Step 1: Research the major developmental theorists, Freud and Erikson from your readings in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.
Step 2: Using your supportive findings and information from your assigned readings, write a 1-2 page paper on the following:
Compare and Contrast Freud and Erikson’s developmental theories
Include each of their stages of development.
Discuss the major characteristics associated with each stage of development.
Explain which theory you feel is more favorable.
Include 3-5 references to support your stance and findings.
Comparison of Freud and Erikson’s Developmental Theories
Sigmund Freud and Erik Erikson are two of the most well-known theorists of human development. Both men proposed stage theories of development, which divide the lifespan into a series of distinct stages. However, there are also some important differences between the two theories.
Freud’s Psychosexual Theory
Freud’s psychosexual theory is based on the idea that personality is shaped by the way in which individuals deal with their sexual urges. He proposed five stages of psychosexual development:
Oral stage (birth to 18 months): The focus is on oral gratification, such as sucking and biting.
Anal stage (18 months to 3 years): The focus is on anal control and toilet training.
Phallic stage (3 to 6 years): The focus is on sexual urges and the development of a gender identity.
Latency stage (6 to 12 years): Sexual urges are repressed and the child focuses on developing social skills and academic achievement.
Genital stage (12 years to adulthood): Sexual urges reawaken and the individual seeks to establish intimate relationships.
Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory
Erikson’s psychosocial theory is based on the idea that personality is shaped by the way in which individuals interact with their social environment. He proposed eight stages of psychosocial development:
Trust vs. Mistrust (birth to 18 months): The focus is on the development of trust in others.
Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt (18 months to 3 years): The focus is on the development of a sense of independence and self-control.
Initiative vs. Guilt (3 to 6 years): The focus is on the development of a sense of purpose and the ability to take initiative.
Industry vs. Inferiority (6 to 12 years): The focus is on the development of a sense of competence and achievement.
Identity vs. Role Confusion (12 to 18 years): The focus is on the development of a sense of identity and a place in the world.
Intimacy vs. Isolation (18 to 40 years): The focus is on the development of the ability to form close relationships.
Generativity vs. Stagnation (40 to 65 years): The focus is on the development of the ability to contribute to society and leave a legacy.
Integrity vs. Despair (65 to death): The focus is on the development of a sense of satisfaction with one’s life and a sense of meaning.
Comparison of the Two Theories
Both Freud’s and Erikson’s theories have been influential in the field of psychology. However, there are also some important differences between the two theories.
Scope: Freud’s theory is focused on the early years of development, while Erikson’s theory spans the entire lifespan.
Focus: Freud’s theory is focused on the development of the unconscious mind, while Erikson’s theory is focused on the development of the ego.
Emphasis: Freud’s theory places more emphasis on the role of biology in development, while Erikson’s theory places more emphasis on the role of the environment.
Which Theory is More Favorable?
There is no one answer to the question of which theory is more favorable. Both Freud’s and Erikson’s theories have their strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, the best theory for you will depend on your own personal preferences and research interests.
Pelz, B., & Overstreet, L. (2022). Introduction to Developmental Theories. Developmental Psychology.
Erikson, E. H. (1950). Childhood and society. New York: Norton.
Karimov, O. and Gulomova, D., 2022. CHILD DEVELOPMENT THEORIES AND EXAMPLES. Scientific progress, 3(4), pp.1087-1091.
Freud, S. (1905). Three essays on the theory of sexuality. New York: Basic Books.
Levinson, D. J. (1978). The seasons of a man’s life. New York: Knopf.
McAdams, D. P. (1993). The life story: Grand narratives of selfhood. New York: Guilford Press.
Vaillant, G. E. (1977). Adaptation to life. Boston: Little, Brown.
Saracho, O.N., 2023. Theories of Child Development and Their Impact on Early Childhood Education and Care. Early Childhood Education Journal, 51(1), pp.15-30.