Personal Portrait

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Personal Portrait

Personal Portrait


Erik Erickson's theory on development is based on social development. In Erickson's theories he talks about different feelings that a baby has to be secure with before the baby can develop normally. There are eight stages to his development theory, these stages are: Trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy Vs. Shame or Guilt, Initiative Vs. Guilt, Industry Vs. Inferiority, Ego Identity Vs. Role Confusion, Intimacy Vs. Isolation, Generativity Vs. Stagnation and Ego Integrity Vs. Despair. The first conflict is Trust vs. Mistrust. This goes from ages 0-2 years old. The baby has to learn to trust their care giver. The baby must trust that the care giver will always be there for its needs. Autonomy vs. Shame or Doubt is the stage where a baby must learn to have control over their body and their body functions. This stage last from ages 2-3 years old. This stage corresponds to Freud's anal stage. Initiative vs. Guilt is the stage where a developing child must be active in their environment. The ages of this stage are 3-5 years old. The child needs to have a sense of purpose. Industry vs. Inferiority is the stage where a child develops competence. The ages for this stage are 6-11 years old. These are the school years of a child's life (Erikson Erikson & Kivnick 1986). Ego Identity Vs. Role Confusion is the stage where a child is in their adolescent years. The ages of this stage are 12-18 years old. The teenager is going through puberty and is noticing members of the opposite sex. Intimacy Vs. Isolation is the stage where the person is trying to find a mate for themselves. The ages for this stage are 18-24 years old. They want love. Generativity Vs. Stagnation is the stage where the now adult is working and they want to be a mentor for other children. the ages in this stage are 25-64 years old. The last stage of Erickson's theory is Ego Integrity Vs. Despair. In this last stage a person needs to become comfortable with the life that they are living and have lived. The ages of this last stage are from 65-death (Thornburg Adams & Lee 2002).


The nice thing about Psychology is that we can apply lessons learned to our daily lives, become more aware, and live to our fullest. Being self-aware and creating our own identity is an important, almost necessary concept we should practice every day. For example, the changing sex roles of men and women may exacerbate identity confusion.

During the early adult years, according to Erikson, the conflict of intimacy versus isolation is the predominant developmental issue. Individuals at this time seek companionship and love, which puts them at risk for rejection. Once rejected, they may become fearful of attempting closeness again. Not wanting to be hurt again, they may isolate themselves, which can lead to depression. Efforts by others to help are often met with anger or avoidance (Matteson ...
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