Summary Chart*Introduction to Stages*Biography*Critiques& Controversies*References & OtherLinks

Erik Erikson's 8 Stages of PsychosocialDevelopment

Stage 7: Middle Adulthood

Age:Middle adulthood -- 40 to 65 years

Conflict: Generativity vs. Stagnation

Important Event: Parenting


In this stage generativity refers to the adult's ability to care for anotherperson. The most important event in this stage is parenting. Does the adult havethe ability to care and guide the next generation? Generativity has a broadermeaning then just having children. Each adult must have some way to satisfy andsupport the next generation. According to Erikson, "A person does best atthis time to put aside thoughts of death and balance its certainty with the onlyhappiness that is lasting: to increase, by whatever is yours to give, the goodwill and higher order in your sector of the world"(Erikson, 1974).

Elements for a positive outcome:

To have and nurture children and/or become involved with future generations.

Elements for a negative outcome:

An individual must deal with issues they are concerned with or it can leadto stagnation in later life.


In this stage an adult will be concerned with issues such as: the future ofthe environment, what kind of world will we leave the next generation, equalityfor all people, etc.

Erikson's Stage 8Summary Chart
Introduction to StagesErikson home page