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The use and importance of eriksons stages of psychosocial development

She was married to Jewish stockbroker Valdemar Isidor Salomonsen, but had been estranged from him for several months at the time Erik was conceived. Little is known about Erik's biological father except that he was a non-Jewish Dane. On discovering her pregnancy, Karla fled to Frankfurt am Main in Germany where Erik was born on June 15, 1902 and was given the surname Salomonsen.

In 1905 she married Erik's Jewish pediatricianTheodor Homburger. Karla, and Erik's new stepfather Theodor, told Erik he was his real father, but Erik was not told the truth until late childhood, to which he remained bitter about the secret.

As an older adult, he wrote about his adolescent "identity confusion" in his European days. At temple school, the kids teased him for being Nordic ; at grammar school, they teased him for being Jewish. From his late teens to about the age of 25 he chose to travel and do art for people he met. For children from prominent German families taking a "wandering year" was not uncommon.

During his travels he often sold or traded his sketches to people he met. Eventually, Erik realized he would never become a full-time artist and returned to Karlsruhe and became an art teacher.

It is through this time at his teaching job that Erik was hired by an heiress to sketch and eventually tutor her children. Erik worked very well with these children and was eventually hired by many other families that were close to Anna and Sigmund Freud. During this period he continued to contend with questions about his father and competing ideas of ethnic, religious, and national identity.

He specialized in child analysis and underwent a training analysis with Anna Freud. Helene Deutsch and Edward Bibring supervised his initial treatment of an adult.

This and his The use and importance of eriksons stages of psychosocial development diploma were to be Erikson's only earned academic credentials for his life's work. In 1936, Erikson left Harvard and joined the staff at Yale Universitywhere he worked at the Institute of Social Relations and taught at the medical school. Erikson continued to deepen his interest in areas beyond psychoanalysis and to explore connections between psychology and anthropology.

In 1938, he left Yale to study the Sioux tribe in South Dakota on their reservation. After his studies in South Dakota he traveled to California to study the Yurok tribe.

Erikson discovered differences between the children of the Sioux and Yurok tribe. This also marked the beginning of Erikson's life passion of showing the importance of events in childhood and how society affects them. In addition, in San Francisco he opened a private practice in child psychoanalysis. While in California he was able to make his second study of American Indian children when he joined anthropologist Alfred Kroeber on a field trip to Northern California to study the Yurok.

In 1973 the National Endowment for the Humanities selected Erikson for the Jefferson Lecturethe United States' highest honor for achievement in the humanities. Erikson's lecture was titled Dimensions of a New Identity. According to Erikson, the environment in which a child lived was crucial to providing growth, adjustment, a source of self-awareness and identity. Erikson won a Pulitzer Prize [29] and a US National Book Award in category Philosophy and Religion [30] for Gandhi's Truth 1969which focused more on his theory as applied to later phases in the life cycle.

Erik Erikson

In Erikson's discussion of development, rarely did he mention a stage of development by age but in fact did refer to a prolonged adolescence which has led to further investigation into a period of development between adolescence and young adulthood called emerging adulthood. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. January 2016 Learn how and when to remove this template message Favorable outcomes of each stage are sometimes known as virtues, a term used in the context of Erikson's work as it is applied to medicine, meaning "potencies".

Erikson's research suggests that each individual must learn how to hold both extremes of each specific life-stage challenge in tension with one another, not rejecting one end of the tension or the other. Only when both extremes in a life-stage challenge are understood and accepted as both required and useful, can the optimal virtue for that stage surface. Thus, 'trust' and 'mis-trust' must both be understood and accepted, in order for realistic 'hope' to emerge as a viable solution at the first stage.

Similarly, 'integrity' and 'despair' must both be understood and embraced, in order for actionable 'wisdom' to emerge as a viable solution at the last stage. The Erikson life-stage virtue, in order of the eight stages in which they may be acquired, are: Hope, Basic trust vs. Whether the baby develops basic trust or basic mistrust is not merely a matter of nurture. It is multi-faceted and has strong social components. It depends on the quality of the maternal relationship.

The mother carries out and reflects their inner perceptions of trustworthiness, a sense of personal meaning, etc. An important part of this stage is providing stable and constant care of the infant. This helps the child develop trust that can transition into relationships other than parental. Additionally, they develop trust in others to support them.

Shame—Covers early childhood around 1—3 years old. Introduces the concept of autonomy vs. During this stage the child is usually trying to master toilet training. Additionally, the child discovers their talents or abilities, and it is important to the use and importance of eriksons stages of psychosocial development the child is able to explore those activities.

Erikson states it is essential to allow the children freedom in exploration but also create an environment welcoming of failures. Therefore, the parent should not punish or reprimand the child for failing at the task. Shame and doubt occurs when the child feels incompetent in ability to complete task and survive. Will is achieved with success of the stage. Children successful in this stage will have "self-control without a loss of self-esteem.

Does the child have the ability to do things on their own, such as dress him or herself? Children in this stage are interacting with peers, and creating their own games and acitvities. If allowed to make these decisions, the child will develop confidence in their ability to lead others. If the child is not allowed to make certain decisions the sense of guilt develops.

Guilt in this stage is characterized by a sense of being a burden to others, and will therefore usually present themselves as a follower. Additionally, the child is asking many questions to build knowledge of the world.

If the questions earn responses of critic the child will also develop feelings of guilt.


Success in this stage leads to the virtue of purpose, which is the normal balance between the two extremes. Child comparing self-worth to others such as in a classroom environment.

Child can recognize major disparities in personal abilities relative to other children. Erikson places some emphasis on the teacher, who should ensure that children do not feel inferior. During this stage the child's friend group increases in importance in their life.

Often during this stage the child will try to prove competency with things rewarded in society, and also develop satisfaction with their abilities. Encouraging the child increases feelings of adequacy and competency in ability to reach goals. Restriction from teachers or parents leads to doubt, questioning, and reluctance in abilities and therefore may not reach full capabilities.

Competence, the virtue of this stage, is developed when a healthy balance between the two extremes is reached. Who am I, how do I fit in? Where am I going in life? The adolescent is exploring and seeking for their own unique identity. This is done by looking at personal beliefs, goals, and values. The morality of the individual is also explored and developed.

The teen is also looking towards the future in terms of employment, relationships, and families. Learning the roles they provide in society is essential since the teen begins the desire to fit in to society.

Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development

Fidelity is characterized by the ability to commit to others and acceptance of others even with differences. Identity crisis is the result of role confusion and can cause the adolescent to try out different lifestyles. This development usually happens during young adulthood, which is between the ages of 18 to 40. Dating, marriage, family and friendships are important during the stage in their life. This is due to the increase in the growth of intimate relationships with others.

They also feel safety, care, and commitment in these relationships. During this time people are normally settled in their life and know what is important to them. A person is either making progress in their career or treading lightly in their career and unsure if this is what they want to do for the rest of their working lives. Also during this time, a person is enjoying raising their children and participating in activities, that gives them a sense of purpose.

This is one way of contributing to society along with productivity at work and involvement in community activities and organizations. Wisdom, Ego integrity vs. During this time an individual has reached the last chapter in their life and retirement is approaching or has already taken place. Ego-integrity means the acceptance of life in its fullness: Wisdom is the result of successfully accomplishing this final developmental task.

Wisdom is defined as "informed and detached concern for life itself in the face of death itself. Achieving the virtue of the stage involves the feeling of living a successful life. Personal life[ edit ] Erikson married Canadian-born American psychologist Joan Erikson in 1930 and they remained together until his death. Erikson died on 12 May 1994 in Harwich, Massachusetts.