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Erik Erikson, with the theories he presented through his works, have created the notion that the environment is an important factor in the development of the child. He, according to Johnston (2005), “identified the importance of a loving and emotionally stable home life on the emotional development of the child and motivation to learn” (p. 6). It is clearly indicated that he established the need and relationship of the child to the environment as it has its own impacts. Likewise, it is seen as a part of the interrelated set of system that is important for the child.
The contributions of Erikson to human development, as a field of study, provided insights and a better understanding when it comes to raising the children across cultures (Colarusso, 1992). This is important as the specificity that the factors of culture bring has been often ignored in other research studies and this brings further clarity into developing the child. A consideration of the element of diversity is something that may not be unique but has brought the theories of child social and emotional development a step further.
Likewise, the ability of Erikson to point out the psychosocial crisis that occurs with each stage vis-à-vis the two possible results have given way to an explanation that is related up to the stages of adulthood (Hollin, 1995). This gives particular importance to the other elements of the environment aside from that of the culture.
While other theorists focus on other aspects such as the biological and behavioral, he placed emphasis on external factors that paved the way for the consideration of things that may be invariably missed by other studies. He is able to prove the need for continued research of the external environment that is important for explaining human behavior and development.
The culture and the consideration of the larger environment of the child have highlighted the importance of Erikson’s work.
Colarusso, C. (1992). Child and adult development: A psychoanalytic introduction for clinicians. NY: Plenum Press.
Hollin, C. (1995). Contemporary psychology: An introduction. Bristol, PA: Taylor & Francis Inc.
Johnston, J. (2005). Early explorations in science. NY: McGraw-Hill.