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Erikson's theory of psychosocial development includes eight stages of development. At each stage there is a different and specific conflict that the individual must resolve in order to move to the next stage of development. If the person is unable to resolve a conflict at a particular stage, they will confront and struggle with it later in life. According to Schultz and Schultz (1987), "The person is faced with a choice between two ways of coping with each crisis, an adaptive or maladaptive way. Only when each crisis is resolved, which involves a change in the personality, does the person have sufficient strength to deal with the next stages of development". So you see, this theory is based on encountering and resolving conflicts, which helps the person establish a sense of identity and move from one developmental stage to the next. It's important to note that this theory of development removes the emphasis on sex, like Freud's psychosexual theory of development has.
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