Erik Erickson’s 8 Stages of Development | People's Advocacy Council
Trust versus mistrust is the first stage of Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development. This first stage of psychosocial development consists of: Basic Virtue: Hope; Important Event(s): Feeding When these needs are consistently met, the child will learn that he can trust the people who are caring. For example, the first psychosocial stage is trust versus mistrust, and it spans from During this phase, if children are consistently provided all their basic needs. Erik Erikson's Stage One: Trust vs Mistrust (infant months) own might experience shame and doubt in their inability to perform basic, natural tasks. to let their children know that they are there if their children need help.
Here symbol and story, metaphor and myth, both from our own traditions and from others, seem to be newly appreciated. Having looked critically at traditions and translated their meanings into conceptual understandings, one experiences a hunger for a deeper relationship to the reality that symbols mediate.
In this stage it becomes important to let biblical narrative draw us into it and let it read our lives, reforming and shaping them, rather than our reading and forming the meanings of the text. Universalizing Faith Beyond paradox and polarities, persons in the Universalizing stage are grounded in a oneness with the power of being or God. Their visions and commitments seem to free them for a passionate yet detached spending of the self in love. Such persons are devoted to overcoming division, oppression, and violence, and live in effective anticipatory response to an inbreaking commonwealth of love and justice, the reality of an inbreaking kingdom of God.
Harper Collins, Larry Stephens presents the following stages: Anaemic Faith The goal is to develop initial faith. The task is to develop the capacity to internalise God as an object of security and trust.
Parents represent God to the child. At this stage a spiritual foundation is being laid. Children need to experience this to feel affirmed as a separate individual. The child will either view God as warm, sensitive, caring and loving; or as cold, non-caring and judgmental. The child begins to apply truths about God to his life.
They are ready to learn basic truths about God, forgiveness, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, church, people, heaven, hell, the devil and sin. The child is in a fantasy stage where they are unable to separate fantasy from reality.
They learn through repetition. They need consistent discipline and forgiveness. Healthy Image of God Latency: Distorted Image The goal is to develop a healthy image of God. The tasks are to see self as a positive spiritual being, develop self-motivation to understand God and learn about spiritual concepts, learn to trust God for guidance and support, learn to enjoy spiritual experiences such as worship, prayer and devotions, begin to love and serve others voluntarily and begin an individual personal relationship with God.
The child must view God as a patient, loving, accepting Father, full of grace and truth, not as a demanding perfectionist. At this stage the child just needs to believe — to accept Jesus as Saviour. Spiritual Confusion The goal is to search vertically for meaning and purpose in life, through Christ. The tasks are to come to the point of salvation if not achieved beforeaccept self as valued and worthwhile to God, develop hope and faith for the future and for facing unknowns, develop close dependence on God and control self constructively through a Holy Spirit led conscience.
During adolescence, teenagers search for individual spiritual identity, spiritual meaning and purpose in life.Why nicknames are a double edged sword? - Hari Raghav
They only believe what they can validate by their experience or by the example of their parents, past or present. Intimacy with God Early Adulthood: Isolation from God The tasks are to know a close, satisfying relationship with God, to experience his love and strength daily, to know God as a Father and as a faithful friend.
Christian Ministry Middle Adulthood: Fruitless Search for Meaning The task is to share faith and love of God with others through ministry activities such as missions work, leading Bible studies, working with charities, involvement in local church, etc. Some people look for a sense of purpose in all the wrong places. Spiritual Wholeness Late Adulthood: Feeling Lost Without God The tasks are to celebrate the spirit-filled like and experience joy and strength in their walk with Christ.
Erik Erikson And Child Development
They are looking forward to spending eternity with God. Back to the top of the page 7. He shows that religion must take into account the predominant needs and activities of each stage, and so concludes that religion must include three essential elements, an institutional element corresponding to the needs and activities of infancy, a critical element corresponding to the needs and activities of adolescence, and a mystical element corresponding to the needs and activities of adulthood.
The needs and activities of infancy do not disappear in adolescence, not do the needs and activities of adolescence disappear in adulthood. But they should cease to be predominant as we grow up. Religion must include all three elements: Infancy — Institutional Here we are concerned with physical movement and sense impressions and our needs are for food, warmth, protection and affection.
They normally accept what they are told by their parents as true, uncritically. They also need guidance on what they may and may not do. Their greatest emotional needs are for protection and affection, for without these they cannot learn to trust either itself or anyone else. The church must help to pass on to the child its history, its doctrinal and moral teachings. Adolescence — Critical This is a time when the mind begins to question.
We try to discover some unity and meaning in the multiplicity of sense impressions, facts, teachings, beliefs and experiences presented to us. We develop plans for the future — based on a theory about our lives. Adolescents do not accept obedience that is unquestioning acceptance of whatever is presented by the teaching authority — they want to criticise, read, and listen to opposing theories.
True Christianity is always critical, questioning and continually developing in its understanding of God and of human life. Adulthood — Mystical The characteristic of adulthood is a growing awareness of inner consciousness, of the complexity of feeling and emotion within us, revealed to us through our activity, our encounters and relationships with others, our work, what we read, hear and see, and of the internal activity which results from this, our hopes and despairs, sadness and joy, fears and expectations, certainties and doubts.
As we become more conscious of this inner world, we are both attracted and frightened by it. Religion must answer this stage of growth with encouragement and guidance, fostering our imaginations and allaying our fears. Here God is encountered rather than thought about — experienced from within, rather than from without. This is the mystical element of faith. God of Surprises, by Gerard Hughes Chapter 2. A thousand years ago under English law, it was the same. And years ago under common law in the United States, it was still the same-women could marry at 12 and men at But in Western society, we generally ignore rites of passage.
And what do adults communicate to kids when they shrug their shoulders and give up on them? Douglas Coupland, author of Generation X, the seminal book on teenage and young adult culture, writes: To take them by the hand and lead them into faith maturity and adulthood. But before we can direct our teenagers through faith passages that endure as they grow older, we must know what we intend.
Rites of passage must include: Separation Taking teenagers away from the familiar and separating them from the props music, friends, family, television, and so on that define them. This could mean a retreat, a trip, or an unusual environment for an activity. Transition Crafting activities, even liturgies, that place kids in limbo between their old faith status and their new one. Expect kids to feel uncomfortable in this phase. Teenagers have a strong internal need to leave childhood behind and move into adulthood.
Rebirth Returning teenagers, through ritual, into the church and society, but now as more mature believers—adult Christians. Target teenagers who are nearing sexual maturity This may mean including guys who are older than participating girls. Involve parents peripherally, not as principal players A rite of separation should include a significant separation from parents. Years of experience proves that senior highers who move through a rite of passage without their parents have a more powerful long-term experience than those who do it with their parents.
Parents can support their kids best by giving them freedom to grow. Involve as much of the worshipping community as possible You need caring, committed adults to help your young people navigate through the separation phase and into the rebirth phase.
Prepare the church body to support each faith passage Make sure adults in the church are eagerly anticipating each rite, then celebrating with those who completed the rite. And it will get fierce for them. But we can help them weather the storm.
Back to the top of the page 9. We must look at the stages with caution and flexibility, however, because God has this rather peculiar way of interfering with my categories and people do not always fall quite as neatly into my psycho-spiritual pigeonholes as I might like them to do. Absent spirituality — people who are unprincipled. Antisocial — while people pretend to be loving their relationships are self-serving and manipulative.
Chaotic — being unprincipled they have no mechanism that governs them other than their own will. Formal — they are attached to the forms of the religion. God for people at this stage is an external being — up there, out thee — with punitive power.
They show rigorous adherence to the letter of the law and attachment to the forms of religion. They have a scientific orientation that is based on rationality. This is a stage of principled behaviour, but is characterised by religious doubt or disinterest although accompanied by inquisitiveness about other areas of life. They see the connectedness between things and speak in terms of unity, community and paradox. They love mystery — they love to solve and keep encountering spirituality.
They obey the spirit of the law. Could spiritual growth be patterned in passages or phases? Paula Rienhart suggests the outline of a basic cycle of spiritual passages that move in ever-deepening spirals from illusion through disappointment to real hope.
Stage 1 — Predictability Illusion God moves in out lives in predictable ways. Here we have a demand for certainty. Stage 2 — Disillusionment Disappointment The crisis of disillusionment occurs when God bursts the narrow categories we have defined and overwhelms our finitude. Stage 3 — Hope Deepening of Faith This stage is relational — a faith that is full of ebb and flow, a desert and a garden. Discipleship Journal, Issue 75, Ben Marshall has suggested sub-stages of faith characteristic of seventh to twelfth graders.
He has focussed on a structural perspective by attempting to locate and describe the characteristics of faith during the period from seventh to twelfth grades.
Position One teens seventh-ninth grades are still concrete in their perceptions and egocentric in their relationships. God is perceived as an old man with white hair who is distant and not directly involved with their affairs, their primary concern is for acceptance by the group. They can state their own beliefs but are not sure what others may believe. Truth becomes what is right for the individual, and relationships with peers becomes increasingly important. A new sense of self-confidence emerges that influences their relationship with God; God is now seen as a cooperating friend.
Position Three teens eleventh-twelfth grades relate to God as a source of value and principle. An increased concern for others develops, along with an interest in fulfilling life potential. Characterised by a greater realism, these youth have a more responsive love for God than those in the earlier positions. He proposed a three-stage model of religious maturity, based on his idea of the development of religious sentiments.
These sentiments are religious beliefs, energised by emotions, leading to religious and secular behaviour that, to one degree or another, are consonant.
In the first stage, of raw credulity, the child basically accepts and believes what he is told regarding God and religion without question. In the second stage, usually during adolescence, one wrestles with doubts and begins to test the indoctrinated beliefs.
In the final stage, usually in adulthood, doubts and faith alter back and forth, and the person lives with ambiguity.
Erik Erikson and Child Development
Some develop mature faith that is characterised by finding more strength in the affirmations of faith than in the doubts, Others develop disbelief, or atheism, in which the strengths of doubts predominates over the strengths of affirmations of faith.
The remainder, the agnostics, are those whose doubts develop to a point of about equal strength with faith affirmations. The discovery that objects are conserved despite their sensory absence prepares the toddler for the idea that God might be present even though not observed; and it prepares the school-age child for the belief in life after death, a belief which meets the cognitive need for conservation.
Language and symbolic representation enable the child to seek to determine how God can be represented in myths, icons, words of Scripture, etc. The development of logical thinking, in late childhood, marks the time that the child works towards understanding the relationship between self and God and begins relating to God upon that understanding through personal prayer and worship. As formal operations develop, the adolescent moves beyond conventional standards of morality towards the construction of his or her own moral principles.
This theological framework is confronted throughout the rest of the life span, as the meaning of life persists throughout adulthood. Journal of Psychology and Theology,Vol 25, no 1, Page The Preschooler In the early years of life the seeds of faith are sown. The Child The child goes to school and their world enlarges; so they begin to develop straightforward beliefs and assume a wider perspective.
The Young Adolescent Their world keeps expanding and they can think abstractly. They are beginning to make life long decisions. Should parents fail to provide a secure environment and to meet the child's basic needs; a sense of mistrust will result. If caregivers are consistent sources of food, comfort, and affection, an infant learns trust — that others are dependable and reliable.
If they are neglectful, or perhaps even abusive, the infant instead learns mistrust — that the world is an undependable, unpredictable, and possibly a dangerous place. While negative, having some experience with mistrust allows the infant to gain an understanding of what constitutes dangerous situations later in life; yet being at the stage of infant or toddler, it is a good idea not to put them in prolonged situations of mistrust: Is It Okay to Be Me?
As the child gains control over eliminative functions and motor abilitiesthey begin to explore their surroundings. Parents still provide a strong base of security from which the child can venture out to assert their will. The parents' patience and encouragement helps foster autonomy in the child. Children at this age like to explore the world around them and they are constantly learning about their environment.
Caution must be taken at this age while children may explore things that are dangerous to their health and safety. At this age children develop their first interests. For example, a child who enjoys music may like to play with the radio. Children who enjoy the outdoors may be interested in animals and plants. Highly restrictive parents, however, are more likely to instill in the child a sense of doubt, and reluctance to attempt new challenges.
As they gain increased muscular coordination and mobility, toddlers become capable of satisfying some of their own needs. They begin to feed themselves, wash and dress themselves, and use the bathroom. If caregivers encourage self-sufficient behavior, toddlers develop a sense of autonomy—a sense of being able to handle many problems on their own. But if caregivers demand too much too soon, or refuse to let children perform tasks of which they are capable, or ridicule early attempts at self-sufficiency, children may instead develop shame and doubt about their ability to handle problems.
Guilt locomotor-genital, Early Childhood, 5—8 years [ edit ] Existential Question: Initiative adds to autonomy the quality of planning, undertaking and attacking a task for the sake of just being active and on the move.
The child is learning to master the world around them, learning basic skills and principles of physics. Things fall down, not up.
They learn how to zip and tie, count and speak with ease. At this stage, the child wants to begin and complete their own actions for a purpose. Guilt is a confusing new emotion. They may feel guilty over things that logically should not cause guilt. They may feel guilt when this initiative does not produce desired results. The development of courage and independence are what set preschoolers, ages three to six years of age, apart from other age groups.
Young children in this category face the challenge of initiative versus guilt. As described in Bee and Boyd the child during this stage faces the complexities of planning and developing a sense of judgment. During this stage, the child learns to take initiative and prepare for leadership and goal achievement roles. Activities sought out by a child in this stage may include risk-taking behaviors, such as crossing a street alone or riding a bike without a helmet; both these examples involve self-limits.
Within instances requiring initiative, the child may also develop negative behaviors. These negative behaviors are a result of the child developing a sense of frustration for not being able to achieve a goal as planned and may engage in negative behaviors that seem aggressive, ruthless, and overly assertive to parents. Aggressive behaviors, such as throwing objects, hitting, or yelling, are examples of observable behaviors during this stage.
Preschoolers are increasingly able to accomplish tasks on their own, and can start new things. With this growing independence comes many choices about activities to be pursued. Sometimes children take on projects they can readily accomplish, but at other times they undertake projects that are beyond their capabilities or that interfere with other people's plans and activities.
If parents and preschool teachers encourage and support children's efforts, while also helping them make realistic and appropriate choices, children develop initiative—independence in planning and undertaking activities. But if, instead, adults discourage the pursuit of independent activities or dismiss them as silly and bothersome, children develop guilt about their needs and desires.
Inferiority latency, Middle Childhood, years [ edit ] Existential Question: The aim to bring a productive situation to completion gradually supersedes the whims and wishes of play. The fundamentals of technology are developed. The failure to master trust, autonomy, and industrious skills may cause the child to doubt his or her future, leading to shame, guilt, and the experience of defeat and inferiority.
Allen and Marotz  also list some perceptual cognitive developmental traits specific for this age group. Children grasp the concepts of space and time in more logical, practical ways. They gain a better understanding of cause and effect, and of calendar time. At this stage, children are eager to learn and accomplish more complex skills: They also get to form moral valuesrecognize cultural and individual differences and are able to manage most of their personal needs and grooming with minimal assistance.
Erikson viewed the elementary school years as critical for the development of self-confidence. Ideally, elementary school provides many opportunities to achieve the recognition of teachers, parents and peers by producing things—drawing pictures, solving addition problems, writing sentences, and so on.
If children are encouraged to make and do things and are then praised for their accomplishments, they begin to demonstrate industry by being diligent, persevering at tasks until completed, and putting work before pleasure. If children are instead ridiculed or punished for their efforts or if they find they are incapable of meeting their teachers' and parents' expectations, they develop feelings of inferiority about their capabilities. They may begin to choose to do more activities to pursue that interest, such as joining a sport if they know they have athletic ability, or joining the band if they are good at music.
If not allowed to discover their own talents in their own time, they will develop a sense of lack of motivation, low self-esteem, and lethargy. They may become "couch potatoes" if they are not allowed to develop interests. Role Confusion Adolescence, 13—19 years [ edit ] Existential Question: The adolescent is newly concerned with how they appear to others. Superego identity is the accrued confidence that the outer sameness and continuity prepared in the future are matched by the sameness and continuity of one's meaning for oneself, as evidenced in the promise of a career.
The ability to settle on a school or occupational identity is pleasant. In later stages of adolescence, the child develops a sense of sexual identity.
As they make the transition from childhood to adulthood, adolescents ponder the roles they will play in the adult world. Initially, they are apt to experience some role confusion—mixed ideas and feelings about the specific ways in which they will fit into society—and may experiment with a variety of behaviors and activities e.
Eventually, Erikson proposed, most adolescents achieve a sense of identity regarding who they are and where their lives are headed. The teenager must achieve identity in occupation, gender roles, politics, and, in some cultures, religion. Erikson is credited with coining the term " identity crisis ". This passage is necessary because "Throughout infancy and childhood, a person forms many identifications.
But the need for identity in youth is not met by these. This emerging sense of self will be established by 'forging' past experiences with anticipations of the future. In relation to the eight life stages as a whole, the fifth stage corresponds to the crossroads: What is unique about the stage of Identity is that it is a special sort of synthesis of earlier stages and a special sort of anticipation of later ones.
Youth has a certain unique quality in a person's life; it is a bridge between childhood and adulthood. Youth is a time of radical change—the great body changes accompanying puberty, the ability of the mind to search one's own intentions and the intentions of others, the suddenly sharpened awareness of the roles society has offered for later life.
At this point, one is in a state of 'identity confusion', but society normally makes allowances for youth to "find themselves", and this state is called 'the moratorium': The problem of adolescence is one of role confusion—a reluctance to commit which may haunt a person into his mature years. Given the right conditions—and Erikson believes these are essentially having enough space and time, a psychosocial moratorium, when a person can freely experiment and explore—what may emerge is a firm sense of identity, an emotional and deep awareness of who he or she is.
No matter how one has been raised, one's personal ideologies are now chosen for oneself.
- Erikson's stages of psychosocial development
- Erik Erickson’s 8 Stages of Development
Often, this leads to conflict with adults over religious and political orientations. Another area where teenagers are deciding for themselves is their career choice, and often parents want to have a decisive say in that role. Once someone settles on a worldview and vocation, will he or she be able to integrate this aspect of self-definition into a diverse society?
According to Erikson, when an adolescent has balanced both perspectives of "What have I got? Italics in original  Given that the next stage Intimacy is often characterized by marriage, many are tempted to cap off the fifth stage at 20 years of age. However, these age ranges are actually quite fluid, especially for the achievement of identity, since it may take many years to become grounded, to identify the object of one's fidelity, to feel that one has "come of age".
In the biographies Young Man Luther and Gandhi's TruthErikson determined that their crises ended at ages 25 and 30, respectively: Erikson does note that the time of Identity crisis for persons of genius is frequently prolonged.
He further notes that in our industrial society, identity formation tends to be long, because it takes us so long to gain the skills needed for adulthood's tasks in our technological world.