- Psychosocial Conflict: Generativity Versus Stagnation
- Major Question: "How can I contribute to the world?"
- Basic Virtue: Care
- Important Event(s): Parenthood and Work
Generativity versus stagnation is the seventh stage of Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. This stage takes place during middle adulthood between the ages of approximately 40 and 65. During this time, adults strive to create or nurture things that will outlast them; often by having children or contributing to positive changes that benefits other people.
Contributing to society and doing things to benefit future generations are important needs at the generativity versus stagnation stage of development. Generativity refers to "making your mark" on the world, through caring for others, creating things and accomplishing things that make the world a better place.
Stagnation refers to the failure to find a way to contribute. These individuals may feel disconnected or uninvolved with their community and with society as a whole.
Those who are successful during this phase will feel that they are contributing to the world by being active in their home and community. Those who fail to attain this skill will feel unproductive and uninvolved in the world.
Return to The Psychosocial Stages
Erikson, E.H. (1968). Identity: Youth and Crisis. New York: Norton.
Erikson, E.H. (1963). Childhood and Society. (2nd ed.). New York: Norton.