developmental crises

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

A concept introduced in 1959 by the German-born ego psychologist Erik H. Erikson (1902–94), and popularized in his book Childhood and Society (1963), denoting eight stages in life, each presenting a fundamental opposition that needs to be resolved. They are early infancy: basic trust versus basic mistrust; later infancy (during toilet training): autonomy versus shame and doubt; early childhood (while learning to walk): initiative versus guilt; middle childhood (during the latency period of the early school years): industry versus inferiority; puberty and adolescence: identity versus role confusion; young adulthood: intimacy versus isolation; mature adulthood: generativity versus stagnation; late adulthood: ego integrity versus despair. Erikson regarded particular ego ‘virtues’ as emerging through the resolution of each phase, namely hope, will, purpose, competence, fidelity, love, care, and wisdom respectively. See also ego identity, identity crisis.

Subjects: Psychology.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.