Untapped Richness in Erik H. Erikson's Rootstock

Helen Q. Kivnick, PhD, LP; Courtney K. Wells, MSW, MPH


Gerontologist. 2014;54(1):40-50. 

In This Article


Erikson's three principles and the scaffolding they constitute—untapped richness in Erikson's rootstock—can help us get at the deeper meaning of the "… 'good old age' we all hope for" (Kivnick & Pruchno, 2011, pp. 143). Erikson's paradoxical, humanities-based way of looking at things (separate and also related; unique and also universal; reciprocally influential; sequential and also spiraling) cannot promise comfortable answers to gerontology's questions. But, as we have tried to illustrate, their full understanding and intentional application can help guide gerontology's individual and collective journey.