Psychological Development Across the Lifespan

Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages

What did Erikson mean by Industry vs. Inferiority?

This stage parallels Freud’s latency stage and takes place during middle childhood, from about age six to about age twelve. As Freud noted, children of this age are less emotionally tumultuous. This is a relatively calm time in a child’s development, where the basic skills of self-regulation and interpersonal behavior have been mastered. This is a time for the child to learn how to participate in the wider world. In industrialized countries this mainly involves school-based education. When children feel successful in these endeavors, they develop confidence in their own industry, in their capacity to work. If they cannot master the tasks expected of them at this stage, they feel inferior and incapable.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Psychology Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App