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Psychosocial Theory

There are several theories to explain and illustrate the development of man. The most significant of these are presented learning theory, cognitive and psychoanalytic theory, the theory of "self." The so-called theory of crises, authored by Erik Erikson refers to psychoanalytic theories. Erik Erikson (1902-1994) created the theory of psychosocial development of the individual under the influence of a specific cultural environment.

Erikson agreed with Freud that early experience of paramount importance considered the development of the individual as a dynamic process, which lasts from birth to death. Like Freud, Erikson believed that the satisfaction of instincts is one of the driving forces of life, but of no less importance he attached to the synthesis of the ego - streamline and integrate the experience. Development of “I” is associated with the social orientation of society. Recognizing the great importance of childhood in the development of personality, it is, however, believed that the key is not the way of feeding, but the whole style of relations between mother and a child, which are determined traditions of society. The central idea of this theory is the proposition that, at each stage of psychosocial development a person is experiencing a crisis of identity. This can include both favorable and unfavorable resolution of the crisis. In case of a favorable resolution with a positive personal development and transition to the next stage with good preconditions of its overcome.

Ego psychology offers concept to explain the internal self-organization of the individual and his/her relationship with the surrounding world. In terms of Erikson, life cycle includes eight psychosocial stages. Each of them is characterized by a certain type of crisis or critical stage in human life. The stages are described in terms of the major psychological conflicts: basal confidence; autonomy - shame and doubt, and initiative – guilt; hard work – inferiority; ego- identification - role confusion, and privacy – insulation; productivity - inertia, stagnation, and despair. Individuality of personality depends on the resolution of these conflicts.

The main components of the psychosocial theory involve psycho-emotional characteristics associated with the temperament and character (psycho) of person; stable characteristics of communicative style yawl (including communication skills, empathy, a typical extension and communicative role); the meaning and stereotypes related to his/her gender, age, social, ethnic characteristics; the overall thrust of the person (interests, habits, etc.), "motivational education" due to persistent beliefs, values and goals of the individual significance.

Erikson's theory is based on his assumptions of human nature. It provided the impetus for a very small number of studies. Application of the theory Erikson discussed in relation to the problem of understanding the behavior of young people in American society (Newman, 2007). Different aspects of adolescents - the problem of choosing a career, membership in the peer group, alcohol and drugs - explained as a partial reflection of the identity crisis. Erikson applied his theoretical views in such disparate areas as play behavior in children (Erikson, 1937), the childhood of the tribes of American Indians (Erikson, 1945), the social behavior of adolescents (Erikson, 1968a), the problem of self-identity among black youth (Erikson, 1964) and non-conformism in adolescence (Erikson, 1970). Erikson gave relevance of self-identity in terms of “I”-understanding, as the central psychosocial problems faced by young people in modern American society. In terms of Erikson, the two major issues facing today's youth, are: "Who am I?" and "How do I enter in the adult world?" In a culture with strict social norms (for example, in Islam), which has a large number of prescribed social and gender roles, the problems of self-identity are minimized, because of small choices.

Erikson's theory has been criticized for the fact that disproportionate attention is given to the first 20-25 years of life while most of life is squeezed into the last two stages. Several authors have tried to overcome this shortcoming by offering additions and clarifications, through the development of alternative schemes, for example, Levinson, 1978, 1986; Peck, 1968; Vaillant, 1977.

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