Eight Stages of Development

EightStages of Development

EightStages of Development

Theeight stages of development is one of the highly regarded models ofhuman development. The model was developed by Erik Erikson. The modelis based on the idea that all developmental stages are implicitlypresent during birth, but they open out according the innate schemeas well as the environment that one is brought up in (Ramkumar,2002). The first stage (trust versus mistrust) involves thedevelopment of the capacity to trust people. The balance betweenmistrust and trust depends on the quality of the relationship betweenthe infant and the caregiver.

Thesecond stage (autonomy versus doubt or shame) determines whether thechild will develop self control and will power or not. A child who isdenied autonomy will develop shame and turn against one’s self thecapacity to discriminate and manipulate (Ramkumar, 2002).

Thethird stage (initiative versus guilt) involves the development ofpurpose and direction. Initiative children are able to undertakeresponsibilities, while denial in this stage results in castrationand a feeling of guilt (Frager &amp Fadiman, 2013).

Thefourth stage (identity versus inferiority) determines whether onewill acquire the virtue of competence. A positive environment helpsone become a productive member of the society while a negativeenvironment makes the child become a conformist (Ramkumar, 2002).

Duringthe fifth stage (identity versus role confusion) adolescents becomeso much concerned about their appearance to other people. Exposure toa positive environment facilitates the development of devotion andfidelity (Frager &amp Fadiman, 2013).

Duringthe sixth stage (intimacy versus isolation), the ego and the bodymasters organ modes in order to help an individual address the fearof losing organ in the case of self abandon. The infringement of suchexperience results in isolation and problems in character development(Ramkumar, 2002).

Duringthe seventh stage (generativity versus stagnation) one develops theability to focus on to the future and the possibility of havingsuccessors and guide them to become good citizens. However,inappropriate development at this stage can result in a “do notcare” attitude where the affected person fails to play their rolein guiding the next generation (Ramkumar, 2002).

Thelast stage (ego integrity versus despair) involves the evaluation ofone’s accumulated experiences of life. People who are satisfiedwith their accomplishments in life are able to find some meaning inlife, while those who feel that they have failed in life lose theirself-sufficiency.

Thefifth stage is one of the last four stages of Erikson’s model. Theconflicting crises at this stage include the ego identity versus roleconfusion. The ego strength that develops during this stage is thecapacity to work independently, set personal goals, and pursue them(Ramkumar, 2002). Since this stage involves self exploration andselection of values and beliefs, one’s culture can determinewhether and values and beliefs selected are appropriate or not.


Frager,R. &amp Fadiman, J. (2013). Personalityand personal growth (7th ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Ramkumar,S. (2002). Erik Erikson’s theory of development: A teacherobservation. Journalof the Krishnamurti School,6, 1-30.