The development theory of erik erikson Essay

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Eriksons theory of development mentions approximate periods of life, each with a corresponding crisis which, when successfully resolved, helps set up a piece of individuality. Kohlberg ‘s theory of moral development has phases linked to cognitive development through which each individual returns. My personal portrayal is broken into Erikson ‘s periods of life and discussed from the point of view of both theories.


This paper will briefly present the developmental theory by Erikson. A big part of the paper will be used to demo periods of my life harmonizing to Erikson ‘s Theory, after which I will discourse the possible effects of Kohlberg ‘s Theory and compare the two theories. I will besides briefly discourse some gender and cultural differences along the manner.

Erikson ‘s Theory

Harmonizing to Erikson ‘s theory, personality evolves through life ( Whitbourne, Sneed, & A ; Sayer, 2009 ) as a consequence of a series of crises. Each crisis is a consequence of battles in life that produce an result, either a positive consequence that helps set up a piece of individuality, or a negative failure to accomplish that piece of individuality. While these individualities can turn stronger throughout life, they do non needfully happen in fixed phases, and the declaration of these issues may happen or even be revisited at different points in life.

Erickson listed eight periods in life, each with a corresponding crisis ( Dunkel and Sefcek, 2009 ) . The periods are: Infancy, Toddlerhood, Preschool, Childhood, Adolescence, Young Adulthood, Middle Adulthood, and Late Adulthood.


The crisis in Infancy is Trust versus Mistrust ( Dunkel and Sefcek, 2009 ) . Since I do non hold parents or immediate household around me, what I remember about this period is from exposures and/or narratives from my household. I would hold to state that trust was established because there was a cohesive household unit that lasted for several decennaries, and because I ever seemed happy in the exposure. Our household was well-respected in our church community, so there is nil to take me to believe that trust was non steadfastly established.

However, this crisis was revisited several times in my life, doing me to distrust several people. For illustration, I one time invested a few thousand dollars in a concern with the status that a individual who was successful in the concern would come for one hebdomad to assist me acquire established. This individual did non maintain his word and he was really ill-mannered and opprobrious to me. I finally recovered all my money, but I was shocked to larn that person would bewray me in that mode.


The crisis in Toddlerhood is Autonomy versus Shame ( Dunkel and Sefcek, 2009 ) . I have some remembrance of this clip period, but once more, most of my memories are triggered by exposures of the household. I remember being with the household and playing in the backyard, so I know I was able to do some determinations on my ain, and I was told I was really active.

In my head, Autonomy versus Shame can be really similar to the crisis of the following period. Some of these battles were revisited in later periods of my life, and I reserve those treatments for Preschool.


The following crisis is Initiative versus Guilt ( Dunkel and Sefcek, 2009 ) . I remember more advanced drama in the vicinity during this period, researching more wherever I went, and being involved more in church activities.

From this period I remember sing guilt from errors along with a mixture of shame. I remember playing in the backyard and wetting my bloomerss. I do n’t believe I was punished, but I am certain I felt some clumsiness because I knew the state of affairs was non normal. However, there were decidedly some errors on my portion during this period. My ma told me I used to run through the racks of apparels in one shop, keeping my weaponries out and strike harding apparels on the floor. I know my parents had to supply some subject, and I truly merely retrieve feeling bad if they were displeased, partially because I may hold non developed a clear apprehension of ethical motives.

This crisis has reappeared in my life because of two negative factors. First, there have been state of affairss in my grownup life where people have blatantly disregarded and even challenged basic principals that I saw modeled by my household and their church community. This shocked me and even rocked my sense of individuality. Second, I have had several relationships where people have intimidated me, sometimes assisting me to experience ashamed or have feelings of false guilt in state of affairss where I was non to fault. I have struggled with this at times in my grownup life. A book that has been helpful to me in this respect is called “ Boundaries ” ( Cloud and Townsend, 1992 ) .


This clip period started a series of battles in my life ( and I am reasonably certain in others ‘ lives as good ) . The crisis in this period is Industry versus Inferiority ( Dunkel and Sefcek, 2009 ) . During this clip I was largely interested in drama, and there were plentifulness of chances in the vicinity with games like “ ground forces ” , and “ kick the can ” .

I bit by bit became cognizant in school that there was a group of childs who were slightly more recognized than I was, triping some feelings of lower status. Looking back I can see that most of those childs came from households who lived in a better vicinity and had a small higher economic position than our household had, but I remember experiencing slightly awkward that I did non ever fit with that group.

The feelings of lower status were offset to some grade by some of my successes. I learned to H2O ski and I won some competitions at church, a topographic point that offered positive growing and societal chances every bit good as religious benefits. Unfortunately, I can see how the tenseness of Industry versus Inferiority has continued into my big life.


The crisis in this period is Identity versus Role Confusion ( Dunkel and Sefcek, 2009 ) . In my sentiment, this period epitomizes the battles and crises of socialisation, making so in ways that can impact people for old ages. I had many involvements and had to take ( for a assortment of grounds ) non to be a athlete, but instead hone my academic and music accomplishments. I received the Band Award in junior high school, helped direct the church choir in high school, participated in a self-paced math plan, and participated in the National Honor Society. Fortunately I was still able to play with grownups on the church playground ball squad.

My adolescent old ages were a clip of people weaving their manner through relationships. By high school, pupils by and large found their manner into four groups: wetbacks, athletes, flower peoples, and heterosexuals. I was by and large considered a consecutive, but I had some friends who were athletes and wetbacks. My route to societal individuality was buffered slightly by my church friends ; nevertheless, I was non prepared for covering with romantic relationships. Painfully I learned what it was like to travel steady with a miss and subsequently interrupt up, and I discovered that long distance relationships did non last really long.

Like the old period, I feel that the crisis of this period has besides crept into my big life. There were times when I struggled to happen my individuality in the workplace and within other community relationships.

Young Adulthood

This clip period features a crisis of Intimacy versus Isolation ( Dunkel and Sefcek, 2009 ) . One portion of my individuality was settled when I got married. We have been married for 32 old ages and have four kids, all of whom are grown and have left place, although one kid has two old ages of college to complete. The household coherence brought some stableness into this period of my life. In fact, the household is likely one of my biggest successes of this period.

This period was marked with repeating battles in function confusion and lower status and by my seeking to set up relationships in my calling and other ventures. Looking back on some of the failures and rejections I can now see a approval in some of them because they kept me from traveling in the incorrect way.

Despite the failures there were some successes. I earned scholarships for college, was involved in many community activities, and was able to affect myself in my household in a permanent manner.

Middle Adulthood

The crisis in this period is Generativity versus Stagnation ( Dunkel and Sefcek, 2009 ) . In this period I have become established with an employer since 1991. During this clip I have besides gone to graduate school three more times, have helped set four kids through college, have helped take attention of two deceasing parents and settle their estate, and have helped with my in-laws. I have besides earned my pilot ‘s licence and learned to snowboard, but more significantly, I decided now is the clip to truly function God and love others because I merely have so many old ages left.

Kohlberg and Erikson

Kohlberg ‘s theory of moral logical thinking is a cognitive-developmental theoretical account ( Aquino and Reed, 2002 ) , as opposed to the psychosocial theoretical account of Erikson that requires response to societal forces.

Kohlberg ‘s Theory

Harmonizing to Kohlberg, moral development occurs as people mature in moral judgement, go throughing through phases ( Krebs and Denton, 2005 ) . Each phase becomes cognitively more sophisticated and displaces a old phase. Briefly, the phases are: avoiding interrupting regulations backed by penalty ; moving to run into one ‘s ain involvements and demands and allowing others do the same ; continuing common relationships, demoing concern for others and caring for others ; keeping the societal systems from which one benefits ; carry throughing societal duties, “ the greatest good for the greatest figure ” ; and a complex 6th phase affecting baronial ideals of brotherhood ( Crandell, Crandell, & A ; Vander Zanden, 2009 ) . The phases move from a simple fright of penalty to a more complex apprehension of societal effects.

Kohlberg ‘s theoretical account has been shown to be culturally just ( Snarey, 1985 ) . Equally far as gender goes, one survey of real-life quandary showed that females tended to hit at a higher phase that was more care-based than the males ( Wark and Krebs, 1996 ) .

Kohlberg vs. Erickson

In Erikson ‘s theory crises can be revisited at times in a individual ‘s life or even be experienced in a different sequence. Each phase represents a piece of individuality and is dependent upon the societal forces and how a individual resolves each battle. Each phase in Kohlberg ‘s moral development theory is dependent upon cognitive development and supplants old phases. Presumably a individual does non travel back to a old phase to decide anything because the construction in the current phase displaced the old constructions. Prosecuting in moral behaviour depends partially on cognitive abilities ( Aquino and Reed, 2002 ) .

The Affect of the Theories on Me

My life was documented earlier harmonizing to Erikson ‘s phases. However, there are some gender and cultural issues to see. For case, the Intimacy individuality is frequently ab initio higher in females but decelerates subsequently while this individuality continues to turn in males ( Whitbourne, 2009 ) , although an exclusion was shown in a survey where black African males scored higher than females in Intimacy ( Ochse and Plug, 1986 ) . In retrospect I believe I have seen a growing of familiarity in my life.

Psychological wellbeing has been shown to hold an consequence on the development of individuality in one survey ( Ochse and Plug, 1986 ) . Possibly during the times that I struggled with issues and my mental province suffered, I was non able to sufficiently set up the individuality I needed for that phase in my life, doing me to revisit those issues at ulterior points in my life.

Sing the gender issue mentioned earlier in Kohlberg ‘s theory, it is possible that I delayed traveling from a rule-based phase of moral development to a more caring phase because of being a male. I surely have seen that patterned advance in my life, even being raised in the church. I learned commandments and scriptural principals, but subsequently in life I realized what Jesus said: the amount of the jurisprudence and the Prophetss was to love God and love your neighbour as yourself ( Mark 12:30-31 ) .

Other Factors

Briefly puting aside these theories and the procedure of development in my life, I would wish to subject that possibly the greatest influence on me was something else: an brush with God. Who can explicate why a kid or a adult adult male, each at different phases of their lives, has an brush with God that radically changes their lives? A immature male child named Samuel heard the voice of God at a immature age and went on to be a celebrated prophesier ( I Samuel 3 ) . A spiritual Zealot named Saul, who considered himself to be inculpable harmonizing to the Judaic jurisprudence, encountered Christ in a dramatic manner ( Acts 9:1-8 ) , altering his life from a adult male who persecuted Christians to a adult male who wrote most of the New Testament. It was his brush with the Holy Spirit that gave him the grace to populate a life delighting to God, something that the jurisprudence could non make for him ( Romans 7:6 ) . I have seen people ‘s lives changed by Christ in ways that did non suit these developmental theoretical accounts, and I like to believe my brush with Christ is besides transforming my life.

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