Development Throughout the Lifespan
Erikson and Freud are two of the few theorists who have developed a lifespan approach to development. Freud’s approach to development was psychosexual while Erikson’s was psychosocial. Even though Freud’s theory is better known, Erikson’s theory remains a leading and very much applied model in personality and developmental psychology today.
When considering these two stage-oriented theories, you can directly compare the majority of their stages. These are matched in the following table:
Freud's Stages of Psychosexual Development
Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial development
|Infancy (Birth to 1 year)|
Trust versus mistrust
|Early childhood (1–3 years)|
Autonomy versus doubt
|Preschool (3–6 years)|
Initiative versus guilt
|School age (7–11 years)|
Industry versus inferiority
|Adolescence (12–18 years)|
Identity versus role confusion
|Young adulthood (19–40 years)|
Intimacy versus isolation
|Middle adulthood (40–65 years)|
Generativity versus stagnation
|Older adulthood (65–death)|
Integrity versus despair
When considering Erikson's eight stages of development, the way a person moves through each stage directly affects their success in the next stage. Their personality is being built and shaped with each stage. At each stage, there is a turning point, called a crisis by Erikson, which a person must confront.
In this assignment, you will observe or interview two different people, each at a different stage of development. For a third observation, take a look at yourself and the stage that you are in (this stage must be different from your other two observations).
- Record your three observations in a template. Include the following information:
- Current developmental stage
- Status within the stage (i.e., identity achievement or role confusion)
- Events that have lead to this status
Download a Development Template from the Doc Sharing area to record your observations.
- Summarize what you have learned about psychosocial development through these observations/interviews.
- Summarize the trends you see in your observations/interviews regarding psychosocial development.
- How does movement through Erikson's stages influence personality development? Again, be specific.
- How do Erikson's stages of development compare to Freud’s stages? How are they similar? How are they different?
- Between these two theories, which one do you feel best explains your own personality development? Justify your answers with specific examples.
Write a 3–4-page paper in Word format. Insert your chart at the end of your paper. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.