In the identity stage, pubescence is characterized by rapid body changes, which enhance sexual awareness.
Nevertheless, Erikson’s theory, as a personality theory, fails to account for personality developments in both genders.
In this stage, the needs of an infant such as food, comfort, and affection are met by parents.
If the caregivers are neglectful or abusive, the infant learns that the world is an uncouth place for people.
These stages include infancy, which ranges from 0-18months where trust or mistrust can be developed.
A mother can establish trust to the infant through care, so that the infant does not develop mistrust towards the world at large.
This stage is very important as it contributes towards realization of an identity, whereby, one goes through puberty and the need to establish boundaries. Adults are afraid of being turned down or their relationship breaking, therefore, long-term commitments are made. stagnation is a middle adult stage that entails, guiding the next generation, by either raising a family or contributing towards the society, hence resulting to a sense of productivity and accomplishment. despair is the final stage of development, which is accompanied by low productivity due to old age and retirement.
At this stage, people look back at their accomplishments and feel content.
The epigenetic principle states that characteristics developed at each stage are carried to the next stage as they rely on each other.
According to Whitley (2009, p.29), “this principle acts as an explanation of growth, anything that grows has a ground plan and out of this ground plan the parts arise, each part has it time of special ascendancy until all parts have arisen to form a functioning whole.” The fifth stage serves as a growth point in an individual’s life; therefore, it is an indication of potential growth towards a quality personality of the rest of one’s life.