Theories of Development and Stages of Development

Understanding Theories of Development and Stages of Development in psychotherapy through different different developmental frameworks (e.g. - Freudian, Eriksonian, Piaget) can be helpful to structure your understanding of a patient's symptoms and psychopathology, depending on their age.

Table of Theories of Development, Skills, and Psychopathology by Age

Age Freud Erikson Existential Question Piaget Significant Relationships Language skills Motor skills Possible psychopathology
0 to 18 months Oral Basic trust vs. mistrust Can I trust the world? Sensorimotor Mother Body actions, crying, naming, shared social communication Reflects, sitting, reaching, grasping, walking, mouthing Autism, anaclitic depression, colic, disorders of attachment, feeding and sleeping problems
18 months to 3 years Anal Autonomy vs. shame, doubt Is it okay to be me? Symbolic preoperational Parents Sentences, telegraph, unique utterances, sharing of events Climbing, running, jumping, use of tools, using toilet, early self-care Separation issues, negativism, fearfulness, constipation, shyness, withdrawal, aggressiveness
3 to 6 years Phallic (Oedipal) Initiative vs. guilt Is it okay for me to do, move, and act? Intuition, preoperational Family Connecting words, can readily be understood, tells and follows stories, questions Increased coordination, tricycle, jumping, writing Enuresis, encoparesis, anxiety, and aggressive acting out, phobias
6 to 12 years Latency Industry vs. inferiority Can I make it in the world of people and things? Concrete operational Neighbors, school Subordinate sentences, reading and writing, language reasoning Increased skills, sports, recreational, cooperative games School phobias, obsessive reactions, conversion reactions, depressive symptoms, anxiety, ADHD, parent-child relational conflicts
12 to 17 years Adolescence (genital) Identity vs. role confusion Who am I? Who can I be? Formal operational Peers, role models Reasoning with abstract thoughts, using language, abstract mental manipulation Refinement of skills Delinquency, promiscuity, schizophrenia, eating disorders, suicide, parent-child relational conflicts
17 to 30 years Young adulthood Intimacy vs. isolation Can I love? Formal operational Friends, partners Reasoning with abstract thoughts, using language, abstract mental manipulation Refinement of specialized skills, sports skills peak Schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, adjustment disorders, parent-child relational conflicts
30 to 60 years Adulthood Generativity vs. stagnation Can I make my life count? Formal operational Household, workmates Reasoning with abstract thoughts, using language, abstract mental manipulation Refinement of skills Depression, self-doubt, career development issues, family and social network, and neuroses
> 60 years Old age Ego integration vs. despair Is it okay to have been me? Formal operational Mankind, my kind Some loss of skills, decreased memory, decreased focus Loss of functions Involutional depression, anxiety, anger, increased dependency