Self-Esteem Throughout
the Human Lifespan
Week Five
Agenda
• Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial
Stages of Development
• Sigmund Freud’s
Psychosexual Stages of
Development
• John Bowlby’s Theory of
Attachment
Erik Erickson’s Psychosocial
Stages of Development
Basic Conflict
Age
Goal or
Achievement
Symptoms
Basic Trust vs.
Mistrust
0-1
Hope
Dependency or Paranoia
Autonomy vs. Shame
& Doubt
2-3
Will
Obsessive/
Impulsive or Avoidant
Initiative vs.
Guilt
4-5
Purpose
Constricted or Antisocial/
Narcissistic
Industry vs. Inferiority
6-12
Competency
Helplessness or Shallowness
Identity vs.
Role Confusion
13-19
Fidelity
Identity Diffusion or Fanaticism
Intimacy vs. Isolation
20-24
Love
Promiscuity or Exclusion
Generativity vs.
Stagnation
25-64
Care
Stagnation or Overextension
Ego Integrity vs.
Despair
65+
Wisdom
Presumption or Disdain
Sigmund Freud’s Psychosexual
Stages of Development
Basic Conflict
Age
Goal or Achievement
Symptoms
Oral Stage
Weaning
0-1
Trust & Comfort
Dependency &
Aggression
Anal Stage
Control Bodily Needs
1-3
Sense of accomplishment
& independence
Anal-expulsive vs
Anal-retentive
Phallic Stage
Genitals
3-6
Identify with same-sex
parent
Inferiority
Latency Stage
Ego & Superego
6-12
Intellectual pursuits &
social interactions
Social and
communication skills
and self-confidence
Genital Stage
Sexual Interest
13+
Interest in the welfare of
others
Should now be wellbalanced, warm, and
caring
John Bowlby’s
Theory of Attachment
• Primarily the seeking of proximity to an attachment
figure in stressful situations.
• Infants become attached to adults who are sensitive
and responsive in social interactions with them
• Children use attachment figures (familiar people) as a
secure base to explore from and return to.
• Parental responses lead to the development of
patterns of attachment; these, in turn, lead to internal
working models which will guide the individual's
feelings, thoughts and expectations in later
relationships.
• Separation anxiety or grief following the loss of an
attachment figure is considered to be a normal and
adaptive response for an attached infant
Self-Esteem in Infancy
(birth to 1 year)
• Erikson:
– Parents provide reliability, care, and
affection.
– A lack of this will lead to mistrust
• Freud:
– Infant develops a sense of trust and
comfort through feeding.
– Deficit= Issues with dependency or
aggression
Self-Esteem in Infancy
(birth to 1 year)
• Branden:
– Basic safety & security…
satisfaction of physical needs,
protection from the elements, &
basic caretaking
– Nurturing through touch, which
conveys love, caring, comfort,
support, nurturing
Self-Esteem in Toddlerhood
(Ages 1 through 3)
• Erikson:
– Personal control over physical skills and a
sense of independence.
– Success leads to feelings of autonomy
– Failure results in feelings of shame and doubt
• Freud:
– Sense of accomplishment and independence;
competent, productive, and creative adults
– Deficit= Messy, wasteful, or destructive
personality.
– Deficit= Stringent, orderly, rigid, and obsessive
Self-Esteem in Toddlerhood
(Ages 1 through 3)
• Bowlby:
– Healthy attachments enable the child to
handle new types of social interactions
– Continues to develop through adulthood,
helping cope with friendships, marriage
and parenthood, all of which involve
different behaviors and feelings
• Branden:
– Acceptance of a child’s thoughts and
feelings allows them to learn selfacceptance
– Psychological Visibility is responding to
and interacting with a child in a congruent
way… acknowledges the shared reality
and existence of the child
Self-Esteem in Pre-School
(Ages 3 through 6)
• Erikson:
– Asserting control and power over the
environment.
– Success in this stage leads to a sense of
purpose.
– Children who try to exert too much power
experience disapproval, resulting in a
sense of guilt
• Freud:
– Children discover the differences between
males and females
– Deficit= Inferiority complex
Self-Esteem in Pre-School
(Ages 3 through 6)
• Branden:
– A child who is treated with love will
internalize this and experience him/herself
as lovable
– An effective parent can convey anger or
disappointment without signaling withdrawal
of love
– Age-appropriate nurturing requires parents
to match their teaching and encouragement
to the developmental needs of their child at
each stage
Self-Esteem in Pre-Adolescence
(Ages 6 through 12)
• Erikson:
– Cope with new social and academic
demands.
– Success leads to a sense of competence
– Failure results in feelings of inferiority
• Freud:
– Concerned with peer relationships,
hobbies, and other interests; intellectual
pursuits and social interactions.
– This stage is important in the development
of social and communication skills and
self-confidence
Self-Esteem in Pre-Adolescence
(Ages 6 through 12)
• Branden:
– A concern with morality or ethics arises
naturally in the early stages of our
development, much as our other
intellectual abilities develop, and
progresses in step with the normal course
of our maturation.
– Praise and criticism…
• “evaluative praise” is judgmental and discourages
internal evaluation
• “appreciative praise” is factual and descriptive, and
leaves the child to do the evaluating
– Respect in the forms of dignity and
courtesy
Self-Esteem in Adolescence
(Ages 13 through 19)
• Erikson:
– Develop a sense of self and personal identity.
– Success leads to an ability to stay true to yourself
– Failure leads to role confusion and a weak sense of
self
• Freud:
– Interest in the welfare of others grows during this
stage.
– If the other stages have been completed
successfully, the individual should now be wellbalanced, warm, and caring.
Self-Esteem in Young Adulthood
(Ages 20 through 24)
• Erikson:
– Form intimate, loving relationships with
other people.
– Success leads to strong relationships
– Failure results in loneliness and isolation
Self-Esteem in Middle Adulthood
(Ages 25 through 65)
• Erikson:
– To create or nurture things that will outlast
them, often by having children or creating
a positive change that benefits other
people.
– Success leads to feelings of usefulness
and accomplishment
– Failure results in shallow involvement in
the world
Self-Esteem into Maturity
(Age 65 and beyond)
• Erikson:
– Look back on life and feel a sense of
fulfillment.
– Success at this stage leads to
feelings of wisdom
– Failure results in regret, bitterness,
and despair
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