ERIKSON’S THEORY OF PSYCHOSOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
PROPOSES THAT PEOPLE PASS THROUGH A SERIES OF
STAGES CENTERED ON SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
AT EACH POINT IN A PERSON’S LIFE HE OR SHE FACES A DEVELOPMENTAL CONFLICT
THAT MUST BE RESOLVED. THOSE WHO FAIL TO MASTER THESE CHALLENGES WILL CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE.
Erikson’s Stages of
Description of Task
Adolescence (teens into 20’s)
Identity vs. Role Confusion
Teenagers work at refining a sense of self by testing roles and then integrating them to form a single identity, or they become confused about who they are.
Young Adult (20’s to early 40’s)
Intimacy vs. Isolation
Young adults struggle to form close relationships and to gain the capacity for intimate love, or they feel socially isolated.
Middle Adult (40’s to 60’s)
Generativity vs. stagnation
The middle-aged discover a sense of contributing to the world, usually through family and work, or they may feel a lack of purpose.
Late Adult (60’s and up)
Integrity vs. despair
When reflecting on his or her life, the older adult may feel a sense of satisfaction or failure.