Psychosocial Development: Theory of Erik Erikson


Erik Erikson’s theory concentrates on how social conversation and connection serve a vital duty in the growth of human beings. Erikson agrees that selfness grows in a range of steps of development, additionally, the theory explains the effect of social encounters all over the entire lifetime. The following entails a discussion of eight stages in Erik Erikson’s theory explaining human psychosocial development, relating to personal experiences.

Trust Versus Mistrust Stage

This phase is the initial step in Erikson’s concept of psychosocial growth. It happens between birth and the age of one year (Knight, 2017). When kids create trust, they will always feel protected in the world. Failure to develop confidence will lead to fear and belief that the universe is incompatible and unreliable (Knight, 2017). From a personal experience, there is trust that an adult will help solve any problem encountered because, during this stage, the caregiver was loving, provided adequate attention, and served meals with care.

Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt Stage

This stage is the second phase of Erikson’s theory of psychosocial growth in humans. It occurs from two to three years in early childhood and concentrates on developing a meaningful sense of individual management (Erskine, 2019). Kids who strive and are shamed for their misfortunes may be left without an understanding of personal management (Erskine, 2019). Prosperity results in feelings of self-management, and failures lead to shame and doubt (Erskine, 2019). Based on personal experience, all struggles like learning how to dress and self-feeding were encouraged by the parents and corrected in a caring manner.

Initiative Versus Guilt Stage

This phase is the third step of Erikson’s concept of psychosocial development. It happens between three to five years, where kids start affirming their ability over the universe by controlling conversations (Knight, 2017). Kids who are prosperous in this phase feel able and capable of leading others. Those who do not gain this capability remain to doubt themselves, lack effort and guilt (Knight, 2017). Personally, chairing meetings is interesting because, at this stage, there were many instances of controlling teams of games during childhood.

Industry Versus Inferiority Stage

This step is the fourth phase the Erikson’s concept of psychosocial growth of the human being. It occurs from the age of five to eleven as kids start developing a value of pride in their fulfillments (Dunkel & Harbke, 2017). Kids who are praised and supported by teachers and parents create a sense of knowledge, while those who get less or no support will doubt their skills to be successful (Dunkel & Harbke, 2017). Based on personal experience, teachers encouraged and praised academic performance, leading to successful studies to degree level.

Identity Versus Confusion Stage

This phase is the fifth step that happens during the most challenging teenage years. It occurs between the age of twelve and eighteen (Dunkel & Harbke, 2017). Youths who acquire practical encouragement during personal discovery will come out of this phase with a feeling of self. While, youths who stay uncertain of their faith and wishes will feel disoriented and insecure about themselves (Dunkel & Harbke, 2017). From a personal experience, there was support when reporting to the teachers about body developments like growing pubic hair, which resulted in the sense of self-control.

Intimacy Versus Isolation Stage

This phase is the sixth stage that happens from the age of nineteen to forty. Youths require to create intimate, loving connections with others, prosperity results in influential associations, while failure leads to seclusion and isolation (Knight, 2017). Based on a friend’s experience, there was a weak sense of personality at this stage, resulting in less obligated connections, which led to a struggle in emotional isolation and depression.

Generativity Versus Stagnation Stage

This phase is the seventh step in Erikson’s concept of psychosocial development. It happens from forty to sixty-five years, where adults require to form things that will last them (Dunkel & Harbke, 2017). Prosperity in this stage results in a sense of importance and fulfilment, while failure leads to less engagement in the universe (Mo’meni et al., 2017). Based on my father’s experience, the successful management of the business has impacted growth, which has led to people’s employment, resulting in a positive feeling.

Integrity Versus Despair Stage

This phase is the last stage in Erikson’s concept of psychosocial development. It occurs from sixty-five up to death, as people refer to their past events and evaluate whether they are satisfied with life or regret doing the things (Dunkel & Harbke, 2017). Prosperity at this level results in the sense of wisdom, while failure leads to bitterness, despair, and regret (Dunkel & Harbke, 2017). Based on grandfather’s experience, there is a claim of possessing a lot of wisdom from life experience. Therefore, during the flashback of previous events in life, most actions are satisfied.

Personal Opinion

This assignment is interesting because of human psychology learning, resulting in understanding why negative or positive behaviors develop in human beings. Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development offers a clear understanding of human growth and behavior at every stage in life and its impacts. There are no difficulties experienced with this assignment, and the information will help advise victims of depression to gaining a detailed understanding of the development stages.


Human beings pass through various stages in life, from birth to adulthood. Each phase plays a vital role in the psychosocial development of the human being. Failure of one step leads to adverse effects in the future. For instance, if a child fails to get love, care, and attention at the stage of trust versus mistrust, the kid will not trust the adults for the rest lifetime. Therefore, caregivers should be keen when handling children from birth.


Dunkel, C. S., & Harbke, C. (2017). A review of measures of Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development: Evidence for a general factor. Journal of Adult Development, 24(1), 58-76.

Erskine, R. G. (2019). Child development in integrative psychotherapy: Erik Erikson’s first three stages. International Journal of Integrative Psychotherapy, 10, 11-34.

Knight, Z. G. (2017). A proposed model of psychodynamic psychotherapy linked to Erik Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 24(5), 1047-1058.

Mo’meni, K., Davarinejad, O., Shahi, H., Janjani, P., & Miri, M. (2017). Personality development in adulthood: prediction of generativity vs. stagnation based on personality supertraitsas. Journal of Psychological Science, 16(63), 351-369.

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PsychologyWriting. (2023, August 30). Psychosocial Development: Theory of Erik Erikson. Retrieved from


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"Psychosocial Development: Theory of Erik Erikson." PsychologyWriting, 30 Aug. 2023,


PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Psychosocial Development: Theory of Erik Erikson'. 30 August.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Psychosocial Development: Theory of Erik Erikson." August 30, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Psychosocial Development: Theory of Erik Erikson." August 30, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Psychosocial Development: Theory of Erik Erikson." August 30, 2023.