Teacher Education Advancement Network Journal, 8(1), 33-45.

Parrish, M. (2014). Social Work Perspectives On Human Behaviour. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill


Villegas, A. (2013). The influence of technology on family dynamics. Proceedings of the New

York State Communication Association, 2012(1), 10.


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