Sample Psychology Essay Paper on Erik Erikson’s Social-Emotional Theory

Erik Erikson’s Social Emotional Theory

            Erik describes identity as an individual’s beliefs regarding him or herself with respect to social groups such as religions, race, and gender. Identity is not only socially constructed but also a self-portrait as it entails self-established values, beliefs, and goals that define a person and to which one strongly commits. According to Schachter et al. (2018), identity exhibits an individual’s knowledge and understanding of self, and this vastly reflects on an individual’s traits that differ from the role and social identities. Erik believes that identity plays a significant role in adolescent development as it boosts the development of the sense of self, which is the main characteristic for adolescents. The adolescents that undergo this stage successfully develop a strong self-identity and this ensures they remain loyal to their values and beliefs when faced with difficulties and other individuals’ perceptions.

            The fifth stage of psychosocial development as outlined by Eric entails identity and the role confusion. Normally, most adolescents face challenges regarding their identity and role confusion where they find themselves asking questions like who they are and their main purpose in life. Attachments and autonomy have a positive correlation with an adolescent’s psychosocial development and adjustment (Waite-Stupiansky, & Jones, 2017). Functional and social autonomy substantially links to the attachment with parents, siblings, and peers and predicts the degree of psychological development and adjustment, for instance, self-esteem and academic competence. Parents can adopt strategies such as nurturing adolescents and incorporating corrective discipline and guidance to ensure they effectively address the adolescent’s raised motivation and urge for autonomy.

            In conclusion, an example of my teenage experience that aided me to develop self-identity is that before high school graduation, I befriended rich kids that influenced me to engage in drugs and body piercings. My parents, however, did notice my habits and offered corrective guidance and this began my journey of developing my self-identity.



Schachter, E. P., & Galliher, R. V. (2018). Fifty Years Since “Identity: Youth and Crisis”: A

            Renewed Look at Erikson’s Writings on Identity.

Waite-Stupiansky, S., & Jones, E. (2017). The Eriksons’ Psychosocial Developmental Theory.

            In Theories of Early Childhood Education (pp. 31-44). Routledge.