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Psychosocial development is a comprehensive psychological theory first proposed by German-American psychologist Erik Erikson, a student of Sigmund Freud, after observing Native American tribes of the Plains and the Pacific Coast. The theory suggests that individual identity (or ego) evolves throughout life in balance with broad sociocultural pressures. This idea is in contrast to Freud, who believed that identity was shaped through psychological forces experienced largely before the age of twenty.
Psychosexual development proceeds along five distinct stages, named for the primary body parts from which individuals derive pleasure during a given period of their lives; they are the oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital stages. According to Sigmund Freud, passing through these stages successfully is critical to the healthy development of human beings.
Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development
Erik Erikson proposed an eight-stage sequence of psychosocial tasks, identifying key issues that are important to resolve in each stage for optimal personality development across the life span.