Human Growth and Development Eric Erikson

Published: 2021-10-08 06:10:12
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Category: Development

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I conducted an interview with an adolescent named Jonah Navarro, age 15 to try and determine which stages of Erickson’s psychosocial development he had completed, and which one’s he had not. According to Erik Erickson, all people come to understand themselves and the meaning of behavior by completing 8 stages throughout life that start at infancy and end with old age (Feldman pg. 265) Erickson spoke of a specific area that involve adolescents in their search for identity.
He said that this search inevitably leads some adolescents to an identity crisis involving substantial psychological turmoil (Feldman pg. 284). Erickson believed that one could not complete or move on to the next stage until he had completed the previous stage (Amy Buckingham Lee, Ch. 9 slides/lecture). In interviewing Jonah, I asked a variety of questions to asses which stage of Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development he might fit into. To asses the trust vs. mistrust stage, I asked how he felt in new situations (Amy Buckingham Lee Ch. 9 slides).
He said that in any new situation he felt uneasy and nervous, but at the same time anxious to see “what’s new. ” Then I asked him how he felt when he needed something, if he was confident that other people are there for him. He said that “when there is something I need I feel determined and focused on doing what I can to get it. ” Based on Jonah’s answers I feel that he is passed Stage one of trust vs. mistrust without crisis. His optimism about being able to focus on getting what he wants tells me he trusts the world in general and trusts his own abilities.
For the second stage of autonomy vs. shame and doubt, I asked Jonah if he felt confident about doing new things. He said he did, but then when I asked him if he liked trying new things he said he was a little nervous, but interested “in discovering what lies ahead. ” Even though Jonah expressed his nervousness I still feel that he passed the autonomy vs. shame and doubt stage without crisis. He seems upbeat and positive about new things, just a shy kind of kid. For the third stage of Industry vs. Inferiority, I asked Jonah if he was able o ask for help and if he felt successful in general. He said that it was a bit of a struggle to ask for help, and that he didn’t feel successful. I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up and he said “I think a teacher like my Dad, or maybe a firefighter. ” He did not want to elaborate much on this, so I didn’t push it. At the time I thought that based on his answers that he may still be in the Industry vs. Inferiority stage, but I asked him a few more questions to explore stage four, Identity vs. Confusion, and stage five, Intimacy vs. Isolation.
He answered very positively to questions like, “Do you feel like you have a strong sense of identity? Do you like to explore a situation before you commit to it? ” He gave me strong answers and examples to back them up, so I continued. When I asked: “Do you feel like you have close, intimate relationships with your friends? Do you feel lonely or isolated? ” Jonah’s answers were a little more conflicted and negative. I was glad I decided to move on and ask more questions, because in light of his new answers, he does seem to also be in stage five: Intimacy vs. Isolation.

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