MENTAL HEALTH ASSIGNMENT ON PSYCHOSOCIAL DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES OF ERIK ERIKSON
BY: AISHATH SHAHA MOHAMED
DN 61ST BATCH
INTRODUCTION ABOUT THE ASSIGNMENT
On the subject mental health I was assigned to do an assignment about the stages of development. So therefore I chose the famous psychoanalyst Erik Erikson and wrote about his 8 different psychosocial developments in human being which is seen throughout the lifetime and how each of the stage or his theory may influence with human behaviors. Moreover I have included his biography and about his professional careers.
BIOGRAPHY AND CAREER OF ERIK ERIKSON
Erik Erikson was born on Frankfurt Germany on June 15, 1902 to a Jewish family. He was a child from an extra marital affair, so therefore his father was never seen by him. His mother Karla Abraham raised him alone before marrying his step father Theodor Homberger who was a pediatrician. And in 1908 he was being adopted by his stepfather and his name was officially changed to Erik Homberger. The story of his real father was kept a secret from him for a long time.
Erik was never interested in studies. So therefore he graduated without a formal degree. He had an artistic talent and he even joined an art school but later dropped out. His step father wanted him to become a pediatrician. In 1919 he started roaming around in Europe with his friend Peter. During this journey Erik was also searching for his true identity.
At the age of 25 Erik started teaching in a school of Burlingham Rosenfeld where he met Sigmund Freud’s daughter Anna Freud. Anna noticed his behavior towards the children and suggested him to study psychoanalysis. So therefore in 1928 he studied psychoanalysis with the encouragement of Anna. In 1933 he learned about society and culture on child development and earned his first diploma from Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute. Moreover in 1939 he was offered a teacher position at Harvard medical school.
At the age of 27 he married a Canadian dancer. His wife played a major role in helping him to write about his theory. But to their unfortune they had to leave Europe because of Hitler. At last they immigrated to USA where he became the first child Analyst.
He died on May 12 1994 in Harwich, Massachusetts.
ERIKSON’S 8 STAGES OF PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT.
Human life is determined by various factors and they undergo lots of changes like biological, cognitive, psychological and behavior since birth till the attainment of complete adult age. Likewise Erikson believed that childhood is very essential in personality development and his psychosocial theory explains some of the natural changes that occurs in each human being in relation between the social environment and self-understanding.
STAGE 1- TRUST V/S MISTRUST.
Erikson’s first stage of personality development occurs from infancy to about 18 months. In this stage infants will learn to trust others specially their caregivers who will look after their basic needs. Infant will be helpless and totally dependent on others for his/her needs. The very first and most important person infant will trust is their mother and then those who care for their basic needs, while having a sense of trust for them. For Eg: if the care they received was harsh they starts to develop a sense of mistrust and won’t be confident in the world around them. As a result they carry this basic sense of mistrust with them to other relationships.
STAGE 2- AUTONOMY V/S SHAME AND DOUBT
This is the “I Do it stage”, which starts from (2-3 years). At this stage toddlers start discovering the world around them by learning that they can have a control over their actions. They likes to explore things on their own like changing cloths and feeding themselves. For Eg: they choose their cloths and dress on themselves. But even though their outfit doesn’t suit them, the way they have tried or the effort they made will have a positive effect on their sense of freedom. Nevertheless if it is deprived they will starts doubting their abilities and leads to a low self-esteem and feelings of shame.
STAGE 3- INITIATIVE V/S GUILT
Children like to explore things on their own, as they continue to grow. So the preschoolers (3-6 years) likes to discover and are capable of initiating activities. They learn new concepts to design and accomplish goals while working with others. Their motor and language skills get matured day by day. So therefore in this stage the parents should allow the child to explore things within limits. While supporting their choice too. Through which they will develop a sense of self confidence.
As this is a very critical stage the child should be motivated to do things on their own and should be avoided from punishments. They should be allowed to do thing of their favor. If they are over controlled they develops a feelings of guilt.
STAGE 4- INDUSTRY V/S INFERIORITY
The next stage is 4th stage which occurs during elementary school (age 6-12 years) where child gets matured and self-awareness gets increased. They begin to compare themselves with their peers and become more competitive. In this stage the parents will demand for more achievements from the child. As a result the child will put his/her maximum effort to achieve the challenges and when they succeed they develop the self-confidence or feel industrious. But it is not a good thing to expect so much from the child. Because even if they fail to achieve any of the challenge it develops a basic sense of inferiority. So therefore a balance is needed between industry and inferiority.
STAGE 5- IDENTITY V/S ROLE CONFUSION
According to Erikson an adolescent (age 12-18) starts to develop a sense of self. They begin to search for their identity. They question their selves by asking who they are and where they belong to. Erikson believes that in this stage they search for the two identities which are sexual identity in which they search for the opposite partners, and occupational identity in which they think about what they want to become in future. Some adolescents are pressured and over stretched by their parent’s ideas for the future as a result they develop a weak sense of self and experience role confusion.
STAGE 6- INTIMACY V/S ISOLATION
The intimacy v/s isolation is emphasized around the age of 30s. At this stage they are ready for commitments. They become worried about finding a partner. Erikson believed that a strong sense of self is a must before developing successful cherished relationships. Adults who do not develop a positive self-concept may stay isolated.
STAGE 7- GENERATIVITY V/S STAGNATION
This stage occurs during the middle adulthood that extends to the mid-60s. Their biggest fear and concern will be about the contributions to future generations. They get involved in finding life’s work and contribute to the development of others. So those who do not have done anything good in life may experience a sense of stagnation. They will feel like they have been an unproductive member in the society.
STAGE 8- EGO INTEGRITY V/S DESPAIR
This is the final stage which occurs from the mid-60s to the end of the life. In this stage they reflect back on their lives and either feel a sense of fulfilment or failure. Sense of integrity is felt by people who are proud of their accomplishments. There won’t be any or few regrets when they look back on their lives. However people who are not successful at this stage may feel their life has been wasted and leads to despair.
To conclude, Erikson is best known for his theory “identity crisis”. He believes that human have to resolve different conflicts as they progress through each stage of development in their life cycle. His theory is based on 8 stages which is necessary to accomplish during the specific ages in order for the person to lead a successful life. Each and every stage is connected to each other.
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