Erikson’s Theory of Life Stages Development: Analysis

Aminat Lawal

TAQ 1: 2.1 Draw a table similar to the one below and identify the life stages from adolescence onwards in an individual’s life, showing the evidence for each of the stages

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Identify Erikson’s Life stages

Describe the characteristics of these life stages

0 – 2

Trust vs Mistrust

This stage is mainly based on a new born child’s essential needs being met by parents. This result of this interaction prompts trust or doubt. The new born through to the age of 2, relies upon the mother in particular for sustenance and solace. In the event that the parents open the infant to a warmth, normality and true love, the infant’s perspective of life and the world will be one comprised of trust. However, if there is neglect of a protected environment and love, a feeling of mistrust will come about.

2 – 4

Autonomy vs Shame and Doubt

In this stage, as there is increase in control over eliminative capacities and special abilities, a child start to explore his/her surroundings. The parents still provide a solid base of security in which the child is allowed to wander out to state their will. The parent’s tolerance and consolation helps foster self-sufficiency in the child. A critical piece of example is a potty and toilet training where parental responses and quietness plays and essential part in moulding the child’s experience and fruitful movement all through.

4 – 5

Initiative vs Guilt

Initiative can be explained as the capacity to devise activities or undertaking, certainty and conviction that is okay to carry out, even with a risk of disappointment or committing errors. In this stage, a child is figuring out how to ace their general surroundings and learn fundamental principles. Example of things learnt can be the fact that “whatever goes up must come down”, how to knot a tie, how to zip up trousers and how to speak with ease. Guilt results from accepting that something has not gone right and is likely to draw in dissatisfaction.

5- 12

Industry vs Inferiority

This stage described as the “entrance to life” is where a child is beginning to be more mindful of him/herself as an individual in the sense that, they buckle down at being capable of “being capable and being great”. When a child accomplishes a thing, he/she move towards an effective negotiation. On the other hand, when a child encounters disappointment he/she is inclined to feeling substandard and pointless.

13 – 19

Identity vs Role Confusion

At this stage, an adolescent is concerned with how they seem to others whereas, role confusion implies that a child cannot see who they are and how they can relate emphatically with their surroundings. Youngsters battle to have a place and be acknowledged but then, likewise to end up being great people.

20 – 39

Intimacy vs Isolation

Intimacy means the procedure of achieving associations with a family or with a wife. There is a solid proportional peculiarity in the closeness experienced which is the giving and receiving between marital partners. Isolation on the other hand means feeling rejected from the ordinary backgrounds of dating and other adoring connections. Erikson believes that we are anxious about being turned down or partners breaking up with. He believes that we are now and then isolated as a result of intimacy.

40 – 64

Generativity vs Stagnation

Generativity is derived from parents and children. It is the concern of directing the future generation. Generativity extends past one’s own particular child but to future generations. It gives model the model eventually an exceptionally advanced capable perspective. Stagnation is an expansion of intimacy which turns inwards towards oneself. It represents emotions, liberality, and absence of enthusiasm for future generations.

65 – death

Ego Integrity vs Despair

At this final stage, the accomplishments of senior citizens are contemplated and integrity is able to develop if one is leading a successful life. When one’s life is seen as useless, disappointment occurs which prompts gloom and misery. Despite being in despair, people are still able to set things right at this stage which is basically, restructuring wreckage from the past stage.

(Balls, 2013) (Psyche100, 2012) (Stages, 2015)

2.2 Examine the evidence provided to support and dispute Erikson’s theory of life stage development.

One of the strengths of the theory is that it gives an expansive framework from which to view development of a whole lifespan. Additionally, it permits us to underline the social nature of individuals and the vital impact that these social natures have on development. This was created mostly from Erikson’s broad field research with Native Americans, and afterwards from his clinical treatment works which was attached to driving mental health centres and universities. Over the years, psychologists have collected several information that backs the relationship between each stage and the corresponding age groups to affirm that, identifying and resolving the crisis serves to advance respect towards one’s self-esteem (Stages, 2015).

A study that comprised of school children, their parents and teachers concentrated on the phase of industry versus mediocrity. The results of this study backed the idea of industry being legitimate for age group which demonstrates that an industry score positively connected with test scores and accomplishment in school (Stages, 2015).

Many people claim that Erikson’s ideas are equivocal and regularly conflicting. Some people believe that the theory is more applicable to males than females and that, more consideration is paid to early stages in life and youth than the grown-up life (Cortland, 2015). There is also a discussion concerning whether individuals search for identity or character amid the youthful years or if one stage needs to happen before other stages can be completed. As a response, Erikson expressed that each of these courses of action happens all though a lifetime and also, emphasised on “stages” as it is at these times that the clashes get to be generally conspicuous. The lack of common sense fixing genuine issues stays a standout amongst the most criticisms of Erikson’s work to date, which is why there are just so few supporters of his work among current psychologists (Stages, 2015).

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TAQ 2: Essay: ‘Adolescence is a time of storm and stress’

Adolescence otherwise known as immaturity, portrays the early years somewhere around 13 and 19 of a youngster, and this is viewed as the transitional stage from youth to adulthood. Adolescence is regarded as a period of both bewilderment and discovery which is why it is said to raise certain issues and intense decisions with respect to school tasks, sexuality, social life including drugs and alcohol. (Today, 2015). One major reasons that youngsters find adolescence being a time of storm and stress is on the grounds that it is a period of quick physical improvement and profound passionate changes. They can be seen as exciting advancements but at the same time, uncomfortable for a child to his/her parent. Adolescence or the period of transition can be broken down into three stages;

Early adolescence which usually comes around between 11 to 14
Middle adolescence which usually comes around between ages 15 to 17
Late adolescence which usually comes around between ages 18 to 21

(Children, 2014).

Quick changes can occur both physically and emotionally at this stage of life. These changes are in combination with attending an educational institution, social time with friends which might bring about the use of drugs and consumption of alcohol (Psychiatrists, 2015). There are psychological and social tasks that take place between the ages of 11 to 21.

Physical development: Otherwise known as puberty and Includes hormones and physical changes. The process of physical changes in the puberty stage of life begins continuously from around the age of 13 for males and 11 for females. Hormonal changes produce periods of tiredness and fretfulness. Changes in males include the growth of body, deeper voices, facial hair, wet dreams and erections and in females includes, growth of pubic hair in part of the body and menstrual periods. (Psychiatrists, 2015)
Intellectual and emotional development: Majority of male and female youngsters enter puberty as yet observing their surroundings properly where, things are either right, wrong, magnificent or terrible. Youngsters seldom set their sights and minds past the present which clarifies more on the incapability to consider the effect of their actions. At the time most youngsters approach late adolescence, they acknowledge nuances of circumstances and thoughts an also properly work their way into the future. The ability for them to handle complex issues and to sense what other people are thinking would have honed significantly. However because they are still moderately unpractised in life, older adolescents use these new aptitudes inconsistently and consequently, may act without consideration.

Emotional development demands that youngsters gradually eject themselves from their parents. There is more time spent with friends socially, less affection and love towards folks and pushing the limits. Youngsters as often as possible feel clashed about leaving the safety net of their homes. They might be need for a slight love and affection from their parent but, just as this happens, they turn away once more (Children, 2014). Additionally, when they test the consumption of alcohol and use of drugs socially alone, they are find themselves in a much more serious peril however, when warnings are issued from older adolescents, they are considered more important than when they come from parents (Psychiatrists, 2015).

A teenager could be hit with a cluster of challenges at adolescence. Some of these challenges include emotional, sexual and behavioural problems. Signs of a teenager experiencing emotional storm or stress could include over-consumption of food, inordinate tiredness, and tenacious concern with ones appearance at all times. Tension may also create fears and frenzy assaults and due to this, studies carried out by psychologists recommends that enthusiastic issues are frequently not perceived even by the close relatives and friends of the suffering adolescent. Amid adolescence, most teenagers think so little of themselves in a way that proves life not worth living. The physical changes in adolescent ages brings could bring about sexual stress and issues to a few who are modest and those who don’t seek for information. On the other hand, some other teenagers express this issue with exorbitant gloating about their sexual experience and capacity. There is also the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (HIV/AIDS) within the age of 16 as most teenagers are eager to have the experience (Psychiatrists, 2015).

The understanding of adolescence is based on two approaches of comprehending human behaviour by Erik Erikson and Anna Freud. Erikson believed and concentrated on the dichotomy that is between personality formation and accomplishment of roles while Freud believed that psychological unsettling does influences that are connected with adolescence were biologically based and socially all inclusive. Regardless of their different views they accepted that adolescence was naturally a period of unsettling influence and psychological disarray. Freud believed that the psychological procedure of sexual development which begins with the functionality of sexual glands, does impact the psychological domain. As a result of this, there is an awakening of libidinal strengths which, thus, can lead to psychological disequilibrium. She believes that the following factors are involved in the conflict in adolescence; the strengths of the id drive which is controlled by psychological courses of action amid adolescence, the self-ability to adapt or to respect instinctual strengths and the adequacy and nature of the safeguard techniques at the disposal of ego (King, 2004). Erikson portrays adolescence by the quickness of body development, genital development and sexual awareness. Also, he describes adolescence as the time amid when an individual must establish a character which is usually established in different ways according to different cultures and evade the dangers of part dissemination and identity disarray. During the time of development of vocational identity, certain role confusion comes around. The constructive result of personality crisis is reliant on a youngster’s readiness to acknowledge his past and build progression with their past encounters (King, 2004). Also as indicated, identity dissemination can prompt suicidal attempts however, once a personality is made, an adolescent cab proceed onward to discover closeness or detachment in interpersonal connections (King, 2004). According to Stanley Hall youngsters in late adolescence restate the condition of the initiation of modern civilization. His psychology did not see a human as the final product of a formative methodology, it only gave the room for further development (King, 2004).

Word 997

TAQ 3: Explore one life event such as marriage, parenthood, divorce or bereavement that you, or someone you know, has experienced. Describe the event, keeping the information in the third person to keep the individual’s anonymity.

At the age of 6 – 7, the life stage of Industry vs Inferiority, his parents fought a lot in his presence which usually began with a scream, noise and rage which resulted to tears from his mother. Fights went on for a while which resulted in their settlement for a divorce. He stayed with his mother while his father began to see someone else who had a wild social lifestyle of drugs, alcohol consumption and carelessness. After the case of custody, it was settled that he should spend a certain amount of days with his mother and rest with his father. His mother on the other hand had an authoritative style of parenting i.e., she was very strict and did not allow any sort of misbehaviour.

This style of shared living went on until the age of 13 – 15, which is when the adolescent period comes along. The authoritative parenting style of his mother was not his favourite so, he enjoyed spending more time at his father’s and his new partner. The wild lifestyle of his father’s new partner began to reflect on his adolescent age as a result of the much time he spent there and the thought of freedom away from his mother’s strict parenting. According to Erikson’s theory, his life stage falls under identity vs role confusion which is where he is to learn the roles he will be indulged in as a grown up. It is also amid this stage of life that his personality will define who he is (McLeod, 2013). He had exposed himself to the possibility of freedom and formed an identity based on the lifestyle of his father’s new partner. He suffered from role confusion as he was unsure of where he fitted in the society because of the shared moments between a strict mother, and a carefree father.

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Balls, B., 2013. erikson’s psychosocial development theory. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 02 Febuary 2015].

Children, H., 2014. Ages and Stages. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 03 Febuary 2015].

Cortland, 2015. Erik Erikson’s 8 Stages of PsychosocialDevelopment. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 02 February 2015].

King, R. M., 2004. King’s Psychology Network. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 04 February 2015].

McLeod, S., 2013. Simply Psychology. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 05 February 2015].

Psyche100, 2012. Erikson’s 8 Stages Of Life Span Development.. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 02 Febuary 2015].

Psychiatrists, R. C. o., 2015. MENTAL HEALTH AND GROWING UP FACTSHEET. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 03 February 2015].

Stages, E. P., 2015. Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory. [Online] Available at:’s+Psychosocial+Theory [Accessed 2015 February 2015].

Today, P., 2015. Adolescence. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 03 February 2015].

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