Erickson's Later Personality Stages of Life

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 25th Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Mental Health

Theories of personality have been extensively studied in psychology. This series will deal with some of the most known theories.


We last learned Freud had a theory of personality that ended at the age of 25. His successor and student Eric Erikson continued the stages into old age. His theory disregarded the sexual component that Freud had incorporated conflict. and conflict resolution.

The last three stages of personality development according to Erik Erikson

Young Adulthood from 19 – 40 years of age

The conflict is isolation versus relationships

In this stage the key factor is relationships and adults of this age group can either find themselves unable to make good relationships with others and therefore isolate themselves from others, or they can enjoy healthy relationships and develop the intimacy required for marriage and child rearing.

Middle Adulthood from 40 – 65 years of age

The conflict is generativity versus stagnation

People of this age group are creative and want to do be successful in their life's accomplishments. They raise children, have a strong a work ethic, and want to do something to make their mark on humanity; be it big or small. When their efforts are thwarted along the way, they become depressed. They stagnate, they stop reaching for success and consider themselves as failures.

Maturity onto the end of life – 65 years of age and older

The conflict here is ego integrity versus despair

It is important for seniors
to look back on their life and feel happy about their accomplishments. Good feelings about who they are and what they have done leads to a healthy ego while bad feelings leads to despair and depression.

Beyond the psychoanalysts and their theories

I concentrated on the first psychoanalytical theories of personalty. Of course there are many more modern theories and you can see how both biology and the environment play a role in human personality. To go through them all would be quite a feat and beyond the scope of a series. However, there are college and University courses in Montreal and elsewhere that are devoted to the subject of personality development. I already covered personality theories in past articles and will continue to post more theories in the future. No one article can embrace the vast knowledge and research on the subject.

Some links to previous articles in this series

Human personality and how it shapes our identities

Theories of Personality and the law

Nature versus Nurture and the law

John Locke and Sigmund Freud on Personality

Sigmund Freud and the super ego

Did women ever want to be men?

The stages of life according to Sigmund Freud and Erik Erikson

All photos taken from the public domain

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Conflict, Conflict Resolution, Conflicts, Ego, Erik Erikson, Freud, Personality, Serious Of Personality Development, Stages Of Development, Theories Of Personality

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Retired
26th Mar 2015 (#)

Very interesting!

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