Theory of Child Personality Development through Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Development Theory

By : Si luh ketut alit wianda suasmita, Guidance And Counseling,Ganesha University of Education


Every parent hopes that their child will grow up to be a stable and independent person without losing the good side of their character. The formation of a good personality will be useful as a provision for children to face their own social environment, and also determine their ability to struggle in dealing with their own problems. Humans in their lives certainly experience a developmental process that includes several stages.

The stages are starting from childhood, adolescence, adulthood, to old age. From each of these stages, humans are faced with tasks that must be completed at each stage of their development that are psychosocial in nature. Psychosocial is a condition that occurs in individuals that includes psychological and social aspects or vice versa (Zubaedi, 2011: 201). Psychosocial development theory is one of the personality theories in psychology proposed by Erik Erikson’s.

Erik Erikson’s psychosocial development theory is a significant conceptual framework in understanding the process of children’s personality development. Erikson developed his theory as an extension of Sigmund Freud’s concepts, which focused more on the psychosexual aspects of development. Erikson explored the psychosocial dimensions, which involve the interaction between individuals and their environment throughout their lives. The theory views life as a series of stages that include certain conflicts or challenges that must be overcome in order to achieve healthy and positive development.

One of Erikson’s main contributions is his comprehensive approach to the psychosocial aspects of development, which includes not only individual aspects but also interactions with the social environment. The theory consists of eight stages of development, each with specific conflicts that the individual must overcome. Each stage provides a foundation for healthy personality development, and the resolution of conflicts at each stage allows the individual to progress to the next stage with a solid foundation.

Theory of Child Personality Development through Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Development Theory

1. Trust vs. Mistrust Stage (0-1 year):

At this stage, the child develops a basic trust in the world if his basic needs are met consistently. This creates a foundation of trust in others and a belief that the world is a reliable place.

2. Autonomy vs. Indecision Stage (1-3 years):

Children begin to develop autonomy and self-control as they begin to explore the world around them. The conflict at this stage is between the desire for independence and a sense of indecision.

3. Initiative vs. Guilt Stage (3-6 years):

Children begin to take initiative in their activities. Success in this stage allows the development of a sense of initiative and creative thinking skills. However, failure may lead to guilt.

4. Effort vs. Low Self-Esteem Stage (6-12 years):

At this stage, children begin to develop skills and competencies. The conflict lies in wanting to succeed and feel competent or failing and experiencing low self-esteem.

5. Identity vs. Role Confusion Stage (12-18 years):

Adolescents search for their identity and try to understand who they are. Conflicts at this stage involve the search for identity and questions about their role in society.

6. Intimacy vs. Isolation Stage (18-40 years):

At this stage, individuals seek intimate relationships and deep social connections. The conflict is between being able to form intimate relationships or experiencing social isolation.

7. Productivity vs. Decline Stage (40-65 years):

Individuals seek achievement and productivity in work and personal life. The conflict involves weighing between being productive or experiencing a sense of decline.

8. Intimacy vs. Hopelessness Stage (65 years and above):

In the last stage, individuals seek meaning in life and achieve a deep sense of intimacy. The conflict is between achieving intimacy or experiencing a sense of hopelessness and despair.


This theory has inspired a lot of research and applications in various fields, including developmental psychology, education, and counseling. However, like all theories, there are also criticisms of this model. Some critics highlight the universality of the stages of development proposed by Erikson, without considering individual differences and cultural factors.

In conclusion, Erikson’s Theory provides an in-depth and comprehensive view of a child’s personality development through psychosocial dimensions. Despite criticisms and debates, the key concepts in this theory remain an important foundation in understanding the journey of human development from infancy to old age.


Emiliza, T. (2019). Konsep Psikososial Menurut Teori erik h. Erikson Terhadap Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini Dalam Tinjauan Pendidikan Islam Konsep Psikososial Menurut Teori Erik H. Erikson Terhadap Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini Dalam Tinjauan Pendidikan Islam (Doctoral dissertation, Iain Bengkulu).

Arini, D. P. (2021). Emerging adulthood: pengembangan teori erikson mengenai teori psikososial pada abad 21. Jurnal Ilmiah Psyche15(01), 11-20.

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