Erik Erikson was an ego psychologist that patterned his theories after Freud. Erikson strongly felt that culture and society have an effect on the ego and that a struggle or conflict can begin. Erik Erikson designed a model of development that has 5 stages of psychosocial development that extend through childhood.
Stage 1: Trust vs. Mistrust
The stages of psychosocial development created by Erikson place a great deal of importance on child development. This stage takes place during infancy and involves the uncertainty that infants face living in a world that they don’t fully understand. Erikson believes that infants to someone that they trust during this stage to offer them stability. An infant’s experience in this stage can have a tremendous impact on their development.
Stage 2: Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
This stage of psychosocial development takes place during the ages of 18 months and three. During this stage a child begins to develop some of their own independence and personality. A young child can also begin to learn about their interests and abilities during this stage. Parents should let their children be independent and encourage them to gain their own sense of self.
Stage 3: Initiative vs. Guilt
This stage classifies the ages of 3 to 5 when many young children begin interacting with other children their age. This is an important stage, because it involves children beginning to plan activities and socialize with others. If this initiative is shared by their peers children can gain confidence, but it is ended it can lead to guilt.
Stage 4: Industry vs. Inferiority
This stage is used to define the period of time that children learn to read and write. This is also a period of time when teachers become a huge presence in children’s lives. The peer group that is formed will begin to have a strong hold and self-esteem will be developed through acceptance.
Stage 5: Identity vs. Role Confusion
Independence begins to transform into visions of the future for work, romance and an adolescent’s path in general. The main part of this stage involves the want to be accepted and fit in. During this stage adolescents learn the roles that they will have in adulthood and re-examine exactly who they are and who they want to become. This is an incredibly important stage, because it has a tremendous impact on the path that is chosen.