Erik Erikson Essay

649 words - 3 pages

Erik H. Erikson (1902 – 1994) – Identity
Erik Erikson was born June 15, 1902 in Frankfurt, Germany. “The common story was that his mother and father separated before his birth, but the closely guarded fact was that he was his mother’s child was from an extramarital union. He never saw his birth father or his mother’s first husband. His mother raised Erik for a short time on her own before re marrying and later he was adopted by his step father. The fact that his stepfather was not his biological father was concealed from him for many years. When he did finally learn the truth, he was left with a feeling of confusion about who he really was. This early experience led to his interest in the formation of identity and continued to influence his work throughout his life.
For Erikson, identity is not statical, and represents a self-image. Identity is the perception of sameness in time, and is connected ...view middle of the document...

The child begins to realize the difference between mine and yours.
Stage 3 (3-6 year) Initiative vs. Guilt
This is an important phase for letting children do things on their own, helping to create independence and responsibility and develop a feeling of self-worth.
Stage 4 (6-12 years) Industry vs. Inferiority
Through social interactions, children begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments and abilities. Encouragement is the key.
Stage 5 (12-19 years) Identity vs. Confusion
The teen years are a time of personal exploration. Those who are able to successfully forge a healthy identity develop a sense of fidelity. Those who do not complete this stage well may be left feeling confused and face a loss of identity.
Stage 6 (20-25 years) Intimacy vs. Isolation
This phase is connected to the fears of the new life – the fear of creating a family, an intimate relationship, and new roles in life.
Stage 7 (26-64 years) Generativity vs. Stagnation
Continuing to build our lives, focusing on our career and family.
Stage 8 (65 – Death years) Integrity vs. Despair
Feeling a sense of integrity if successful, if unsuccessful may feel as if their life was a waste.
These eight psychosocial phases represent a growth of the Ego. The main point of this identity crisis theory is, that they emerge not only because of the changes in the individual alone, but even more because of the change of the socio-cultural environment.

Erikson: Stage 5 Adolelescence – Age 12 – 18
Crisis: Identity vs. Role confusion
Child leaves home to start boarding school, moving from the farm and small town to a new big school in the city. There is a lot of excitement, new challenges, friends and routines. After all the excitement settles down, reality kicks in and the child starts to ask herself “Who am I?” and lots of unsettled emotions arise.
Whilst this is hard for the parents, lots of positive praise and encouragement is required. Reassure the child that those feelings of missing familiar surroundings and family are perfectly normal and it will get easier. Support the child and listen to her concerns in case there are also underlying issues occurring.


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