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Erickson Self Study Erik Erickson; his ideas, though, were greatly influenced by Freud, going along with

Freuds ideas about the structure and topography of personality but whereas Freud was an id psychologist, Erikson was an ego psychologist. He emphasized the role of culture and society and the conflicts that can take place within the ego itself, whereas Freud emphasized the conflict between the id and the superego. At all psychosexual stages Erikson claimed that the individual develops on three levels simultaneously: Biological, social and psychological (representing the organism, membership of Society and Individualism respectively). His model was a lifespan model of development, taking in 5 stages up to the age of 18 years and three further stages beyond, well into adulthood. Erikson suggests that there is still plenty of room for continued growth and development throughout ones life. Erikson put a great deal of emphasis on the adolescent period, feeling it was a crucial stage for developing a persons identity. Like Freud and many others, Erik Erikson maintained that personality develops in a predetermined order. Instead of focusing on sexual development, however, he was interested in how children socialize and how this affects their sense of self. He saw personality as developing throughout the lifetime and looked at identity crises at the focal point for each stage of human development. (McLeod, 2008) Eriksons Theory of Psychosocial Development has eight distinct stages; Trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt, Initiative vs. Guilt, Industry vs. Inferiority, Identity vs. Role Confusion, Intimacy vs. Isolation, Generativity vs. Stagnation, and Integrity vs. Despair, each with two possible outcomes. According to the theory, successful completion of each stage results in a healthy personality and successful interactions with others. Failure to successfully complete a stage can result in a reduced ability to complete further stages and therefore a more

unhealthy personality and sense of self. These stages, however, can be resolved successfully at a later time. (McLeod, 2008) Erikson had struggled with who he was as a person. He often felt different than others, having been born to a single Danish mother in Germany during an era when two-parent families were the norm, and having peers who questioned his Jewish heritage because he had blond hair and blue eyes and did not resemble Jewish people they knew. (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2012). This project has made me look at the different types of needs that a child will need while growing up and becoming older. Children need adults that want and will take care of them, acknowledge them and have them focus on their full potential. The ways of always praising children in what they do. Children need a good person to guide them through school and also need a parent at home doing the same thing. Parents also need to let children have their imaginary friends and play the way that will encourage themselves when they get older. This prepares me to be a better teacher because I will look for each childs strengths and weaknesses and put the help where it is needed. With myself, my mother has always been there for me and has always known what I am capable of so she has always pushed me to my full potential and I am very grateful for that. After I describe each stage I will conclude how I believe I left the stage and how well I resolved the crisis. Trust versus Mistrust (Infancy) The first stage is based around the basic needs of infants. The basic needs being met by the parents and this infraction leading to trust or mistrust. When caregivers can be depended on to feed a hungry stomach, change an uncomfortable diaper, and provide affection at regular intervals, and infant learns to trust. When caregivers ignore an infants needs, are inconsistent in their attention, or are abusive, the infant learns to mistrust-that the world is an unpredictable and

dangerous place. (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2012). The childs relative understanding of the world and society come from the parents and their interaction with the child. If the parents expose the child to warmth, and dependable affection the child views of the world will be of trust. Developmental investigations support Eriksons assertion that learning to trust others in a fundamental need for infants. However, although Erikson indicated that infancy was a critical time for having a first trusting relationship, recent research indicates that children often get second chances. When children receive unresponsive care during early infancy, their first attachments are likely to be insecure, but if their later care is warm and sensitive, they can often develop trusting relationships. (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2012) The trust versus mistrust stage is the first stage of Erik Eriksons theory of psychosocial development. This stage occurs between birth and approximately 18 months of age. According to Erikson, the trust versus mistrust stage is the most important period in a persons life. Because an infant is entirely dependent upon his or her caregivers, the quality of care that the child receives plays an important role in the shaping of the childs personality. During this stage, children learn whether or not they can trust the people around them. When a baby cries, does his caregiver attend to his needs? When he is frightened, will someone comfort him? When these needs are consistently met, the child will learn that he can trust the people that are caring for him. If, however, these needs are not consistently met, the child will begin to mistrust the people around him. If a child successfully develops trust, he or she will feel safe and secure in the world. Caregivers who are inconsistent, emotionally unavailable or rejecting contribute to feelings of mistrust in the children they care for. Failure to develop trust will result in fear and a belief that the world is inconsistent and unpredictable. (Cherry, 2012).

Erikson also referred to infancy as the Oral Sensory Stage (as anyone might who watches a baby put everything in her mouth) where the major emphasis is on the mother's positive and loving care for the child, with a big emphasis on visual contact and touch. If we pass successfully through this period of life, we will learn to trust that life is basically okay and have basic confidence in the future. If we fail to experience trust and are constantly frustrated because our needs are not met, we may end up with a deep-seated feeling of worthlessness and a mistrust of the world in general. Incidentally, many studies of suicides and suicide attempts point to the importance of the early years in developing the basic belief that the world is trustworthy and that every individual has a right to be here. Not surprisingly, the most significant relationship is with the maternal parent, or whoever is our most significant and constant caregiver. (Harder, 2012). During my first year of my life my mother was a stay at home mother. The main reason for he staying home was due to the condition I was in when I was born, since I was almost dead. She always thought that is was better for her to raise her children then having a daycare raise us. With my mother staying at home to raise me and my sister we have learned to trust her and other adults. Since I have gotten older I still always trust everyone until they prove me wrong. I think the reason why I do trust everyone is because the way my mother raised me and taught us to trust. Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt (Toddler Years) Autonomy versus shame and doubt is the second stage of Erik Eriksons stages of psychosocial development. This stage occurs between the ages of 18 months to approximately age two to three years. According to Erikson, children at this stage are focused on developing a greater sense of self-control. Gaining a sense of personal control over the world is important at this stage of development. Toilet training plays a major role; learning to control ones body

functions leads to a feeling of control and a sense of independence. Other important events include gaining more control over food choices, toy preferences and clothing selection. Children who successfully complete this stage feel secure and confident, while those who do not are left with a sense of inadequacy and self-doubt. (Cherry, 2012) As toddlers gain better control of their bodies, they become capable of satisfying their own needs. Toddlers learn to feed, wash, dress themselves, and use the toilet. When parents and other caregivers encourage self-sufficient behavior, toddlers develop autonomy, a sense of being able to handle many problems on their own. But when caregivers demand too much too soon, refuse to let children perform tasks of which they are capable, or ridicule early attempts at selfsufficiency; children may instead develop shame and doubt about their inability to conduct themselves appropriately. (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2012) Evidence supports Eriksons conclusion that toddlers have strong will to practice emerging skills without restriction. Toddlers are motivated to handle objects, walk on their own, and explore a homes forbidden areas. Yet not every culture agrees with Erikson that autonomy is a virtue. Some groups see young childrens drive for independence as an immature impulse that must be tempered. (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2012) I really do not remember much about the age for this stage. One day my mother searched the whole house for me even looked outside and still did not know where I was. As she kept searching she had called my father home from work and was as scared as to what happened to me. As another search started of the house I was found under neither of my crib playing by myself. Mother says that she had never seen me under the crib before so she did not think anything about looking there. Then there was the time when she walked into the bathroom and I was butt naked on the toilet using the bathroom all by myself. She said that she did not even start

the potty training process with me since my sister was much older than that so she thought it would take more time with me. Initiative versus Guilt (Preschool Years) The third stage in Eriksons theory of Psychosocial Development is the Initiative vs. Guilt stage which usually starts in the preschool years. If all goes well, children spend their infancy and toddler years learning that the world is a good place, people love them, and they can make things happen. With a growing drive toward independence, preschoolers begin to have their own ideas about activities they want to pursue. When adults encourage such efforts, children develop initiative, an energetic motivation to undertake activities independently. When adults discourage such activities, children may instead develop guilt about acting improperly. (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2012) During this period we experience a desire to copy the adults around us and take initiative in creating play situations. We make up stories with Barbie and Ken, toy phones and miniature cars, playing out roles in a trial universe, experimenting with the blueprint for what we believe it means to be an adult. We also begin to use the wonderful word for exploring the world, WHY? (Harder, 2012). While Erikson was influenced by Freud, he downplays biological sexuality in favor of the psychosocial features of conflict between child and parents. Nevertheless, he said that at this stage we usually become involved in the classic Oedipal struggle and resolve this struggle through social role identification. If were frustrated over natural desires and goals, we may easily experience guilt. (Harder, 2012). When I was younger I would always go around saying that I had a little friend that would follow me around. My mother would always go along with me and never tell me that she was not

real. My sister always said that I was lying. I remember one day I told my mother that she had to be seat belted in just like I was, so basically we were driving down the street with the seatbelt buckled and no one was in it. One day we were at McDonalds and mother was in a hurry and as we are driving away I told her that we forgot my friend there. As I started crying because I wanted my friend to be able to come home with me, my mother turned back around and went and got my friend. If my mother would have not agreed with me or whet along with me and let me have my imaginary friend I would have felt guilty knowing that my mother did not believe me but also made me feel like I was wrong. Industry versus Inferiority (Elementary School Years) The fourth stage in Eriksons Theory is Industry vs. Inferiority which happens in the elementary school years. When children reach elementary school, children are expected to master many new skills, and they soon learn that they can gain recognition from adults through their academic assignments, athletic accomplishments, artistic performances, participation in community activities and so on. When children complete projects and are praised for their accomplishments, they demonstrate industry, a pattern of working hard, gaining mastery in tool use, and persisting at lengthy tasks. But when child are ridiculed or punished for their efforts or when they find they cannot meet adults expectations, they may develop feelings of inferiority about their own abilities. (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2012) This is also a very social stage of development and if we experience unresolved feelings of inadequacy and inferiority among our peers, we can have serious problems in terms of competence and self-esteem. As the world expands a bit, our most significant relationship is with

the school and neighborhood. Parents are no longer the complete authorities they once were, although they are still important. (Harder, 2012). According to Erikson, this stage is vital in the development of self-confidence. During school and other social activities, children receive praise and attention for performing various tasks such as reading, writing, drawing and solving problems. Children need to cope with new social and academic demands. Success leads to a sense of competence, while failure results in feelings of inferiority. (Cherry, 2012). There is a much broader social sphere at work now: The parents and other family members are joined by teachers and peers and other members of the community at large. They all contribute: Parents must encourage, teachers must care, peers must accept. Children must learn that there is pleasure not only in conceiving a plan, but in carrying it out. They must learn the feeling of success, whether it is in school or on the playground, academic or social. If the child is allowed too little success, because of harsh teachers or rejecting peers, for example, then he or she will develop instead a sense of inferiority or incompetence. An additional source of inferiority Erikson mentions is racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination: If a child believes that success is related to whom you are rather than to how hard you try, then why try? (Boeree, 2003, 2009). I remember being in 3rd grade and it being parent teacher conference night and my mother brought me along with her to the meeting. Once we got there the teacher asked if I would be able to sit outside the room and wait until I was done. At one moment I heard my mothers voice get louder, I was not sure what was going on but all I knew is she stormed out of the room and grabbed my hand and said lets go. Once in the car I asked my mother what happened. She said that the teacher, Mrs. Rector, told her that I was a slow student, that I had ADHD, I would

not amount to anything and possible drop out of high school. I asked her what she had said to the teacher and she said that she asked why she thought this way. Mrs. Rector told her that I did not comprehend anything that I was supposed to and was not remembering anything. The next school year I kind of let myself go. I did not do well in school and even starting gaining a lot of weight. I even remember having to stay in my room for six weeks because I was bringing home Fs. I told myself that if no one can have faith in me then why have faith in myself. I basically lost all self-esteem and I was inferiority. My mother has always had faith in me and she started to push me a lot in school because she knew I could do it. I did end up graduating high school with a 3.67 GPA and even went to International Business College and got my Business degree. I beat the inferiority in my life. Identity versus Role Confusion (Adolescence) The fifth stage of Eriksons theory is Identity vs. Role Confusion. Eriksons focus on identity has spawned a lot of research. Studies generally confirm Eriksons assertion that young people actively engage in soul searching related to who they are, what they believe in, and where they are going. This preoccupation with identity issues extends for a longer period than Erikson proposed, however. (Harder, 2012). Up to this stage, according to Erikson, development mostly depends upon what is done to us. From here on out, development depends primarily upon what we do. While adolescence is a stage at which we are neither a child nor an adult, life is definitely getting more complex as we attempt to find out own identity, struggle with social interactions, and grapple with moral issues. Our task is to discover who we are as individuals separate from our family of origin and as members of a wider society. A significant task for us is to establish a philosophy of life and in this process we tend to think in terms of ideals, which are conflict free, rather than reality, which

is not. The problem is that we do not have much experience and find it easy to substitute ideals for experience. It is no surprise that our most significant relationships are with peer groups. (Harder, 2012). I graduate high school from Madison-Grant high school in 2005 and was really set on going to University of Southern Indiana to become a special education teacher. Two months before graduate I got really scared and decided to go to International Business College (IBC) and major in Travel & Hospitality and minor in Business Management. While living in the dorm at IBC, I remember calling my mother and telling her that I did not want to finish my time there and I wanted to go home. My mother talked me into staying and finishing my degree. After I was finished with my degree I enrolled into Indiana University Purdue University (IUPU FW) Fort Wayne, and I was attending for a special education degree. During this time I met a guy and decided to move home to be closer to him and gave up attending IUPUI FW. I dated this guy a little over a year and ended up attending the local community college in the town. While attending the local community college I met a different guy and ending up marrying him and put my schooling on hold again, for another guy. I then moved away from my home state of Indiana and was living in Florida. Intimacy versus Isolation ( Young Adulthood) The sixth stage of Eriksons theory is Intimacy vs. Isolation. Evidence confirms that taking part in intimate relationships is a typical concern of the young adult years. However, some critics suggest that being closely connected with others is a human quality that transcends any single time period. Furthermore, the early adult years are more complex than Erikson suggest. Young adults are concerned not only with finding a mate but also with getting a good job and in many cases caring for their own small children. (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2012).

In the initial stage of being an adult we seek one or more companions and love. As we try to find mutually satisfying relationships, primarily through marriage and friends, we generally also begin to start a family, though this age has been pushed back for many couples who today do not start their families until their late thirties. If negotiating this stage is successful, we can experience intimacy on a deep level. (Harder, 2012). Once people have established their identities, they are ready to make commitments to one or more other individuals. They become capable of intimacy, reciprocal bonds with others, and willingly make the sacrifices and compromises that such relationships require. When people cannot form intimate relationships a sense of isolation may result. (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2012) During my marriage of being married to an active duty Navy member I was introduced to a lot of new things and things I thought I would never experience without this experience. One of the experiences was going through three deployments, one being 14 months long. During this 14 month deployment I was told by my husband that he has something that was very personal that he needed to tell me and that he did not know how I was going to react. Once he finally got up the nerve to tell me he explained how he was having other thoughts and other relationships and has cheated on me in the past. At this point I had decided to do some personal counseling and needed to see if I could live with the stuff he has told me. I decided that I was not able to live with this situation and decided to move back to Indiana and find a job and start my own life. At this point I also filed for divorce due to the situation that was going on. I experienced isolation due to all of this and deciding to go through with the divorce. Generativity versus Stagnation (Middle Age)

The seventh stage consists of middle age. During middle age, the primary developmental tests are contributing to society and guiding future generations. When an individual makes a contribution; perhaps by raising a family or working toward the betterment of society, a sense of generativity, or productivity, results. In contrast, an individual who is self-centered and unable or unwilling to help others develops a feeling of stagnationdissatisfaction with lack of production. (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2012). Erikson observed that middle-age is when we tend to be occupied with creative and meaningful work and with issues surrounding our family. Also, middle adulthood is when we can expect to be in charge, the role weve longer envied. The significant task is to perpetuate culture and transmit values of the culture through the family and working to establish a stable environment. Strength comes through care of others and production of something that contributes to the betterment of society, which Erikson calls generativity, so when were in this stage we often fear inactivity and meaninglessness. As our children leave home, or our relationships or goals change, we may be faced with major life changes the mid-life crisis and struggle with finding new meanings and purposes. If we dont get through this stage successfully, we can become self-absorbed and stagnate. (Harder, 2012) Erikson later used the term 'Self-Absorption' instead of 'Stagnation' and then seems to have settled in later work with the original 'Stagnation'. Stagnation and/or Self-Absorption result from not having an outlet or opportunity for contributing to the good or growth of children and others, and potentially to the wider world. (Chapman, 2006-2012) In my life at this stage I went through a divorce. I never thought that I would get married at 21 years old and be divorced four years later. It was my decision to get the divorce but it was because of his actions that caused my decision to be made. While I was married we tried to have

children for three years. During this whole time I thought my body was the issue. I went through a lot of tests, surgeries, shots, and pills and nothing got us pregnant. Once he got home from the last deployment we found out that he was infertile. I think that this was also part of the issue that we were not seeing eye to eye at the end of our marriage. I do hope one day to find the man that I am supposed to be with and eventually have children with. I do know now that I am able to have children and I hope one day to be a great mother and teacher to my children. At this point that is when I would be in charge like Erikson talked about. I also hope to be graduate from college and become a special education teacher and teach children that are deaf and blind. Integrity versus Despair (Retirement Years) According to Erikson, the final developmental task is a retrospective one. As individuals look back on their past experiences, they develop feelings of contentment and integrity if they believe they have led a happy, productive life. Alternatively, they develop a sense of despair if they look back on a life of disappointments and unachieved goals. Looking back on ones life is an important task for many older adults, and Erikson was on the mark in this regard. (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2012). Erikson felt that much of life is preparing for the middle adulthood stage and the last stage is recovering from it. Perhaps that is because as older adults we can often look back on our lives with happiness and are content, feeling fulfilled with a deep sense that life has meaning and weve made a contribution to life, a feeling Erikson calls integrity. Our strength comes from a wisdom that the world is very large and we now have a detached concern for the whole life, accepting death as the completion of life. On the other hand, some adults may reach this stage

and despair at their experiences and perceived failures. They may fear death as they struggle to find a purpose to their lives, wondering Was the trip worth it? (Harder, 2012). Later Erikson dropped the word 'Ego' (from 'Ego Integrity') and extended the whole term to 'Integrity v Disgust and Despair'. He also continued to use the shorter form 'Integrity v Despair'. Integrity means feeling at peace with oneself and the world. No regrets or recriminations. The linking between the stages is perhaps clearer here than anywhere: people are more likely to look back on their lives positively and happily if they have left the world a better place than they found it - in whatever way, to whatever extent. There lies Integrity and acceptance. Despair and/or 'Disgust' represent the opposite disposition: feelings of wasted opportunities, regrets, wishing to be able to turn back the clock and have a second chance. This stage is a powerful lens through which to view one's life - even before old age is reached. Erikson had a profound interest in humanity and society's well-being in general. This crisis stage highlights the issue very meaningfully. Happily these days for many people it's often possible to put something back, even in the depths of despair. When this happens people are effectively rebuilding wreckage from the previous stage, which is fine. (Chapman, 2006-2012) As we grow older and become senior citizens, we tend to slow down our productivity, and explore life as a retired person. It is during this time that we contemplate our accomplishments and are able to develop integrity if we see ourselves as leading a successful life. Erik Erikson believed if we see our lives as unproductive, feel guilt about our pasts, or feel that we did not accomplish our life goals, we become dissatisfied with life and develop despair, often leading to depression and hopelessness. (McLeod, 2008) In this stage of my life, I hope that I am happy with the life I had experienced. I hope that I have accomplished all of my dreams; going to Europe, having children, being a special

education teacher and to own a big home. I have also feared death and have only attended one funeral because of that. I also do not think that I will feel guilty about my past. I have experienced so much already and I know that I will experience a lot more with the years to come. Conclusion In conclusion, Erik Erikson recognized the basic notions of Freudian theory, but believed that Freud misjudged the importance of human development. Erikson said that humans develop throughout their whole entire life, while Freud said that our personality is shaped by the age of five. Erikson developed eight psychosocial stages that humans encounter throughout their life time. Eriksons Theory of Psychosocial Development consists of; Trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt, Initiative vs. Guilt, Industry vs. Inferiority, Identity vs. Role Confusion, Intimacy vs. Isolation, Generativity vs. Stagnation, and Integrity vs. Despair, each with two possible different outcomes. These stages, however, can be resolved successfully at a later time. Each stage has a particular process and each stage includes a different age of life. When I was thinking about my life within these stages it seems to be on track with Eriksons theory. I am very proud of my life and everything I have accomplished and hope to accomplish in the future.

References Boeree, D. C. G. (2003, 2009). General psychology. Retrieved from http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/genpsyerikson.html Chapman, A. (2006-2012). Erikson's psychosocial development theory. Retrieved from http://www.businessballs.com/erik_erikson_psychosocial_theory.htm Cherry, K. (2012). Autonomy versus shame and doubt stage two of psychosocial development. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/psychosocialtheories/a/autonomy-versusshame-and-doubt.htm Cherry, K. (2012). Industry versus inferiority stage four of psychosocial development. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/psychosocialtheories/a/industry-versusinferiority.htm Cherry, K. (2012). Trust versus mistrust stage one of psychosocial development. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/psychosocialtheories/a/trust-versus-mistrust.htm Harder, A. (2012). The developmental stages of erik erikson. Retrieved from http://www.support4change.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47& Itemid=108 McDevitt, T., & Ormrod, J. (2012). Child development and education. (5TH ed., p. 418, 419, 420, 421). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. McLeod, S. (2008). Erik erikson. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/ErikErikson.html