Erikson Lifespan Development Theory

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From the moment we are conceived, to the day we die, we are constantly changing and developing. While some of the changes we undergo are a result of chance incidents and personal choices, the vast majority of life changes and stages we pass through are due to biological, socioeconomic environmental, and psychological birth rights environments and shared by all people. Our Lifespan Development topic centres are intentional to afford an overview of the important collective developmental stages that human beings pass through: the prenatal period, between conception and birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age and finally death. This essay focuses on the two stages, these are drawn from the eight stages of the Erikson theory, and we…show more content…
Erikson's first psychosocial crisis occurs during the first year of life. The predicament is one of trust vs. mistrust. In the course of this stage, the infant is uncertain about the world in which they live in, then to resolve these feelings of uncertainty, the infant looks towards their primary caregiver for stability and consistency of care. If the care the infant receives is consistent, predictable and reliable, then they will develop a sense of trust which they will carry with to other relationships and feel secure. However, should the care be punishing or unpredictable, then the infant will develop a sense of mistrust and will not have confidence in the world around them or in their abilities to influence events. This infant will carry the basic perception of mistrust with them into other relationships. It may result in anxiety, heightened insecurities, and a feeling of mistrust in the world around them. Langley, T.…show more content…
Despite experiencing an adverse environment during development, people have the potential to become healthy individuals in the psychosocial sense of the word (Duncan et al, 2003). Erikson does not refer much to the resilience of humans in his theory, except to state that people can go back and positively resolve stages that were previously negatively actualized. (Louw et al, 1999). An example of human resilience would be, despite many South Africans having lived with political, racial and educational oppression from childhood, some of them have risen above their circumstances, educated themselves and gone on to lead successful lives financially, socially and emotionally as adults (Jordaan & Jordaan, 1998). As quoted in Freeman's article "The fact that so many people have managed to survive abominable circumstances is, as Straker et al. (1992) put it, 'a tribute to the human spirit's capacity to deal with adversity'"(1993, p.158). Therefore, human resilience is important when applied to the South African context, however has limited presence in Erikson's
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