Erikson’s End Stage of Development Essay

1295 Words6 Pages
As human beings age, according to Erik Erikson, they go through developmental stages that help to create and transform their personalities. If needs are met and the ego is gratified, then the individual is able to move on to the next challenge. Onward they march in life and in stage until they find the end level: integrity versus despair. This has been categorized as adults 65 years and older by Erikson. Here, people are to reminisce and judge their lives in terms of merit or disappointment. Erikson himself had a lot to comb through in his later years. Erik Erikson was born in Frankfurt, Germany just after the turn of the twentieth century. It is known that he was a product of an affair out of wedlock. He did not find this out…show more content…
The final stage, however, is a little different. One does not have a challenge to overcome so much as a lesson to learn. The person must look back on their life and see the mistakes they have made. They can also see the wise decisions reached and good times had. And it is at this point that most people either see meaning or resentment in their lives. Once an adult reaches retirement, they begin to slow down, if they have not already, and reflect upon a long life lived. They are at the mercy of many decades worth of memories, some good and some bad. The elder will feel a sense of wellbeing if they are satisfied with their life. This satisfaction roots itself in accomplishment. Humans usually want to undertake many things in their lives. Some are able to attain these and others are not. Those that do achieve their goals are filled with a sense of gratification. Arlene Handler says that Erikson calls this “integrity” (The Developmental Stages of Erik Erikson, 2002 (revised 2009)). This also allows for a quiet acceptance of death. People who accept death as inevitable do so with grace and ease. They look at their life and see an adventure with hills and valleys, but valleys that they were able to climb out of with might and determination. Erikson thought this to be remarkable and was amazed by elderly people’s resiliency. He found that the strength at this stage was wisdom and that all the experiences
Open Document