Erikson`s 8 Psychological Stages of Development


Erikson`s8 Psychological Stages of Development

Erikson`s8 Psychological Stages of Development

Theimportance of growth and development of any individual cannot begainsaid as far as ensuring his or her self-sustenance in the futureis concerned. Indeed, growth and development determines the level ofindependence of an individual, as well as the bonds that he or sheforms in the course of life. Needless to say, numerous theories havebeen crafted in an effort to determine the varied changes that occurin the course of growth and development of an individual. Thesechanges are not restricted to the physical aspects of human beingsbut also the emotional, psychological and even social elements. Asone of the most popular theories, Erikson’s stages of psychosocialdevelopment underline the eight stages via which an individual who isdeveloping in a healthy manner should pass right from his infancystages to the late adulthood stage. Asmuch as there may be differing opinions, it is evident from thetheory that there are variations in the growth and development of anindividual subject to the environment in which he grows, as well asthe individuals with whom he or she interacts.

Developmentalconcept stages of psychosocial development state that the in everystage of development, an individual confronts and possibly mastersthe art of confronting new challenges. Every stage builds on thesuccessful and proper completion of the earlier stages. Indeed, ininstances where the challenges that are encountered in early stagesare not appropriately completed, it is expected that they wouldreappear as problems in an individual’s future (Newman&ampNewman, 2009).It is worth noting that an individual does not need to master aparticular stage so as to go to the next stage. This theorycharacterizes a person that is going through the varied stages oflife as a function of negotiating his sociocultural and biologicalforces (Newman&ampNewman, 2009).Further, it is noted that every stage comes with psychosocial crisispertaining to the two conflicting forces. In instances where anindividual manages to reconcile the two forces successfully in favorof the crisis’ attribute that is mentioned first, he or she comesfrom the stage having acquired the corresponding virtue.


Thistheory was primarily advocated for by Eric Homberger Erikson, astudent of Anna Freud. Freud had come up with the psychosexual stagesand psychoanalytic theory that made an immense contribution to thefundamental outline pertaining to the eight stages especially thosepertaining to childhood (Newman&ampNewman, 2005).Indeed, Erikson’s first four life stages correspond to the oral,anal, phallic and latency stages respectively as advocated for byFreud. Erikson, on his part, opined that life was dynamic and neverstopped at adolescence. Indeed, he perceived the life stages as acycle in which the end of a particular generation marked thebeginning of the other.

Overviewof Research Evidence for Theory

Eriksonand other scholars who have supported his theory have come up withimmense evidence in support of his theory. Indeed, this evidencepertains to particular stage. For instance, in Stage 6 (Intimacy vs.Isolation), Erikson opined that it was imperative that an individualhas strong personal identity so as to develop intimate relationships(Newman&ampNewman, 2005).This fact has been supported by studies that have shown thatindividuals with low sense of self have considerably less committedrelationships and have a high likelihood of suffering fromdepression, loneliness and emotional isolation.


Thistheory underlined the continuous view as it saw psychosocialdevelopment as coming up as a succession of eight phases over anindividual’s lifetime, where every stage offered new psychosocialcrisis that needed to be resolved and that led to the development ofentirely new ego qualities.


Newman,B. M., &amp Newman, P. R. (2005).&nbspDevelopmentthrough life: A psychosocial approach. Belmont,Calif: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Newman,B. M., &amp Newman, P. R. (2009).&nbspDevelopmentthrough life: A psychosocial approach. Australia:Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.