Anglou- Life Span Development
Submitted By mysa
Whenever we look at a playground, we supposed to see some children play happily with their peers and some are not. Have you ever wonder what make their behavior are so different? Life span development studies of how people grow and change during all phase of their lives. In the book I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings written by Maya Angelou proves that development is multidimensional including biological, cognitive and socioemotional. Maya is three years old and her brother, Bailey, is four experienced broken family and were sent to Stamps, Arkansas with pieces of paper attached on their bodies “to whom may it concern”. They live with their paternal grandmother, Annie Henderson, whom soon they called Momma. Maya and Bailey who was born and grew up were abandoned without the love, care and nourishment in a good environment with their biological parents have had many struggles to face during childhood to early adolescence and affect their entire life.
As the beginning of the book, Maya was unable to finish her poem “What are you looking at me for? I didn’t come to stay…” According to Erikson, Maya must be in initiative versus guilt stage because Maya feels that she is awkward and ugly with kinky hair and dark skin. She dreams to be a beautiful white child with the straight blonde hair and blue eyes, not because she didn’t like herself, but because was taught not to like her Blackness. The social norms with stenotype expectation influences Maya’s development and personality when she interacts with people, that make she wanted to “retain a sense of uniqueness”, known as personal fable according to psychologist Elkind. This in turn caused Maya develops a psychological vulnerability. She always feels insecure and abandoned by her family. Maya struggles facing the significant questions of her childhood and young adulthood with her “ugly black dream.” she never feeling attached to one place. She also develops self-socialization as Charles Cooley and George Herbert Mead in which she expresses and argues with herself “who am I?”
The environment.. She learn problem solving skills and develop cognitive.
Maya was growing up in the era of the 1920’s and the culture of the Deep South. It was a land filled with racism and the segregation of Blacks and Whites where children taught to respect their elders, do their chores, mind their manners, and do their schoolwork, to fear God and no “Tom Foolery”. In other to survival, she becomes conditioned, molded to response social norm. Maya always was taught that Black was bad; White was next to being Godly and the safest way not to deal with whites. She felt furious on her great eighth-grade graduation when the white speaker, Mr. Edward Donleavy says that black children only achieved greatness through sports, not through academics.Clearly, she is expected not to have her defences up and shield her true identity. However, her brother, Bailey is a happy, optimistic, smart and strong. Bailey’s identity is well develop and also self-confidence. Maya is lucky because she still has Momma and Bailey who are her heroes. They always protect Maya and provide her with a loving, respectful foundation that will support her in the future.
Momma is a strong religious woman and hard working. She runs her own store, the only store in the black section of Stamps. She uses the good Lord and the Bible to raise and teach the children. According to the psychologist Diana Baumrind parenting style, Momma has an authoritative style of parenting style mixed with only a touch of an authoritarian undertone. She keeps her faith and self-respect, providing an influential model for Maya and Bailey. Momma is neither abusing nor neglecting them but only handed out punishment as she felt right. Moreover, Momma rules their house by innate righteousness and insisted the children observe rules and respect their elders and if a rule is broken, immediate punishment will be dispensed. At times I found her to be tender and nurturing when she needed to be. For example, when the three white girls try to insult her with ridiculous behaviors, she keeps silent, stillness and addresses them with respect, demonstrating her maturity and self-confidence. Momma gets over racism and determines her identity. Maya is only spanked a handful of times because she is so furious and want to teach these white girl a lesson. However, Maya wasn’t punished and she understands that Momma loves her. Hence, Bailey and Maya well educated, well- spoken, well-behaved had an enormous interest in literature. They were appreciative of what they had a spark for life.
The interaction of both nurture and nature affect most aspects of a child's development (Bee). There was more nature than nurture that gave a negative emphasis on Maya’s perceptual development. Socioeconomic status did not have an effect because the family has enough money and Momma even owns property. However, Maya still presented with a lack of self-esteem and identity issues. Unexpectedly, Bailey Sr., a stranger who is the children’s father comes to visit Stamps then he surprisingly the children with the promise of an adventure in California. They become very excited and have new hope, only to be woken up, after a long journey in the car, to find their selves in St. Louis, Missouri to see their mother, Vivian. Their Father leaves them, passing them onto their Mother, another stranger. Feeling betrayed, abandoned and unloved by her Father, Maya now had a new expressed desire for fatherly love. Maya feels the love that Mr. Freeman gives for her mother, Vivian, and pities for him when he keeps waiting for Vivian return home at night. Ironically, when Mr. Freeman sexual molestation her, she confuses because she has never yet received much physical contact. According to Erikson, now she must be in industry versus inferiority stage which is dealing with the effects of fear, shame, guilt, depression, and mistrust. Because Maya feels rejected and hurt because Mr. Freeman ignores her. She is left with intense, painful emotions. As the result by her parental abandonment and life of isolation, Maya is raped when she is only eight year olds. She gets that worst hardships and misfortunes of her life.
After that Maya tells the truth about that Mr Freeman raped her. She discovers that Mr. Freeman has been beaten to death. Maya believed herself responsible for another human’s death and shows compassion for him, even after what he had done to her. Maya’s sympathy is the best explain for Lawrence Khohlberrg’s stages of moral development. Maya is in Level 1 (preconventional) which is obedience and punishment orientation defined when a child’s reconventional morality has not yet adopted or internalized society’s conventions regarding what is right and wrong, but instead focuses larger on external consequences that certain actions may bring. Maya resolves to protect others by not speaking to anyone except Bailey because Bailey persuades and supports her to reveal the man that rapes her. He remains the most important person in her life. According to Marcia’s theory, she was undergoing an identity moratorium which is the identity status of individuals who are in the midst of a crisis but whose commitments are either absent or only vaguely. Due to Maya quits speaking, the children were then again returned back to their Momma in Stamps. As a turning point, Maya Meets Mrs. Bertha Flowers whom then Maya reveres as the “aristocrat of Black Stamps”. Mrs Flower encourages Maya to start communicating again and also help Maya discovers her reading skills. Maya learned from Mrs Flowers that describe one of Vygotsky’s theories of children’s cognitive development with his concept of zone proximal development. ZPD’s upper level as described “captures the child’s cognitive skills that are in the process of maturing and can be accomplished only with the assistance of a more-skilled person” (Daniels, 2011).
Media education influence Maya gender identity that brings her positive effects. Maya gender identity is affected by learning proves Kohlberg’s hypothesis that gender constancy stage is the point where children actually learn gender roles and relevant appropriate behavior (Bee and Boyl, page 311). Before meeting Mrs Flower, Maya spends her time in the library reading her favorite stories and fantastic adventures fairy-tales teach her the culturally accepted notion that women cannot be heroes, causing her to wish that she could be male. However, Maya considers Mrs. Flowers a hero and thus shows that Maya has begun to understand and determine her sex despite the fact that books portray only males as heroes. One day, Bailey is very scary because he witnesses a rotting Negroes body dead been hung then dumped in the river being pulled out from a pond by the local white Sherriff who smirking at the body. Momma decided to take Bailey and Maya to California, San Francisco to be with their Mother because Momma had enough of watching her grandbabies suffering with the ever twisting tides of racism in Stamps. she wanted to save them from further ugly encounters with racist Southern white. Maya and Bailey now shocked with a whole different lifestyle of their parents from which they were raised in by their Momma. Vivian Baxter was a hustler, a con and a survivor. Bailey Sr. was a tortured emotional soul, an alcoholic and a womanizer. They had quite the culture shock if you will. Luckily, Maya and Bailey’s upbringing by their Momma had instilled a sense of fear in them to do well in school and behave at all times otherwise there would be strict consequences. This is an example of heteronomous morality, the first stage in the Preconventional reasoning as described by psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg. Kohlberg’s theories are broken into three levels and six stages of moral development. Because of this, the fear of getting in trouble, and the endless need to make their Momma proud, the children stuck with school and did very well even when they are nurtured by their mother’s wild and free lifestyle in San Francisco. Thus, adopting Mommas standards and the standards of a society and maintaining this standard and making it their own demonstrates the second level, conventional reasoning and stage three of Kohlberg’ stages which is mutual interpersonal expectations, relationships and interpersonal conformity.
There was a shift in Maya’s awareness of herself and her abilities when she had gone to visit her Father in Los Angeles. During this visit with her Father, Bailey Sr. takes her with him on one of his trips into Mexico. There, in Mexico, her opinion of her Father being a womanizer was confirmed. He leaves his girlfriend, Delores, at home to cross the border into his lovers’ arms as he had apparently done so many times before. Bailey Sr. leaves Maya in a strange bar with non- English speaking local Mexicans to go off with his lady. After hours of not knowing whether her father would return she decides to wait in the car. Eventually, as she fears the worst and her emotions get dire, he staggers out drunk and passes out in the car. For once, she is going to take matters in her own hands because there is no one helps her. Even she has never driven a car before, she got the car all turned around and headed in the direction that she needed to be in proves Albert Bandura Social cognitive theory, which is observation learning defined that personality is shaped by learning. As Maya headed down that mountainous bumpy road of Mexico leaving all of her fears and childhood circumstances behind her. Even though she has an accident, she builds intrinsic motivation (Kendra Cherry http://psychology.about.com/od/motivation/f/intrinsic-motivation.htm), a sense of self confident in herself and proud of her achievement without any reinforcement. It is blessing in disguise because Bailey Sr. abandoned Maya but the result turn out that help her to seek for her identity. A little bit ignorance is pretty good, right? Once back home to her Fathers, Mayas new found sense of self was challenged by overhearing the argument between Big Bailey and his girlfriend, Delores. Maya has changed from a self-conscious and nervous girl to a defiant young woman. Maya stood up for herself against Delores’s jealous accusations and slap Delores when Delores insults her mother. As the result, Maya was stabbed by Dolores’s scissors. After that Bailey takes Maya to a friend’s house to cure for her wound instead of hospital. I believe that he cared very deeply for her well-being but was mostly concerned for himself because he wants to avoid personal embarrassment. I also wondered if she moved on as to not face the impending fear of her Father revealing his true feelings of genuine concern for her or himself.After move to live with her step father Daddy Clidell, Maya compares Big Bailey’s lack of paternal graces with Daddy who gives Maya love, affection and respect. She considers him the first real father figure in her life.
After the confliction with Delores, she left her Father. Maya has a new found sense of survival and felt the need to move on from the past. Maya stayed for a long while in a junkyard in a responsibly managed community society with other run-away and homeless children. Without the influence of adults, Maya experiences a sense of belonging and freedom to explore her identity. Maya’s growing sense of independence, confidence and discovered the survivor in herself. She made new connections, friendship companionship, ego support, social comparison affection and intimacy, and had peers around her that had more of an understanding of her than anyone else ever had. At age fifteen, when she returns home to San Francisco, she has developed a surprising adult will. She had lobbied the waiting room of the employment office everyday with one goal, to get them to give her a job as a streetcar conductor despite racist hiring policies. She finally succeeds in becoming the first black person to work on the San Francisco streetcars. Once hired, she still continues pursuing her education. She was strong now, she had undergone a psychological moratorium and had allowed herself to have an identity exploration and discard undesirable roles. Maya was ready to move onto the next phase of her life.
In matters concerning sex, Maya still confuses and lack of knowledge because no one teach her even her mother. She was pregnancy and physical adulthood with only her own instincts to guide her. Therefore, Maya have physical disorder when she hits puberty. She worried that her physical development too different compare to her peers. For example, She wonders if she may be lesbianism or hermaphrodite. She didn’t understand the growth that she was experiencing on her “pocketbook”. Maya decides to get a boyfriend without love to settle the matter once and for all to relieve her anxieties about being an abnormal girl. This is the interesting part because she had unknowingly made things worse because she wasn’t making clever choices. Thus, three weeks later, she discovers that she is pregnant. Surprisingly, Maya accepts full responsibility for her pregnancy and decided to keep her baby. She kept it a secret from everyone but her brother Bailey who gives her trust and attachment. Maya finished school and then gives birth to a son and fascinated by the baby. She was a mature woman now and fully self-efficiency in her decisions to nature her child. She now has this new life where she fully intended to take great care of her child and wanted to give her child a better life than the one she had.
The book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” Maya life span development grows from her early years up to late adolescence in Arkansas which is clearly explain by psychology development aspects. Maya compares herself nature as black female role models, and even her entire race to the bird that is locked in nurture a cage as social norm. The bird never sings. The cage bird is like a prison and Maya like a bird that was trapped inside. Maya’s widely varied and insightful depiction of the African-American struggle to get over many hardships in life from childhood to adulthood.