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Social and Emotional Case Study

  • Date Submitted: 08/07/2014 09:19 PM
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Social and emotional theory
Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory
Erik Erikson (1902-1994) was a pioneer in the field of psychosocial development. Erikson, who studied under Anna Freud, used Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychosexual development as a basis to build upon. However, unlike Freud, Erikson believed that human development continued into and throughout adulthood effecting each stage of a human’s lifespan (Hoffnung et al. 2013; Institute of Education, 2014; B. Newman, P. Newman, 2007). Erikson concluded that there were three interrelated forces that all had a profound impact on an individual’s development; biological and physical strengths and weaknesses, unique life circumstances and social, cultural and historical forces (Hoffnung et al. 2013). Erikson’s psychosocial theory comprises of eight distinct stages. In order for a person to successfully negotiate through the stages they must overcome a crisis that is specific to each individual stage (Hoffnung et al. 2013). However, it is important to note that it is not necessary for an individual to solve or master each crisis before they move onto the next stage, although not resolving a crisis will have an impact on future stages and effect how the individual progresses through each of the stages (Hoffnung et al. 2013). It is also imperative that we realise that conflicts are never absolutely resolved (Hoffnung et al. 2013).
Identity vs role confusion is stage 5 in Erikson’s psychosocial theory. It is a critical stage in an individual’s development for many reasons but most importantly because an individual needs to resolve this crisis on order to create their own identity or sense of self (Hoffnung et al. 2013; B. Newman, P. Newman, 2007). This stage sees the end of being seen as a child and beginning of being treated as an adult.
Casey witnessed the separation and eventual divorce of her parents whilst battling with the above mentioned crisis which must have made her doubt herself as a person and perhaps even...


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