A Reflection of Stage 5 of Erik Erikson's 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development

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Reflection on Erik Erikson's 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development Stage 5: Adolescence Adolescence is the fifth stage in Erikson's psychosocial development theory. It is posited to last from ages 12 to 18, and the basic conflict inherent in the adolescent stage, which the person must resolve, is between identity and role confusion. This conflict between identity and role confusion especially plays itself out in peer relationships, but the teenager also navigates through identity and role confusion with relationships in the family unit. Identity and role confusion issues can arise with sexuality, as well as worldviews. Erikson's stages can show how to distinguish between healthy and dysfunctional coping behaviors that help the individual navigate through the transition of adolescence. Having observed many adolescents, I can apply Erikson's model of psychosocial development and gain understanding of the context and variable impacting the individual's psychology and overall health. It can be especially helpful to compare and contrast two adolescents, one who is addressing the conflict via strong and healthy coping mechanisms that ensure identity development and ego formation; and another who struggles to maintain or create a personal identity in the midst of the adolescent development stage. One of the first issues that arises when observing adolescents is the difference between those who remain highly engaged with the world through social interactions and critical
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