Erikson’s psycho-social development has eight stages. The stages feature conflicts between the individual’s psychological needs and societal demands. Successful completion of each stage equips an individual with the necessary traits to adequately deal with conflicts in the following stages. He further suggested that failures in previous stages may be corrected in future stages of development.
Erikson’s eight stages of development occur successively throughout an individual’s life as follows;
Trust vs. mistrust stage occurs during infancy between the age of 0 and 1.5 years. In this stage, the infant would make connections between the consistency, predictability and reliability of care received from the caregiver in order to develop trust in the environment around them. The type of care provided would eliminate the uncertainties inherent in the infant with regards to the world around them. The stage if successfully completed is expected to yield hope emanating from an increased sense of trust. Unsuccessful completion of the stage leads to a heightened sense of mistrust in the individual.
Autonomy vs. shame and doubt stage occur between the ages of 18 months and three years. The child at this stage begins to assert their independence. At this stage, the parent is required to allow the child to explore their abilities in a supportive environment. The parent should take a step back and allow the child to perform the selected activity until they succeed or ask for help. Successful completion of this stage yields will and a heightened sense of survival and independence. Unsuccessful completion of the stage leads to an individual who is overly dependent, with a heightened sense of shame or doubt in their abilities.
Initiative vs. guilt stage occurs between the ages of three and five. The child increasingly affirms their participation in selected activities and develops relations with others. The child begins to experiment with their limits and boundaries by challenging the caregiver/s. Successful completion of this stage results in a heightened sense of purpose. Unsuccessful completion of this stage leads to slow interaction with others.
Industry vs. inferiority stage occurs between the ages of 5 and 12 years. The child establishes the need to fit in the society through demonstrating certain skills. Successful completion of this stage results in a heightened sense of competence in relation to their abilities. Unsuccessful completion yields a sense of inferiority and the child does not feel good enough for their society.
Identity vs. role confusion stage occurs between the ages of 12 and 18years. The child transitions to adulthood and becomes aware of the roles they want to play in their adult future. They begin to shape their identities in relation to their society. Successful completion results in a sense of fidelity. Unsuccessful completion of this stage leads to an identity crisis.
Intimacy vs. isolation stage occurs between the ages of 18 and 40 years. The individual begins to intimately relate to others. Success in this stage leads to the development of the virtue of love. Failure, on the other hand, leads to isolation because the individual avoids intimacy and commitment.
Generativity vs. stagnation stage occurs between the ages of 40 and 65 years. The individual settles within their relationships and new families. The stage features an increased need to participate in social activities. This develops the virtue of care in the individual.
Ego integrity vs. despair stage occurs past the age of 65. During this stage, the individual evaluates their life achievements. The individual is satisfied with their life id they establish that they have achieved a significant chunk of their goals. Successful completion of this stage yields the virtue of wisdom. Failure on the other hand, leads to a state of desperation in the individual.