Study Tips

NCLEX® QOTD: Development theory

Osmosis Team
Published on Feb 21, 2024. Updated on Jan 16, 2024.

Today's NCLEX-RN® question of the day focuses on a nurse, in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), who takes into account the psychosocial development of the patients. Based on Erikson’s Theory of Development, what conflict are the newborn patients likely experiencing? Can you figure it out?

The nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) considers the psychosocial development of the patients on this unit. According to Erikson’s Theory of Development, which conflict are the newborn patients likely experiencing?

A. Initiative versus guilt

B. Trust versus mistrust

C. Integrity versus despair

D. Intimacy versus isolation

Scroll down for the correct answer!

The correct answer to today's NCLEX-RN® Question is...

B. Trust versus mistrust

Rationale: Trust versus mistrust is the first stage of Erikson’s model and occurs from birth until one year of age.  During this stage, the infant needs physical comfort and a reliable and sensitive caregiver to establish trust in the world around them and feel the world is safe and predictable. On the other hand, the infant will experience anxiety and mistrust if they are mistreated or their needs are not reliably met.

Major Takeaway

Erikson's theory of psychosocial development focuses on the psychosocial aspects of human development, such as personality, thinking, and behavior. Erikson described eight stages of psychosocial development, from infancy to adulthood, during each of which a client experiences opposing conflicts that they must resolve for development to be successful. The first stage occurs from birth until one year of age and is characterized as trust vs. mistrust. During this stage, the infant needs physical comfort and a reliable and sensitive caregiver to establish trust in the world around them and feel the world is safe and predictable. On the other hand, the infant will experience anxiety and mistrust if they are mistreated or their needs are not reliably met. 

Incorrect answer explanations

A. Initiative versus guilt

Rationale: Initiative vs. guilt is the third stage of Erikson’s model and occurs between 3 to 6 years. During this period, preschoolers experience a desire to assert control over their environment and interactions with others. As they learn to initiate activities, plan goals, and successfully master tasks, they develop self-confidence and a sense of initiative. On the other hand, a lack of praise for the child’s efforts, harsh control, or being overly critical of mistakes or messiness can impair initiative development, resulting in guilt.

C. Integrity versus despair

Rationale: Integrity versus despair is the final conflict of life, from the age of 65 years until death. During this stage, older adults contemplate their life’s achievements. Looking back with contentment and happiness leads to a feeling of integrity. On the other hand, failing to achieve goals or looking back with disappointment and regret can result in bitterness and despair.

D. Intimacy versus isolation

Rationale: Intimacy versus isolation is the sixth stage and occurs during young adulthood, between 18 to 40. A search for meaningful, intimate, and long-term relationships with others characterizes this stage. Failure to develop significant relationships and connectedness with others can result in isolation.

Erikson's theory of psychosocial development

                                                         ________________________

Want more NCLEX®-style practice questions? Try Osmosis by Elsevier today! Access your free trial and find out why millions of current and future clinicians and caregivers love learning with us.

Osmosis ad to create an account