Erik Erikson’s personality theory
Erik Homburger Erikson, a Jew, was born on 15th June 1902.He was born in Frankfurt am Main in Germany. He was a developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst, all rolled in to one. He triumphed in Dutch, America and Germany. His parents, Karla Abrahamsen and Vladimir (although the legitimacy of the child was not known as his mother engaged into extramarital affairs behind her husbands back) wanted him to study medicine but Erik Erikson had a different program mapped out. After finishing learning gymnasium, Erik envisioned himself as an artist and he whiled his early adulthood life as wanderlust, roaming in Europe basking the artist’s life. He then registered at Baden State Art School. Then in one way or the other, he found himself in Vienna. Among his passions were painting portraits of children. On suggestion by a comrade, Peter Blos, he was offered a job of lecturing art at The Hietzing School. The school was run under psychoanalytic opinions.
Prior to the coaching by Ms.Freud, he got himself a certificate from Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. His quest for education saw him take his education a notch higher as he was then attending lectures at University of Viena, from where he was awarded not only a psychoanalytic teaching degree but also a certificate in Montessori system.
Erik Erikson met Joan Serson, who was a dance teacher at the same school that he taught pshyoanalytic, and the two promulgated onto a couple. The Nazi regime was quickly taking shape and propelled by it and economic meltdown, the couple which had been blessed with two sons and one daughter, shifted to Copenhagen and eventually to the land of opportunity, U.S., where they landed in Boston in 1933.He applied for American citizenship and was fortunately accepted in 1939.His initial plan to set up a centre as a child psychoanalyst tumbled down the drain because,unfortunately,he didn’t possess an advanced degree in child psychoanalysis. To counter-measure that, he was offered the role of not only deputy professor but also deputy researcher at Harvard and Yale respectively. He advanced his education and his dream of being a professor came true. His next place to reside was San Francisco where he abrogated himself both a research partner and a professor at a Berkeley, campus of California University. In 1950, he was honorably with being the president San Francisco Society and Institute. He died in 1994, on unspecified causes. He had lived to a ripe age of 92 years.
The personality theory
There one thing that cannot be assumed: his step-father was his pediatrician when he was a child. Being mentored by Sigmund Freud’s and her daughter, Anhna Freud, was the basis of his ideas and perceptions. Also the teaching engagements that he was offered was also vital. In Erikson’s theory, one stage has got its foundation from the previous one.
The eight stages of the theory
Trust vs.Mistrust: this stage affects children who are between birth and one year old. The child starts to have faith on its mother (because it spends most of the time with her) simply because it totally depends on them. The child can hedge its protection on them when threatened or intimidated. If this stage is not fully done, the child can have mistrust and so a phobia of the incoherent earth. The level of trust and (or) mistrust is determined by maternal association. If the child cannot hedge its trust on the parents or guardians, the child will always have a suspicious eye when mingling with people. On the other side, if its needs are catered for adequately and can be relied upon, it will develop a kind of trust and be courageous enough to venture.
Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt: This psychosocial dilemma affects the children between ages two and three. It develops when children commence to be independence. This is evident in the way they make their own choices as in; to eat this or that, wandering away from their caregivers among others. If the child is psyched in what it does, it will get confidence in its choices and it’s endurance in humankind. On the other hand, if the child is intimidated or discouraged, they keep to themselves and they start to doubt their endurance in the world, and so they figure out that the only way to survive is by dependence, are free of self-motivation and are full of niggles of doubt in their own accomplishments. The children base their independence on their level of success. In short words, children at this stage should be allowed to ‘navigate’ this psychosocial stage and also there should be patience from the caregivers in little things that the child does. An example is by, let us assume whilst travelling, give the child ample time to tie the shoe laces.tieing the shoe laces for it because you are late, does it no good as it gets no confidence in what it should be doing on its own.
Initiative vs.Guilt: It occurs between ages three to six.Here, the child mixes with the entire family.Hereby, and the child is at the preschool age. The child voices its command over the world by mixing up with the others and directing the games. It’s from that early stage they will exhibit leadership qualities. If a child does not go through this stage successfully, it’s left with doubt as in self-confidence. The child may feel like it’s a nuisance in the midst of the others and them won’t be leaders but rather disciples.
Industry vs. Inferiority: It occurs between seven and twelve years. This is the stage that the child interacts with the neighborhood and also peers at the school. When the children associate with the other agemate, it will tend to be proud of its triumphs. The children start ventures and are overconfident when they finish up successfully. If the children are encouraged in their projects, they will become innovative and self-assured in their ability to venture into goals. If the children are not encouraged, they underrate themselves and can’t become industrious.
Identity vs. Role Confusion: It occurs to teenagers between twelve and eighteen years. This is steamed and powered by peers and role models. It’s where children cease being children and embrace adulthood. The male teen will tend to view their mothers as housemaids and they dare their fathers. Girls hold commotions with their mothers and flirt with their fathers. Both boys and girls undergo symbolic rites and ceremonies. It’s at this stage that the teenagers will make out what they want to become in future. At this stage, if they are motivated they will emerge strong in their self-confidence and how to depend on themselves. If they are discouraged they will have a misty future, a future of uncertainty.
Intimacy vs. Isolation: It occurs between the age of early 20s to late 20s(courting and early parenthood).It depends on partners and friends. It is at this stage that mostly the young adults start indulging in commitments and sexual relationships (intimacy).It is at this stage that they choose lovers and friends. It is at this stage that they will, sometimes, avoid intimacy due to the phobia of immaturity or commitment which may eventually lead to depression.
Generativity vs.Stagnation: it occurs between late 20s to 50s.It is characterized by household and workmates. This is where the adults will plough back to the society by rearing children and featuring in organizations. If someone doesn’t accomplish that, there is despair and stagnation. They will try to go back into their youth lifestyles to compensate what they didn’t accomplish at that stage as in by: divorcing and hanging out singles bars, and wearing clothes that are worn by the youth.
Integrity vs.Despair: It occurs in 50s to old age. There are frequent illnesses such as arthritis, heart attacks, and ovarian cancers among others. There is menopause in women. Many tend to view that their labor input is no longer required. Also it is at this stage that many people retire .It is at this stage that they become senile. There is resentment and desolation to those that have been unsuccessful in life. Those that have been successful will feel an aura of honor and few to regret about, and (Cycle, 1994) will have wisdom even though they are about to die.’
Erikson, E. H. (1994). Identity:youth and crisis. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Erikson, E. H. (1994). Identity and the life cycle. New York: W.W.Norton & Co.