Stages of Psychosocial Development

Free «Stages of Psychosocial Development» Essay Sample

Erick Erikson has provided a theory that explains that the human development follows certain psychosocial stages. The theory provides eight stages that a healthy developing person should experience. Erick argues that if one skips one of the stages, it will affect the other life stages. Successful completion of one level is dependent on the outcomes of the previous stages. This essay aims at establishing how schizophrenia, cultural and environment background affects a child’s successful completion of psychosocial stages in the order provided under Erickson’s theory.

Based on the theory, successful completion of every stage results into the development of healthy personality, as well as basic virtues. The basic human qualities characterize the strengths that one can use to resolve subsequent crises (Edwards, 2010). The theory further argues that successful completion of a stage can lead to an increased ability to complete further phases and therefore a more healthy personality and sense of self. Failure of successful completion of one stage does not mean that everything is lost; the unresolved stages can be successfully completed at a future time. (Erickson’s Psychosocial Development Theory, 2016).


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According to Edwards (2010), young children mostly cannot express their feelings through many confusing vocabularies that are associated with emotional or affective phases by putting such a feeling into words or behavior. Through arts and social sciences, children are taught to express these feelings through drawing, painting, pounding clay, and performing a part during improvisation. Using arts, children get an opportunity to create and discover the creativity of arts and probably experience both of these worlds rather than at any other time. What this brief statement suggests is that mastery of one stage makes it easier for the children to understand the most complex aspects of the other stages of life.

Erickson’s theory classifies a 9 years old child under the Latency stage. The Latency stage is a phase that comprises children between five to twelve years. At this stage, the children focus on learning, skills acquisition and school work. At this level, they are not expected to be sexually active as normally nothing influential happens in this sphere. A factor that could prompt children at the Latency stage to become sexually active could be the environment they are grown in or the cultural backgrounds. At this stage, it is expected that the experiences and fears from the previous phases have shaped the children’s attitudes and that these attitudes will be seen again in the next stages. Moreover, at this time children start revealing their unique talents and continue to discover much interest as they gain knowledge through education. Erickson argues that at this level children may decide to engage in more activities to achieve their interests. If they are denied an opportunity to discover their potential by themselves, such a conduct may lower their self-esteem and make them feel unmotivated (Erickson’s Psychosocial Development Theory, 2016).

In order children could properly apply what they have learned from one stage and adopt it in the next stage they must be able to recall the previous phases. The situation is normally very difficult for schizophrenic children. Schizophrenia is a medical condition that affects one’s thinking, behavior and emotions. A schizophrenic patient experiences hallucination delusions and an impaired ability to function (Businessballs, 2016). Putting this above analysis into consideration schizophrenic children also learn as their healthy peers only that they take a lot of time to master one stage before they can transition to the next.

A schizophrenic child usually has behaviors that appear normal at one phase of life or at a particular age, which, however, is abnormal at another stage or age (Pina-Camaco et al., 2015). Relating this to Erickson’s theory, it is clear that every life stage should be experienced during its appropriate age. When a behavior of a certain phase is performed in a different age group, it may be considered as abnormal. In deciding the treatment to be given to a child, their point of life must be put into consideration. If a child aged 9 years starts talking to herself or stares at scary things such as snakes, shadows or spiders, parents may get a reason to be concerned (Erickson’s Psychosocial Development Theory, 2016).


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According to this theory, a person at age nine is more aware of themselves than of the environment. They work hard towards being responsible, good and doing the right thing. At this age, children are also much likely to share and cooperate with others. As a way of expressing their emotions and independence, the children are seemed to disagree, rebel and disobey their parents. According to Erikson, this is the right stage for them to join elementary school so that they can develop self-confidence. He argues that the elementary school offers many opportunities, which help children achieve the appreciation of parents, teachers, and colleagues by making different things and drawing pictures. As a result, it is important to encourage children to take part in various activities and praise them for their accomplishments. Consequently, they start to show their interest by being diligent, working on tasks until they are completed and placing work before leisure. By punishing children or ridiculing them for their efforts they become demoralized, which results into them being unable to complete their teachers’ and parents’ anticipations (Erickson’s Psychosocial Development Theory, 2016).

Erickson argues that each generation affects the other in a manner that a child psychosocially is affected by its parents whereas the parent psychosocially is under influence of their experiences in dealing with the child. To explain this statement, Erikson states that it is the same reason why parents find it difficult to deal with their children; and it is difficult to handle their own emotional challenges to the same extent. To have good relations among generations, Erickson argues that there is a need to attain maturity in their life stages. He further states that maturity reflects the effects of generations on each other, mostly among families and in particular between children, their parents, and grandchildren (Edwards, 2010).

The cultural and environmental background, in which a child is raised, plays a major role in determining how a child experiences the phases of life. Certain environments may expose a child to many aspects that are above their age till a point where they skip the behaviors that are supposed to be done at their actual age and adopt behaviors of a much senior age. The problem with such an action is that the skipped stage will be recovered at a later age. Avoiding one’s stage could have negative impacts on the individual’s life as they may behave as children during their adolescence or other senior ages (Edwards, 2010).

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A major environmental factor that affects children’s development is how they are nurtured. The way parents and caregivers treat a child impacts significantly on the growth. Parents who love and support their children in being much focused on study and development instead of worrying about how to make their children appreciate them. The other environmental factors are stimulation and nutrition. On stimulation, a child who is exposed to new things learns much and increases its growth rate. Other scholars suggest that parents should play with their children with open-ended toys, dramatic plays, and other games that promote healthy development. According to the World Health Organization, proper nutrition stimulates the child’s growth and development. Improper nutrition can hinder maturation of the child’s brain and body hence affecting their ability to behave as children in her life stage or contract medical complications such as schizophrenia (Martinez, n.d).

In conclusion, human life is a process that takes one step at a time progressively. As seen from this essay, it is not avoidable to experience all life phases. One may skip a stage but it will appear at a later age. Applying Erickson’s theory, one can argue that schizophrenia is a condition where one experiences or undergoes the human life stages randomly without any progressive order.

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