The psychosocial development theory of Erikson consists of eight phases of improvement and growth that revolve around identity and psychosocial growth. Erikson reflects on the effect on personality formation from adolescence to adulthood of external influences, that is, culture and parents (An et al. 411).
Esteem vs. Mistrust (infancy)
In the early stages of birth, the first developmental period happens. At this point, the infant grows used to getting and embracing what their caregivers offer them. The kid gets used to the parent’s and caregivers’ touch and eye interaction with them. A child develops trust if they feel they are adequately cared for and mistrust if they don’t get sensitivity and concern from the caregiver or parent. Thus, an early relationship with a child is crucial in the development of a lifespan (An et al. 411).
Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
The second stage sets on from 18 months to the third year. The child builds self-esteem and autonomy by getting the opportunity to acquire new skills and be able to distinguish right and wrong. Children conduct themselves with pride when well nurtured. Good nurturing skills of the mother will enable the child to avoid feeling shame when in the company of other people. Parents need to be extra-careful at this stage because children feel vulnerable at this point of development and they may feel shame and lose self-esteem because they are unable to learn certain skills (Syed et al. 4).
Initiative vs. Guilt
The third stage is when an individual gets the desire to imitate what they see from adults in their midst. Children are mostly at the age of 3 to 5 years, and they try to acts the role of the adults by playing with toys to represent phones, cars, and guns, depending on what they see from their parents and the television media. The children’s imagination develops as they interact with the environment and concrete materials around them. Furthermore, Erikson avers that at this stage, people are embroiled in “Oedipal struggle” and the only way of resolving the struggle is through is the identification of social roles. Guilty develops typically at this stage when a child feels the continued frustration to fulfill the natural goals and desire (Syed et al. 4).
An, Jeong Shin, and Teresa M. Cooney. “Psychological well-being in mid to late life: The role of generativity development and parent–child relationships across the lifespan.” International Journal of Behavioral Development 30.5 (2006): 410-421.
Syed, Moin, and Kate C. McLean. “Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development.” (2017):2-5.