Stages of Development: Erikson vs. Freud

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In 1905 Sigmund Freud theorized that childhood development happens in stages, which are called “Psychosexual Development Stages.” In 1950 Erik Erikson developed “Psychosocial Stages,” which are greatly influenced by Freud’s theories. Freud’s theory centers on psychosexual energy or the libido. Erickson’s theory centers on issues and tasks being met at specific ages. Even though we are sexual beings, our developmental stages do not focus entirely on sexual pleasures. Both theories do show that personality develops in stages. Although, Erickson’s theory is the better theory.
A few differences, is Freud’s theory focuses on sexual pleasure, and when failure occurs the individual becomes fixated on that failure, which could lead to personality disorders. Erickson’s theory centers on tasks, and issues needing to be completed at specific ages. He believed that if one fails to complete a stage successfully, they move on to the next stage with remnants of the previous stage. Those unfinished remnants, could follow an individual into adulthood and lead to problems in relationships, both with partners and with children that they conceive.
The first stage is age’s birth through one. Freud calls this stage the Oral Stage. The main source of pleasure is derived through the mouth such as eating, sucking, and tasting. The child can develop trust with the caregiver since they are the source of feeding the child. McLeod said, “Freud said oral stimulation could lead to an oral fixation in later life. We see oral personalities all around us such as smokers, nail-biters, finger-chewers, and thumb suckers” (McLeod 11). Erickson calls this stage trust vs. mistrust. This is one of the most important stages in a child’s life. The chil...

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...pped it will not necessarily scar us for life. If a part is skipped in Erikson’s theory, it could lead to mental issues, like depression or psychosis. The whole person concept as both base and mental is a necessary part of development. That is what makes Erikson’s theory better.

Works Cited

McLeod, Saul. "Erik Erikson." Psychosocial Stages - Simply Psychology. N.p., 2008. Web. 5 Oct 2013. .
McLeod, Saul. “Psychosexual Stages.” Psychosexual Stages-Simply Psychology. N.p., 2008 Web 25 Oct 2013. .
Boeree, Dr. C. George “Erik Erikson.” Psychology Department at Suny Stony Brook University N.p., 2007. Web. 29 Oct 2013.
Erikson, Erik H. Childhood and Society. New York: Norton, 1950 Print.
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