Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
James E. Côté
This entry provides a summary of Erikson's psychosocial theory of human development, framed in terms of its consistency with developmental contextualism and positive youth development. First, the ways in which his theory prefigured these current trends in adolescent psychology are pointed out. Second, his view of ego development as a source of agency is discussed. Finally, Erikson's stipulation of the environment as a differential context of identity development is highlighted. This selection ends with a call for contemporary researchers to acknowledge Erikson's influence on their fields of study. Erik Erikson was a pioneer in emphasizing the role of social context in human development. His theory is particularly useful because it allows us to address in one analysis the psychological, biological, cultural, and historical factors that influence epigenetic development. Early in his career, Erikson undertook detailed analyses of childhood and adolescence in North American Native cultures (1963) when developing his “ego ...