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Erik Erikson 's Life Span Development Theory

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Erik Erikson’s life span development theory, also known as the Eight Stages of Man, offers a perspective of human development through all stages of life. Erikson believed that as humans grow older, they go through eight stages of development that each present a crisis for the individual to resolve during that stage. Each crisis must be resolved before a new one can be presented. Successful resolution at each stage creates the foundation needed to build the next. This paper will discuss Erikson’s first four psychosocial stages of development; infancy, toddler, preschool, and middle childhood. Although typical development includes successfully resolving each crisis during the sensitive period and moving on the next stage of development,…show more content…
If an infant lets their mother leave them without great distress, they have learned that they can trust them to come back. Infants who allow others to hold and touch them show that they have developed trust. An infant who has developed trust is able to hold good eye contact with others and will allow others to hold or touch them (Erikson Handout, 2017). It is important for infants to learn trust in this stage so that they can continue to develop and cultivate good future relationships. On the contrary, if a caregiver does not respond appropriately to a child’s needs or spend quality time with them, the child will not be able to develop trust in others or their environment. When they lack consistent affection and responsiveness from parents, they learn that they cannot rely on others for help and care. Failure to successfully develop trust will hinder all future stages from being resolved successfully. Infants who have not developed trust will struggle to make eye contact with others and will tend to be closed off and guarded. They may also experience great distress with their mother leaves them, as it seems that when mistrust is developed, fear of the future will also develop (Erikson Handout, 2017). Although typical development allows infants to develop trust and move successfully on to the next stage of development, not all infants are able to experience typical development. For infants from an impoverished family, this
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