|Infancy (birth to 18 months)
||Trust vs. Mistrust
||Children develop a sense of trust when caregivers provide reliabilty, care, and affection. A lack of this will lead to mistrust.
|Early Childhood (2 to 3 years)
||Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
||Children need to develop a sense of personal control over physical skills and a sense of independence. Success leads to feelings of autonomy, failure results in feelings of shame and doubt.
|Preschool (3 to 5 years)
||Initiative vs. Guilt
||Children need to begin asserting control and power over the environment. Success in this stage leads to a sense of purpose. Children who try to exert too much power experience disapproval, resulting in a sense of guilt.
|School Age (6 to 11 years)
||Industry vs. Inferiority
||Children need to cope with new social and academic demands. Success leads to a sense of competence, while failure results in feelings of inferiority.
|Adolescence (12 to 18 years)
||Identity vs. Role Confusion
||Teens need to develop a sense of self and personal identity. Success leads to an ability to stay true to yourself, while failure leads to role confusion and a weak sense of self.
|Young Adulthood (19 to 40 years)
||Intimacy vs. Isolation
||Young adults need to form intimate, loving relationships with other people. Success leads to strong relationships, while failure results in loneliness and isolation.
|Middle Adulthood (40 to 65 years)
||Generativity vs. Stagnation
||Work and Parenthood
||Adults need to create or nurture things that will outlast them, often by having children or creating a positive change that benefits other people. Success leads to feelings of usefulness and accomplishment, while failure results in shallow involvement in the world.
|Maturity(65 to death)
||Ego Integrity vs. Despair
||Reflection on Life
||Older adults need to look back on life and feel a sense of fulfillment. Success at this stage leads to feelings of wisdom, while failure results in regret, bitterness, and despair.
Learn more about psychosocial theories and Erik Erikson in the following articles:
- Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development
Learn more about Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development. According to Erikson, each stage plays a major role in the development of personality and psychological skills.
- Biography of Erik Erikson
Erik Erikson's stage theory of psychosocial development contributed to our understanding of personality development throughout the lifespan. Learn more about his life, career, and how early experiences led to his interest in identity
Learn more about other theories of personality in the following articles:
- Psychosexual Development
Freud's stages of psychosexual development is on of the best known personality theories, but also one of the most controversial. Learn more about the psychosexual stages of development.
- Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs emphasizes the importance of self-actualization and is often pictured as a pyramid. Learn more about the five levels in Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
- Personality Psychology Study Guide
Personality psychology seeks to understand and describe the development of personality. This study guide offers an overview, timeline, theories, important figures, and study questions about personality.
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