Encyclopedia of the History of Psychological Theories

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert W. Rieber

Erikson, Erik

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0463-8_213

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Basic Biography

Erikson, H. Erik (June 15, 1902–May 12, 1994), was an artist turned psychoanalyst, and was best known for the initiation of the concept of an identity crisis and his influence on psychosocial aspects of stage-like development.

Erik Erikson was born in Frankfurt, Germany, to his mother Karla Abrahamsen. When Erik was about 3 years old his mother, Abrahamsen, married Dr. Theodore Homberger, Erik’s pediatrician. Erikson never knew his biological father, who abandoned Abrahamsen before Erikson was born. Erikson had blonde hair and blue eyes and grew up getting teased in grade school due to his Nordic looks, and due to his Jewish roots. Erikson, originally named Erik Homberger, grew up in South Germany where he finished high school and lived a spontaneous young life of traveling through Europe, focusing on art, and visiting museums. Around the age of 25, after a few years of traveling, Erikson was approached by a friend that was also an artist who...

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  1. Cherry, K. (2010). Erikson, E. (1902–1994). Biography of Erik Erikson. (n.d). Retrieved 12 Dec 2010, from http://psychology.about.com/od/profilesofmajorthinkers/p/bio_erikson.htm
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marymount Manhattan CollegeNew YorkUSA