Stages of Development: Comparison Between Freud and Erikson Essay

1987 Words Oct 14th, 2008 8 Pages
In order to compare Freud’s theory of psychosexual development with Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development an overview of each will first be discussed, followed by a comparison of similarities and differences.

Freud’s Theory of Psychosexual Development
Freud believed personality was crystallised in childhood thus proposing a series of developmental stages progressing from birth to puberty. As with other stage theories Freud’s psychosexual stages of development occur in a predetermined sequence which may overlap with each stage identifying a particular notable behaviour. Whether the individual progresses through the stage successfully without fixation he/she may develop a healthy personality; however should the individual
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A phallic fixation occurs when the child has difficulty progressing from autoerotic primary to interpersonal sexual stimulation. The individual with a phallic fixated personality may often prefer masturbatory practices to penetrative sexual intercourse. A phallic personality has been seen to differ dependent upon gender with the phallic male showing aggressive domineering traits; the phallic female shows submissive traits believing women are inferior to men (Kahn, 2002; Heffner, 2001).

The latency stage is a period characterised by sexual repression and is experienced by children from age 6 to puberty. During this period children interact with peers of the same sex learning new social skills without experiencing sexual desires (Kahn, 2002; Heffner, 2001).
The final stage of Freud’s theory of psychosexual development is the genital stage and begins during puberty when sexual urges are reawakened. The primary focus of sexual pleasure is on the genitals and, through lessons learned in previous stages, the fantasised method of stimulation is interpersonal (Kahn, 2001; Heffner, 2001).

Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development
Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development proposes an individual develops according to 8 predetermined stages through which one’s social interaction determines personality. Each stage presents a crisis which the individual must successfully resolve through successful social interactions in order to emerge with a healthy personality. A

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