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Erik Erikson's Psychosocial Model of Development

(3) Psychosocial Crisis 3: Initiative versus guild (Three to six years).

The issues of trust (in infancy) and autonomy (in toddlerhood) are followed by the third crisis of initiative versus guilt which is considered to be a conflict between a child's urge to form and carry out goals and their moral judgements about what they want to do.

If children do not succeed in meeting their goals, they will feel guilty. This stage is often characterized as the beginning of the development of the moral faculty and is said to result from identification with parents.

If a child successfully resolves this crisis, the virtue of purpose develops which Erikson characterizes as the ability and courage to both envision and pursue valued goals without an inordinate inhibition from such things as guilt, a sense of defeat, or fear of punishment. Resolution of this crisis makes for adults who are responsible yet feel free to enjoy life in a spontaneous way.

Children who do not resolve this crisis can become guilt-ridden and repressed. They can grow into adults who inhibit their impulses and behave in a self-righteous and intolerant manner.

In extreme cases, they can suffer from psychosomatic illnesses such as impotence or paralysis. On the other hand, if the balance is such that initiative is over-emphasized, the child can become an adult who feels that he or she must constantly achieve.

(4) Psychosocial crisis 4: Industry versus Inferiority ( six years to puberty).

Middle childhood confronts the developing ego with the issue of a child's capacity for productive work. At this stage, the child puts forth effort to master things. These efforts at mastery are said to help children form a positive self-concept. The virtue that develops if the crisis is successfully resolved is that of competence defined as a view of self as able to master and complete tasks. There is a sense of productiveness and industry.

If children do not r...

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Erik Erikson's Psychosocial Model of Development. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 03:00, September 21, 2017, from
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