The first stage of development is infancy. It lasts from birth to 1 year. The basic conflict is trust versus mistrust. Infants develop trust in self, others, and the environment when caregiver is responsive to basic needs and provides comfort; if needs are not met the infant becomes uncooperative and aggressive, and shows a decreased interest in the environment.
The second stage of development is toddler. It lasts from 1-3 years. The basic conflict is autonomy versus shame and doubt. Toddler learns control while mastering skills such as feeding, toileting, and dressing when caregivers provide reassurance but avoid overprotection; if needs are not met, toddler feels ashamed and doubts own abilities, which leads to lack of self-confidence in later stages.
The third stage of development is preschool. The basic conflict is initiative versus guilt. Child begins to initiate activities in place of just imitating activities; uses imagination to play; learns what is allowed and what is not allowed to develop a conscience; caregivers must allow child to be responsible while providing reassurance; if needs are not met, child feels guilty and thinks everything he or she does is wrong, which leads to a hesitancy to try new tasks in later stages.
The fourth stage of development is the school-age. The basic conflict is industry versus inferiority. This stage lasts from the age of 6-12. Child becomes productive by mastering learning and obtaining success; child learns to deal with academics, group activities, and friends when others show acceptance of actions and praise success; if needs are not met, child develops a sense of inferiority and incompetence, which hinders future relationships and the ability to deal with life events.
The fifth stage of development is adolescence. It lasts from 12-18 years. The basic conflict is identity versus role confusion. Adolescent searches or self-identity by making choices about occupation, sexual orientation, lifestyle, and adult role; relies on peer group for support and reassurance to