Erikson’s Stages of Development: Self Application Essay

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Erik Erikson is widely known for his theory of human development, which is referred to as the “Epigenetic Principle” or also the stages of ego development (Ryckman, 2013). The stages that Erikson describes consist of am eight stage development in the course of one’s life. Each stage is accompanied with a certain age group, a positive or negative crisis that one may experience, and goal or virtue that one should experience if each stage is accomplished successfully. This epigenetic breakthrough has impacted the social realm of the psychology world tremendously.

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Although some psychologist today may challenge these concepts; it has without a doubt, given not only a positive, but great insight as to how people deal with issues they may be faced with in the present or the future. Erikson’s concept of development begins with the oral-sensory stage, which pertains to the first day of birth to about the age of 1 year old. This is when a newborn learns to feel safe and has the need to have the full attention on the mother. This is a time when the mother needs to be active and consistent with her participation in the baby’s life-in a positive and sensitive matter.

If all of these qualities are met, the child will most likely develop trust and have a sense of hope. If these needs are not met the child will develop a sense of mistrust. The next stage is the muscular-anal stage which pertains to the ages of 2-3 years. This stage seems to be the most critical according to many theorists. This is usually the toilet training stage and a time for children to learn independence and control. The child is likely to develop autonomy –if the training is sincere and positive, but may develop a sense of shame and doubt if major conflict arises and negative emphasis is placed on the child’s conscious.

If this stage is succeeds properly the child will accomplish a sense of will power-if not they could be led to neurosis or other obsessive compulsive issue in the future. Stage three is known as the locomotor-genital stage and pertains to the ages of 4-5 years. The child, in this stage, is very curious about his or her surroundings. Children tend to be very curious at this time and if all has went well in the potty training stage the child should develop a positive take on initiative and develop a sense of purpose.

If this stage is spent with the child constantly being reprimanded for their creativity the child will feel guilty about many things and feel like they are in a constant battle, which could lead to the child to be very competitive and neurotic. The latency stage begins at around the age of 6 and typically ends by the age of 12. Teachers play a major role in this stage and help a child to become either industrious with themselves or inferior to the world around them. The child learns that they can develop new skills and that they are in control.

If this stage is accomplished, the child will have a sense of competence. Stage four is called the adolescence stage and begins at the age of 13 and ends at about the age of 19. This is when children become teenagers and develop friendships and learn to sustain loyalty with these friendships and family relationships-they find their identity. They are also learning that life isn’t as simple as it once was. When there is a lack of these relationships or a lack of self-esteem, the teen may feel a crisis of role confusion.

The last three stages of life are young, middle, and late adulthood. Young adulthood begins around approximately at the age of 20 and ends at the age of 24. This stage is when one learns to actually commit themselves to another. Middle adulthood starts at the age of 24 and ends at the age of 64. This is when most people are establishing families and careers. Late adulthood starts and the age 64 and ends when a person dies. Erikson believed that this is the stage when one begins to think back on past experiences and may begin to either feel kay about death or may have a sense of despair. I believe that these eight stages are very relevant still today. While some of the stages could be revised; they are still right on point for the most part. I think that this concept will help me discover who I want to be in the future. It gives me hope that while I am current in the seventh of the eight stages, I want to make the most of my new career right now. For the last stage of my life, I want to be able to take time to travel and spend as much time with my husband.