Erickson describes eight stages of human development. The first stage is Trust vs. Mistrust and it is in this stage that the main developmental task is to learn how to trust. The second stage is Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt, in this stage the toddler learns how to control bodily functions, and how to remain independent from their parents for longer periods of time.
This stage occurs from around the age of one and a half to age three. Stage three is that of Initiative vs. Guilt, children in this stage are learning how to initiate play with other children, and learning to confront and deal with psychological issues of toddlerhood including the oedipal conflict defined by Freud. Industry vs. Inferiority the child’s main task is to learn to follow rules, and the value of hard work. It is at this age that the child begins to explore the neighborhood and expands their social circle outside of that of family members. (The Learning Place .Com, 2009).
As a child enters adolescence they confront the stage of Identity vs. Role Confusion. During this stage an adolescent’s main task is to develop a sense of self that is independent of their family and friends. Stage six is that of Intimacy and Solidarity vs. Isolation, in this stage the young adult is trying to build lifelong relationships, and seeking to create a family on their own. In stage seven, Generativity vs. Stagnation, the adult’s main task is to work to leave a legacy to the next generation whether it is one’s values or a fine work of art. The final stage is that of Integrity vs. Despair, in this stage the final developmental task is to learn to accept the fact that one’s death is possible in the near future (The Learning Place .Com, 2009).
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