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A healthy balance between initiative and guilt is important. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of purpose, while failure results in a sense of guilt. InferiorityErikson's fourth psychosocial crisis, involving industry (competence) vs. Inferiority occurs during childhood between the ages of five and twelve. Children are at the stage where they will be learning to read and write, to do sums, to do things on their own.

The child now feels the need to win approval by demonstrating specific competencies that are valued by society and begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments. If children are encouraged and reinforced for their initiative, they begin to feel industrious (competent) and feel confident in their ability to achieve goals.

If this initiative is not encouraged, if it is restricted by parents or teacher, then the child begins to feel inferiour, doubting his own abilities and therefore may not reach his or her potential. If the child cannot develop the specific skill they feel society is demanding (e. Some failure may be necessary so that the child can develop some modesty.

Again, a balance between competence and modesty is necessary. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of competence. Role ConfusionThe fifth stage of Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development is identity vs. During this stage, adolescents search for a sense of self and personal identity, through an intense exploration of personal values, beliefs, and goals. During adolescence, the transition from childhood to adulthood is most important.

Children are becoming more independent, and begin to look at the future in terms of career, relationships, families, housing, etc. The individual wants to belong to a society and fit in. The adolescent mind is essentially a mind or moratorium, a psychosocial stage between childhood and adulthood, and between the morality learned by the child, and the ethics to be developed by the adult (Erikson, 1963, p.

It is during this stage that the adolescent will re-examine his identity and try to find out exactly who he or she is. Erikson suggests that two identities are involved: the sexual and the occupational. During this stage the body image of the adolescent changes. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of fidelity.

Fidelity involves being able to commit one's self to others on the basis of accepting others, even when there may be ideological differences. During this period, they explore possibilities and begin to form their own identity based upon the outcome of their explorations. Role confusion involves the individual not being sure about themselves or their place in society. In response to role confusion or identity crisis, an adolescent may begin to experiment with different lifestyles (e.

Also pressuring someone into an identity can result in rebellion in the form of establishing a negative identity, and in addition to this feeling of unhappiness. IsolationIntimacy versus isolation is the sixth stage of Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development.

This stage takes place during young adulthood between the ages of approximately 18 to 40 yrs. During this stage, the major conflict centers on forming intimate, loving relationships with other people. We explore relationships leading toward longer-term commitments with someone other than a family member.

Successful completion of this stage can result in happy relationships and a sense of commitment, safety, and care within a relationship. Avoiding intimacy, fearing commitment and relationships can lead to isolation, loneliness, and sometimes depression. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of love. StagnationGenerativity versus stagnation is the seventh of eight stages of Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development.

This stage takes place during during middle adulthood (ages 40 to 65 yrs). Psychologically, generativity refers to "making your mark" on the world through creating or nurturing things that will outlast an individual.

During middle age individuals experience a need to create or nurture things that will outlast them, often having mentees or creating positive changes that will benefit other people. We give back to society through raising our children, being productive at work, and becoming involved in community activities and organizations.

Through generativity we develop a sense of being a part of the bigger picture. Success leads to feelings of usefulness and accomplishment, while failure results in shallow involvement in the world. By failing to find a way to contribute, we become stagnant and feel unproductive.

These individuals may feel disconnected or uninvolved with their community and with society as a whole. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of care. This stage begins at approximately age 65 and ends at death. It is during this time that we contemplate our accomplishments and can develop integrity if we see ourselves as leading a successful life.

Erik Erikson believed if we see our lives as unproductive, feel guilt about our past, or feel that we did not accomplish our life goals, we become dissatisfied with life and develop despair, often leading to depression and hopelessness. Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of wisdom. Wisdom enables a person to look back on their life with a sense of closure and completeness, and also accept death without fear. Wise people are not characterized by a continuous state of ego integrity, but they experience both ego integrity and despair.

Thus, late life is characterized by both integrity and despair as alternating states that need to be balanced.