Theorist Research Paper
Erik Erikson is known as one of the most influential psychoanalyst. Erikson’s interest in children and education gave him the opportunity to have held many positions at several universities, and was the first child analysis in the Boston area. Erik’s theory is of Human Development. Erikson’s theory states; “life is a series of stages through which each person passes with each stage growing from the previous ones.” (Gordon & Browne p.134) Erik’s theory consists of eight stages of psychosocial development. Each stage involves certain developmental tasks that are psychosocial in nature.
Erikson’s first stage is “Trust versus Mistrust,” and this occurs from birth to one year of age. The task is to develop trust without completely eliminating the capacity for mistrust. If a mother, father or instructor can give a newborn a level of familiarity, regularity, and stability, then the child will develop the feeling that the world, especially the social world, is a safe place to be, and that people are reliable and loving. If they are not reliable, then the infant will develop mistrust. The infant will not feel safe around people. If an infant does not have trust, they can develop withdrawals, and it can even lead to infant death. When the proper balance is made between the infant and the parents, or instructor, the child will develop trust.
The second stage of Erik Erikson’s theory is “Autonomy Versus Doubt,” and ranges from ages two to three. When a mother and father allow the child to explore and persuade his or her own environment, the child will develop a sense of autonomy and independence. Parents and instructors should not discourage the child at this time in life. The best thing to do during this stage is to help the child to develop both self-control and self-esteem. Something to keep in mind is that even something as simple as laughing at the toddler's efforts can lead the child to feel ashamed, and uncertain of his or her...