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Psychosocial theory focuses on the development of self-understanding, social relationships, and one’s relationship to society across the life span. The theory describes normal development as a product of the interaction of the biological, psychological, and societal systems. As such, it integrates multiple domains including cognition, emotion, sensory and motor abilities, and self-awareness—all aspects of children’s development and learning. At each stage of life, development results from the ongoing interaction of the person and the culture, with particular attention to interactions within a circle of meaningful social relationships. The topics discussed in this entry include the definition and meaning of the term psychosocial development, the contributions of Erik Erikson to the development of psychosocial theory, key concepts in psychosocial theory, and contributions of psychosocial theory to ...

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