Glenwick's View

All because two people fell in Love.

   Jan 27

Erikson’s Stages of Development

Sebastian had an interesting conversation with his family today, one that I will not go into detail about. However, it did make me think of Erikson’s Stages of Development and which stage we are in versus the stage our parents are in.
Young adulthood: 18 to 35
Ego Development Outcome: Intimacy and Solidarity vs. Isolation
Basic Strengths: Affiliation and Love
In the initial stage of being an adult we seek one or more companions and love. As we try to find mutually satisfying relationships, primarily through marriage and friends, we generally also begin to start a family, though this age has been pushed back for many couples who today don’t start their families until their late thirties. If negotiating this stage is successful, we can experience intimacy on a deep level.
If we’re not successful, isolation and distance from others may occur. And when we don’t find it easy to create satisfying relationships, our world can begin to shrink as, in defense, we can feel superior to others.
Our significant relationships are with marital partners and friends.

Middle Adulthood: 35 to 55 or 65
 Ego Development Outcome: Generativity vs. Self absorption or Stagnation

Basic Strengths: Production and Care
Now work is most crucial. Erikson observed that middle-age is when we tend to be occupied with creative and meaningful work and with issues surrounding our family. Also, middle adulthood is when we can expect to “be in charge,” the role we’ve longer envied.
The significant task is to perpetuate culture and transmit values of the culture through the family (taming the kids) and working to establish a stable environment. Strength comes through care of others and production of something that contributes to the betterment of society, which Erikson calls generativity, so when we’re in this stage we often fear inactivity and meaninglessness.
As our children leave home, or our relationships or goals change, we may be faced with major life changes—the mid-life crisis—and struggle with finding new meanings and purposes. If we don’t get through this stage successfully, we can become self-absorbed and stagnate.
Significant relationships are within the workplace, the community and the family.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.