Psychosocial theory of development

Introduction Of Psychosocial theory of development

Psychosocial development theory is a growth of Sigmund Freud’s unique 5 stages of development. Erikson, a 20th-century psychologist, and psychoanalyst formulated the eight-stage life cycle theory in 1959 on the supposition that the environment performs a critical role in self-awareness, adjustment, human development, and identity.

Theories help predict, evaluate and interpret conditions and behaviors and provide a basis for how a social worker needs to react and intervene with customers who have positive backgrounds, issues, or goals. Social workers usually understand conventional and researched social work theories that are rooted in social work values and draw constantly upon these theories.


Erik Erikson’s 8 stages of psychosocial theory of development

Erikson asserts in his psychosocial theory that ego identity is reached by using facing goals and challenges throughout eight stages of development over the complete life cycle. Each of the psychosocial stages is distinguished by way of two opposing emotional forces, known as opposite dispositions, that result in a disaster that needs to be resolved. Each disaster must be mastered as rapidly as possible, otherwise, a person’s psychology is in jeopardy. However, a successful resolution of the conflict consequences in a healthy character and the attainment of a basic virtue. The ego makes use of these character strengths to resolve subsequent crises.

Psychosocial theory of development
                       Psychosocial theory of development

The stages that make up his theory are as follows:

1. Trust vs. Mistrust

2. Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt

3. Initiative vs. Guilt

4. Industry vs. Inferiority

5. Identity vs. Role Confusion

6. Intimacy vs. Isolation

7. Generativity vs. Stagnation

8. Integrity vs. Despair


Psychosocial theory of development
                              Trust vs. Mistrust

1. Trust vs. Mistrust :

The first stage of Erikson’s psychosocial development starts at birth and continues until approximately 18 months of age. The major task is trust versus mistrust. Infants rely completely upon their caregivers; thus, if caregivers are responsive and sensitive to their infant’s needs, it helps the baby develop a feeling of trust. Apathetic caregivers who do not meet their baby’s wishes may motivate the baby to enhance feelings of anxiety, concern, and mistrust and see the world as unpredictable. Basic advantage developed: hope.

At this point in development, the child is completely dependent upon adult caregivers for everything they want to survive which includes food, love, warmth, safety, and nurturing. If a caregiver fails to provide adequate care and love, the child will come to experience that they cannot believe or depend upon the adults in their life.

Psychosocial theory of development
               Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt

2. Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt :

The second stage occurs between the long time of 1½ and 3 years. If a baby is allowed to develop at their very own pace during this stage, they can acquire self-reliance and self-confidence. However, if the mother and father are inconsistent, overcritical, or overprotective, the child may additionally doubt their ability to manage themselves and their world. Basic virtue developed.

Psychosocial theory of development
                         Initiative vs. Guilt

3. Initiative vs. Guilt :

The third stage of psychosocial development takes place during the preschool years. At this point in psychosocial development, children start to assert their power and manage the world through directing play and different social interactions. Children who are successful at this stage experience capable and ability to lead others. Those who fail to acquire these abilities are left with a sense of guilt, self-doubt, and lack of initiative.

4. Industry vs. Inferiority :

The fourth stage takes place from ages 5 to 12 years. During this period, a baby begins to evaluate themselves with peers. The child learns to be productive and to receive the evaluation of his or her efforts, and in turn, can develop a sense of accomplishment and pleasure in their academic work, sports, social activities, and home life. If a baby feels they do not measure up, emotions of inferiority or incompetence may be established.

Psychosocial theory of development
                  Psychosocial theory of development

5. Identity vs. Role Confusion :

The fifth psychosocial stage takes place during the frequently turbulent teenage years. This stage plays a vital role in creating a sense of personal identity which will proceed to influence conduct and development for the relaxation of a person’s life. Teens need to improve their sense of self and personal identity. Success leads to an ability to continue to be true to yourself, while failure leads to role confusion and a weak sense of self.

During adolescence, teenagers explore their independence and increase their sense of self. Those who obtain proper encouragement and reinforcement via personal exploration will emerge from this stage with a strong sense of self and emotions of independence and control. Those who remain undecided about their beliefs and desires will experience insecurity and confusion about themselves and the future.

6. Intimacy vs. Isolation :

The sixth stage extends from late youth to early middle age, 18 to 40. A strong experience of self must be developed in early life in order to create intimate relationships with others during this stage. Adults who lack a wonderful self-concept may journey through emotional isolation or loneliness.

To avoid feeling isolated or alone, individuals should learn to now not to lose themselves when sharing or caring for others. Gaining a strong self-identity permits an individual to reap true intimacy, whereas identification diffusion can be a challenge.

7. Generativity vs. Stagnation :

Adults want to create or nurture things that will outlast them, often by using having children or developing a positive alternative that benefits different people. Success leads to feelings of usefulness and accomplishment, whilst failure results in shallow involvement in the world.

During adulthood, we proceed to build our lives, focusing on our careers and family. Those who are profitable during this section will feel that they are contributing to the world by way of being active in their domestic and community. Those who fail to attain this ability will feel unproductive and uninvolved in the world.

8. Integrity vs. Despair :

The final psychosocial stage occurs in the course of old age and is targeted at reflecting back on life. At this factor in the development, people look back on the occasions of their lives and determine if they are completely satisfied with the life that they lived or if they regret the things they did or did not do. Erikson’s theory differed from many others because it addressed development during the entire lifespan, which includes old age. Older adults want to look back on life and experience a sense of fulfillment. Success at this stage leads to emotions of wisdom, while failure affects regret, bitterness, and despair.

At this stage, people reflect back on the occasions of their lives and take stock. Those who look to return to a life they experience was well-lived will sense satisfied and equipped to face the end of their lives with an experience of peace. Those who look returned and only experience regret will alternatively feel fearful that their lives will end barring accomplishing the matters they feel they need to have.​


Strengths and weaknesses of Erikson’s Stages of Development

  • A strength of this Erikson theory is its ability to connect essential psychosocial development throughout a person’s lifespan. This approach presents a pragmatic perspective on character development.
  • However, a major weak spot of Erikson’s psychosocial development idea is that Erikson himself concedes the theory falls brief of explaining how and why development occurs.
  • Another strength of the psychosocial development idea is that it demonstrates middle and late maturity are active and significant periods of private growth, while different theories deem both levels irrelevant.
  • Erikson does not make clear how the outcome of one psychosocial stage influences one’s character in a later stage.
  • Adding to the theory’s strengths is that people can relate to the variety of stages thru their own experiences.
  • The idea does not furnish a universal technique for crisis resolution.
  • Unlike Freud’s psychoanalysis approach, which psychosocial improvement theory used to be built upon, Erikson presents a wider and more complete view of humanity.
  • The theory is dated, as it no longer addresses the impact of single-parent households on a child.
Psychosocial theory of development
Psychosocial theory of development

How Does Psychosocial Development Theory work for Social Work?

Erikson’s theory postulates that people develop through the levels of development primarily based on how they adjust to social crises throughout their lives. These social crises instruct how individuals react to the surrounding world. This provides social work experts with a group of alerts that help decide how successfully customers handle crises and development along with a “maturation timetable.”

The eight stages in Erikson’s psychosocial development principle provide a stepping-stone for motion toward proper growth that social people can apply to distinguish a person’s difficulties and, in turn, provide excellent support and offerings for tackling these challenges.


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By Biju Samal

Biju Samal, The Author, And Co-Founder Of Wide Education, "wide education" aims to be aware within a strong and positive framework and entertain the world, Hear providing quality content and also entertain You.

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