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Week 9

Course Code
Marc A Fournier

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Week 9 Lecture:
Life-Span Development
Overview of Week 9 Lectures
Part I. Erik Homburger Erikson
Part II. Identity & Intimacy
Part III. Generativity
Overview of Part I
Erik Homburger Eriksons Theory of Psychosocial Development
Erik Homburger & Erik Erikson
The Outsider
The time when he was neither excepted by the Jewish(mother) or the
protestant (father) community
The Wandering Artist
In his early 20s, left home and travelled around Europe as an artist until age
The Psychoanalyst
At 25, he landed a teaching position at a small school associated with a
psychoanalytic society; decided to become a psychoanalyst and went to
training; before being trained he had to undergo psychoanalyst
The American
He left Vienna and moves to America and adopted a new name Erik
Fundamental Eriksonian Concepts
The Epigenetic Principle
The idea that personality is designed to unfold across a predetermined series
of development stages
Each stage confronts us with development challenge, tasks or issue
These challenges need to be confronted
It is not necessarily the case that these conflicts will be resolved
Favorable Balance
These virtues must strike a balance between competing/alternative

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Optimal Time
For each of these tasks there is an optimal time
It is crucial that we undertake each challenge at the right time
Development cannot be rushed or stalled; it has to precede according
to its developmental sequence
Virtue is a psychosocial strength that comes from adequately
addressing a psychosocial challenge
Triple Bookkeeping
The idea that an individuals life must be understood on 3 complimentary
levels of analysis
The various sexual and libidinal urges that are housed within the
The Ego
The individuals conscious understanding of the world
Family / Society
The individuals developmental history and its historical, social,
cultural context
Stage I
Infancy (0-1 yrs)
Issue: Trust vs. Mistrust
The mothers bond with the infant during this time is central to the
child and presents a central question to the child
Can I know that I will be fed? Comforted when distressed?
Maladaptation (excess): Sensory Distortion
To become excessively trusting (gullible)
Can fail in this development task by being too trusting
Malignancy (deficiency): Withdrawal
Which can take the form of depression, paranoia, suspicion
Can fail in this development task by not being trusting enough
Virtue: Hope
The belief that things will work out in the end (positive outcomes);
This virtue equips the child to confront adversities later in life; to
know or have the belief that there will be positive outcomes in the end
Stage II
Toddlerhood (2-3 years)

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Issue: Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt
Period of time when toilet training is occurring; time when various
opportunities develop a sense of self mastery and control for self; child will be
mobile; acquiring language and becomes curious by exploring environment
Maladaptation: Impulsivity
Shameless willfulness
Malignancy: Compulsion
Self doubting and perfectionist
Virtue: Will
The capacity to be determined, to develop a sense of ones own efficacy,
to believe ones own capability to changes ones own environment
Stage III
Preschool Childhood (3-6 yrs)
Issue: Initiative vs. Guilt
The child is assuming increasing responsibilities for his/her own autonomy;
developing an increasing sense of purpose and power in the world
Maladaptation: Ruthlessness
Unmitigated initiative the pursuit of ones own goals without regard
for others
Malignancy: Inhibition
People who live in inhibition dont put themselves out; they dont take
imitative or risk or strive for things beyond the conservative level
Virtue: Purpose
Direction to the capacity for action
Stage IV
School-Age Childhood (7-12 yrs)
Issue: Industry vs. Inferiority
Children are undergoing some form of systematic instruction outside of the
family; going outside for education
This form of instruction is essential to equipping children with the use of tool
and the role that they will adopt later in life
Maladaptation: Narrow Virtuosity
Excellence in a very circumscribe area of functioning
Occurs with child actor, athletes
The children are not being allowed to be children; they are being
forced to abide by standards of performance that are uncharacteristic
for children their age
Malignancy: Inertia
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