Erickson’s Model of Psychosocial Development

Thursday, 25th September 2017. As I prepare for my review of Erickson’s model of psychosocial development, I search through research papers and open video content to get more information on it. I finally settle for an interview with Erikson himself and decide to do a video review. My choice for the video is because I wanted to get firsthand knowledge about the theory.

To begin with who was Erikson?  Erik Erikson was a German-born American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on psychosocial development of human beings. He may be most famous for coining the phrase identity crisis.

What theory did he develop? Erikson’s model was developed on the assumption that there is a discontinuity amongst the different stages of human development. Every stage has a psychological need which can be addressed positively or negatively.

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In the interview, Erikson has highlighted the terms he had previously used for each of the stages and the reason for it. These stages with their new and previous names are as follows:

  • First Stage: Infancy (0-2 years, Oral-Sensory stage )
  • Second Stage: Early childhood (Muscular Anal, 2–4 years)
  • Third Stage: Preschool (Locomotor Genital, 4-5 years)
  • Fourth Stage: School age (Latency, 5–12 years)
  • Fifth Stage: Adolescence (13–19 years)
  • Sixth Stage: Early adulthood (20-39 years)
  • Seventh Stage: Adulthood (40-64 years)
  • Eighth Stage: Maturity (65-death)

He also emphasized the virtues associated with each stage.

  • First Stage: Hope
  • Second Stage: Will
  • Third Stage: Purpose
  • Fourth Stage: Competence
  • Fifth Stage: Fidelity
  • Sixth Stage: Love
  • Seventh Stage: Care
  • Eighth Stage: Wisdom

In short, each stage is associated with a particular virtue which has to be fulfilled for positive social development. Failure to do so will cause issues in other stages.

The interview clip was interesting as he has drawn upon examples from his life to explain some stages. For example, he explains the fifth stage by citing how difficult it was initially for him to adjust as an immigrant. Furthermore, he has made it pretty clear that he has taken Freud’s theory of psychosexual development a step further and not brought anything in opposition to it. The proof of this lies in the fact that his initial names for the first four stages are similar to Freud’s names for them.

To conclude, I found the interview resourceful as it can be used as a guide to understanding other research papers written on it, as it explains the subject matter concisely and efficiently.


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