Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development
Human beings are complex creatures with an advanced form of development happening throughout various stages of life. This development of their psychosocial aspects in life can be different as they reach and pass a certain age. So, the basic perception of life and its various developmental stages analogy is different for everyone, right? Well, it is not so simple to answer. So, when we talk about the stages of development, a certain age can trigger or reflect a certain set of characteristics, perceptions, or social thinking. Hence, these combinations of characteristics create opposite conflicting forces that can be classified into eight different stages.
Through the analysis of social interactions and relationships across various stages of life, the theory explains different changes and developments happening throughout human life. Similarly, the conflicts throughout each stage of this development process determine the success or failure of transitioning into the other stages of life. If the conflict in their life fails to develop psychological quality in their life, then it can also affect the other stages and result in successive failures. However, the transition can happen in other stages despite the initial failure. An example of this relation can be fascinating to observe. For instance, the infant’s conflict can be present in terms of trust and mistrust during normal life situations. In situations like feeding, making them happy, changing the cold diapers, etc. If they are provided with the right amount of attention, care, and love, they can develop feelings of mistrust.
However, the same feeling of mistrust passed onto the preschool stage where the conflict is initiative vs guilt can cause different transitions in their personal character and behavior. Since it is the right time when they feel capable and able to lead through different games and other social interactions, it can empower them furthermore since they did not get the right care and love. On the other hand, it can make them even more fragile by feeling as if they did not get the right amount of love from their parents and it was their own fault. If this guilty feeling resonates in other stages of development, it can create a different range of social issues, loneliness or even criminal acts, etc. However, the succession of these characters and behavior development takes a lot of time to be formed and inherited. Due to this reason, many children may realize their right identities during the adolescence period or they might be confused about their roles due to their different nature.
Hence, all of these stages reveal a different set of perception and psychological conditioning that can either improve their performance or make them reflect on their experience if the right amount of attention is given to them. It is also one of the main reasons that mental health is considered one of the main problems of modern society. It has been found that almost 26% of Americans, (18 – older) approximately about 1 in 4 adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Thus, the right approach to their development and their social interaction can help improve their psychosocial development.