Adolscent Theory

According to Jaffe (1998), theory development has a purpose to describe and explain behavioral changes throughout the lifespan.   These changes are what molds personality.   Erik Erikson developed the adolescent theory that I prefer in 1963. His theory is based on eight psychosocial stages. These stages are: infancy, toddlerhood, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood.   Erik contends that each stage brings about certain challenges and conflicts. As the person matures they are ready to successfully face and conquer those challenges.   I believe that Erikson’s epigenetic principle coincides with true adolescent development. He proposes that the stages of adolescent development build on each other (Jaffe, 1998).   I believe that our adolescent life does indeed dictate how our adult life will be.   When adolescents don’t have a clear understanding of who they are, there will be identity confusion. This confusion can easily slip into adult life.   I feel that this is why you have some adults trying to live the life of an adolescent as an adult because they have missed a piece to the puzzle.   Erik calls this having an “identity crisis”.
There is also criticism associated with Erikson’s theory.   One criticism is that he fails to recognize the social content and that his theory focuses more on males and not on females.   I think that Erikson’s theory is appropriate because it actually covers all stages of life with specifics on what occurs in each stage. Most of the criticisms are minor and I feel that there is no room for criticism but other theorist should just focus on building on his theory.

Jaffe, M. L. (1998), Adolescence, New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc