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Erikson’s Psychosocial theory  Psychosocial is a description of the relation between an individual’s emotional needs and the social environment around.

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Presentation on theme: "Erikson’s Psychosocial theory  Psychosocial is a description of the relation between an individual’s emotional needs and the social environment around."— Presentation transcript:

1 Erikson’s Psychosocial theory  Psychosocial is a description of the relation between an individual’s emotional needs and the social environment around him or her.  According to this theory, at critical ages, people experience developmental crises, specific conflicts whose resolution prepares the way for the next stage.

2 Erikson’s Psychosocial theory Person Environment First conflict: trust vs. mistrust. A baby in a supportive environment (where parents are dependable and responsive to the child), learns to trust people. A baby in a chaotic, non-supportive environment learns that people cannot be trusted. The baby learns this lesson because babies must depend on other people to survive. At no other time in our lives are we normally so dependent. This is why we learn this lesson at this stage of life. What we learn about trust at this early age influences how we deal with people for much of the rest of our lives.

3 Erikson’s Psychosocial theory Person Environment Adolescents deal with “identity vs. role confusion.” At this point in their lives, adolescents have developed many of the cognitive skills they will use as adults and their bodies have become adult. Thus, they need to learn “who they are” in the world. Their environment (parents, teachers, etc.) can be supportive of this process or restrictive in some significant way. Adolescents who successfully resolve this conflict develop a strong sense of self. Adolescents who don’t will struggle with their identity for many years.

4 Erikson’s Theory of Personal Development Life events Erikson stages Born: helpless & dependent on others for survival Trust vs. Mistrust Caregivers help (trust) or they don’t (mistrust) Ages 1-3 Learn basic self care, including toilet training Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt Children’s mistakes in learning to care for self are either considered normal or they are excessively punished Autonomy means independence. Ages 3-6 Beginning to learn about the world and how to operate in it. Initiative vs. Guilt Explorations are either supported by caregivers or thwarted. Initiative is willingness to begin new activities and explore new ideas.

5 Erikson’s Theory of Personal Development, continued Life events Erikson stages Ages 6-12 Begins school, develops academically and intellectually Industry vs. Inferiority Learns how to work and succeed academically or else does not learn these skills Ages Adolescence, puberty, beginning to become adult Identity vs. Confusion Develops own identity separate from family or else fails to do this. Young adulthood Chooses permanent relationships Intimacy vs. Isolation Chooses to be in significant relationships or else may not be emotionally able to sustain intimate relationships Industry is eagerness to engage in productive work.

6 Erikson’s Theory of Personal Development, continued Life events Erikson stages Middle adulthood Working (either on a job or at home raising children) Generativity vs. Stagnation Feels like one’s work is a contribution or not Old age Facing death, assessing one’s life Integrity vs. Despair Feels as if life has been well-lived—or not Generativity: sense of concern for future generations Integrity: sense of self-acceptance and fulfillment

7 Remembering Erikson’s stages  Remember the positive term and something about the age. Then connect the negative term. Baby, TRUST (when kids are born they have to trust that others will care for them) opposite is MISTRUST Baby, TRUST (when kids are born they have to trust that others will care for them) opposite is MISTRUST Toddler, AUTONOMY (toddlers are working at becoming independent. When they are scolded in potty training, they feel SHAME & DOUBT) Toddler, AUTONOMY (toddlers are working at becoming independent. When they are scolded in potty training, they feel SHAME & DOUBT) Preschooler, INITIATIVE (preschoolers want to learn about the world. When they are held back, they feel GUILT). Preschooler, INITIATIVE (preschoolers want to learn about the world. When they are held back, they feel GUILT). Elementary, INDUSTRY (kids learn how to work at school or else they feel INFERIORITY) Elementary, INDUSTRY (kids learn how to work at school or else they feel INFERIORITY) Teens, IDENTITY (teens develop own identity or else confusion— IDENTITY CONFUSION) Teens, IDENTITY (teens develop own identity or else confusion— IDENTITY CONFUSION) Twenties, INTIMACY (young adults choose relationships or become ISOLATED) Twenties, INTIMACY (young adults choose relationships or become ISOLATED) Mid life, GENERATIVITY (middle adults feel their life work is worthwhile or feel STAGNATED) Mid life, GENERATIVITY (middle adults feel their life work is worthwhile or feel STAGNATED) Old age, INTEGRITY (can be peaceful about death because life was well lived or else DESPAIR) Old age, INTEGRITY (can be peaceful about death because life was well lived or else DESPAIR)

8 Resolutions to Erikson’s stages  Positive  Trust vs. Mistrust: trust in themselves and others. Relaxed positive attitude.  Autonomy vs. shame and doubt: good sense and command of their will power. Feel free to be themselves.  Initiative vs. guilt: believe they know how the world works. Clear sense of what they want in life.  Negative  Trust vs. Mistrust: see the world as inconsistent and threatening. See life as not predictable, and view good things as temporary.  Autonomy vs. shame and doubt: fear being exposed as inadequate. Attempt to hide their feelings of powerlessness.  Initiative vs. guilt: fear of being inadequate and of making mistakes. Self-restrictive and sometimes overconscientious. This is the evidence you will see in a person’s life for how they resolved each of these stages. Continued, next slide

9 Resolutions to Erikson’s stages  Positive  Industry vs. inferiority: relish achievement and like to tackle challenging tasks.  Identity vs. confusion: know who they are, what their goals are, and where they’re going.  Intimacy vs. isolation: commit to partnerships and have the ethics to abide by the commitments to friends and significant others.  Negative  Industry vs. inferiority: feel inadequate, incapable, and estranged. Lack ambition.  Identity vs. confusion: see conflict in who they are and what they would like to be.  Intimacy vs. isolation: self- absorbed. Identity is too fragile to maintain the uncertainties of intimacy. Continued, next slide How can you, as a teacher, help students to resolve these conflicts positively?

10 Resolutions to Erikson’s stages  Positive  Generativity vs. stagnation: concern for creation of better world. Focus on service to others.  Integrity vs. despair: feel their lives have meaning and significance  Negative  Generativity vs. stagnation: lack long- term goals and commitments. Live for short-term gratification.  Integrity vs. despair: view life as filled with missed opportunities What should a person do when a conflict has been resolved negatively? This is where exploring the past through journaling and talking with a trusted person (friend, counselor, pastor, etc.) can help a whole lot. When we have information about our past and its effects, we can make decisions so that it no longer has as much influence on us.

11 Comparing Erikson & Piaget PiagetErikson Mechanism for growth Drive for equilibrium (assimilation & accommodation) Brain development Crises at critical ages (when a person’s social & emotional tasks change) Focus of theory Cognitive Development Emotional Development InfancySensorimotor Trust vs. Mistrust ToddlerPreoperational Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt (this stage begins a little earlier than preoperational) Pre-schoolPreoperational Initiative vs. Guilt Elementary school Concrete Operational Industry vs. Inferiority Adolescence Formal Operations Identity vs. Confusion Young Adulthood Formal Operations Intimacy vs. Isolation Middle Adulthood Formal Operations Generativity vs. Stagnation Elderly Formal Operations Integrity vs. Despair

12 Erikson in the classroom  Be aware of the stage(s) your students are in.  Offer opportunities to engage with aspects of that stage. Pre-schoolers need support for taking initiative. Elementary students need support for learning how to work effectively. Adolescents need opportunities to explore their own identities.  Scaffold the opportunities you offer so students can experience success. For example, if a child has a hard time working independently for an hour, cut back on the time until the child can succeed and then start extending the time.

13 Erikson in the classroom  Encourage initiative in pre-school students. Give them choices, provide opportunities and support for them to succeed, and help them learn how to deal with their mistakes in a positive way.  Encourage industry with elementary and middle school students. Help them to work independently by giving them short assignments and then longer ones. Give them opportunities to demonstrate and use their sense of responsibility. Provide extra support for students who seem to be struggling with this.

14 Vocabulary Autono- mous morality Collective self-esteem Crisis Empathy External morality Identity Internalization Inter- personal harmony stage Law and order stage Market exchange stage Moral dilemma Personal develop- ment Perspective taking Proactive aggression Punish- ment- obedience stage Self-concept Self-esteem Self-worth Social conventions Social contract stage Social develop- ment Social problem solving Universal principles stage Puberty Anorexia nervosa BulimiaPsychosocial Develop- mental crisis Autonomy Initiative Industry Identity achievement Moratorium Identity foreclosure Identity diffusion Integrity Generativity Bioecological model Blended families Parenting styles Relational aggression Overt aggression Hostile aggression Instrumental aggression Nigrescence Racial and ethnic pride Theory of mind Morality of cooperation Moral realism Distributive justice Moral reasoning


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