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Erik Erikson:
Psychosocial Stages
Summary Chart

Erik Erikson believed that children's personalities continue to develop and change right up to old age.
erik erikson
Erikson was a psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on social development of human beings.

He was influenced by Sigmund Freud describing definite stages that children pass through.

Erik Erikson believed that every human being goes through a certain number of stages to reach his or her full development, theorizing eight stages that a human being goes through from birth to death.

Erikson also believed that the environment in which a child lived was crucial to providing growth, adjustment, a source of self awareness and identity.

Erikson's Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development



Effect on Social And Emotional Development

Influence on Child Care


Infant Stage
0 - 1 Year

Basic Trust


The child's main relationship is with their mother. They need love and consistency of care in order to learn how to trust.

Babies should not be left to cry; they need to feel loved and that their needs will be met.


Toddler Stage
1 - 3 Years

Shame and Doubt

Independence and Self-esteem/Will

The child's main relationship is with the parents. They need to be encouraged to be independent and to feel good about themselves.

Children should be encouraged to be independent and not made to feel ridiculous if they 'fail' in their efforts.


3 - 6 Years


Use of initiative/Purpose

The child's main relationship is with their family. They need to be encouraged to explore their environment and to use their initiative.

Children should be encouraged to express themselves and their sense of purpose should be fostered.


6 - 11 Years



The child's main relationship is with their school and neighbourhood. They need to be praised and rewarded when they achieve something and not to be rejected or criticised.

Children should not be compared with other children in case they are made to feel inferior. Praise and encouragement will lead the child to even try harder.


Adolescent 12 - 20 Years

Role Confusion


Questioning of self. Who am I, how do I fit in? Where am I going in life? if parents continually push teen to conform to their views, the teen will face identity confusion.

Parents should allow the child to explore and conclude their own identity.


Young Adulthood 20 - 24 Years


First Stage of Adult Development

Dating, marriage, family and friendships are important during this stage in life.

By successfully forming loving relationships with other people, individuals are able to experience love and intimacy. Those who fail to form lasting relationships may feel isolated and alone.


Generativity versus Stagnation 25 - 64 Years
Second Stage of Adult Development

People are normally settled in their life and know what is important to them. A person is either making progress in their career or treading lightly in their career and unsure about if this is what they want to do for the rest of their working lives. Also during this time, a person is enjoying raising their children and participating in activities that gives them a sense on purpose.

If a person is not comfortable with the way their life is progressing, they're usually regretful about the decisions and feel a sense of uselessness.


Ego Integrity versus Despair
65 Years +

During this time people have reached the last chapter in their life's and retirement is approaching or has already taken place.

Many people have achieved what was important to them looking back on their lives and feel great accomplishment and a sense of integrity.

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