Erik Erikson outlines eight stages in the psychosocial development of a healthy human being, in which the stages are characterized by conflicts. The ego is at the center of all these developments (Wagner, 2005). Infancy This stage is from birth up to 18 months. During this time, the child’s ego develops trust and the central figure in his universe is his mother. How he trusts or mistrusts those around him will depend on his maternal relationship. The child’s experience at this stage could help mold how he will interact with people in his adult life.
In the movie “Psycho (1960),” Norman only had his mother since birth. They were very close that he considers her his only friend. Norman was not weaned from his dependence that he carried it all throughout his adulthood. When his parent found a new lover, it made Norman so jealous that he killed her. He resolved his guilt by keeping his mother’s corpse in the house. Muscular-Anal The second stage in the psychosocial development is from 18 months to three years. At this point of a child’s development, Erikson explains that there is a growing sense of independence that is being experienced by the child.
It’s important for parents to understand the child’s need for support because it would tell him that you are there to help develop his capabilities. There would be constant conflict if the parent won’t learn to give in to the child. The child experiences conflicting feelings of initiative and doubt at this point. Psychosocial Development 2 The movie “Baby Geniuses,” shows a bunch of toddlers who are being kept in a lab so that researchers would understand a universal secret. However, the toddler Sly is showing off his independence by wanting to escape from the lab, and to which he actually succeeds.
His escape is just the start of a series of antics that toddlers have to do in order to stop the designs of an evil scientist. Play Age The child at this point, from three to six years old, is already learning basic skills and how to master the things around him. The child displays initiative and the courage to complete tasks. He also shows the capacity to make decisions for himself. At the same time, he may also feel guilty if he is unable to complete something that he wants to do. When the result of his initiative is negative, this may make the child uneasy and resort to displaying aggressiveness or inhibition.
The parents must balance the initiative and guilt by giving the child tasks that are appropriate for his age. In the movie “300,” Spartans shun deformities and anything that is not perfect in their eyes. As a young boy, Leonides was already trained to prepare himself to become king. Play for them involves fighting and brawling. Early on, he already knew that he must achieve certain tasks to prove his worth. He needed to survive being out in the wilds with only himself to depend on. Leonides was able to overcome the tests and he returned to Sparta as a man. School Age
In the school age, from seven to 10 years old, a child has to find balance between doing too much and doing too little. If a child does too many complex tasks, he forgets to have fun like Psychosocial Development 3 other children. But when he gets to do very little, the chance for success is slim. This could result to inferiority. Adults around the child must strike a balance between industry and inferiority in order to mold the child into a competent individual. Without the proper balance, the child will grow up feeling inferior to his peers in terms of social skills.
John Nash, the genius from the movie “A Beautiful Mind,” suffers from inferiority complex as a result of his being aloof during the school age. He preferred academic tasks rather than being with other kids his age. He was always alone. As a result, Nash didn’t know how to be close to other people. Nash was not able to resolve the conflict on his own. He talked about his fears and frustrations concerning the opposite sex to his roommate. Adolescence Between 10 and 17 years of age, an adolescent is conscious of how others look at him.
It is important that at this stage the adolescent is reassured of his worth as a person. An adolescent who receives good familial support will often behave better among his peers. This is the point when the adolescent will be aware of his sexual identity. The adolescent either develops his own identity or be confused about it. The movie “Boys Don’t Cry,” is the story of Brandon Teena who was born a female but chose to become male in high school. This identity change was the result of a sexual assault that Brandon experienced at the hand of a male relative.
No one, except his mother, knew that Brandon was female. He dated several girls in high school. Psychosocial Development 4 Young Adulthood The young adult stage, according to Erikson, is between 18 to 40 years old. This is the point where the adult chooses between intimacy or isolation. At the early part of this stage, the person is interested in friendships and blending his identity with those of his friends. Later on, the young adult becomes ready for an intimate and close relationship with another individual.
At the same time, the young adult must understand and not fear isolation because this would come handy in later years. Rejection, break-ups and being alone are things that a young adult must be able to handle. Andy Stitzer, a typical nerd in the movie “A Forty Year Old Virgin,” is a man who understands being alone. He has never been in an intimate relationship with another person. He was finally convinced to become intimate with a girl by his friends. This leads to Andy welcoming more people in his life and gaining new friends and acquaintances. Middle Adulthood
The middle adulthood stage comes when a person reaches 40 years old and ends at 65 years old. At this point, the person is either driven by the need to become a guide to the younger generation or be complacent and let the years keep him in stagnation. Tony Starks, or the “Iron Man,” is a 40 something arms manufacturer who had a change of heart after his captivity. He became engaged in correcting the mistakes he made in the past to preserve the world for the future generations. Instead of making arms to increase his wealth, he turned into a superhero to save those in need.
Psychosocial Development 5 Late Adulthood From 65 years onwards, the person enters the late adulthood phase. During these years, the person looks back on the past years and evaluates the kind of life he lived. From this, the person will either feel that he has live a life of integrity, or he will be in despair (Clifton & Davis, 1995) . If there is gladness for the good times, acceptance for what could not be, and forgiveness for mistakes, then the person will be at peace and become prepared for whatever the years are yet to bring.
But for the person who does not learn to accept and forgive, he has a tendency to suffer depression. Edward Cole, a billionaire in the movie “Bucketlist,” had lived a life of eccentricity and isolation. But after he was diagnosed with cancer in his later years, Cole became friends with another cancer patient Carter Chambers. The two embarked on a life-changing journey, which turned Cole into a better person. By accepting his mistakes and doing something about them, Cole was able to enjoy the last of his days, free from guilt and other burdens. References
Child Development Institute, LLC. Stages of Social-Emotional Development In Children and Teenagers. Retrieved August 24, 2008, from http://www. childdevelopmentinfo. com/development/erickson. shtml Clifton, A. , & Davis, D. (1995). Psychosocial Theory: Erikson. Haverford Home Page. Retrieved August 24, 2008, from http://www. haverford. edu/psych/ddavis/p109g/erikson. stages. html Wagner, K. V. (2005). Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development. About. com: Psychology. Retrieved August 24, 2008, from http://psychology. about. com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/psychosocial_3. htm
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