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Module 7 : Erikson‟s Psycho-

Social Theory of Development


Introduction of the 8 stages:

 Psychosocial („psycho‟ relating to


the mind, brain, personality, etc. and
„social‟ which means the external
relationships and environment).
Biopsychosocial, in which “bio”
refers to life as in biological.
 The theory is a basis for broad or
complex discussion and analysis of
personality and behavior, and also
facilitating personal development – of
self and others. It can help the teacher in
becoming more knowledgeable and at
the same time understanding of the
various environmental factors that affect
his own and his students‟ personality
and behavior.
 Syntonic – for the first listed
“positive” disposition in each
crisis.

 Dystonic – for the second listed


“negative” disposition.
 If a stage is managed well, we
carry away a certain virtue or
psychosocial strength which will
help us through the rest of the
stages of our lives.
 Malignancy – it involves too little of
the positive and too much of the
negative aspects of the tasks, such as a
person who can‟t trust others.
 Maladaptation – is not quite as bad
and involves too much of the positive
and too little of the negative such as a
person who trusts too much.
 Mutuality – reflects the effect of
generation on each other, especially
among families, and particularly between
parents and children and grandchildren.
 Generativity – actually a named
disposition with one of the crisis stages
(Generativity v Stagnation, stage
seven), reflects the significant
relationship between adults and the best
interest of children - one‟s own
children, and in a way everyone else‟s
children – the next generation, and all
the following generation.
STAGE ONE (Infancy)
Trust vs. Mistrust

 .
Psychosocial Crisis: The first
stage is infancy, is approximately
the first year or year and a half
of life. The goal is to develop
trust without completely
eliminating the capacity for
mistrust. If the primary
caregivers, like the parents can
give the baby a sense of
familiarity, consistency, and
continuity, then the baby will
develop the feeling that the
world is a safe place to be, that
people are reliable and loving.
Maladaptation/Malignancy
 Sensory Maladjustment: Overly
trusting, even gullible, this person cannot
believe anyone would mean them harm, and
will use all the defenses at their command to
find an explanation or excuse for the person
who did him wrong.
 Withdrawal:
characterized by
depression, paran
oia, and possibly
psychosis.
VIRTUE

 If the proper
balance is
achieved, the child
will develop the
virtue of Hope.
STAGE TWO (Early Childhood)
Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt
 He begins to make choices and express his
will. If encouraged, he develops a sense of
autonomy and independence. In this stage
Erikson believes that the child may
develops a sense of doubt and shame
manifested in feelings of worthless and
incompetence. We should keep in mind that
even something as innocent as laughing at
the toddler‟s efforts can lead the child to
feel deeply ashamed and to doubt his or
her abilities.
Maladaptation/Malignancy
 Impulsiveness – a sort of shameless
willfulness that leads you, in a later
childhood and even adulthood, to jump
into things without proper consideration
of your abilities.
 Compulsiveness – feels as if their entire
being rides on everything they do, and so
everything must be done perfectly.
VIRTUE
 If you get the proper, positive balance of
autonomy and shame and doubt, you will
develop the virtue of willpower or
determination.
STAGE THREE (Early Childhood)
Initiative vs. Guilt
 Psychosocial crisis: Child begins to
explore his social and physical worlds
discovering what he can accomplish. Erikson
refers to this as a time for developing a
sense of initiative or a positive attitude of
personal accomplishment. At this time, the
child gradually becomes aware of the various
social roles presented by his environment. In
Erikson‟s view, the basic influence during this
period is the child‟s families who can help
him learn to be responsible for his behavior
and actions.
Maladaptation/Malignancy
 Ruthlessness – to be heartless or
unfeeling or be “without mercy”.

 Inhibition - the inhibited person will not


try things because “nothing
ventured, nothing lost”
and, particularly, nothing to feel guilty
about.
VIRTUE

 A good balance leads to the


psychosocial strengths of
purpose.
STAGE FOUR (School-age)
Industry vs. Inferiority

Psychosocial Crisis: the child‟s world


broadens technical skills are learned and feelings
of competence, enlarged. Children enter new
world of the neighborhood and the school. In
Erikson‟s view, when children come to believe
that they cannot achieve according to their
school, family, or peers, their sense of mastery
will give way to personal inferiority. Thus, they
become incapable of facing the transitory
adolescent years which lie directly ahead.
Parents must encourage, teachers must
care, peers must accept.
Maladaptation/Malignancy
 Narrow Virtuosity: we see this in
children who aren‟t allowed to “be
children” the ones that parents or
teachers push into one area of
competence, without allowing the
development of broader interests.
 Inertia: this includes all of us who suffer
from the “inferiority complexes” Alfred
Adler talked about.
VIRTUE
 A happier thing is to develop the right
balance of industry and inferiority – that
is, mostly industry with just a touch of
inferiority to keep us sensibly humble.
Then we have the virtue called
competency.
STAGE FIVE (Adolescence)
Identity vs. Role Confusion
 Psychosocial Crisis: According to
Erikson, is characterized by an identity –
formation crisis. The question “Who am
I and what can I do when I become an
adult?” confronts the adolescent. His
struggle is based not only on societal
demands as an emerging adult, but also
on the pubescent age. Since an
adolescent spends more time with his
friend, the peer group now becomes an
essential source of general rules of
behavior.
Maladaptation/Malignancy
 Fanaticism – believes that his way is the
only way.
 Repudiation – they reject their
membership in the world of adults
and, even more, they reject their need for
an identity.
VIRTUE
 If you successfully negotiate this stage, you
will have the virtue Erikson called
fidelity.
STAGE SIX (Young Adulthood)
Intimacy vs. Isolation
 In this stage the individual develops a
warm and intimate relationship with
another person. If such sense of intimacy
is not acquired during this time of life, a
sense of isolation develop instead. Such
attitude is reflected in the ability to trust
others in a close and intimate manner.
Maladaptation/Malignancy
 Promiscuity – referring particularly to
the tendency to become intimate too
freely, too easily, and without any depth to
you intimacy.
 Exclusion – which refers to the
tendency to isolate oneself from
love, friendship, and community, and to
develop a certain hatefulness in
compensation.
VIRTUE

 If you successfully negotiate this stage, you


will instead carry with you for the rest of
your life the virtue Erikson calls love.
STAGE SEVEN (Middle Adulthood)
Generativity vs. Stagnation
 The middle years of stage comprise the
productive years of adulthood. In this
stage, the individual‟s productivity is
gauged by his contributions to his family
and to society. According to Erikson, the
person who fails to develop this sense of
generativity becomes preoccupied instead
with his personal needs and interests with
his personal needs and interests or both
with a sense of self-absorption.
Maladaptation/Malignancy
 Overextension – illustrates the
problem. Some people try to be so
generative that they no longer allow time
for themselves, for rest and relaxation.
 Rejectivity – too little generativity and
too much stagnation and you are no
longer participating in or contributing to
society.
VIRTUE

 But if you are successfully


at this stage, you will have
a capacity for caring that
will serve you through the
rest of your life.
STAGE EIGHT (Late Adulthood)
Ego Integrity vs. Despair
 In the last stage, a person comes to terms
with the temporal limits of his life. It is the
fulfillment and culmination. In Erikson‟s
view, it is the achievement of a sense of
integrity resulting from identification with
mankind. If a person, however, develops an
attitude of regret and fear of the end of
life, then a sense of despair emerges
instead.
Maladaptation/Malignancy
 Presumption – this is what happens
when a person “presumes” ego integrity
without actually facing the difficulties of
old age.
 Disdain – by which Erikson means a
contempt of life, one‟s own or anyone‟s.
 Someone who approaches
VIRTUE death without fear has the
strength Erikson calls
wisdom.
 THE END. 