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Erik Erikson developed the Psychosocial Theory. The theory covers eight stages across the life span of human development. Each stage has a “crisis” a major psychosocial theme that is important in that time. The theory has eight-stages that are affected by social and cultural influence a process of development of the ego and self. In this paper I will analyze the theory of Eriksson by matching each main character from the movie “On Golden Pond” to a crisis of psychosocial development. First I will explain each theory then I will match them up with the characters.
In the movie “On Golden Pond”, the individual must resolve these crises so he/she can develop healthy. Each stage involves a positive and a negative reinforcement. The success of this outcome of each stage is the development of a virtue or strength. The first stage is Basic Trust versus mistrust. The age is birth to 12-18 months. The baby makes a judgment if the world is a safe place. The infant needs to learn to trust or mistrust the world and the outcome of this stage is virtue. The second crisis is Autonomy versus shame and doubt. The age is 12-18 months to 3 years. In this crisis the individual develops a balance of independence and self-sufficiency over shame and doubt. The virtue of this crisis is will. The third crisis is initiative versus guilt and the age is three to six years. In this crisis the individual develops initiative when trying out new activities and is not overwhelm by guilt. The virtue to this crisis is purpose. The next crisis is Industry versus inferiority and the age in this group is six years old to puberty. In this crisis the child learns the skills of culture or the child will face feeling incompetence. The virtue is skill.
The following crisis is identity versus identity confusion and the page is usually between puberty and young adulthood. The adolescent determines a sense of individuality and experienced a confusion of roles. The virtue is fidelity. The next crisis is intimacy versus isolation and the age is you’d adulthood. This person wants to make commitments to others and if this individual don’t they can suffer from isolation and maybe lead to depression or self-absorption. The virtue is love. Generatively versus stagnation is the next crisis and the age is middle adulthood. This adult wants to establish and guide the next generation or else feels personal impoverishment. If this individual doesn’t feel she or he has done this they may feel as if they failed as parents or grandparents. The virtue is care. The last crisis is ego integrity versus despair and the age is late adulthood. Elderly people usually feel as if they have achieved in their life and accept life and start to accept the idea of death. This virtue is wisdom.
In the movie on golden pond each character goes through stages of psychosocial development. The first character in the movie that I recognized that was going through a crisis was Norman. Norman is going through the crisis of integrity versus despair. His stage of development is late adulthood. His family goes to Golden Pond to celebrate his 80th birthday. Norman does not deal well with his crisis. He has a lot of negative resolution. He does not like the idea that he is getting old and constantly makes rude comments about it. Norman is too much in despair and he is obese with death. Norman does not get along with anyone. As a father he maybe feels that he has not done a good job raising his daughter Chelsea. Norman does not accept the fact that he is getting old. At this point I believe that he goes through the crisis of Identify vs. identity confusion because he doesn’t want to face that he isn’t young anymore.
One way that I feel that he resolved his crisis is the relationship that he made with Billy Ray Jr. He taught him what he couldn’t or didn’t teach Chelsea.
The next character is his wife Ethel. Ethel is also in the age of late adulthood, she is 70 years old. Ethel is going trough the crisis of ego integrity versus despair. Ethel
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Ego psychology, Social psychology, Developmental psychology, Eriksons stages of psychosocial development, Erik Erikson, On Golden Pond, Ego integrity, Ethel, Norman, Young adult, Death anxiety, Psycho
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