Infancy

The first psychosocial stage is infancy, a period encompassing approxhnately the first year of life and paralleling Freud's oral phase of development. However, Erik-son's model adopts a broader focus than Freud's oral stage, which was concerned almost exclusively with the mouth. To Erikson (1963, 1989), infancy is a tune of incorporation, with infants "taking in" not only through their mouth but through their various sense organs as well. Through then eyes, for example, infants take hi visual stimuli. As they take hi food and sensory information, infants learn to either trust or mistrust the outside world a situation that gives them realistic hope. Infancy, then, is marked by the oral-sensoiy psychosexual mode, the psychosocial crisis of basic trust versus basic mistrust, and the basic strength of hope.

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