Identity vs. Identity confusion Erikson’s fifth developmental stage Individual experience during the adolescent years. Faced with finding out who they are, what they are all about, and where they are going in life. confronted with many new roles and adult statuses – vocational and romantic, for example. Parents need to allow adolescents to explore many different roles and different paths within a particular role.
If the adolescent explores such roles in a healthy manner and arrives at a positive path to follow in life, then a positive identity will be achieved.
If an identity is pushed on the adolescent by parents, if the adolescent does not adequately explore many roles, and if a positive future path is not defined, then identity confusion reign.
Generativity vs. Stagnation Erikson’s seventh developmental stage Individuals experience during middle adulthood A chief concern is to assist the younger generation in developing and leading useful lives – this is what Erikson means by generativity. The feeling of done nothing to the next generation is stagnation.
During this stage, a person reflects on the past and either pieces together a positive review or concludes that life has not been spent well.
For example, the older person may have developed a positive outlook in most or all of the previous stages of development. If so, the retrospective glances will reveal a picture of a life well spent, and the person will feel a sense of satisfaction – integrity will be achieved.If the older adult resolved many of the earlier stages negatively, the retrospective glances likely will yield doubt or gloom – the despair Erikson described.