Erikson's Timeline Assignment

  • Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt

    Robin (age 3) lived with her mother and abusive father. Robin was often harshly punished for imperfections and for making mistakes, and she was unable to create a sense of autonomy. She was forced to follow her dad's strict rules or else he would retaliate. One day, Robin did not make it to the bathroom and had an accident. She was spanked many times and locked in her room. The lack of childhood experiences taught her fear and doubt. Constant punishment and restraint made her feel shameful.
  • Industry vs. Inferiority

    Robin (age 9) was given daily chores and strict expectations. Robin was in charge of maintaining perfect grades while keeping up with house work, and if it did not meet her dad's expectations, Robin faced severe punishments. When Robin got a C on a test, her dad smacked and grounded her. Robin did not learn a feeling of industry, enthusiasm, or confidence in performing tasks. Instead, due to harsh punishments for not completing her father's demands, Robin felt insecure, anxious, and inferior.
  • Intimacy vs. Isolation

    Robin (age 20) got into a relationship with Frank, and it was becoming serious. Because of her father's emotional and physical abuse, Robin found it difficult to trust others by being vulnerable. Robin's mother remained with her father, so she did not have a marriage to look up to. Robin did not have examples of healthy relationships in her life. Because Robin was not being open and honest with Frank, Frank decided to end their intimacy by breaking it off. Robin felt isolated and alone.