Summary of the Life Cycle

Erikson s cycle of life is summarized hi Table 9.1. Each of the eight stages is characterized by a psychosexual mode as well as a psychosocial crisis. The psychosocial crisis is stimulated by a conflict between the predominating syntonic element and its antithetical dystonic element. From this conflict emerges a basic strength, or ego quality. Each basic strength has an underlying antipathy that becomes the core pathology of that stage. Humans have an ever-increasing radius of significant relations, beginning with the maternal person hi infancy and ending with an identification with all humanity during old age.

Personality always develops during a particular historical period and within a given society. Nevertheless, Erikson believed that the eight developmental stages transcend chronology and geography and are appropriate to nearly all cultures, past or present.

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