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The Epigenetics Theory as explained by Erikson (The Stages of Development)
The Epigenetics Theory as explained by Erikson
Every person in his/her lifetime experienced abandonment. A short duration or longer span time, yet this left a scar that marks his/her life. In the Epigenetics theory as explained by Erikson, he believed that childhood is very important in ones Stages of Personal Growth; one's family upbringing builds up on these stages. Thus, he called it the Ego Psychology for it enables to identify it in each stage the life of a person.
These are its tenets:
The ego is utmost important
It must operate independently.
It must adapt to situations.
Here are the stages and its concepts:
Stage 1: Basic Trust versus Mistrust
Developing trust is the first role of the ego; in this stage maternal relationship must be established in order for the child not to develop rage and anxiety. If this persists, it will develop in a child the concept that one is unwanted thus the child will withdraw and does not open up oneself to others.
Stage 2: Autonomy versus Shame
If a child is subjected to shame the child will turn against oneself the ability to manipulate and discriminate. In this case shame develops as well as self doubt. In severe cases, it will develop to paranoia.
Stage 3: Initiative versus Guilt
Initiative is the ability to undertake responsibilities, plans and tasks. This also determines a person’s capability to become active and on the move. If a child is denied on this stage it will result to castration, thus one feels guilty if one shows exuberant enjoyment on ones actions restricting him/herself and is only allowed on permissible goals of an adult life.
Stage 4: Industry versus Inferiority
Productive outcomes spring largely from a child's whims and play. To violate that, a child may pull back from industry and tends to become isolated and less conscious of familial rivalry, he/she becomes a conformist and thoughtless slave whom others exploit.
Stage 6: Intimacy versus Isolation
The body and ego must be masters of organ modes in order to face the fear of organ loss in cases of self abandon. The infringement of these experiences leads to isolation and self – absorption; thus, a child abhors intimacy and may lead to character problems.
Stage 7: Generativity and Stagnation
This is the ability to look forward to having successors and guide them in order to become better citizens. The opposite of this is not caring whether the descendants will be successful in their lives or not.
Stage 8: Ego Integrity versus Despair
This is the accumulated assurance of a person on his/her experiences in life. It his/her capacity to find meaning in life; despair signifies the loss of self - sufficiency, and love from friends and partner.
Healthy children as Erikson said will not fear life if their elders have the integrity not to fear death.