Erickson`s Theory of Psychosocial Development

Report

Erikson studied Freud’s Psychoanalysis
Theory under Freud’s daughter, Anna

Expansion of Freud’s concept of ego

Only developmental theory that extends
through adulthood
Sources: London, Ladewig, Ball, Bindler, & Cowen, 2011
McEwen & Wills, 2007

Eight stages of psychosocial development with an identified
challenge to be mastered

As each challenge is mastered strengths are gained contributing to
character and health

Development is primarily qualitative - occurring in stages

Also quantitative because one’s identity becomes stronger with
mastery of challenges

Nature determines the sequence of stages

Must pass through one stage prior to entering next stage
Sources: Sharkey, 1997
Tomey-Marriner, 1989
STAGE
(AGE)
CRISIS

I
Infancy
(0-1 )

Trust vs.. Mistrust

II
Toddler
(2-3)

Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt

III
Preschooler (3-6)

Initiative vs. Guilt

IV
School-age

Industry vs. Inferiority

V
Adolescence (12-18)

Ego Identity vs. Role Confusion

VI
Young Adult

Intimacy vs. Isolation

VII Middle Adult (up to 50)

Generativity vs. Self-absorption

VIII Old Adult

Integrity vs. Despair
(7-12)
(20’s)
(≥ 50)
Source: Boeree, 2006

Directly applicable to nursing care of children
 Health promotion & maintenance visits help
caregivers meet child’s needs
 Educate parents to identify normal tasks
 Educate parents to encourage healthy
development
 Provides framework to assess hospitalized child &
provide care to ensure progression through the
developmental stages
Source: London, et al., 2011

Integral to holistic nursing
 Essential in assessment to determine age
appropriateness or arrested development of
patients
 Results of ego strengths evaluation used by
nurses for assessment and treatment outcomes
 Ego strengths used by nurses to empower
patients to take control of their lives
Source: McEwen & Wills, 2007
Research studies were conducted in the
following areas:
 Impact of diabetes on the development of
psychosocial maturity and the older adult
 How school age children deal with disaster
 Self-care practices of adolescents
 Concept of generativity in middle-aged
women attending graduate school
Source: McEwen & Wills, 2007

I personally use Erickson’s Theory of
Psychosocial Development each time I am in the
clinical area with students. A section of the
assessment tool that we use is devoted to
assessing the psychosocial issues of the assigned
patient. I use this information to identify the
patient’s strengths & weaknesses. When
planning care, I capitalize on the strengths to
assist the patient promote recovery/health
maintenance and promotion.

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