Psychosocial Development




Erikson is well-known for his psychosocial theory of development. Erikson tries to describe the understanding of the various changes that occur as a person develops from childhood to all other stages of life. Children are directly affected by their ability to adapt to life changes, and their identity and status in the community keep on changing. In the first eight years of life, children encounter a lot of changes. Some of these changes include roles and expectations, social activities in different learning centers.

Major Stages in Psychosocial Development

According to Erikson, there are eight stages in an entire lifetime. Childhood development is a concept of individual growth, changing, and transforming, and it is frequently conceptualized n terms of moving through a sequence of age-approximate stages (Sugarman, 2001 p.93). Erikson’s psychosocial development stages base on his principle that we develop, as the world changes. The first developmental stage, which is also known as the infancy stage, occurs from birth up to eighteen months. Development in this stage takes place extraordinarily first, and the infants have complete trust in people who take care of them. The stage is known as Trust vs. Mistrust.

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The next stage by Erikson is Autonomy vs. Shame and doubt. This is a stage where a child develops a sense of personal control over physical skills such as grasping and therefore, the child starts to feel independent. Through parental guidance and encouragement, the child can explore the surrounding. The next stage is a stage between four and five years, which is also known as the Initiative vs. Guilt stage. A child begins to assert power and control over the environment. The child can complete tasks on his own and even adapt to new things.

The next developmental stage is Industry vs. Inferiority which takes place between the age of five and twelve. A child struggles with social trends and academic demands. In case of failure, the child feels inferior and success results in incompetence. The next stage occurs when the child is between thirteen to nineteen years. The stage is known as Identity vs. Role confusion. Teenagers have a feeling of personal identity, and there are connected other true self by achievements, while failure creates a feeling of role confusion. The next stage is known as Intimacy vs. Isolation. This is a stage where love develops, and people engage in relationships. Failure to achieve creates a feeling of isolation. Between 25 to 64 years is a stage known as Gene activity vs. Stagnation. Adults have responsibilities and other things that create positive changes in their lives. At 65, the stage of Ego Integrity vs. Despair takes place. Adults feel that they have fulfilled their duty.

The story about Hazel mainly describes her in her early childhood, that is between four to five years. It is also known as the Initiative vs. Guilt stage. This is a stage where the child begins to assert power and control over his or her environment. Hazel is described as an imaginative and creative child, who has a truly independent spirit (Pollard & Filer, 1996). The story is presented on how she coups with her classroom rules and learning requirements. Hazel has a lot of interest in odd toys essentially, that is where she is imaginative, and also it is the same reason that she likes drawing dragons.

According to Pollard & Filer (1996), Hazel is a child who does exactly what she feels like although the teacher to some extent encourages her to do other things like homework. Hazel even wakes up very early in the morning to play with her toys.  In this stage that a child finds it challenging to plan and develop a sense of judgment. Hazel prioritizes drawing dragons over more important activities such as doing homework. Mrs. Farthing has no problem with Hazel’s decisions, and she considers that normal behavior for children. She described the school as an institution that should help a child develop a personality. Her mother was happy to see Hazel develop in artistic skills.

Children undertake tasks because they like being active and getting involved all the time. They also develop the skill of mastering and learning more about the surrounding world. In her weekend diary, Mrs. Farthing has written that Hazel likes being active. She involves herself in activities such as swimming, riding her bike, going to the park, and playing on the slides and swings. Hazel interacts with her environment through collecting, making homes, and feeding small creatures such as woodlice. She is also interested in all forms of natural history, from collecting bits of rocks and naming butterflies, spending time scrutinizing different fish and animals at the zoo; also she likes going to the museum.

For instances where initiative is necessary, children tend to develop negative behaviors. This is because children get frustrated. After all, they are not in a position to face the challenge as planned. Thus, they engage in aggressive behaviors such as yelling and running away. Hazel gets angry and frustrated when she has to learn new things. She seems not to understand why she is being told to do so. Mrs. Farthing explains how Hazel gets angry when she is told to put the pony down so that they can read a story. Finally, she refuses to cooperate with Mrs. Farthing.

In most cases, children in this stage feel guilty over petty issues that logically are not supposed to cause guilt. The guilt is brought by the failure of achieving desired results. Mrs. Farthing explains how Hazel loves to be the one controlling the game and if she loses control she gets frustrated and even quits the game. Unless she is playing with someone, she really loves it; she can even choose to play alone if she loses.

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In the Final Report and Recommendations of the Cambridge Primary Review stated that young children learn from the surrounding. The review talks about the cognitive developments of your children, where time elaborates more about the behaviors of young children. They state that children learn from every experience. It further states that even the most basic learning relies on effective linguistic and social interaction with parents, teachers, and other children. In addition, children like every other human being and tend to interpret the world in line with their own explanations, why things happen. These aspects in one way or another relate to Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development.

The second stage in Erik Erikson’s theory explains how children gain control over motor abilities. They also develop the skill of exploring their surroundings. As the child ventures out to assert his will parents provide maximum security and patiently encourage the child to help foster autonomy. Children in this stage explore and learn constantly from their environment. Children also develop the sense of interpreting and trying to handle things by themselves.

The Development of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Prosocial and Antisocial Behaviors in Adolescence explain that numerous scientists have hypothesized the cognitive and social skills and temperamental characteristics as associated with prosocial behavior, because cognitive abilities may underlie the ability to discern others needs or distress and the capacity to respond to others adequately. Prosocial children have been portrayed as social, they communicate well and resolve their needs, when they do the wrong thing, they feel guilty and get remorseful, and they have the ability to exercise self-control when they are tempted to do the wrong thing.

In the case study to observe behaviors, the model of prosocial boys had all the positive characteristics. The teachers affirm that the boys were popular physically and they were very academically competent. Boys like the models of how adolescents care about their image and how they appear to others. Appearance is attached to one’s personality, and there is a transition from childhood to adulthood. During this adolescent stage, youths experience a lot of confusion, and the world here is potentially hostile. It is where the forces of nature compel individuals to make decisions for their own. Identity of roles for this stage and individuals are faced with the challenge of re-establishing their own boundaries.

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Alexandra has stated that teachers enhance children's development behaviors by collaborating and helping them as they discover their world and learn new behaviors. Creative activities encourage quality and advance thinking in children. Children highly rely on social interaction, and they need parents and teachers to interact with them now and then. Children interpret the environment around them from what they see and understand. Children should also be allowed to play to interact with others and the world around them. This is one way that fosters healthy development in children. This is also a positive way of building their social skills, language, and confidence. Most children particularly the ones from poor families benefit a lot from high-quality pre-school experiences.

About the psychosocial approach to development, human beings develop from one stage of life to the next. Each stage is unique, and it is accompanied by various roles and responsibilities. The concept in the theory is meaningful and realistic, and the examples in this context have justified the significance of the concept. The series of events in this model are the ones that help us grow from one stage to the next. Erikson is concerned with the behavioral pattern of human beings after birth, and how human beings develop their personality as they grow old. He analyses behavior in a manner that everyone can read and understand the information he is relaying to society.

Human beings encounter different challenges in developmental stages that only fit that particular stage. This means that he/she looks at life from both, a positive and negative point of view. Personally, I would consider this theory fundamentally potential and significant because it provides adequate knowledge on personal awareness. In his analysis, he incorporates culture and other social aspects. Basically, the theory is constructed through adequate research, especially in the early stages of life, where he brings all the minute aspects about children into the light.

The dominant is the human development, which he describes as a hand-in-hand with human personality. His eight stages affect human development in a manner that is balanced since there are two opposing forces. Although individuals successfully go through the stages, they have a habit of developing one or more opposing forces. I find this idea very much related to the ordinary behaviors of human beings. His theory is independent, and it has a lot of sense in it.

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The character, attitudes, and behavior of an individual and society are largely determined by numerous factors, which are well-explained in various theories and events. The development of an individual is not only physical, but also social, and it determines the person’s contribution to the success of society. As it becomes evident in the various theories, such as Erickson’s, people have different views on character development and growth. Such theories may have positive or negative implications on individuals, depending on the present position. For instance, individuals who may have negative attitudes and behaviors in light of what is stated in theories, have a likelihood of not changing, especially if the problem seems to have come up when they were infants.

Erikson’s theory of development has incorporated all aspects of life. The various incidences in life have been fully captured in this theory accordingly. Existence begins after birth and an infant has to depend fully on its parents. They are fed, washed and everything else is done for them. At age around two years, they begin to understand the surrounding, and they gain motor abilities. The three examples are relevant to the subject of this theory and they make the theory clearer. The story about Hazel covers the younger stages, while prosocial and antisocial behaviors cover the stage of adolescence in the theory. Erikson’s work is commendable because the concept is from an intellectual perspective and very resourceful.

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