PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT: Stages and Influencing Factors

  • Jul 26, 2021
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Personality development: stages and influencing factors

Personality is a concept that refers to a unique and individual vision of the human being, that is, it is about the vision we have of each person, a fact that causes each one to be different from the others. Specifically, the personality is formed thanks to a set of traits and characteristics that determine the behavior, conduct and way of acting of people in different situations and contexts. Thus, broadly speaking, personality is what allows us to differentiate one person from others. But why do we have one personality and not another? How is personality formed? And above all, what does it depend on? In this article from Psychology-Online: personality development: stages and influencing factors, we will give answers on this exciting topic.

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  1. Stages of personality development
  2. Stages of personality development according to Freud
  3. Stages of personality development according to Erikson
  4. Factors influencing personality development
  5. Personality development in childhood
  6. Personality development in adolescence

Stages of personality development.

The two best-known theories of personality that emphasize the different stages that make up its development are, on the one hand, the theory of Sigmund Freud and, on the other hand, Erik Erikson's theory. They are explained below.

Stages of personality development according to Freud.

According to Freud's personality theory, personality development is divided into five stages or phases that are identified with the erogenous zones, the organs in which sexual pleasure, energy and libido of people are focused.

In addition, it should be noted that due to the experience of some trauma, a fixation or a regression in the development process, so if there is an alteration in one of the specific stages, the personality of the person will be determined by that. Freud's stages are:

Oral stage (0-1 year)

It is the first stage of development that begins at birth and lasts until the first year of life of people. In this stage or phase, pleasure is found in the mouth and is obtained through sucking, sucking, eating or biting activities. It is usually related to the act of sucking, biting on objects, among others. The correct evolution of this stage depends on the pleasant and safe experiences that children experience during this time. Thus, according to Freud, a great example of trauma experienced in this situation that can cause a fixation on This stage is the fact of stopping breastfeeding earlier than expected or for longer than expected. necessary. The results of a fixation at this stage can be tobacco addictions, nail biting, among others.

Anal stage (1-3 years)

This stage begins one year and ends at 3 years. It is characterized by being the stage in which the source of pleasure is in the anus, therefore, it is related to pleasant activities of sphincter control (also including the bladder), such as retain and / or pass stool. According to Freud, at this stage two disadvantages can arise if an adequate evolution is not followed: on the one hand, the children may present a great retention of stool leading to constipation and consequently develop a stubborn character. On the other hand, children may rebel and expel stool at inopportune times and consequently develop a more destructive character.

Phallic stage (3-6 years)

The third stage of development according to Freud begins at 3 years and ends at 6 years and the source of pleasure is focused on the Fondling (in the case of women the clitoris, comparable to the clitoral stage). This stage is related to the pleasure that children feel with the exhibitionism of their genitals and the interest in the genitalia of the opposite sex and their own. At the beginning of this stage, people show great auto-erotic interest, but as time passes, the focus of interest shifts towards the parents, taking into account the Oedipus complex.

So the Oedipus complex It is characterized by the search for satisfaction in the parent of the opposite sex, although there is also an interest in the parent of the same sex in terms of overcoming their rivalry. It is common for children, at this stage, to seek body contact, caress, masturbate or create fantasies in relation to what the grown-ups do. However, there comes a point where the Oedipus complex enters a state of liquidation, where small differences are found between boys and girls.

On the one hand, in the case of children, the hostility they show towards the father conceived as a rival and the sexual interest in the mother make the child expect to be punished with castration. Also, unfulfilled punitive fantasies can provoke neurotic symptoms in the child's personality. And, it is in this phase of the Oedipus complex in which the child identifies with the father and wants to adopt the image of him, the rival aggressiveness disappears and he loses interest in the phallus.

On the other hand, in the case of girlsInitially, in the same way as children, they show a love towards the mother (same-sex parent). But unlike boys, there comes a time when girls discover the lack of a penis, consequence of the smaller measure of the clitoris in their comparison and, therefore, they imagine that they have been mutilated. Thus, they attribute as the culprit of their mutilation to the mother and, to face their situation of ambivalence sexually decide to choose the father (parent of the opposite sex) as the object of love, due to envy or desire for their penis.

Latency stage (5-12 years)

This stage begins at age five and ends at twelve, the approximate age when puberty begins. In this stage the sexual impulses remain dormant, that is, there is a temporary suppression of the sexual instinct in children during this period. In this sense, this stage is characterized by not having a specific area where pleasure is focused.

Genital stage (puberty and maturity)

This is the last stage of development according to Freud and is accompanied by physical, mental and emotional changes own age. The erogenous zone in which pleasure is focused is once again the genitals, although in this case, the people already have the ability to express sexuality based on consensus and bond with others people. In other words, we could say that it is about adult and mature sexuality. This stage is characterized by the appearance, again, of sexual interests and satisfaction, sexual activities begin to be carried out and sexual organization and maturity take place. In addition, the sexual identity of the people is reaffirmed. Finally, it should be noted that aspects such as kindness, affection, receptivity, security, aptitude, ability to understand and appreciate the well-being of others, the inclination to collaborate with other people, and so on.

Personality development: stages and influencing factors - Stages of personality development according to Freud

Stages of personality development according to Erikson.

According to Erik Erikson's personality theory, personality development is divided into eight stages different, ranging from the birth of people to their death. These stages consist of the search and adaptation of people in the environment and, in each of these stages, there are opposing concepts that come into conflict. In addition, the goal of people is to achieve a balance between both opposing concepts and obtain an achievement at the end of each stage. Erikson's stages are:

Trust vs mistrust (0-18 months)

The first conflict that people encounter at birth is the one between trust and mistrust, and it lasts up to approximately 18 months. At these ages, children receive care from their parents in relation to the needs of children, such as food, protection, care, among others, so children hope to train a bond with their parents according to the satisfaction of his needs.

Thus, at this stage, children must battle the conflict between trust and mistrust to build a bond of trust with their parents. Well, the feeling of trust, vulnerability, frustration, satisfaction, security, etc. determine how to establish relationships and the quality of these relationships with other people throughout his life, at the same time that the child must also learn to trust himself. That is, the child's future relationships with the outside world will depend on the bond that has been created with her parents at this stage.

The objective to be achieved at this stage is to reach the balance point between trust and mistrust, a fact that allows the child an adequate adjustment between his autonomy and his social life. In addition, another achievement that must be obtained at the end of the stage is hope, that is, the child must understand that the parents will not always be by her side or they will always be able to satisfy all her needs, so that the child must be able to hope to survive when no one can satisfy her needs.

Autonomy vs shame (18 months-3 years)

In this stage, children begin to develop their movement and excretion capacities, a fact that requires learning and control on the part of their parents. In this sense, autonomy is reflected in children since the development of these new capacities causes them a feeling of freedom because they feel that they no longer depend on their caregivers to be able to move and, as time passes, children become more independent thanks to their developed capacities. However, shame is reflected in children due to their inexperienced way of moving around or controlling their sphincters and is also due, to some extent, to the freedom that parents provide their children, who it implies doubt their abilities, that is to say, of what the parents consider that the children can do or not.

The achievement that must be obtained at the end of this stage is the determination or the will to do or not do the things that the children want, taking into account the confidence they have in themselves. Thus, as time goes by, the children will carry out tests of their actions to be able to know the effects and consequences that each of their actions Actions entails, in this way, they will develop their autonomy, at the same time that they will need marked limits of what they can and cannot make. In this sense, they will strike a balance between autonomy and shame, which will lead to a self-control and self-management of their own behaviors.

Initiative vs guilt (3-5 years)

At this stage, children develop their abilities more autonomously than before. Therefore, thanks to the discovery of their abilities, children realize all the possibilities that are within their reach compared to the previous stage, a fact that encourages the initiative of children, since they put their abilities to the test and skills doing new activities. However, if parents react negatively At the initiative of your children, such as scolding them, it will probably generate a feeling of guilt in the children.

Regarding the achievement that must be obtained at the end of this stage, we must bear in mind that a balance is necessary that allows the children are able to recognize responsibility for their actions and at the same time feel free to act under that responsibility. responsibility. Thus, children must know what the consequences of their behaviors are in order to know what they should and should not do, leading to the achievement called "purpose." The purpose is what will allow children to learn the limitations of their actions in relation to everything that surrounds them.

Industriousness vs inferiority (5-13 years)

During this stage, children continue to mature and learn from their actions, for which they need to act and experiment. When they do not get what they want by carrying out these actions, a feeling of inferiority and frustration can be generated. Well, the objective of this stage is that people can achieve a feeling of competition that allows them to feel capable of acting in a balanced way and doing what they propose, without proposing unattainable goals that are misplaced, without giving up or attributing failure to inferiority.

Search of identity vs diffusion of identity (13-21 years)

The conflict that people encounter at this stage of personality development is to find their identity, that is, when a person is in this stage they fight for find out who is, find yourself and know what you want. For this reason, during this stage people often experiment and explore new options far from what they already knew before. In this conflict, it is common to live insecurities, have doubts about social roles, doubt sexual preference, questioning aspects of independence and adherence to groups, experiencing ideological and value doubts, etc. Well, an alteration at this stage can cause people's identity to not be developed under their freedom and lead to personality problems in the near future.

Intimacy vs isolation (21-40 years)

At this stage of personality development, people often seek personal relationships and bonding, so that it allows them to share their experiences, affections, emotions and intimacy. It is at this stage when people relate to others in a different way, they seek more intimate relationships than they expect commitment and reciprocity. In addition, they hope that these relationships allow them to share their experiences, affections, emotions and that they allow them to feel safe and confident. Therefore, if this type of intimacy is avoided, people can find themselves in a situation of isolation. Thus, the objective of this stage is get to receive the love of other people taking into account the balance between intimacy and isolation, respecting the limits that each one sets in terms of their privacy and the ease with which they share it.

Generativity vs stagnation (40-60 years)

During this period, people often find themselves in conflict with feeling productive in their day-to-day life and feeling stagnant and useless. People want to feel productive and for their efforts to make sense, usually in relation to taking responsibility and caring for someone or something. On the contrary, people can feel stagnant due to the fact of not feeling productive, for example, for not having found a romantic partner, for not having a job, among others. For this reason, the objective of this stage is to prepair yourself for life and get involved in personal careSo a balance must be found between productivity and stagnation.

Integrity vs despair (60-death)

In the last stage of personality development, people according to Erikson reach the point where your productivity begins to decline or ceases to existTherefore, they must look back and pay attention to the achievements of the previous stages. People try not to stagnate socially and transmit their knowledge to the next generations, so it is at this time that people are loaded with wisdom. All this leads to people taking care of their physical and mental health. Thus, people who are in this stage aim to value the meaning of their existence and accept it as it has been lived, always keeping in mind the balance between people's integrity and their hopelessness.

Factors that influence the development of the personality.

The development of the personality can be influenced by several factors or aspects, both environmental and the person himself. The factors that influence the development of personality are:

On the one hand, external environmental situations to the person that can cause people to adapt their behaviors and thoughts to these situations. Thus, in terms of environmental factors influencing the development of personality, we can contemplate culture, experiences, among others.

On the other hand, internal aspects of the person can be combined to influence the behavior of individuals. Referring to these internal factors of people, we must take into account biological and hereditary factors, needs (for example, achievement, affiliation ...), thoughts, temperament, character, and so on.

The development of personality in childhood.

In childhood, the development of the personality is closely linked to the relationship of the temperament with the reality that surrounds the children, that is, depending on how the children's temperament interacts with their surroundings, the personality will be influenced in one way or another. This close relationship is due to the behavior patterns that children acquire in correspondence with the situations in which they usually find themselves.

Leaving aside the Freud and Erikson stages discussed earlier that fit with ages in infancy, during infancy, children go gradually developing different capacities and abilities, both cognitive and physical, that allow them to come into contact and interact with reality and the environment That surrounds them. It is at this stage that children begin to develop emotional ties and the attachment with their parents and close ones.

Furthermore, personality development in childhood is influenced by values, beliefs and norms that children begin to acquire and that are externally instilled by the authorities, parents, teachers, older siblings, among others.

Personality development: stages and influencing factors - Personality development in childhood

Personality development in adolescence.

The physical changes that occur in puberty greatly influence the development of personality in adolescence, especially in terms of self-esteem, security, confidence, socialization and sexuality.

It is a stage in which the boys they tend to experience Much because they want to discover who they are, what they want, what their sexual preferences are, what they expect of themselves, among others. All this leads to boys feeling insecure and distrustful because they cannot meet each other, a fact that can lead to low self-esteem. In addition, they are at an age in which physical appearance takes on great importance, so if they do not like or accept themselves, it will also influence a low self-esteem, a fear of socialization, an insecurity, and so on.

Thus, since it is a stage in which experience predominates, the development of the personality can be greatly influenced, since as we have commented previously. experience is one of the environmental factors that can get in the way of personality development.

This article is merely informative, in Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to Personality development: stages and influencing factors, we recommend that you enter our category of Personality.


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