Erikson 's Third Stage Of Psychosocial Development Essay

Erikson 's Third Stage Of Psychosocial Development Essay

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Erikson 's third stage of psychosocial development is Initiative vs. Guilt. This stage generally occurs between ages of 3 to 6 years, and during this stage the child initiates new activities and considers new ideas. The child demonstrates an increased interest in exploring the world, and as a result the child becomes involved and busy. Children often become aware of their personhood in the Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt stage of psychosocial development, and so often times during the Initiative vs. Guilt stage of development they attempt to make sense of what type of person they are going to be. Children during this stage of development often embrace the phrase "Why?". They are also often eager to collaborate with other children to construct new things, and they often take initiative to explore beyond their family into the new world. In addition, children begin to imitate, and idealize those working adults who play a role in their lives. During the Initiative vs. Guilt stage of development a child must maintain a favorable balance of initiative over guilt because doing so allows for the production of the virtue of purpose or the "courage to envisage and pursue valued and tangible goals guided by conscience but not paralyzed by guilt and the fear of punishment (Poole, 2011).
Constant criticism of a child during the Initiative vs. Guilt stage of development leads to feelings of guilt and the child often feels a lack of purpose. Guilt also arises when adults constantly correct and discipline a child for exercising their developing mental power, and locomotor skills. Two polarities of behavior may result when a child feels a sense of guilt; At one extreme the child may engage in behaviors of flight, withdrawal, or a fear of starting t...


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...lue system and the capacity to maintain loyalties freely made in spite of unavoidable contradictions to value systems" (Poole, 2011).
Adolescents who are not able to establish a meaningful definition of self will often experience confusion in one or more roles of life. Adolescents who are unable to establish a meaningful sense of self may also exhibit role confusion evidenced by delinquency, cynicism, apathy, and an inability to settle on an occupational identity (Poole, 2011). Erikson states that a strong doubt of one 's ethnic and sexual identity or role confusion can often lead to delinquent and psychotic incidents. He states that when children are bewildered by some unassumed role or a role is forced on them they often run in one way or another; leaving schools and jobs, staying out all night, or withdrawing into bizarre and inaccessible moods (Erikson, 1959).

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