The Effects of Erikson’s Eight Stages of Life on Personality Essay

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The Effects of Erikson’s Eight Stages of Life on Personality
The personality of an individual changes and develops over a lifetime, and these changes may either help or hold one back from attaining their goals. Getting stuck in a certain stage of development may affect one mentally and socially. According to Erikson (1963) a stable, functional individual successfully progresses through each stage and shapes a personality that is unique and stable. This paper investigates the possible effects on personality of regression to an earlier stage: it is hypothesized that individuals who do not develop through the eight stages of life will have damaging issues in terms of their personality.
Erikson’s eight stages of life are as follows; Trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt, Initiative vs. Guilt, Industry vs. Inferiority, Identity vs. Role Confusion, Intimacy vs. Isolation, Generativity vs. Stagnation, and Integrity vs. Despair (Erikson, 1963). In the first stage infants are dependent on others therefore trust must be established within the infant and the adult. In the second stage children need to grow a sense of independence from the adult caregiver seeing as they were so dependent in the previous stage. In the third stage children need to experience a sense of power but it cannot be overwhelming because the guilt will come into play. In the fourth stage is where the child needs to develop coping mechanisms to deal with new social and academic commands. In the fifth stage is when teens need to develop a sense of self and personal identity to stay true to themselves. In the seventh stage is where you learn to form intimate, loving relationships with others. The eighth stage is where adults need to create and nurture th...

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... the next in the stated order. Finally, determining what factors correlate with the affects of personality depending on the stage of life can have affects.

Works Cited

Domino, George; Affonso, Dyanne D. (1990). Journal of Personality Assessment, 54(3/4), p576,
Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and Society (2nd ed.). NY: Norton.
James, Jacquelyn Boone; Zarrett, Nicole. (2005). Journal of Adult Development, 12(4), p155-
167, 13p1 Diagram, 5 Charts; DOI: 10.1007/s10804-005-7084-y
Roseborough, David. (2003). Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 8(2/3),
p29-53, 25p DOI: 10.1300/J137v8n02_03
Singer, Jerome L.; Singer, Dorothy G. (1972). Annual Review of Psychology, 23(1) p375, 38p
Sneed, Joel R.; Whitbourne, Susan Krauss; Culang, Michelle E. (2006).Journal of Adult
Development, 13(3/4), p148-157, 10p DOI: 10.1007/s10804-007-9026-3

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