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Theories of Development

Summary Theories of Development
Stage 3: Initiative vs. Guilt

Between the ages of three and six, children must learn to control their impulses and act in a socially responsible way. If they can do this effectively, children become more self- confident. If not, they may develop a strong sense of guilt.

Stage 4: Industry vs. Inferiority

Between the ages of six and twelve, children compete with peers in school and prepare to take on adult roles. They end this stage with either a sense of competence or a sense of inferiority.

Stage 5: Identity vs. Role Confusion

During adolescence, which is the period between puberty and adulthood, children try to determine their identity and their direction in life. Depending on their success, they either acquire a sense of identity or remain uncertain about their roles in life.

Stage 6: Intimacy vs. Isolation

In young adulthood, people face the challenge of developing intimate relationships with others. If they do not succeed, they may become isolated and lonely.

Stage 7: Generativity vs. Self-Absorption

As people reach middle adulthood, they work to become productive members of society, either through parenting or through their jobs. If they fail, they become overly self-absorbed.

Stage 8: Integrity vs. Despair

In old age, people examine their lives. They may either have a sense of contentment or be disappointed about their lives and fearful of the future.

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