Early Childhood

The second psychosocial stage is early childhood, a period paralleling Freud's anal stage and encompassing approxhnately the 2nd and 3rd years of life. Again, some differences exist between the views of Freud and Erikson. In Chapter 2, we explained that Freud regarded the anus as the primary erogenous zone during this period and that dining the early sadistic-anal phase, children receive pleasure hi destroying or losing objects, while later they take satisfaction in defecating.

Once agahi, Erikson took a broader view. To him, young children receive pleasure not only from mastering the sphincter muscle but also from mastering other body functions such as urinating, walking, throwing, holding, and so on. In addition, children develop a sense of control over then interpersonal environment, as well as a measure of self-control. However, early childhood is also a thne of experiencing doubt and shame as children learn that many of their attempts at autonomy are unsuccessful.

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