Essay on How Erikson’s Eight Stages of Life Apply to My Life
883 Words4 Pages
Erik Erikson developed the eight stages of life theory. Erikson’s theory focuses on the development from birth to death, social context, and interpersonal relations during each stage of life (McAdams, 2009). In the same manner, each stage of life is comprehendible in three levels, such as the body, ego, and family and culture. The eight stages of life are infancy (trust vs. mistrust), early childhood (autonomy vs. shame and doubt), childhood (initiative vs. guilt), childhood (industry vs. inferiority), adolescence and young adulthood (identity vs. role confusion), young adulthood (intimacy vs. isolation), mature adulthood (generativity vs. stagnation (or self-absorption)), and old age (ego integrity vs. despair).
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Other forms to be generative are volunteering, charitable contribution, or other endeavors that will generate an individual’s legacy. During this stage a central question is posed, how can I fashion a “gift”?
I believe I have consciously answered the following question. I am aware of every decision I make in my life. I know the outcomes to each decision and how they will affect everyone in my life. To understand how I answered this question I will reflect back to the four types of generativity I have performed. My primary stage of generativity is bearing, giving birth and raising a child. By bearing and giving birth to a child, I have given a gift to my family and friends. Bearing and giving birth to a child is seen as a blessing. By raising my daughter I am also being generative. I am able to pass down important traditions to her. The traditions that I am passing down are gifts to her. In addition, showing her that I love and care for her are gifts as well. Allowing my daughter to discover her own autonomy and freedom is also a gift. On the other hand, I have also volunteered at the hospital in the pediatric unit and I have made charitable contributions. Volunteering and making charitable contributions is my way of helping those in need. I want the help I have offered to have an impact on these individuals’ lives. I consider my help to be a gift and I ask for nothing in return.
Erikson’s eight stages of life are a
Relating Erikson’s Eight Stages to My Life Essay
2238 Words9 Pages
Many of our temperament traits are evident at birth. However, other characteristics such as trust, guilt and competency are learned based upon our life experiences and the support we receive as we grow and develop. Based upon his research, Erikson became aware of the influence maturation and social demands have on behavior and ultimately on our development. He believed these two forces "push[ed] humans everywhere through…[a set of] eight psychosocial crises" (Sigelman, C. & Rider, E., 2009, pg.332). He organized life into eight stages that extend from birth to death. Erikson's first psychosocial conflict is trust versus mistrust. This stage begins at birth and continues until about one year of age. The central issue that…show more content…
Parents are primarily responsible for satisfying this stage of development in their child. It is imperative parents are attentive to their infant's needs so trust can be developed. Autonomy versus shame and doubt is the next stage in Erikson's psychosocial theory. This stage primarily deals with the issue "Can I act on my own?" and it last from about age one until age three (Sigelman, C. & Rider, E., 2009, pg.332). According to Erikson (2009) in this stage a toddler begins to assert their will and they develop a greater sense of their own identity. Research supports this developmental stage as well, and 18 month olds begin to "recognize themselves in a mirror and lace their speech with me and no" (Sigelman, C. & Rider, E., 2009, pg.332). To develop this stage parents should let their children have some control over small areas of their lives. One way a parent could do this would be give their toddler a choice in what they wear between several outfits, or a choice of activities. Parents could ask their 3 year old "do you want to go to the pool or do you want to go to the park today?" This would allow their toddler to act on their own and develop a sense of autonomy without relinquishing too much control to them. Once a sense of autonomy has been developed, the next stage in the psychosocial theory is initiative versus guilt. This stage is from about age three to age six and