INDUSTRY VERSUS INFERIORITY
Erik Erikson was a German psychoanalyst who had been greatly influenced by Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist and father of psychoanalysis as a clinical method of treating psychopathology via dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. Sigmund identified three aspects of identity: ego identity, personal identity, and cultural identity. Through this, Erik was able to come up with a psychosocial theory of development that puts into consideration the impact of external factors and the society in the personal development of a person from childhood to adulthood. According to Erik, everyone must pass through eight unrelated stages throughout the course of one's life. These stages are: trust versus mistrust which lasts from birth to one and a half years, autonomy versus shame lasting from eighteen months to three years, initiative versus guilt from three to five years, industry versus inferiority from the age of six to twelve years old, identity versus role confusion from the age of twelve to the age of eighteen, intimacy versus isolation from the age of eighteen to forty, generativity versus stagnation from forty to sixty five years and integrity versus despair in the age of sixty five upwards.
The teachers start having a crucial role in the child’s life as they are responsible for the child learning several specific skills. It is at this stage that the child’s peer/ age group gets to have a greater significance. This is because the group will be a major source of the child's self-esteem. In this stage, the child has the urge to demonstrate specific competencies that are valued by the society and in doing so the child is able to develop a sense of pride in his accomplishments. In doing so, the child is also able to win approval from both teachers and parents. The friends may tell the child that he is not good enough to do something and this will take a toll on the child's confidence.
For example, when the children are playing, the child who is able to win or be the best in the game gets showered with praise and is some kind of hero to the children. This will make the confidence of the child skyrocket. However, if the child keeps on doing poorly in these games, his peers will make fun of him, and as a result, the child will feel inferior. There are many possible negative and positive outcomes of this stage of development. This will result in the child feeling inferior. There are many signs and symptoms of the positive or negative outcome of this stage of development. The main signs and symptoms of a child feeling inferior to his peers include: the child keeping t himself and not mingling with others, the child not particularly enthusiastic about participating in extracurricular activities like sports, the child having and showing feeling s of self-pity, the child walking with slouched shoulders while avoiding eye contact and the child blaming himself whenever something goes wrong even something beyond his control.
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