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Erickson's Theory of Psychosocial Development

Erik Erikson proposed that eight stages of psychosocial development exist spanning from birth through adulthood. Each stage contains a development crisis and each crisis stage has the potential for a positive or a negative outcome. Positive experiences lead to positive outcomes, and negative experiences lead to negative outcomes.

General education teachers must consider stages one through five of Erik Erikson’s eight stages. The five stages are explained in terms of the age, the positive social experiences, the negative social experiences and the educational implications.

Stage 1: trust vs. mistrust (ages 0-18 months).

Stage 2: autonomy vs. shame (ages 18 months-3 years). Stage 3: initiative vs. guilt (ages 3-6 years). Stage 4: industry vs. inferiority (ages 6-12 years – critical period for building self-esteem). Stage 5: identity vs. role confusion (ages 12-18 years – critical period for building self-esteem).




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