Trust Versus Mistrust (Erik Erikson)

Trust Versus Mistrust (Erik Erikson)
May 16, 2022 No Comments Self Development emmahjoy

In the previous article Examples of Erik Erickson’s 8 stages of development, the article discussed about all

the eight psychosocial development stages as theorized by Erikson. Further research on the first stage

of development, reveals quite interesting facts that you as a reader might be interested in.

Trust Versus Mistrust is the first stage of Erik Erikson’s stages of development. The stage ranges between

birth and one year when the child celebrates their first birthday. The child at this stage learns to identify

whether they can trust or mistrust their care givers and applies the lessons in the way they relate with the world in general.

What Causes Trust?

At this stage of psychosocial development, the child is overly dependent on the caregiver for everything

from food, affection, security, and clothing. Therefore, a child gets to develop trust depending on how

well the caregiver cares for them. The child operates in the hope that their needs would be met by the

caregiver and as a result they learn to perceive the world as good and caring, hence, trust develops.

What Causes Mistrust?

Mistrust is developed if the caregiver does not show care and affection, the child ends up feeling that the

world is cruel and thus develops mistrust for everyone. Mistrust may lead to a child who is fearful and

anxious and would find it challenging to develop healthy relationships in their later lives.

Example of Trust Versus mistrust

The real life examples of Trust versus Mistrust stage is in this article


Erikson’s work was influenced by Sigmund Freud’s work on child-development the child with the necessary basic needs in order to develop a positive attachment. However, they did not agree on Freud’s emphasis on the libido. More about Freud’s work on child development is in this article

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