The 8 Stages Of Life According to Erikson

life according to erikson

6. Stage 6: Young Adulthood (18-40 years)

Factors : Intimacy vs isolation

Erikson was of the opinion that at this stage, young adults tend to dwell into relationships and get married. They are ready to share their lives with other people and explore a lot of relationships to find the one which suits them the most.

Intimacy: If young adults are able to find a meaningful relationship, they will be able to sense intimacy and affection. They benefit from an emotional perspective by having a lifelong commitment or bond.

Isolation: If these people are not able to find suitable relationships, they might start experiencing loneliness. They may withdraw from social activities and lead a life of isolation.


7. Stage 7: Middle Adulthood (40-65 years)

Factors: Generativity vs Stagnation

The main purpose of this stage is to be self-independent and established in life. People at this age contribute to society, have well-built careers, and also raise children.

Generativity: Here people try to guide and mentor their children and other young adults. They can leave behind legacies for others to follow. They may also contribute to society in a significant way.

Stagnation: Some people in this stage might feel that they have no contribution towards society. If their coworkers or counterparts do not appreciate their work or efforts, they might find themselves getting frustrated and restless. Some people might feel that they have reached a ‘peak’ in their lives and things are only going to get worse from there.

Read The 3 Stages in the Midlife Search for Meaning


8. Stage 8 : Late Adulthood (65 years and above)

Factors: Integrity vs Despair

During this stage, which is the final according to Erikson, people tend to reflect on their lives a lot. People here grow old and the pace of their life slows down. They look back on their past and try to assess their achievements. People who take pride in their past achievements tend to feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment here.

Integrity: People who feel that their lives have been fulfilling, wholesome and rewarding can face their old age and even death with integrity or pride. They feel like they have accomplished something in life and all those years were worth living for.

Despair: However, people who have been unsuccessful in their previous stages may experience feelings of despair or loss. If they feel that their lives have been unproductive, they might get depressed.

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