Erikson Life Course Analysis

1500 Words6 Pages
The life course perspective is a theoretical model that has been emerging over the last four decades. Sociologists, anthropologists, social historians, psychologists and demographers all have contributed to give it shape (Hutchison: no date). A life course can be considered as the way and journey of a person from birth to death. It is formed and impacted by the activities, occasions, events and encounters in an individuals’ life (Crawford and Walker: 2007). Exploring the life and experiences that have influenced it is an important stage in learning the significance of life course development and its impact on social work practice. Human development from life course perspective is defined as “a view point that considers the whole of a life (from…show more content…
His model of ‘eight stages of psychosocial development’ explains that the human development process is influenced by the society, culture, personal circumstances, relationships and environment. He considers that identity, emotions, thoughts and personalities are formed through the associations between the individuals, the society and the circumstances in which they live in. He speaks about the development challenges and conflicts individuals have to tackle in the stages of their lives (Crawford and walker: 2007). The ability to deal with these challenges and conflicts can be the source of gaining vital expertise, skills and strength for the next stages. Although successful conclusion of each stage is not entirely critical, failure can be detrimental to the development of the personality, character and self- regard and, may possibly bring about developmental stagnation, whereas assistance and support can help to overcome this obstacle (Trevithick: 2012). Mrs C is in Erickson’s middle adulthood life stage, within which Erickson describes the challenge of ‘generativity versus stagnation’. As described above success in a life stage is considerably important for the preparation of the next stage. Erickson relates five stages of his model to the early years of life and three further stages into adulthood. He considers the adolescent period as a critical stage for developing a person’s identity, but suggests that growth and development can be achieved throughout life (McLeod: 2008). In Mrs C’s case some of her difficulties may arise from her adolescent years or childhood experiences for example, her hoarding was perhaps developed as a coping mechanism for stressful or traumatic events in her life and due to her social isolation. She may have found comfort in collecting items to have a sense of possession and attached feelings and emotions to these items rather than people.
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