All stages are present at birth, but only begin to unfold according to both a natural scheme and one’s ecological and cultural upbringing. Autonomy versus shame and doubt pdf each stage, the person confronts, and hopefully masters, new challenges. Each stage builds upon the successful completion of earlier stages.
The challenges of stages not successfully completed may be expected to reappear as problems in the future. However, mastery of a stage is not required to advance to the next stage. The outcome of one stage is not permanent and can be modified by later experiences. Erikson’s stage theory characterizes an individual advancing through the eight life stages as a function of negotiating his or her biological forces and sociocultural forces.
Can I trust the world? Is it okay to be me? Is it okay for me to do, move, and act? Can I make it in the world of people and things?
Can I make my life count? Is it okay to have been me? Existential Question: Can I Trust the World? The first stage of Erik Erikson’s theory centers around the infant’s basic needs being met by the parents and this interaction leading to trust or mistrust. Trust as defined by Erikson is “an essential trustfulness of others as well as a fundamental sense of one’s own trustworthiness. The infant depends on the parents, especially the mother, for sustenance and comfort.
The child’s relative understanding of world and society come from the parents and their interaction with the child. If the parents expose the child to warmth, regularity, and dependable affection, the infant’s view of the world will be one of trust. Development of mistrust can lead to feelings of frustration, suspicion, withdrawal, and a lack of confidence. According to Erik Erikson, the major developmental task in infancy is to learn whether or not other people, especially primary caregivers, regularly satisfy basic needs. If caregivers are consistent sources of food, comfort, and affection, an infant learns trust—that others are dependable and reliable. If they are neglectful, or perhaps even abusive, the infant instead learns mistrust—that the world is an undependable, unpredictable, and possibly a dangerous place. Existential Question: Is It Okay to Be Me?
The parents still provide a strong base of security from which the child can venture out to assert their will. The parents’ patience and encouragement helps foster autonomy in the child. Children at this age like to explore the world around them and they are constantly learning about their environment. Caution must be taken at this age while children may explore things that are dangerous to their health and safety.
At this age children develop their first interests. For example, a child who enjoys music may like to play with the radio. Children who enjoy the outdoors may be interested in animals and plants. Highly restrictive parents, however, are more likely to instill in the child a sense of doubt, and reluctance to attempt new challenges.