What about it??
For a concept to be psychosocial means it
relates to one’s psychological development in,
and interaction with, a social environment.
Involving both psychological and social
aspects in human development.
• It was first
Erik Erikson in
his stages of
Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial
• is one of the best known theories of personality
in psychology. He believed that personality
develops in a series of stages. Erikson’s theory
describes the impact of social experience across
the whole lifespan.
• One of the main elements of Erikson’s
psychosocial stage theory is the development of
ego identity. Ego identity is the conscious sense
of self that we develop through social interaction.
• According to Erikson, our ego identity is constantly
changing due to new experience and information we
acquire in our daily interactions with others. He also
believed that a sense of competence also motivates
behaviors and actions.
• Each stage in Erikson’s theory is concerned with
becoming competent in an area of life. Each stage
builds upon the successful completion of earlier
stages. If the stage is handled well, the person will
feel a sense of mastery. If the stage is managed
poorly, the person will emerge with a crisis or
problems in the future that serves as a turning point
Psychosocial Stage 1- Trust vs. Mistrust
(birth to 18 months) Can I Trust the World?
The first stage of Erik Erikson's theory centers around
the infant's basic needs being met by the parents
and this interaction leading to trust or mistrust. Trust
as defined by Erikson is "an essential truthfulness of
others as well as a fundamental sense of one's own
To come out of this stage in good psychological
health, a baby must achieve a proper balance of
trust( which allows intimacy) over mistrust(which
• If trust predominates, children develop what Erickson calls the
virtue of hope: the belief that their needs will be met and
their wishes can be attained. The child's relative
understanding of world and society come from the parents
and their interaction with the child. If the parents expose the
child to warmth, regularity, and dependable affection, the
infant's view of the world will be one of trust.
Trust enables an infant to let the mother out of sight,
‘’because she has become an inner certainty as well as an
The sense of trust usually extends to parents, siblings, and
others in the infant’s immediate environment. Attachment
may be expressed in smiling, babbling, climbing to the mother
or crying when the mother leaves.
Should the parents fail to provide a secure environment and
to meet the child's basic needs a sense of mistrust will result.
If mistrust predominates, children will view the world as
unfriendly and predictable. They may become overwhelmed
by disappointment and will trouble developing close
relationships. Development of mistrust can lead to feelings of
frustration, suspicion, withdrawal, and a lack of confidence.
Psychosocial Stage 2- Autonomy vs. Shame (18 months to 3 yrs.)
Is It OK to Be Me?
•As the child gains control over eliminative functions and motor
abilities, then they begin to explore their surroundings. Children
at this age like to explore the world around them and they are
constantly learning about their environment. The parents still
provide a strong base of a security from which the child can
venture out to assert their will.
• Like freud, Erickson believed that toilet was a vital part of this
process. Erickson believe that learning to control one’s body
functions leads to a feeling of control and sense of
• The push toward autonomy (independence or self
determination) is related to maturation. Toodlers try to use
their developing muscles to do everything themselves- to
walk, to feed and dress themselves, and to expand the
boundaries of their world.
• During this stage, virtue of will emerges: the growing power to
make one’s own decision, to apply oneself to tasks, and to use
• Children who successfully complete this stage feel secure and
• To stike the proper balance, children need the right amount of
control from adults-neither too much control nor too little.
Otherwise, they may rebel against all rules or to be thrown
back on themselves, and the fear of losing control may fill
them with inhibitions, doubt, and shame.
• In Erickson’s terms, failure to achieve autonomy evokes
shame manifested in feelings of worthlessness and
Probably this manifestation could be seen in the toodler’s
saying‘’no’’ to suggestions or being plainly negativistic, going
limp all over, running away, or having a tantrum.
Psychosocial Stage 3- Initiative vs. Guilt (3 to 6 yrs.)
Is it OK for Me to Do, Move, and Act?
Initiative adds to autonomy the quality of undertaking, planning and
attacking a task for the sake of just being active and on the move. The
child is learning to master the world around them, learning basic skills
and principles of physics. Things fall down, not up. Round things roll.
They learn how to zip and tie, count and speak with ease. At this stage,
the child wants to begin and complete their own actions for a purpose.
the child during this stage faces the complexities of planning and
developing a sense of judgment. During this stage, the child learns to
take initiative and prepare for leadership and goal achievement roles.
• Guilt is a confusing new emotion. They may feel guilty over things that
logically should not cause guilt. They may feel guilt when this initiative
does not produce desired results. Within instances requiring initiative, the
child may also develop negative behaviors. These behaviors are a result of
the child developing a sense of frustration for not being able to achieve a
goal as planned and may engage in behaviors that seem aggressive,
ruthless, and overly assertive to parents. Aggressive behaviors, such as
throwing objects, hitting, or yelling, are examples of observable behaviors
during this stage.
Psychosocial Stage 4- Industry vs. Inferiority (6 to 12yrs.)
Can I Make it in the World of People and Things?
Erickson sees middle childhood as a time of relative
emotional calm, when children can attend to their schooling
and learn the skills culture requires.
• Children develop a general sense of personal mastery of great
number of activities and games ---swimming, skating, camping
etc. Also list some perceptual cognitive developmental traits
specific for this age group. Children grasp the concepts of
space and time in more logical, practical ways. They gain a
better understanding of cause and effect, and of calendar
time. At this stage, children are eager to learn and accomplish
more complex skills: reading, writing, telling time. They also
get to form moral values, recognize cultural and individual
differences and are able to manage most of their personal
needs and grooming with minimal assistance
• Erikson viewed the elementary school years as critical for the
development of self-confidence. Ideally, elementary school
provides many opportunities for children to achieve the
recognition of teachers, parents and peers by producing
things- drawing pictures, solving addition problems, writing
sentences, and so on.
• If children are not encouraged to actively engage in these
activities, their sense of mastery will give way to personal
inferiority or those who receive little or no encouragement
from parents, teachers, or peers will doubt their ability to be
Psychosocial Stage 5-Identity vs. Role Confusion(12 to 18 years)
Who Am I? What Can I Be?
• According to Erickson, the chief task of adolescence is to resolve
confusion. The desirable outcome is a sense of oneself as a unique
human being with a meaningful role to play in society. As the active
agent of identity formation is the ego, which puts together its
knowledge of the person’s abilities, needs, and desires and of what
must be done to adapt to the social environment.
• As they make the transition from childhood to adulthood,
adolescents ponder the roles they will play in the adult world.
Initially, they are apt to experience some role confusion—mixed
ideas and feelings about the specific ways in which they will fit
into society—and may experiment with a variety of behaviors and
• Thus, the fundamental virtue that arises from the identity crisis is
the virtue of fidelity—sustained
loyalty, faith, or a sense of belonging
to friends and companions to a loved
one, or to a set of values, ideology,
religion, a movement, or an ethic grp.
• The thoughts, efforts, and concerns of the individual at this
stage center mainly on making himself acceptable to the
opposite sex. An important developmental task is one’s
acceptance and learning of sex roles. This comes, hand in
hand, with the achieving of independence of parents and
family, although this may have to be postponed at a later
• Rebelliousness, defiance, and the use of drugs are expressions
of adolescents in retaliating against strict
parental regulation. Where the
adolescents and their parents have
maintained rapport and mutual respect,
the parent’s influence tends to remain
strong and role confusion is lessened.
Psychosocial Stage 6-Intimacy vs. Isolation(18 or 20 to 40 yrs.)
Can I Love?
At the start of this stage, identity vs. role confusion is coming to an
end, though it still lingers at the foundation of the stage. Young
adults are still eager to blend their identities with friends. They
want to fit in.
• The virtue that develops during young adulthood is the virtue of
love, or mutuality of devotion between partners who have chosen
to share their lives.
• Erickson believed that a strong sense of personal identity was
important to developing intimate relationships. Studies have
demonstrated that those with a poor sense of self tend to
have less committed relationships and more likely to suffer
emotional isolation, loneliness, and depression.
• Erikson believes we are sometimes isolated due to intimacy.
We are afraid of rejections such as being turned down or our
partners breaking up with us. We are familiar with pain, and
to some of us, rejection is painful; our egos cannot bear the
Psychosocial Stage 7-Generativity vs. Stagnation(40 to 60
Can I Make My Life Count?
• Generativity is the concern of mature adults for establishing
and guiding the next generation. The concept is meant to
include... productivity and creativity."The adult stage of
generativity has broad application to family, relationships,
work, and society.
• People’s impulse to foster the development of the young is
not limited to guiding their own children. It can be expressed
through such activities as teaching and mentorship.
• The virtue that develops during this stage is to developed
sense of care.
• During middle age the primary developmental task is one of
contributing to society and helping to guide future generations.
When a person makes a contribution during this period, perhaps by
raising a family or working toward the betterment of society, a
sense of generativity- a sense of productivity and accomplishmentresults.
• In contrast, a person who is self-centered and unable or
unwilling to help society move forward develops a feeling of
stagnation- a dissatisfaction with the relative lack of
Psychosocial Stage 8-Integrity and Despair(from 60 till death)
Is it OK to Have Been Me?
• Erickson sees older people as confronting the need to accept the
way they have lived their lives in order to accept approaching
• The virtue that develops during this stage is wisdom—an informed
and detached concern with life in the face of death itself.
• Wisdom acc. to Erickson, includes acceptance of the life one has
lived, without major regrets for what could have been or for what
one should have done differently. It includes acceptance of one’s
parents as people who did the best they could and thus are worthy
of love, even thou they were not perfect. It implies acceptance of
the imperfections of oneself, one’s parents , and one’s life.
• As we grow older and become senior citizens we tend to slow
down our productivity and explore life as a retired person. It is
during this time that we contemplate our accomplishments
and are able to develop integrity if we see ourselves as
leading a successful life. The final developmental task is
retrospection: people look back on their lives and
accomplishments. They develop feelings of contentment and
integrity if they believe that they have led a happy, productive
• If we see our life as unproductive, or feel that we did not
accomplish our life goals, we become dissatisfied with life and
develop despair, often leading to depression and