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Essay / Research Paper Abstract
A 9 page overview of the life and work of one of the most influential psychoanalysts of the twentieth century. This paper traces Erikson’s life from birth to death, noting his major contributions in the theory of human development. Specific attention is paid to Erikson’s eight stages of human development. Bibliography lists 12 sources.
9 pages (~225 words per page)
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Erikson was one of the most influential psychoanalysts of the twentieth century. Born in Germany, Erikson traveled extensively throughout Europe as an itenerate art student before ultimately relocating to
the United States in 1933 to study under Anna Freud. Eriksons education and contributions in psychology were made primarily after his relocation to the U.S. He taught at
Harvard between 1933 and 1936 and again between 1960 and 1970. His clinical work targeted the social, culture, and environmental factors which influence behavior with his most notable contribution
being the division of the human life cycle into specific psychosocial stages of development. Personal
Background Erikson was born to Karla Abrahamsen in Frankfort Germany on June 15, 1902 (Wu, 2002). Eriksons Danish father had abandoned his
pregnant wife some time before Erikson was born (Wu, 2002). No record appears to exist of the fathers name but, as it turns out, he would have no influence
on Erikson other than that which was contributed genetically (Wu, 2002). The first three years of Eriksons life were spent being attended to by his mother (Boeree, 2002).
When Erikson was three his mother, of Jewish heritage, married Dr. Theodor Homberger and Erik became Erik Homberger (Boeree, 2002). Erikson would elect several years later, for reasons which
are unknown, to change his name to Erikson (Boeree, 2002). Both Eriksons mother and his stepfather were Jewish.
Homberger had been Eriksons pediatrician prior to marrying his mother(Boeree, 2002). The new family would take up residence in Karlsruhe in southern Germany (Boeree, 2002). In light of