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Development Theories

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Development theories and their effect on Adult life Name Institution

Introduction
A lot of approaches have been taken so as to explain how we as human beings develop from children to adults. Many different scientists have over the years come up with certain theories within the psychological discipline to illustrate how the different stages of childhood shape a person’s adult nature. It has been proven that the environment of the various development levels of a child have a significant effect on how the child relates later as an adult, or rather the different character traits that are exhibited later in adulthood.
Areas inclusive of biological, cognitive, emotion and social processes have been studied so as to come up with the different developmental processes. Two of some of the most noted developmental psychologists are Sigmund Freud and Urie Bronfenbrenner (Salkind, 2006).Sigmund Freud came up with the very controversial theory known as the Psychosexual Development Theory. He believed that there are five stages involved in the formation of someone’s personality. For one, there is the oral/dependency stage: This stage takes place in the first 18 months of an infant’s life. The child mainly uses their mouth in exploring the environment around them. Pleasure is derived from breastfeeding or feeding from a bottle and also suckling a pacifier. If too little or too much oral stimulation is received by the child then they may develop a fixation. Practices such as smoking, biting fingernails, overeating and drinking are deemed to be some of the fixations that may occur when one becomes an adult. One may become very naïve and always take orders instead of assuming leadership roles. Others are impatient and very dependent on others. Many people are addicted to smoking and taking of alcohol, some bite endlessly into their nails when faced with extremely nerve racking situations. Other people chew at their nails for no apparent reason. Perhaps these people are a specimen of those who developed fixation during their infant oral stage years. Some more examples are thumb sucking, and pencil chewing (Cohen, 2011). We now come to the anal/potty training stage: In this stage the child learns how they can control their bodily functions and in the process gain pleasure through control of bowel movements. It occurs from 18 months to three years. If not well handled they become controlling, very rigid, obsessed with cleanliness, stingy, punctual and possessive or become disorganized, presence of a hot temper and chaotic (anal retentive or expulsive).
As an adult you notice that there is need to observe cleanliness in our homes, need for proper grooming of our bodies and frankly there is the struggle to be flexible so as to live in unison with others where need arises. Those who neglect cleanliness, have little or no need to be flexible; in other words are rigid, are very controlling and ignorant according to Freud are likely to have had poor handling when they were at the anal stage (Freud, 2007).
The next stage is phallic stage. This is between 3 to 5 years. Freud believed the Oedipus or Electra complexes occur at this stage. Here the child acquires the sense of male and female. The full development of personality takes place at this stage. Male children develop an unconscious attraction to their mothers with feelings of jealousy and rivalry towards the father while girls develop attraction towards their fathers and shows anger towards the mother. The behavior fades as the child starts to identify with the same sex with time and progresses to develop well sexually. If fixation occurs during this stage then it can result in immoral sexual behavior when the child becomes an adult. Fraud claims that homosexuality, rejection of required gender roles and problems with authority are some of the effects of conflict in the phallic stage. Society today is full of cases whereby people of the sex are forming lifelong partnerships. While some are adopting this as an accepted practice in society, most are yet to warm up to the idea. Whichever the case, could this trend be as a result of many children facing conflict in the phallic stage? Latency stage lasts from when a child is six years old up until they reach puberty. Freud believed there were no major observable changes in behavior. Most children in this stage identify well with the same sex and are not concerned with sexual matters. He further suggests that the repressive sexual drives may be greatly influential in the formation of friendships and a lot of time spent in hobbies.
As adults it is seen that those who put focus and effort into their hobbies are the ones who have turned their hobbies into income generating activities. This has led to the attainment of fulfilling careers. When one has a job that is not a source of income, but also loves doing it, then the returns are much more. In other words financial stability is attained (Kalmer, 2007).
Genital stage which comes next begins from around 12 years up to the height of puberty. After the latency stage where sexual desire is suppressed or inhibited in there is observed to be an awakening for sexual desire. It is brought about due to great hormonal changes experienced during puberty. This is the last stage of Sigmund Freud’s psychosexual development theory. According to Freud, if a lot of attention is placed in just the first three stages, the individual is not successful in reaching maturity. This leads to overdependence on parents. This theory would probably suggest why some people find it extremely difficult to move out of their parents’ home and work towards independence.
Another scientist who came up with a development theory is Urie Bronfenbrenner. His theory
Was known as the Ecological systems theory. It was based on the fact that a child’s development depends on their development and social relationships. Therefore Urie suggested that development was dependant on five environmental systems: Micro System is the immediate and smallest environment that a child lives in. It is the system that the child is in direct contact with. A micro system may include parents, teachers and close peers. In this system, how a child reacts to the people around them will in turn affect how they treat the child. Those that are in the child’s micro system greatly influence him/her.
These interactions influence a child’s personality more specifically their temperament. A child’s interaction within the micro system should be nurturing so as to ensure that during adulthood the individual is flexible and respects other people’s ideas. This goes a long way in ensuring people live in perfect harmony with an individual (Damon & Lerner, 2011).
Mesosystem involves interactions between the child’s different parts of the Microsystems, how they function together for the benefit of the child. For example, experiences of the family and those of the school or those of the family and those of fellow peers. That is the interconnectedness of the child’s individual Microsystems. Parents should be keen on ensuring they do not have conflicting ideas on how to best raise the child. It is important that caregivers attend parent-teacher conferences, the child’s soccer matches and other functions (Martha Van, 1977).
This leads to the steady and proper development of an individual. The person will not be frustrated when they are adults. Such an individual will feel confident in themselves because of the support received from their parent. A certain degree of confidence leads to better performance in life. Therefore there are factors that contribute to different behavior in youths which in turn affect individual’s character during adulthood (Brendtro, 2006) Exosystem is the next level of the Ecological Systems theory. Exosystem includes the wider social system in which the child is not a participant. Although the child may not be involved in this environment, the conditions within this environment impacts on the development of the child. A good example is the effect that a parent who loses a job has on a child or when they get a promotion.
A promotion goes a long way in ensuring that the parent can meet all the needs of the child physical or otherwise. Provision of a child’s needs leads to holistic development and thus presenting more opportunities for the child when they become adults (Levine, 2011).
4. Macro system
This is the fourth level of the ecological systems theory. It involves the biggest people and things that have an effect on the child’s life for example civil war, cultural practices, political leaders and many others. A macrosytem can have a positive or negative effect on a child’s life. It is common knowledge that countries which experience civil wars and political instability have proven to be difficult areas to enhance self development. On the contrary countries with peace and adequate resources have more opportunities thus a child raised in such an environment has a higher chance of becoming successful in life.
5. Chronosytem
There are many different factors surrounding lifetime events. A good example is divorce. It is apparent that the first few years after a divorce the environment around the child may be chaotic but in time becomes more stable. Other factors are environmental events and historical events.
I came to the tconclusion that it is vital for an individual to be honest with oneself. Difficulty has been experienced when stating an individual’s personality is stable during adulthood (Jiri, 2011). Questions still linger as to who is an adult. No legal definition of adulthood has been reached as different countries and states have varying definitions as to who is an adult. Instead of revolving around how an individual performs in society, or how one’s health progresses with respect to other individuals of the same age bracket, focus should be put on an individual’s relation to self. Reflection should be put on self-discovery and self-development. Self-understanding is important in ascertaining an individual’s level of maturity (Jiri, 2011). References
Levine, L. E., & Munsch, J. (2011) Child development: An active learning approach. Thousand Oaks, Caliph: SAGE.
Cohen, L. J. (2011). The handy psychology answer book Detroit, MI: Visible Ink Press.
Damon, W., & Lerner, R. M. (2011) Theoretical models of human development Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons
Jiri Ruzicka (2011) the ten deadly sins of psychotherapy U.K, Society for Existential Analysis
Kamler, H. (2007). Identification and character: A book on psychological development. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Freud, S. (2007). Collected works of Sigmund Freud: Three contributions to the theory of sex, and dream psychology Charleston, SC: BiblioBazaar.
Brendtro, L. K. (2006). The vision of Urie Bronfenbrenner: Adults who are crazy about
Kids Reclaiming Children and Youth, 15(3), 162-166.ublications
Martha, V.R. H (1977) Toward an Experimental Ecology of Human Development Cornell University Press

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