Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Life Cycle, Human
Bruce R. Josephson
Theorists who have written about the human life cycle include Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, Erik Erickson, and Daniel Levinson. They usually describe universal stages that people pass through during their lives and present the life cycle as one where people progress toward certain goals. Some theories, such as Freud's, were based mainly on speculation about what “must” occur in individuals in terms of oral, anal, and phallic stages of infancy and the later latency and genital stages. The oral stage (birth to 1 year) focuses on the conflict that the infant experiences between pleasure and pain from the mouth, the pleasure of food, and the pain of its denial. The anal stage (1–3 years) looks at the anus as a source of sexual pleasure and control, and the phallic stage (3–6 years) focuses on the genitals and a love/hate relationship with the parents. The latency stage (6 years ...