The industry versus inferiority is a period when a child starts attending elementary school, becomes acquainted with social norms, and learns how to meet them to have a positive image in society. It is the fourth stage of Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development.


Erik Erikson, a psychologist, has developed his theory that explains that various stages imply how a person develops through their lifespan. The industry versus inferiority is a stage that comes after initiative versus guilt.

The industry versus inferiority stage focuses on the fact that school provides children with a new form of social interaction. They cooperate with other people, including teachers and peers, and perform various tasks, which helps them to develop a sense of pride and competence.

However, one should mention that such a positive outcome emerges in a case if a child manages to perform these tasks successfully. In turn, it is possible when parents and teachers are involved in this process and help the child.

At the same time, if children do not receive any assistance from teachers and parents, it will be almost impossible for them to cope with the tasks. As a result, such children tend to experience a feeling of failure that can lead to further developmental problems.

In conclusion, Erikson’s industry versus inferiority stage stands for a period of psychosocial development. It demonstrates that children start attending school and face appropriate challenges. If they manage to cope with these tasks, the children will get the feeling of pride and competence.

Thus, problems at this stage can result in a sense of inferiority. Thus, parents and teachers should do their best to help children overcome the industry versus inferiority stage issues.