Five stages of personality development

Five stages of personality development

Table of Content

  • Introduction
  • The Significance of Personality Development
  • Stage 1: Infancy
  • Stage 2: Early Childhood
  • Stage 3: Childhood
  • Stage 4: Adolescence        
  • Stage 5: Adulthood
  • Conclusion


All through our lives, personality development takes place and it becomes a shaping force to us concerning our behaviors to the world which is around us. There are many different stages in the life of a human being from early stages up to the adulthood period. But they all contribute towards making us have unique characters in our societies. Here we will consider five possible steps that a person’s personalities go through before they get into themselves completely. We will study the five stages of personality development from infancy to adulthood.

The Significance of Personality Development

Before understanding the five stages of personality development, we will understand its significance. Personality development is pivotal in determining the way we think, feel, act and relate to others. It affects a person’s self-perception as well as perception by others, coping mechanisms and life navigation skills. Therefore, comprehending the phases of personality growth can help us understand our individual maturation process and aim at bettering ourselves.

Stage 1: Infancy

It all starts during infancy when trust and attachment connection are laid down as the first stage of personal development. An infant’s trust complex or lack thereof originates from his/her dealings with the people taking care of him/her. Responsive and empathetic handling by the caregivers promotes assurance as well as self-assurance. But if neglected it can result in confusion and even suspicion of the same.

Stage 2: Early Childhood

The stage of autonomy versus shame and doubt is defined during the early childhood period. In this phase, infants and young children test their newfound independence by trying to take control of their own lives as much as they can. Children begin to feel more confident about themselves when they are encouraged or supported by those who take care of them. On the other hand, if they are overly directed or excessively criticized they will believe that there is something wrong with themselves.

Stage 3: Childhood

The period of initiative versus guilt defines childhood. Kids start to identify goals and directions for themselves by taking the initiative in doing things and by studying the things around them. They play and interact with others to determine their own objectives and ways of how to reach them. If everything is supported positively, a sense of starting things and completing them properly will be nurtured. It will lead to guilt free lives around such people. On the other hand critical as well as restricted conditions can bring about accusations hence making them feel guilty. It is because what should have been done wasn’t done in this situation.

Stage 4: Adolescence

Adolescence is the period where there is identity versus role confusion. As adolescents try to find their place in the world, they face questions regarding who they are. What are their values and their beliefs? As they strive to make sense of themselves, they may assume different personas and take up different roles. This is to test out what interests them most or what they want to achieve in life. One who has gone through this stage victoriously has a clear understanding of his or her being while failure may result in ambiguous ideas about what lies ahead.

Stage 5: Adulthood

During adulthood, each person confronts the intimacy versus isolation stage where they strive to build meaningful relationships with other people. For example in relationships such as lovers, friends or colleagues. While intimacy is characterized by such features as emotional openness, trustworthiness and mutual support leading to successful relationship closure. It makes one feel at home while rejection in the previous relationships or other factors may cause isolation due to the fear.


Personality development in a process that is dynamic and has many parts and takes place over the course of a person’s life. Understanding the five stages of personality development helps us understand where we are going in life and decide how best to foster this. If we nurture trust in children, develop independence for youngsters, praise their efforts while growing up, discover the self in teenagers and create intimate relationships with grown-ups, then this would result in building strong healthy human beings who add value to both their own existence and their social circles.

Nothing is more Expensive than a missed Opportunity