Psychosocial development is a terminology that was used by Erik Erikson in description of psychological development in relation to the human social environment. Generally, the theory is a personality theory that tries to examine the particular traits that are synonymous with the various stages of psychological development of human beings. Erick Erikson identified eight stages of psychosocial development but I will be focusing on the sixth stage which he called the stage of Intimacy vs. Isolation.
He argued that this stage occurs between ages 19 and 40 which fall under the early adulthood of human beings. According to Erikson, this stage is characterized by exploration of personal relationships (Wagner, 2006). This stage involves the individual facing the task of developing emotional and intimate relationship with others around him. However, Erickson maintained that this becomes impossible if the individual has not carved an identity for himself/herself (Carver & Scheir, 2000).
At this stage, there is a need to build intimate relationships which will affect the course of the individual’s life. However, Erikson identified that each stage is affected by the previous stage so when individuals fail to build a sense of identity for themselves, they are forced to go into isolation (Stevens, 1983). From my point of view, we have reason to believe some aspects of Erik Eriksson’s view. This is because I fall under this age bracket and I can identify with some of the things that Erikson highlighted in this theory.
This stage is the stage when people get married and most people divorce. This is also the time when people decide on who they want to be and what they want to do with their lives. I believe that Erikson’s view on the whole might not be totally true but they surely help us as it identifies some basic things that characterize each stage of development. In conclusion, Erikson’s theory has been criticized by some scholars. One of the things that is leveled against his theory is that it is expensive to conduct such a research (Cole & Cole, 1989).