Theory of Psychosocial Development- Erik Erikson

Erik Erikson (1963, 1972) described a series of eight ‘psychosocial’ stages in which our selfhood, independence, identity and self-worth may be developed or crushed, depending on how we resolve issues and interact with others along the way.

When children reach elementary school (6-12 years of age), they soon learn that they can get recognition of adults by producing things- for example, through their written assignments, art projects, dramatic productions, and so on. When children are allowed and encouraged to make and do things and when they are praised for their accomplishments, they begin to demonstrate ‘industry’. Therefore, ‘industry’ is a pattern of working hard, persisting at lengthy tasks and putting work before pleasure. But, when children are punished for their efforts or when they find that they cannot meet their teachers’ and parents’ expectations for their performance, they may develop feelings of ‘inferiority’ about their own abilities. 

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