Freudian Roots – strongly committed to
Despite strong ties to traditional Freudian thinking,
Erikson de-emphasized the sexual aspect of
psychological development, attaching
Considered, instead, “epigenetic” stages of
Stages are rooted in both biological and social milestones
As age progresses, biological rootedness is subsumed under
Point in life whereby one feels some sense of
anxiety or instability with respect to personal
realized that there appeared to be goals that
are more highly specific to particular to phases of life.
i.e.adolescents are more concerned about social cohesion
and “fitting in” than those in middle age, who are more
concerned with social contribution.
These phases were not especially tied to one’s biology or
internal states, but were connected to external objects
Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages Freud’s Psychosexual Stages
Oral-Sensory (0-1yr) Oral (0-18mo)
Anal-Muscular (1-3yrs) Anal (18mo-3yrs)
Genital-Locomotor (3-5yrs) Phallic (4-6 yrs)
Latency (6-11yrs) Latency (7-9/10 yrs)
Adolescence (12-18yrs) Genital (Puberty +)
Young Adulthood (18-35yrs)
Older Adulthood (55 +)
Stage Crisis & Basic Strengths
Crisis – The circumstance experienced when one
encounters a developmental need at a particular
period of time.
Basic strength – the quality of character that one
develops when adequately resolving the
Erikson’s Model of Development
Older Integrity v.
Middle Generativity v. HOPE
Adulthood Stagnation PURPOSE
Young Intimacy v. HOPE HOPE
Adulthood Isolation PURPOSE PURPOSE
LOVE COMPETENCE COMPETENCE
Adolescence Identity v. HOPE HOPE HOPE
WILL WILL WILL
Confusion PURPOSE PURPOSE PURPOSE
FIDELITY COMPETENCE COMPETENCE COMPETENCE
School Age Industry v. HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE
WILL WILL WILL WILL
Inferiority PURPOSE PURPOSE PURPOSE PURPOSE
Play Age Initiative v. HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE
WILL WILL WILL WILL
Early Autonomy v. HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE
Infancy Trust v.
Basic Weaknesses and Development
parallel maladaptive trait that must accompany the
adaptive trait in order to develop in a healthy manner.
Themaladaptive trait, in healthy individuals, will be far
exceeded by the adaptive trait and be a functional
coping mechanism when appropriate
STAGE 1: ORAL-SENSORY
Primary experiences most fundamental the rest of life.
Earliest attachments begin the foundation for future orientation to
Still rooted in oral incorporative stance toward life
COPING: Trust v. Mistrust
Child’s capability to trust others and experience the world as a
trustworthy place is virtually exclusively dependent upon the parent’s
care and nurturance
MALDEVELOPMENT: Sensory maladjustment/Withdrawal
STAGE 2: ANAL-MUSCULAR
Early experiences of orienting to the world and beginning to
assert one’s self.
This is most saliently experienced in the process of potty
Developing a sense of control and mastery in the world is
highly tied to bodily orientation and control.
COPING: Autonomy v. Shame/Doubt
MALDEVELOPMENT: Shameless willfulness/Compulsion
STAGE 3: Locomotor-Genital
This period of a child’s life is defined by a developing sense
of self and engagement with the outside world.
Language capabilities (verbal and written) develop.
Increasing sense of “I” toward endeavors and personal
Developing a sense of permissible behaviors
COPING: Initiative v. Guilt
STAGE 4: Latency
Developing involvement in the outside, social world. This
is the early school age period where the child begins
developing various competencies.
Initial development of self-initiated peer relationships
Developing cognitive abilities
COPING: Industriousness v. Inferiority
MALDEVELOPMENT: Narrow virtuosity/Inertia
STAGE 5: Adolescence
Peer connections and social relationships become the
predominant orienting force in the person’s life.
IDENTITY CRISIS and developing the EGO IDENTITY-the
failure of one to develop a meaningful sense of self
resulting in confusion and un-differentiation
COPING: Identity Cohesion v. Role Confusion
INTERLUDE: Adolescent Development
Vague and undetermined
Strong ego identity, stable,
realistic goals, able to cope with
ambivalence with authority
(rebelling v. dependence), changing environmental demands
indecisive v. creative
May actively reject commitments,
Commitments often determined by
may be aimless drifters; distant
IDENTITY parents; rigid and authoritarian
relationships with parents often,
possibly impulsive and self- and difficulty coping with change
Alienated Achievement – Cerebral, philosophical, cynical. Critical of social institutions
and ideologically distant
STAGE 6: Young Adulthood
Once stable peer groups have been established and one’s identity
has reasonably solidified, the individual is considering launching and
striking out on one’s own.
This is a period of strong individuation and personal development.
Emphasis on career and consideration of beginning one’s own family
Development of intimate partnerships with the prospect of long-term
COPING: Intimacy v. Isolation
MALDEVELOPMENT: Promiscuity/Exclusivity (Obsession)
STAGE 7: Middle Adulthood
Participation in giving to the next generation
This is possible in the many different social situations and
endeavors that one is a part of
Failure to find ways to meaningfully contribute often lead to
something like a mid-life crisis, a turning toward self-
absorption rather than generosity and contribution
COPING: Generativity v. Stagnation
STAGE 8: Older Adulthood
Evaluating the whole of our own lives and reflecting on our
experiences and contributions
Ideally, the experience is one of satisfaction and peace with one’s
activities and endeavors
This stage becomes distressing when frustration, anxiety,
disappointment and regret dominate our experiences of memory
COPING: Ego Integrity v. Despair
Louise is a 48 year old African-American woman who has been married for 20
years and has 4 children. Recently, she has been experiencing a high degree of
anxiety and worry, seemingly out of nowhere that has been distressing her. She
mentioned it to her pastor who suggested she see a therapist.
In the first session with Louise, the therapist discovered that she has been feeling
a lack of purpose and meaning in her life. She has always defined herself as a
wife and a mother, however, recent discovery of her husband’s affair early in
their marriage has left their relationship sterile and distant. Furthermore, two of
her children are grown and out of the house, one in college and one working,
while the remaining two are still in school but needing (and desiring) far less
support and attention.
Louise finds that she is often down during the day in an empty house and that the
evening is usually frustrating as her kids and husband have other activities and
interests that their attention is devoted to. She has recently realized that all of
her devotion to her family has resulted in losing contact with her friends.
Louise indicates that she is beginning to feel useless and without an important
role in the family and in the world and doesn’t know quite what to do.