Erickson Stage Observation


Erickson Stage Observation

Erickson Stage Observation

Reply: Reply to 2 other classmates by offering 1 new piece of information to add to their discussion of the different theories. Each reply must be minimum 250-word APA format cited referenced biblical worldview

Reference:“Liberty University Custom: Wong, D., Hall, K. R., Justice, C. A., and Hernandez, L. W.  (2015). Human growth and development (Custom Package). Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage Publication. ISBN: 9781506355153. *Custom bundle contains Wong et al. (2015), Counseling individuals through the lifespan, ISBN: 9781452217949 and supplemental journal articles.

Topic: Erickson Stage Observation


Darcy Post– On Tuesday afternoons, my daughter volunteers at an after-school program. I went with her this week and observed 2 different girls who were there with her. One of these girls was another volunteer. I will call her “Jade.” Jade is 13 years old and is homeschooled. Jade is very social, sweet and kind and had brought her bunny, Oreo, with her to share with the students. It was interesting to watch Jade when the children got unnecessarily rough or crowded in on Oreo. She smiled sweetly then gently switched gears, establishing, “I think we need a new rule-only one hand on the bunny at a time.” She announced this simply and with no fuss and implemented the new policy immediately. The energetic children followed her lead and Oreo was safe.

Jade is self-assured and seems comfortable with who she is. In the course of the afternoon, she initiated activity with the children, helping them with homework or just visiting with them about their week. She played a game of Candy Cane and she helped with the construction of large tinker toy figures. She was playful and interactive, and the children related well to her and felt comfortable with her. According to Coleman, one of the most important parts of forming a meaningful identity is that the adolescent forms it with, “an emerging understanding of who one is” (Coleman, 2011) (Arnold, 2017).

Jade has recently transitioned from the stage of industry vs. inferiority. This was a time of trying to figure out her strengths and competencies. She does not seem to fear failure and she has a good idea of her natural skillset and is excited and proactive about using them. According to Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development, Jade is now in the adolescent stage where she will be trying to use these new skills and competencies to sort through her new identity in the world and how she fits in as an individual (Wong, et al., 2015). The way she interacted with the children seemed to demonstrate this stage.

Another girl I observed is a 1st grader. I will call her Sasha. Because Sasha is 7 years old, she too is right at the intersection of 2 developmental stages-initiative vs. guilt (the preschool years) and industry vs. inferiority (the early school years) (Wong, et al., 2015).  Sasha is spontaneous and playful. At one point she ran up to me (a total stranger) for a quick hug, then immediately went back to playing her nerf gun game. She was curious about whatever play went on around her and was easily distracted from the game at hand.  Sasha was quick to giggle and pretty much everything was funny to her. Later in the afternoon, she accidentally opened a door into her brother and a wide smile was replaced with a look of concern for his well-being mixed with the possibility of a little fear for her own. “I’m sorry!” she said, and it was easy to see that she meant it. He forgave her instantly and she skipped off light hearted once again. An important part of the afternoon’s activity is dinner preparation for the group. While Sasha demonstrated a brief curiosity about what was happening in the kitchen, she had no interest in being part of the preparation process. Because she is only 7, there did not seem to be a significant delay but Sasha did seem to be somewhat psychosocially developmentally delayed by both seeming to try to avoid disapproval (Wong et al., 2015)  at the one juncture and also by having little interest in activities offered to try to develop skills that were socially important to the group (Dunkel & Harbke, 2017).  Socially and emotionally, many of Sasha’s character traits seem to be still squarely more in the preschool years stage since she spent much of her time role- playing and playing make-believe, was outgoing and friendly, sulked over being left out and needed comfort and reassurance (Wong et al., 2015).

Observation of these students with Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development in mind was a helpful and interesting learning tool.


Arnold, Mary Elizabeth (2017). Supporting adolescent exploration and commitment: identity formation, thriving, and positive youth development. Journal of Youth Development, 12(4), 1-15. DOI: 10.5195/jyd.2017.522

Coleman, J.C. (2011). The nature of adolescence (4th ed.). New York: Routledge.

Dunkel, C.S. & Harbke, C. (2017). A review of measures of Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development: evidence for a general factor. Journal of Adult Development, 24(1), 58-76.

Liberty University Custom: Wong, D., Hall, K. R., Justice, C. A., and Hernandez, L. W.  (2015). Human growth and development (Custom Package pp. 27, 172). Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage Publication.

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