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Erik Erikson's Developmental Theory Case Study

Info: 1433 words (6 pages) Nursing Case Study
Published: 11th Feb 2020

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Tagged: theory

Human Development

This human development assignment will discuss an overview of Erik Erikson’s background, theory and his eight developmental stages. Then this assignment will briefly discuss Mr Paki’s developmental stage and his experience .e.g. physical, emotional, cultural and social. Later it will discuss the actions and the support to assist Mr Paki with his situation.

Part (A)

  1. Erik Erikson was a psychologist who developed his psychosocial development theory in 1963. He was born in 1902 in Germany; his biological father abandoned him before he was born. Erik Erikson studied arts and many different languages and after he graduated he worked as a professor. Moreover, in 1930 he married Joan Serson who was an artist and dancer but later on she helped Erik with his psychosocial development theory. Erikson was influenced by Freud’s development theory but Erikson also believed that human develop throughout their life span. However, Freud believed that our personality formed after the age of five (Bradley, 2002).
  1. Erik Erickson developed eight stages of human development and he also believed that each person go through every stages throughout life span. In each stage, Erikson believed that, “people experience a conflict that serves as a turning point in development. In Erikson’s view, these conflicts are entered on either developing a psychological quality or failing to develop that quality. During these times, the potential for personal growth is high, but so is the potential for failure (Cherry, 2014.”

The first stage is Trust versus Mistrust (birth to 1 year) in this stage an infant develops trust when a parent response to his/her needs. However, it can also lead to mistrust when a parent is not responding to them.

Second stage is Autonomy versus shame and doubt (1 to 4 years) in this stage, children are learning to gain self-confident. For example, toilet training, children are learning to control their body’s function which can lead to self-independence and control. But if children who are not completing this stage, they are most likely to lose their confident.

Third stage is initiative versus guilt (4 to 8 years), in this stage children begin to show their power and control over the world through sports and other social interaction. If a parent started to demand too much discipline they induce extreme guilt (Berk, 2010, p.17).

Fourth stage is industry versus inferiority (8 to 12 years) in this stage, children start to gain confident to work with their peers cooperatively but inferiority begins when a child is not receiving encouragement from their parents, teachers or students which can lead to failure in the future (Berk, 2010, p.17).

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Fifth stage is identity versus role confusion (12 to 20 years) in this stage, children are started to identify their role in the world. For example, children are trying to find a way to fit into the society by creating a strong identity with interacting with others and relationships. Moreover, confusion occurs when a child has conflicts about his/her role in society (Berk, 2010, p.17).

Sixth stage is intimacy and solidarity versus isolation (20 to 30 years) in this stage, young people enters into intimacy relationships in which they let other people see their physical characteristics of their nature. But young adult may feel isolated when they unable to become closer to others (Berk, 2010, p.17).

Seventh stage is generativity versus self-absorption and stagnation (30 to 60 years) in this stage; middle aged adults provide help to the next generation, take place in community work and help others. According to Erickson the idea of generativity is that middle age adult’s attempts to produce something that makes a difference to society, for instance. Some middle adults may feel stagnation if they are not able to take responsibilities (Berk, 2010, p.17).

Eighth stage is integrity versus despair (60 years to death) in this stage, late adults or older adults reflect back at their accomplishments and life satisfaction. For example, People feel proud of their achievements when completing this phase with no or few regrets. But people who do not succeed in this stage, they will have many regrets and might that feel their life has been wasted (Berk, 2010, p.17).

Part (B)

  1. According to Erik Erickson’s theory of development Mr Paki is experiencing eighth stage which is integrity versus despair (60 years to death) because he is 70 years old. Moreover Mr Paki is more likely to experiencing the physical, emotional, cultural and social changes in his life.


When people get to this age group(60 years to death) they are more likely to experiencing respiratory system problems and Mr Paki is 70 years old and he has a history of Emphysema and it could be because of smoking or ageism. He also has fractured his right his and his movements are very limited. Barbeler (2013) mentioned that in this age, “their joints become less elastic and flexible with the loss and calcification of cartilage. The loss of bone density particularly affects long bones and vertebrae. The curve of the lower back changes resulting in a change to the centre of gravity.” (p. 233)


In this stage older adults becomes more selective about whom they choose to spend their time with. In Mr Paki’s situation, he has lost his confidence and ability to cope with activities because of his fractured hip but his whanau visit him regularly and give him the support he need. Moreover he could be concerned and depressed about his wife who is dealing with early dementia.


Ethnicity and linguistic diversity are can often create problems in one’s culture. A person with a diverse cultural background who is ageing in a different environment can face with many challenges (Barbeler, 2013). According to the scenario Mr Paki is Maori and he is been sent to rehabilitation, lack of cultural interaction and communication problems can lead to isolation and feelings of alienation.


Mr Paki has limited movements because of his fractured right hip and he has lost his daily activity moments because of this Mr Paki is likely to be experiencing loss of confidence in his ability. He might be feeling lonely because there is no interaction between with his friends or community. He might be experiencing depression because in his age group, this is a serious condition and it can be linked with a loss of independent function, cognitive impairment, poor response to rehabilitation and diminished recovery.

  1. Older patients face many challenges as they go through the last stage of Erik Erikson’s theory which could be because of their retirement, changes in health status or relationships with friends and family. A nurse should always listen to their patients instead of making assumptions about what patient’s value or what they aim for in their life (Barbeler, 2013). According to the scenario a nurse will put in place actions and support to under physical, emotional, cultural and social to assist Mr Paki.


To assist Mr Paki with his physical condition, as he has fractured his right hip, he has limited movement and Mr Paki had lost his confident to cope with activities of daily living (ADL’s)


Bradley, M.E. (2002). Psyography: Erik Erikson. Retrieved from:

http://faculty.frostburg.edu/mbradley/psyography/eriker ikon.html

Barbeler, C. (2013). Older adulthood. In Koutoukidis, G., Stainton, K., Hughson, J. (2013). Tabbner’s Nursing Care: Theory and Practice. (pp 230-248). China: Libby Houston.

Cherry, K. (2014). Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development:

Psychosocial Development in Infancy and Early Childhood. Retrieved from: http://psychology.about.com/od/psychosocial theories/a/psychosocial.htm


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