Erikson’s theory of of psychological development looks at development through the entire lifespan. It consists of seven stages: infancy, early childhood, preschool, school age, adolescence, young adulthood, middle adulthood, and maturity. Erikson focuses on an idea called ego identity, the conscious sense of self that we develop through social interaction. According to Erikson our ego identity continually evolves throughout our lives.
His theory also refers to a “psychological crisis”, an internal conflict or struggle that must be overcome. The movie The Sandlot shows examples of the fourth stage, where children need to cope with new social and academic demands, and fifth stage, where children develop a sense of self. Scotty has to cope with making friends in a new neighborhood. He gets pulled into a sport that he knows next to nothing about and; consequently, has to learn how to play. He also has to try to build a relationship with his new stepfather. Benny develops a sense of self and gains confidence as the story progresses.
Kohlberg’s theory of moral development breaks development into three levels of two stages each. The first level is preconventional morality, consisting of a stage where infants base their morality on whether or not they are punished and a stage where children act according to their needs.