Erik H. Erikson (1902 – 1994) – Identity
Erik Erikson was born June 15, 1902 in Frankfurt, Germany. “The common story was that his mother and father separated before his birth, but the closely guarded fact was that he was his mother’s child was from an extramarital union. He never saw his birth father or his mother’s first husband. His mother raised Erik for a short time on her own before re marrying and later he was adopted by his step father. The fact that his stepfather was not his biological father was concealed from him for many years. When he did finally learn the truth, he was left with a feeling of confusion about who he really was. This early experience led to his interest in the formation of identity and continued to influence his work throughout his life.
For Erikson, identity is not statical, and represents a self-image. Identity is the perception of sameness in time, and is connected to the perception of the others. Identity develops through experiences of the crisis and contradictions, which every individual had to overcome, in order to raise to the next development phase. Erikson’s theory described development throughout the entire lifespan from birth until death.
Stage 1 (0-1 year) Basic trust vs. Mistrust
The most fundamental stage in life, failure to develop trust will result in fear - whom can I trust, can I trust the world?
Stage 2 (1-3 year) Autonomy vs Shame and Doubt
Focused on children developing a greater sense of personal control. The child begins to realize the difference between mine and yours.
Stage 3 (3-6 year) Initiative vs. Guilt
This is an important phase for letting children do things on their own, helping to create independence and responsibility and develop a feeling of self-worth.
Stage 4 (6-12 years) Industry vs. Inferiority
Through social interactions, children begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments and abilities. Encouragement is the key.
Stage 5 (12-19 years) Identity vs. Confusion...