Erikson's Life Stages Still Applicable Reaction Paper

Length: 2 pages Subject: Children Type: Reaction Paper Paper: #37191771 Related Topics: Vocational Education, Attachment Theory, Stages Of Development, Raising Children
Excerpt from Reaction Paper :

¶ … Adulthood -- According to Erikson

Define Adulthood

Adolescence is a time of transition that is pivotal to the development of the adult psyche and identity. My definition of adolescence maintains continued brain development as central, as it important to recognize that the human brain does not keep up with the development of the human body in the period of adolescence. While an adolescent may appear to be an adult by conventional measures: as adolescents enter their early 20s, they typically cease growing in stature, give evidence of secondary gender attributes, and fundamentally take care of basic individual needs -- generally, short of earning a living. While societies provide highly variable grace periods for further maturing, much of the foundation for adulthood is in place by the time individuals transition from the teen years to the twenties. However, as the scientific literature indicates, the adolescent brain will continue to develop for several years, well into the twenties. This brain maturity will give evidence of better decision-making, less impulsivity, and an emerging sense of one's mortality -- primarily pre-frontal cerebellar activities.

Throughout his treatment of the stages of life, Erikson describes two extreme resolutions to each crisis, he recognizes that there is a wide range of outcomes between these extremes and that most people arrive at some middle course.

Birth -- 2 years (Infancy): Trust vs. Mistrust. Babies learn to trust others to care for them and help them meet their basic needs (nourishment, physical contact, warmth, cleanliness -- or they don't trust others and lack confidence that others will take care of them. This description of infancy seems to be spot on as a primary interaction between infants and parents...


Shame and Doubt. Children learn to be self-sufficient in many basic activities, such as eating, talking and communicating, walking and exploring, playing and toileting -- or their doubt their own abilities. This description of the toddler years captures the strong drive for developing an independent identity while still retaining strong dependency on and attachment to parents. Toddler strive to figure out their place in the family, especially struggling to balance jealousy and companionship with siblings.

3 -- 6 years (Early Childhood): Initiative vs. Guilt. Children want to undertake many activities they observe adult engaging in or performing, and sometimes overstep the limits set by parents, which makes them feel guilty. Gender identity is central and strengthens as the children move through the preschool years; children begin to be rigid about gender-based roles and ofen show preferences for same-sex friendships. This is the stage when parents hear, "I do/can do it."

7 -- 11 years (Middle Childhood): Industry vs. Inferiority. Children busily learn to be competent and productive in mastering new skills -- or they feel inferior and unable to do much of anything very well. The portrayal of children in this age group seems accurate as cognitive and emotional growth is rapid, and children are focused on learning about their talents and aptitudes.

12- 18 years (Adolescence): Identity vs. Role Confusion. Adolescents try to figure out "Who am I?" They establish gender, social, political, and career identities -- or they are confused about what roles to play. This doesn't fully reflect the struggle that accompanies adolescents' efforts to establish identities, and to find a comfortable place in the world.

19 -- 40 years (Adulthood): Intimacy vs. Isolation. Young adults seek companionship and love with another person -- or they become isolated from others by feeling rejection or disappointment. Young adults participate…

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