A good goal of life is to pass through its dominant phases on their plus sides and thereby reap the id (libido) fair and square. Thus, as an infant you may gain trust, wellbeing and good sharing. How justified such a positive outcome is, depends largely on the mother figure involved, on the likely outcomes of the postivity later, and on the conditions for growth. A table gives a rough outline, and not nuances and qualifications. There are many books that deal with sad outcomes of the developmental challenges. Neuroses are the milder ones. There are books on such issues below.
Stage (age) 1 (0-1) - infant
Psychosocial crisis: Trust v mistrust
Significant relations: Mother
Psychosocial modalities: To get, to give in return
Psychosocial virtues: Hope, faith
Maladaptations and malignancies: Sensory distortion - withdrawal
Stage (age) 2 (2-3) - toddler
Psychosocial crisis: autonomy v shame and doubt
Significant relations: parents
Psychosocial modalities: to hold on, to let go
Psychosocial virtues: will, determination
Maladaptations and malignancies: impulsivity - compulsion
Stage (age) 3 (3-6) - preschooler
Psychosocial crisis: initiative v guilt
Significant relations: family
Psychosocial modalities: to go after, to play
Psychosocial virtues: purpose, courage
Maladaptations and malignancies: ruthlessness - inhibition
Stage (age) 4 (7-12 or so) - school-age child
Psychosocial crisis: industry v inferiority
Significant relations: neighbourhood and school
Psychosocial modalities: to complete, to make things together
Psychosocial virtues: competence
Maladaptations and malignancies: narrow virtuosity - inertia
Stage (age) 5 (12-18 or so) - adolescence
Psychosocial crisis: ego-identity v role-confusion
Significant relations: peer groups, role models
Psychosocial modalities: to be oneself, to share oneself
Psychosocial virtues: fidelity, loyalty
Maladaptations and malignancies: fanaticism - repudiation
Stage (age) 6 (the 20s) - young adult
Psychosocial crisis: intimacy v isolation
Significant relations: partners, friends
Psychosocial modalities: to lose and find oneself in a another
Psychosocial virtues: love
Maladaptations and malignancies: promiscuity - exclusivity
Stage (age) 7 (late 20s to 50's) - middle adult
Psychosocial crisis: generativity v self-absorption
Significant relations: household, workmates
Psychosocial modalities: to make be, to take care of
Psychosocial virtues: care
Maladaptations and malignancies: overextension - rejectivity
Stage (age) 8 (50s and beyond) - old adult
Psychosocial crisis: integrity v despair
Significant relations: mankind or "my kind"
Psychosocial modalities: to be, through having been, to face not being wisdom
Psychosocial virtues: wisdom
Maladaptations and malignancies: presumption - despair
Stage (age) 9 (added) - of a postulated, ripe old age
Psychosocial crisis: Being oneself and tidying up v game-playing social strategems.
Significant relations: God.
Psychosocial modalities: Doing away with masks, and with role-enacting and social pretences.
Psychosocial virtues: Transcending old customs and other forms of comme il faut. Having a "last chance" to be in the limelight somehow.
Maladaptations and malignancies: Groaning, yet keen on (figurative) pair-dances.
Comment. A ninth stage, Old Age, has been eluded to by Erikson's widow Joan Erikson in The Life Cycle Completed. The stage is, suggestedly, "Transcendance" (!) with the virtue of "faith".
Should I add to that? I would decide to call that dance a pavane, a slow processional dance. It is danced to in pairs. The dancers usually step forward, lift up their legs, and point their toes. Historically, in the 1600s the pavane flourished again with under French name tombeau (tombstone). And outcomes of the stage seem to be (a) showing one's true colours, thowing the masks, versus (b) wearing masks and make-ups - the forms of disguises. It should not be considered flattering not to have done away with "masks", including role-enacting", in the "pavane stage". That is my opinion.
How to relate the ninth stage to the one(s) before? Wisdom takes us to being ourselves at least, and preferably to showing ourselves too, while we have a last chance to do it. On the other hand, the other "road" of pretence and presumption may lead into masks that stick, but with despair underneath. Further, I hardly think "faith" is into the Pavane Stage, contrary to Joan Erikson, but a deeper integrity than that of youth.
The first five and the others
For decades Erikson's concept of eight stages of human development has deeply influenced the field of psychology in our times. According to Erik Erikson there are eight life stages. The five first of them relate to the five stages in Sigmund Freud's theory of libido (id) development, but Erikson expands the Freudian views into the socal sphere too, and his widow, Joan Erikson, postulates an added ninth stage.
Erikson thinks that as a grown-up, part of your challenge is to master the quite typical challenges that each of three main life phases tends to bring. Each of the eight stages of the life-span is marked by (a) psychosocial sensitivity (maybe "crisis" is a somewhat ill-chosen word); (b) significant relations; (c) things to go for or prefer; (d) marked or profiled virtues; and (e) thare are also risks of maldaptations and malignancies.
A beneficient goal of life is to pass through the phases on their plus sides, without plots, disturbances, thwartings, opposing enemies on every hand - so as to prosper and live well. Some stumbling is difficult to avoid, especially in the sensitive start phases of each phase, and where others are ruthless.
One or more of these stages may be involved in encounters. Below are the eight life-stage virtues again, in the order they may be acquired, according to Erikson:
The American psychoanalyst and developmental psychologist Erikson was born in Frankfurt am Main to Danish parents. His writings on individual identity conjunct with social developments and interactions influenced many, and became quite popular, and Erikson is famous for coining the phrase identity crisis.
While young, Erikson Erikson, a student and teacher of arts, and travelled around Europe and underwent training at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute to become a psychoanalyst. He also studied the Montessori method of education, which focused on child development. In 1933 he emigrated to the United States and establishing a solid reputation as an outstanding clinician. He taught at Harvard (1933–36; 1960–70) and engaged in a variety of clinical work. He sought to study how the ego, or consciousness, operates creatively in sane, well-ordered individuals.
Influenced by studies among Native Americans, Erikson set forth a theory that all societies develop institutions to accommodate personality development but that the solutions to similar problems differ between different societies.
His first major exposition on psychosocial development, Childhood and Society (1950), was ten years in the making. (1950). Erikson conceived eight stages of development, each confronting the individual with its own psychosocial demands. Personality development, says Erikson, takes place through a series of crises - I would say sensitive periods - that must be overcome - I would say successfully resolved - There is a series of such ongoing stages. The first five stages of his are heavily influenced by the theory of Freud. A successful outcome of one stage makes it easier to pass through the next stage without damage.
Erikson postulated three more stages of development than Sigmund Freud had done with his psychosexual stages. The ninth stage was added in Erikson's book "The Life Cycle Completed." Most empirical research into Erikson's theories has focused on his views about how adolescents seek to establish an identity. His theoretical approach has found support as well.
Erikson applied his insights into human nature on historical figures like Gandhi and Martin Luther. He linked psychoanalysis to history, political science, philosophy, and theology.
Healthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrity enough not to fear death.
Every society consists of men in the process of developing from children into parents.
The playing child advances forward to new stages of mastery . . . Child's play is the infantile form of the human ability to deal with experience by creating model situations and to master reality by experiment and planning.
Freud was once asked what he thought a normal person should be able to do well. Freud said: "Lieben und arbeiten" (to love and to work). It pays to ponder on this simple formula; it gets deeper as you think about it.
The adolescent is faced with the question: freedom from what and at what price?
Let models help thinking
If chronological age were all that go into one's development, the model Heidi Glum (1971-) is in her seventh phase according to a scheme of Erikson. In that life phase a central issue has to do with generativity and self-absorption.
Cindy Crawford appears to have chosen generativity. Now, in the seventh life phase, significant focus is directed to workmates or household relations, and a deep need to take care of (others) should emerge. Care would be fit. If so, good luck with that.
Erikson, Erik H. Childhood and Society. Reissue paperback ed. New York: Norton and Co., 1993. ⍽▢⍽ Erikson's epigenetic scheme is here.
⸻. Dimensions of a New Identity. Paperback ed. New York: Norton and Co., 1979.
⸻. Identity: Youth and Crisis. Reissue paperback ed. New York: Norton and Co., 1994.
⸻. The Life Cycle Completed (Extended Version). New York: Norton and Co., 1999.
⸻. Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History (Austen Riggs Monograph). Reissue paperback ed. New York: Norton and Co., 1993.
Ewen, Robert. B. An Introduction to Theories of Personality. New York: Psychology Press, 2014. ⍽▢⍽ Chapter 8 is devoted to Erik Erikson's theories. The book gives a good overview of great theorists and their various contributions.
Fenichel, Otto. The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis. Abingdon, UK: Taylor and Francis, 2005 (1946).
Freud, Sigmund. Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego. London: The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psychoanalysis, 1949 (1922).
⸻. On Sexuality: Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality and Other Works. New ed. Paperback. New York: Basic Books, 2000.
Hoare, Carol Hren. Erikson on Development in Adulthood: New Insights from the Unpublished Papers. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. ⍽▢⍽ Professor Hoare exposes Erikson's substantial contributions. Here is a synthesis of Erikson's views on adult development during the life span. During the last decades of his life, adult development was Erikson's main interest.
Horney, Karen. Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis. New York: Norton and Co., 1945.
Wikipedia, s.v. "Erik Erikson", and "Erikson's stages of psychosocial development".
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