Stage 4 : Industry Versus Inferiority (Ages 5 to the Onset of Puberty at About 12 Years) . Play be - comes more purposeful or goal-oriented as children learn more about the ways of the world. If they take the initiative, they can become accomplished and feel a sense of industry . If they feel inadequate, perhaps because of the guilt from the earlier stage, children become discouraged in their attempts to acquire knowledge or complete tasks. In that case, they may feel incompetent and unproductive, which can lead to lasting feelings of inferiority . Therefore, the virtue acquired in this stage is competence . By discovering a number of competencies, children begin to build a sense of identity. Stage 5 : Identity Versus Role Confusion (Adolescence) . This is the pivotal stage for Erikson. Previ - ous stages are integrated here, and subsequent stages are dependent on its successful resolution. In this stage, teenagers try to construct an identity , incorporating such factors as intellect, career, and gender. In doing so, they begin planning what the future will be like. Erikson used the term identity crisis to describe the conflict that adolescents experience due to the outcomes of trust, will, competence, and purpose from the prior stages. The goal in this stage is to solidify an inte - grated identity in which all parts of the self-image are in harmony with each other. When that doesn’t happen, teenagers feel anguish over who they are and how they fit into their social world, resulting in a state of confusion . The quality that develops here is a sense of fidelity (faithfulness and support) to others. When that is the case, young adults can more easily create feelings of emotional intimacy. After all, if a person does not have a strong sense of identity, then there are few intimacies that he or she can share with another person. In order to experience inti - macy, the focus of the next stage, a person must be able to share private thoughts. Stage 6 : Intimacy Versus Isolation (Early Adulthood, From About 18 to 25 Years) . The adult stages rest firmly on the successful resolution of the challenges of earlier developmental stages. Although close relationships may have formed prior to this stage, the task in this stage is to form successful relationships and create intimacy . If a young adult has not yet successfully resolved the crisis of identity, then it becomes more difficult for that person to form deep emotional connec - tions. Expressing hopes, dreams, and fears to an intimate partner also helps solidify and integrate self-image. In the absence of that intimacy, relationships are more superficial; without the risk of vulnerability, a sense of isolation develops. Erikson does not limit these intimate relationships to sexual intimacy but extends them to relationships with special friends also. The quality that develops here is love .
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- Spring '09
- Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, Erik Erikson