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Erik Erikson's 8 Stages of PsychosocialDevelopment

Stage 8: Maturity

Age: Late Adulthood -- 65 years to death

Conflict: Integrity vs. Despair

Important Event: Reflection on
and acceptance of one's life


The most important event at this stage is coming to accept one's whole lifeand reflecting on that life in a positive manner. According to Erikson,achieving a sense of integrity means fully accepting oneself and coming to termswith the death. Accepting responsibility for your life and being able to undothe past and achieve satisfaction with self is essential. The inability to dothis results in a feeling of despair.

Elements for a positive outcome:

The adult feels a sense of fulfillment about life and accepts death as anunavoidable reality.

Elements for a negative outcome:

Individuals who are unable to obtain a feeling of fulfillment andcompleteness will despair and fear death.


An aged person may find it necessary to reflect and analyze what they haveaccumulated throughout life and decide what offspring will receive from themupon death.

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