Erikson's Theory

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IB Psychology 1 H435-2 Erikson’s psychological theory of psychosocial development in adolescents has been supported and disputed, showing many strengths and weaknesses, by a multitude of case studies most specifically Rutter et al and Espin et al. Erikson’s theory describes the impact of social experience across the whole lifespan and shows how he believes that personality develops in a series of eight different stages. Each stage in Erikson’s theory is concerned with becoming competent in an area of life and experiencing a conflict that serves as a turning point in development. He believes that if the “stage” is handled well, the person will feel a sense of mastery but if the stage is handled poorly, the person will emerge with a sense of inadequacy. In Erikson’s view he sees these conflicts centered around developing a psychological quality or failing to develop that quality. Erikson’s theory is stage theory based on the assumption that development is universal and although there may be individual differences in terms of when and how it is experienced everyone in the end should develop and go through the same stages. In our world today, Erikson’s theory is often questioned due to the growing cross-cultural evidence that people in different cultures develop and go through different experiences and stages in life. Erikson’s fifth stage of his theory is the most controversial and fought over stage. This stage in Identity vs. Confusion and concerns adolescence children and the way they explore their independence and develop a sense of self. According to Erikson this stage of identity crisis is marked by rapid physical growth and hormonal changes, which take place between the ages of 12 and 18. In this stage Erikson believes that adolescence children go on a search for a new sense of continuity and sameness, and is concerned with the questions of
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