Erik Erikson's Psychosocial Development Theory


Erik Erikson was a German psychologist who suffered serious identity crisis in his youthful years. His parents divorced when he was a young child and he stayed with his mother. He then concluded that a need for identity is a major aspect in life. He also felt that the influence of the society on the development of personality should not be underestimated. The psychosocial development theory as articulated by Erikson explains eight stages through which a healthily developing human should pass, from infancy to late adulthood. Each stage involves a crisis that needs to be resolved. If the crisis in a given stage is not resolved, the individual continues to struggle with it and if not completed, is expected to reappear as problems in the future. Success in each stage leads to the development of a virtue and lays the foundation for resolving the crisis at the later stages.

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