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Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development

Erik Erikson was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1902 and died in 1994 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Known as the father of psychosocial development, his perspective on psychological growth grew to be quite different than that of Sigmund Freud, his early teacher. Where Freud believed that the focus of growth and development was in changing sensitive zones of the body, Erikson placed the locus of importance on the social world surrounding the individual.

In addition to this distinction, another important difference was Erikson's concern for psychological development throughout the entire life span, rather than just the years from birth through adolescence. Erikson examined the consequences of early experiences on later life and described the nature of qualitative change during the middle and later years of life.

Erikson's most ...

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