Erik Erikson's Child Development Theory Video
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Video:Erik Erikson's Child Development Theory

with Dr. Robert Reiner

Erik Erikson's child development theory looks at a child's life as a series of conflicts of increasing complexity. This psychology video from will explain Erik Erikson's child development theory in greater detail.See Transcript

Transcript:Erik Erikson's Child Development Theory

My name is Dr. Robert Reiner from Behavioral Associates in New York. I'm going to talk to you about Erik Erikson's theories of development.

Erikson's Child Development Theory Begins With Trust

Erickson was a Scandinavian psychologist who, very much under the influence of Freud, was one of the first people to take Freud's theories and expand on them not only through all the different stages later in life but also cross-culturally. He basically saw life as a series of conflicts or small stages that a person had to go through. The first one being the development of trust. Infant cries out, and how consistent the caregiver would be as a response, Erick believed, would really kind of set the stage all through life for the development of not only trust but the acquisition of the sense of predictability, which we now know is extremely important.

Next Stage of Erikson's Development Theory is Control

Predictability, sense of control, the ability to believe that the things that you do in life will have an effect on other things in your life is extremely important. He believed at each crucial stage that how you worked it out had significant effects on your personality. The first stage we spoke about was the development of trust. The second one was the development of control. It was related to things like toilet training and how much a person would be able to trust his or her body to basically do what you wanted it to do.

Erikson's Identity Crisis Theory

On the failure end of things, for example, not acquiring an adequate sense of control during the toilet training phase would result in the development of shame. The crucial conflict Erikson later became noted for was identity crisis. He certainly believed that how secure a person was, how much they anticipated being able to control events in life, was related to how they worked this through, how much of a positive sense of self the person acquired through that identity crisis or identity stage, as Erikson called it.

This has been Dr. Robert Reiner from Behavioral Associates in New York City. If you need more information about Erik Erikson's work, go to

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