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the psychosocial stage of adolescents

According to Erik Erikson, personality is a universal pattern of lifelong development. Further, he explains that every human being goes through seven main psychosocial stages throughout the span of life. In this paper I am examining the psychosocial stage of adolescents, the age bracket is between 12 to 19 years. Erikson’s first two stages cater to the age bracket of birth to 3 months. His early stages are parallel with Freud’s theory, but Erikson emphasizes social context more.

Trust vs. mistrust and autonomy vs. shame. Ego strength is the basic goal of these two stages that lay the foundation for other proceeding stages. According to Erikson, these early childhoods have no gender differences.

Erikson proposed that personality development proceeds through fixed stages in terms of time duration and age and in certain bipolar dimensions. Between the ages of 3 to 5, the critical period of development is initiative vs. guilt. Then, a child proceeds to the stage of industry vs. inferiority between the years of 6 and 11.

From 13 to 19 years, the person enters adolescence, and the crucial purpose of this age is to gain self-identity vs. confusion in identity. This stage is one of the most delicate phases of life. Then, the stage is named intimacy vs. isolation. This stage starts from the age of 20 till the age of 25.

Then, the process of generativity vs. stagnation occurs at the age of 25 to 60. The final stage of integrity vs. despair happens in old age, which is above 60.

In every stage of life, conflict arises due to the clash between the newly emerging personal needs and social demands and the failure to achieve the goal of the previous stage. The crisis is a normal phenomenon that leaves both positive and negative residues behind. And it can be solved many times in the future.

In the first stage primary caregiver plays a crucial role in development, if the child fails to get trust from his/her mother (mostly), he/she can then be in the crisis of mistrust. Then, in the second stage, if the child cannot get autonomy from the parents, he/she will face a crisis of shame and doubt on the self.



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