TABLE A-1 Stages of Development According to Erik Erikson

Life-Cycle Tasks

Program Cycle for Adolescents

Trust versus Mistrust

Birth to 1 year. Infant learns to expect maternal love and consistency or develops a sense of insecurity.

Learn to trust in the caring, competence, resourcefulness and fairness of the program staff and safety of the program environment.

Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt

1 to 3 years. Balance develops between parental control and the child’s own autonomy or the child develops a sense of shame and self-doubt if the balance is not established.

Negotiate an acceptable range of autonomy in behavior and decision-making, learning to respect program rules and to value guidance.

Initiative versus Guilt

3 to 6 years. Child uses his or her increasing autonomy to be on the move, planning and initiating actions, but may develop feelings of guilt if actions violate standards of propriety.

Initiate an honest attempt to collaborate with staff and peers toward self-development goals, learning to cope with or overcome feelings of ambivalence, sometimes from survivor’s guilt.

Industry versus Inferiority

7 to 11 years. Child becomes focused on producing things, instead of simply doing things, but may develop a sense of inferiority if not generally successful.

Strive industriously to achieve program-related goals, including learning new strategies for living and mastering new skills.

Identity versus Identity Confusion

Adolescence. In moving from childhood to adulthood, a person consciously crafts a multidimensional image of self, but may suffer confusion if that identity is not validated and approved by others.

Resolve any tensions between old and new beliefs about one’s self. Assimilate a focused and positive identity that fosters a healthy life style, satisfaction with one’s self and a sense of positive anticipation about one’s future.

Intimacy versus Isolation

Young adulthood. Young adults seek companionship and love with another person or become isolated from others.

Consolidate friendships with other trainees and some program staff, while drifting away from less constructive past associations.

Generativity versus Stagnation

Adulthood. Middle-age adults are productive, performing meaningful work and raising a family, or become stagnant and inactive.

Help to improve the program and to leave it in good condition for later cohorts of trainees who will enter future cycles of the program.

Integrity versus Despair

Maturity. Older adults try to make sense out of their lives, either seeing life as a meaningful whole or despairing at goals never reached and questions never answered.

Person leaves the program knowing that they have done their best and can look back with pride at performance and achievements.


Sources: For the life-cycle model, see Berger, K.S., 1988, p. 37, and Erikson, E., 1963, ch. 7. For the program-cycle model, see the study of YouthBuild by Ferguson, R. and J.Snipes, 1997.

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