Examining Erickson’s Stage of Industry vs Inferiority
by Denise N. Fyffe
The “industry vs. inferiority” is the fourth stage as dictated by Erikson’s psychosocial development theory. This is where children of school age achieve success by developing a sense of competency. This is ideal for the child, as he will carry this feeling in his academics and social interactions.
Children of school age who have a sense of competency are more confident in their abilities. They may tend to partake in physical activities, which boosts this confidence even more. For example, a boy would go on to play football and may do well. He then earns the respect and esteem of his peers and is boosted by their compliments and praise. The child’s relationship with peers in school and the neighborhood becomes increasingly important.
A school-age child who does not successfully complete this stage has difficulty with the ability to move between the world at home, and the world of peers. This can then lead to feelings of inferiority.
In this ‘industry vs. inferiority’ stage children want to do productive work on their own because they feel competent in their abilities to do them. For example, students can water class plants, collect, and distribute materials for the teacher, and keep records of forms for the teacher. The teacher would congratulate them on their hard work, and this too produces revere from peers and other teachers.
This aids in their development and if they do not successfully achieve this stage, they may be shy and feel inferior in their abilities. Social interaction may be negative as they may be deemed as a ‘weirdo’ or teased by other children.
This child may also fail his tasks repeatedly and then receive no recommendations, or praise.
At this stage, children are learning to see the relationship between perseverance and the pleasure of a job completed. An important event at this stage is attendance at school. As a student, children have a need to be productive and do work on their own. Interaction with peers at school also plays an imperative role in child development at this stage.
The child for the first time has a wide variety of events to deal with, including academics, group activities, and friends. It is essential for the child at this stage to discover pleasure in being productive and the need to succeed, therefore developing competence.
- Armstrong, J., (2000) Lecture Notes, Guam Community College. Retrieved from http://gcconline.guam.net/PY120/lectures/chp3.html
- Brain Development: Frequently Asked Questions, Retrieved from http://www.zerotothree.org/brainwonders/FAQ-body.html#influence
- Cramer, C., Flynn, B., LaFave A., (1997). Erik Erikson’s 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development, Retrieved from http://facultyweb.cortland.edu/~ANDERSMD/ERIK/welcome.HTML
- Davis, D., Clifton, A., (1995). Psychosocial Theory: Erikson Haverford ’95. Retrieved from http://www.haverford.edu/psych/ddavis/p109g/erikson.stages.html
- Psychology: Erikson’s Eight Stages of Human Development. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/library/weekly/aa091500a.htm
- Psychology: Social and Language Development: Child Developmental Psychology. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/library/weekly/aa120102b.htm
- Sdorow, L., (1993). Psychology, p. 114 – 147.
- Unit Four: Early Childhood, Retrieved from http://www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/docs/social/psych30/UnitFour.htm#Intro54
- Winters A., (2004). Erickson’s Theory of Human Development, Retrieved from http://www.articlecity.com/articles/kids_and_teens/article_65.shtml
About the writer:
Denise N. Fyffe is a published author of over 40 books, for more than ten years, and enjoys volunteering as a Counselor. She is a trainer, publisher, author, and writing mentor; helping others to achieve their dreams.
Check out her book The Caribbean Family
The family is the genesis of all societies. Every culture has its distinct rules by which a family is governed, and the Caribbean family is no exception. Those rules differ within each group; for the Indians, Chinese, and Africans. Making up most of the population in the Caribbean, African families have spawned several sub-units or types; some of which are unique to the African culture. This book explores each family type and its history within the Caribbean.
Available at all online book retailers and Amazon.com