- INFANCY: Basic Trust vs. Basic Mistrust - the infant struggles with dependency on its mother for love, nurturing, and (oral) sustenance, in the course of which he may develop an underlying sense of hope concerning his place in the cosmos, or failing this, may withdraw from the world of relationships altogether.
- EARLY CHILDHOOD: Autonomy vs. Shame, Doubt - the young child experiences a conflict related to other people (e.g. parents) controlling its bodily functions (anal, urethral), and may come out of this crisis with a developed sense of will or autonomy (the ability to take charge of one's own life), or alternatively, because of deep shame (a sense of being exposed), develop a defensive structure of compulsiveness that tries to control self and others in a manipulative or obsessive way.
- PLAY AGE: Initiative vs. Guilt - the child is now a part of the family matrix and struggles with oedipal desires (locomotion aggression toward the same sex parent, genital attraction toward the opposite sex parent), which may be channeled into a positive drive to take initiative in the social world, or alternatively, may turn in on itself and develop into a sense of pathological guilt related to sexual and aggressive feelings.
- SCHOOL AGE: Industry vs. Inferiority - here the psychosocial world expands to include the neighborhood and the school environment, where the child's efforts to sublimate the drives of the previous stage through work and enterprise (e.g. hobbies, schoolwork, projects, chores etc.), may result in the construction of a personality that feels a sense of competency and ability, or alternatively, may develop into a pervasive aura of inferiority in relationship to the efforts and achievements of others.
- ADOLESCENCE: Identity vs. Identity Confusion - with the advent of puberty, the psychosocial scene focuses upon the teenager's peer group and other groups that model a range of possible identities, which the teen will try on (through intense one-to-one relationships and/or membership in cliques), and through which he will ultimately develop a coherent sense of identity, or alternatively, experience a diffused, undefined, or fragmented sense of self that may result in delinquency, psychosis, or more commonly, the inability to settle upon a occupational identity as he moves into adulthood.
- YOUNG ADULTHOOD: Intimacy vs. Isolation - now that the individual has hopefully developed a stable identity, she moves into the adult world seeking a partner with whom to share work, sex, friendship, and intimate feelings, failing which, she sinks into exclusivity, elitism, isolation, or other forms of non-intimate social relations.
- ADULTHOOD: Generativity vs. Stagnation - once the adult has found a partner to share intimacy with, he now is faced with the challenge of raising a family, making positive contributions to the workplace and the community, and engaging in other forms of generativity and care, failing which, he will become rigid, inert, and rejecting on the job, in the family, and/or as a citizen, or fall into other forms of stagnation.
- OLD AGE: Integrity vs. Despair - as an adult reaches the end of her life, she looks back at what she has or hasn't accomplished, and feels a deep sense of fulfillment or at least an acceptance of the life she has lived (out of which will come wisdom), or alternatively, she descends into anguish or despair at having not lived a full and vital existence.
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