CHF 1500 Human Development PrevNext
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Industry vs Inferiority

Psychosocial Stage - Developmental task for the School Age child:

With a foundation of Trust and the development of a sense of independence (Autonomy), along with skills of thinking about ideas and doing something about those ideas (Initiative)... the child is ready for the next challenge of childhood: "Industry".

As the child reaches about age 5, his mind is prepared to develop skills in reading and math. Of course he has already been working on pre-reading and pre-math skills by counting and learning about numbers and alphabet... at least we hope he has. He should also be prepared by this time to deal with a broader range of social relationships. If the child has attended a day care center or preschool program, he will have been exposed to a variety of situations to give him some of this experience. If he has remained at home with his Authoritative parent, he should have also have experienced many stimulating activities. At any rate, the child is ready to enter the school system and focus his energies in learning the skills and developing the tools that society expects his to learn. Ahh... yes, the three "R's" and more. In addition to school skills, this also includes other physical and social skills that children of this age participate in, things like riding a bike, playing an instrument, swimming, gymnastics, etc.

If the child is successful in learning these skills, and does well in school, he begins to develop a sense of achievement; the feeling that he can be productive in the school environment and in society. This is the task of "Industry" that Erikson refers to with its accompanying virtue of "Competence".

If the child is not successful in school and is not able to get the recognition and approval of others for his academic achievement and other skills or abilities, then he is at risk for developing the polarity of "Inferiority".

Also See the text on this psychosocial stage,