Erikson's Theory of Development, Free Essay in Psychology

Published: 2022-03-21 21:29:58
Erikson's Theory of Development, Free Essay in Psychology
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Child development Human development
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1201 words
11 min read

Any young child growing under the close watch of the parents or caretakers responds in various ways such as embracing the caregivers, showing love, understanding, and rejection at times. This way, and through several interaction processes, the child gets a chance to learn and develop. In most cases, a kid starts to learn about the fun got from others and tends to connect with them emotionally and in a profound way. As the development process proceeds, he/she starts to have awareness regarding the right of others and their needs too. In this respect, everything begins with the child being at ease when alone and with others. Indeed, it gives them the proper setting to develop into an articulate adult.

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Nonetheless, the process of developing emotionally and socially into becoming the right person isn't always a definite path and has many challenges too. Apparently, learning to live in a family as one values accommodating others and their differences is not a simple task, and many scholars have explored the concept over many years. As a child acquires emotional and social understanding in the early years, many theorists agree that the process is procedural. In this case, progressive stages follow each other where a related developmental aspect keeps advancing and becoming better (Baltes & Schaie, 2013).

Among many theorists, Erik Erikson engaged in an overarching work in an attempt to unearth what happens as a child grows and comes into contact with numerous learning environments. In his psychosocial theory, Erikson classified the maturation process as an eight-stage model covering the different but related pathways from infancy to adulthood. Each part has some implications for the learning process as well, and there are numerous ideas that educators and caregivers can learn too. However, the child has to resolve a conflict at each phase hence the need to understand these elements in a way to help them solve the clash between emotional development and social factors (Sokol, 2009).

In the development process, it is the first four stages of the Erikson's model that are relevant to the child in the early ages. The first stage is infancy and takes place between zero and one year (Margolin, 2014). Herein, the young soul develops a feeling of trust or mistrust in the self and others depending on the setting and the ones close to it. Therefore, the person giving the primary care particularly the mother becomes the central figure who can help the child attach rightly to the right environment and people who can enhance emotional and social learning into becoming a proper person (Coon et al., 2010).

After infancy, he/she comes to the toddler stage; here, the child develops autonomy. Between 2-3 years, the child can learn to be more dependent or develop shame and doubt towards the ones close to him/her (Marcia et al., 2012). For instance, if a child comes across the appropriate setting such as getting ample time to play and interact as well as being left to do things individually, there is a higher probability of becoming more autonomous. On the other hand, a close watch of the children while condemning what they do might be somewhat harmful as they make them shameful and doubt their abilities (Torres, Jones, & Renn, 2009).

Thirdly, the preschool stage comes by; it takes place between four and five years. At this level, the dominant observation is an instance where the child shows initiative (Marcia et al., 2012). Primarily, it is a case of discovering the self, and if the right environment is not there, a feeling of guilt occurs. Apparently, the emotional development part of it takes place at this stage considering that confidence to approach issues and initiate things starts to develop at this level. Since the role of the extended family is essential at this point, it is vital to surround the pre-school children with the right people as well as evaluating what they do and their numbers too.

The fourth stage in the process is also undoubtedly vital and takes place between 6-12 years; this is the childhood stage. At this level, the child learns to be industrious or develops a feeling of inferiority. One thing that is crucial to note is that children at this level have a lot of attitude towards the things they do. More so, the environment and social factors that can impact them in different ways expand such as having more friends at home and school as well as more responsibilities and higher expectations (Watts, Cockcroft, & Duncan, 2009). A case example is the children in lower classes; thus, in a way to empower them and ensure that they develop the right emotional and personality aspects, it is essential to help them cope with their attitude challenges as well as assisting them to interact with the expanding social world in the right way.

In as much as it is vital to put theory into practice, the main deduction from the Erikson's argument is the crucial role of the different caregivers. Indeed, no psychological theory is exclusive; thus, the essential thing is to make an inference and use the propositions to help children to learn and understand concepts. That said, childcare professionals, guardians, and parents have a critical role to ensure that the proper setting is available at all different stages for the child to develop in the recommend way despite the numerous challenges in each step. Importantly, they have to help the children at each level to make wise decisions while trying to avoid emotional and injudicious decision making that can harm their self-esteem.

In summation, it is important to reiterate that personal, emotional and social development is not a one-stage process. Indeed, this growth process depends on so many factors but growing in the right environment is the most supreme. Irrespective of whether a person is a child or adult, social learning is elemental in the development process. However, and applies to the case of Erikson's theory, the factor that matters most is ensuring that the child has the right people close to him or her. This way, it will always require the parents and any other involved caregiver to understand the process with precision to ensure the conditions enhance proper growth.


Baltes, P. B., & Schaie, K. W. (Eds.). (2013). Life-span developmental psychology: Personality and socialization. Elsevier.

Coon, D., Mitterer, J. O., Talbot, S., & Vanchella, C. M. (2010). Introduction to psychology: Gateways to mind and behavior. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Marcia, J. E., Waterman, A. S., Matteson, D. R., Archer, S. L., & Orlofsky, J. L. (2012). Ego identity: A handbook for psychosocial research. Springer Science & Business Media.

Shapiro, L. A. S., & Margolin, G. (2014). Growing up wired: Social networking sites and adolescent psychosocial development. Clinical child and family psychology review, 17(1), 1-18.

Sokol, J. T. (2009). Identity development throughout the lifetime: An examination of Eriksonian theory. Graduate Journal of Counseling Psychology, 1(2), 14.

Torres, V., Jones, S. R., & Renn, K. A. (2009). Identity development theories in student affairs: Origins, current status, and new approaches. Journal of College Student Development, 50(6), 577-596.

Watts, J., Cockcroft, K., & Duncan, N. (2009). Developmental psychology. Cape Town, South Africa: UCT Press.

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