Sample Nursing Paper on Ego Integrity vs. Despair

Ego Integrity vs. Despair

The last stage of Erikson’s psychosocial development occurs among older adults above sixty years. Mostly, this group is comprised of retirees. Older adults begin to examine their previous lives to find fulfillment in their younger days (Psychology Notes HQ, 2017). If the reflections bear positive images, older people feel the accomplishment of life. However, if they look back and feel they have not done much, they will begin to experience despair for having wasted their fruitful days.

Erickson notes that as people grow past their sixties, they become senior citizens and frequently less productive. They view life from a retiree position and indulge in meditation to contemplate their accomplishments in life (Cherry, 2018). The old people who remain positive about their younger days feel successful and develop integrity. If the reflection indicates unproductive lives though, older people begin to feel guilty for not having achieved much in their lives. Those who find contentment in their younger lives develop wisdom and integrity. The successful completion of life generates satisfaction that is useful as they prepare for death (McLeod, 2018). The dissatisfaction with life leads old people to develop despair and may develop into depression and hopelessness.

Erikson’s final psychosocial stage occurs during the late stages of life. During this period, individuals reflect upon the events in their lives and determine whether they are pleased with the life they lived or if they regret about the things they did or failed to do (“Crowe Associates”, 2017). Those who feel unsuccessful during old age experience regrets. Meanwhile, feeling proud of the past life generates a sense of accomplishment and integrity. Successful lives mean looking behind with few regrets and greater satisfaction.


Cherry, K. (2018). Understanding Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development. Retrieved from

ERIKSON’S LIFE STAGES | Crowe Associates. (2017). Retrieved from

McLeod, S. (2018). Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development. Retrieved from

Psychology Notes HQ. (2017). Erik Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development. Retrieved from