Personal Experiences and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages

Personal Experiences and Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages


Erik Erikson was a stage theorist who lived between 1902 and 1994; he used Freud’s psychosexual theory and modified it into an eight-stage psychosocial theory of development. Two conflicting ideas need to be resolved in each stage of Erikson’s eight developmental stages in order to create a healthy personality. These stages are trust vs. mistrust, autonomy vs. shame/doubt, initiative vs. guilt, industry vs. inferiority, identity vs. role confusion, intimacy vs. isolation, generativity vs. stagnation, and integrity vs. despair. Certain crises contribute to psychosocial growth, and failure to resolve such crises can profoundly impact on the psychosocial development (Walker & Bobola, 2017). He further emphasized that ego contributes significantly to the development of a child by mastering skills, ideas, and attitudes. Successful completion of Erikson’s Generativity vs. Stagnation developmental stage enabled me to acquire basic virtues and a healthy personality as well.

Generativity vs. Stagnation

This is the seventh stage of Erikson’s developmental stages. This stage involves finding one’s life work and contributing to the positive development of others through activities such as raising children, mentoring and volunteering. The adult in this stage exhibits characters of caring for the next generation through caring for others and childbirth (Ehlman & Ligon, 2012). The person in this stage also engages in activities which contribute positively to the community the person lives in. Failure to master these tasks makes a person to experience stagnation, and this makes the person feel useless and have little or no interest in self-improvement and productivity as well. Successful completion of this stage leads to the acquisition of healthy and beneficial virtues like care (Gilleard & Higgs, 2016). A person can benefit or give back to society by taking care of the family and raising children. My personal experience can entirely be explained by the Generativity vs. Stagnation stage of psychosocial development.

I am in my mid-30, and I am both a wife and a mother. I am married with three beautiful children. I come from a not so big family; of the three children I am the , and I lost my father to cancer when I was 23 years. My greatest wish in life has always been to settle down, have a family and complete my schooling. I dropped out of college soon after enrolling, and I am currently enrolled in school, taking a nursing degree. I started schooling once again so that I can bring positive change to my family. I decided to pursue nursing as a carrier choice. Evidently, everyone falls sick at one point of their lives and therefore being a medical practitioner will enable me to contribute positively to society.

This will all be achieved by treating the people, mentoring them and volunteering in medical camps which will be geared towards helping members of the society. My education and my career will be a stepping stone to another higher level in life. My life will be alleviated, and I will be in a better position to help and care for the sick, the elderly and even my family members. Among my career plans was to become a productive member of society and this vision could therein be realized when I finished my nursing degree and acquire a practicing license to work in an official capacity as a nurse.

I intend to care for others by caring for everyone in need of my medical prowess. As I entered college, I purposed to work extra hard to complete my set my schooling, get my nursing degree and raise my children at the same time so that I can impart a positive change in them as the next generation. I want to show my family that everyone has a fair chance in life for self-improvement and productivity. Stagnation happened in my life when I decided to drop out of school. I feel that this contributed to the marital problems between my husband and I. my career plans to become a responsible and caring person to the family and the society at large. I couldn’t bear the thought of going through life without a good career. I, therefore, enrolled for a nursing degree to that I could contribute to the positive development of those who will be dependent on me.

This experience has taught me never to give up and to be relentless in my quest for a better life and for improving the lives of others. Stagnation makes a person to lose hope in life and be labeled as a failure. Lifespan development is a human development approach detailing grows from conception to death. This process has helped me understand the experiences I have gone through since I was a young child up to now. Studying lifespan development enabled me to understand how my childhood experiences shaped my current experiences, personality, and behavior. This process defined the earlier experiences that made me drop out of school, marry early and later re-enroll back in school.

In conclusion, the Generativity vs. Stagnation stage of psychosocial development best explains my education and career plans. I entered the Generativity vs. Stagnation when I decided to give birth and raise my three children. The conflict I was struggling to beat was that of stagnation. I had to jot down my career plans because in doing so I would have the skills to be a productive member of society. Erikson’s uses the eight developmental stages to explain that once an individual is faced with a crisis, one has no choice but to find the right means of resolving the conflicts (Ehlman & Ligon, 2012). My experiences in life ultimately had positive outcomes on my personal development.




Ehlman, K., & Ligon, M. (2012). The application of a generativity model for older adults. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 74(4), 331-344. Retrieved March 25, 2019, from

Gilleard, C., & Higgs, P. (2016). Connecting life span development with the sociology of the life course: A new direction. Sociology, 50(2), 301-315. Retrieved March 25, 2019, from

Walker, N. & Bobola, F., (Eds.). (2017). Psychology 172: Developmental Psychology. College of the Canyons Santa Clarita, California 2017. Retrieved March 25, from