Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development

Erik Erikson’s theory of the stages of psychosocial development, first presented in the 1950s and refined over the course of his life, is fundamental to the understanding of an individual’s personality development over the course of the life span. Erikson proposed that personality development was a process that evolved through the interaction between biological, psychological, social/cultural, and historical factors. Erikson described eight psychosocial “crises” (or conflicts) that individuals face over the life span as they interact with their environment. Erikson proposed that each crisis must be resolved before individuals are prepared to move to the next stage and that unresolved conflicts at one stage influence development at later stages. According to Erikson, the sequence of the stages represents successive development of the component parts of ...

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