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Erik Erikson’s 8 Stages of Psychosocial

Psychosocial - derived from the word psychological and
Each stages involves a psychological crisis of two opposing
emotional forces called “contrary disposition” ( syntonic
for the positive and dystonic for the negative disposition)

Maladaptation - too much of the positive and too little of

the negative.
Malignancy- too little of the positive and too much
negative aspect of the task.
Stage 1: Infancy birth – 1 year
psychological crisis: Trust vs. Mistrust
Parents or caregivers must give the baby a sense of familiarity
consistency and continuity, provision of basic needs, then the
baby will develop trust. However, if parents are unreliable and
inadequate, then the infant will develop mistrust.
Sensory maladjustment – overly trusting, even gullible
Withdrawal – characterized by depression, paranoia & psychosis

Virtue: Hope – even when things are not going well, they will
work out well in the end.
Stage 2: Early childhood 2-3 yrs
Psychosocial crisis: Autonomy vs. shame and
If parents permits the child to explore and manipulate his or her
environment, the child will develop sense of autonomy and
independence. However, if the parents are too permissive,
harsh, or demanding, the child will experience extreme shame
and doubt.
Maladaptation: Impulsiveness - if the child is given no limits or
Malignancy: Compulsiveness - everything must be done so
Virtue: Will power and determination – “Can do” ( 2-3 yrs old
child motto)
Stage 3: 3-5 yrs old
Psychosocial crisis: Initiative vs. Guilt
Parents is encouraging children to try out their ideas, fantasy curiosity
and imaginations. Developing their purpose and sets goals and acts in
ways to reach them. On the other hand, if children are punished for
attempts to show initiative, they are likely to develop a sense of guilt.

Maladaptation: Ruthlessness- too much purpose and no guilt. Ruthless

person just don’t care who they step on to achieve their goals. The
goals are the only that matter, and guilt feelings and mercy are only
signs of weakness.

Malignancy: Inhibition – too much guilt. The inhibited person will not
try things because “nothing ventured, nothing lost” and particularly,
nothing to feel guilty about. They fear that it fails, they will be blamed.

Virtue: develop sense of purpose

Stage 4: School Age (6-11 yrs old)
Psychological Crises: Industry vs. Inferiority
Children must “tame imagination” and dedicate themselves to
education and to learning the social skills of their society. If adults
support the child's efforts, a sense of competence develops. However,
if caretakers do not support the child, feelings of inferiority are likely
to develop.

Maladaptation: Narrow virtuosity - These are the children who aren’t

allowed to “be children” the ones that parents or teachers push into
one area of competence, without allowing the development of
broader interests.
Malignancy: Inertia – If at first you don’t succeed, don’t ever try again.
(Alfred Adler)

Virtue: Competency
Stage 5: Adolescence 12-18
Psychosocial crisis : Identity vs. Role confusion
Ego Identity- means knowing who you are
Role confusion – An uncertainty one’s place in society.
“When an adolescent is confronted by role confusion, Erikson says, he
or she is suffering from an identity crisis.”

Maladaptation: Fanaticism - a fanatic believes that his way is the only

way. These person will gather around them and promote their beliefs
and lifestyles without regard to others right and degree.
Malignancy : Repudiation – to repudate is to reject. They reject their
identity in the world of adults and they reject their need for an

Virtue: Fidelity – means loyalty, the ability to live by societies

standards despite their imperfections and inconsistencies.
Stage 6: Young Adulthood (19-40 yrs old)
Psychosocial environment: Intimacy vs. Isolation
Intimacy – is the ability to be close, loving and vulnerable with
romances and friends.
Is able to love and commit

Maladaptation: Promiscuity – become too intimate, too freely,

too easily and without any depth to your intimacy.
Malignancy: Exclusion – rejecting and isolating oneself from
relationships and those who have them.

Virtue: Love
Stage 7: Middle Adulthood (40-60 yrs old)
Psychosocial Crisis: Generativity vs. Stagnation
If you have a strong sense of creativity, success, and of having “made a
mark” you develop generativity. And are concerned with the next
generation. The adults that do not feel this develop a sense of
stagnation. Stagnation, on the other hand, is self absorption, caring
for no one and stops to be a productive member of a society.

Maladaptation: Overextension- someone who has no time for

themselves because they are so busy.
Malignancy: Rejectivity – a failure to feel any sense of meaning. You
are no longer participating in or contributing to society.

Virtue: Care –represents connection to generations to come and a love

given without expectations of a specific return.
Stage 8: 60 years up
Psychosocial crisis: Ego integrity vs. Despair
-this entails facing the ending of life, and accepting successes and
failures, ageing, and loss. People develop ego integrity and accept
their lives if they succeed, and develop a sense of wisdom. Those who
do not feel a sense of despair and dread their death: it’s too late to
change their lives.

Maladaptation: Presumption – too much wisdom. The person in old

age believes that he alone is right. He does not respect the ideas and
views of the young.
Malignancy: Disdain- too much despair. The person becomes very
negative and appears to hate his life.

Virtue: Wisdom – Someone who approaches death without fear.

“healthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrity enough
not to fear death”.
1. Leny is a single mom. She is a responsible kind of parent to her two kids.
She is providing an adequate and enough love and support for the basic
needs of her children. Which syntonic disposition are more likely to develop
in the children?

A. Autonomy
B. Industry
C. Hope
D. Trust

2. Mario is being too isolated. He don’t want to exposed himself in schools

and within the community. He hates being committed into relationship and
someone. He just want to be being alone. Which kind of malignancy could
Mario likely to develop?

A. Rejectivity
B. Exclusion
C. Disdain
D. Repudiation
3. John Paul himself knows how to fit in within a diverse society despite of his
imperfections and inconsistencies. He already know a lot about his self for who and
what he is as a person. Which kind of disposition is John Paul experiencing?

A. Identity crises
B. Role Confusion
C. Ego Identity
D. Intimacy

4. April and Christian are twins. Both their parents let them to do thing in their own
according to their capabilities. They later developed the sense of independence.
Which disposition had Christian and April developed?

A. Autonomy
B. Initiative
C. Industry
D. Sense of Purpose
5. Rina is neither being too intimate nor being too isolated. She always thinks
other possibilities and risks before committing in a relationship. Which kind of
virtue will Rina more likely to develop?

A. Wisdom
B. Fidelity
C. Hope
D. Love