Childhood Adolescence - Paper Example

Published: 2021-08-16
1759 words
7 pages
15 min to read
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
Case study
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A successful family is identified by the distinct attributes of each family member, by the nature of the interactions between family members and by the manner it performs specific functions usually considered as family responsibilities. Despite coming from the same family, members of the family possess different personality traits. However, an individual can possess more than one personality. Personality traits are the individuals distinct attitudes, actions and behaviors. These personality traits could be positive or negative. Personality traits are determined by openness, empathy: being agreeable, sympathetic, kind and willing to help; extraversion: being talkative and sociable; conscientiousness: being organized and planning; neuroticism: being vulnerable, temperamental or paranoid.

Family dynamics refer to the relationship or interactions patterns between members of a family. Although every family system and its dynamics are unique, some relationship patterns are common to all families. In each family, there are some desirable and undesirable dynamics. Regardless of whether there are close ties between family members, children and teenagers will have experienced and been influenced by the family dynamics in earlier stages of their development. Family dynamics influences the perception of young people about other people, different occurrences, and events as well as their wellbeing, relationships and behaviors (Crouter & Booth, 2003). There are many influences on family dynamics including: nature of the parents relationship, parents strictness, the number of siblings in the household, separation from parents, personalities of the rest of the family members, influences from extended family members, presence of a disabled or chronically ill sibling, traumatizing events in the family such as homelessness, alcoholism and drug addiction, death, divorce, sexual abuse and harassment , family values such as status and power, and unemployment.

Although families are unique, strong and healthy families have demonstrated similarities in characteristics. These constructs are usually interrelated and complex (Crouter & Booth, 2003). They include communication, encouragement, and inspirations of individuals, religious orientation, adaptability, social connectedness, time spent together, description of roles and expressing appreciation.

Theoretical Perspectives of Development

Stage of Development According to Freud

According to Freud, human beings develop through five stages that are based on specific erogenous zone. In every stage of development, we either complete it successfully or unsuccessfully. Unsuccessful completion of any stage affects children in that they become fixated on the specific erogenous zone that was unsuccessfully completed. Once a child is fixated, they will either overindulge or under indulge upon maturity (Majeski, 2007). Freud explains the psychosexual development stages as follows: the oral stage which start at 0 years and ends at 1 year, the anal stage which start from 1 year to 3 years, phallic stage which starts at 3 years to 5 years and sometimes extends to the 6th year, latency stage which lasts from 5 or 6 years all the way to puberty, and finally the genital stage which starts at puberty and ends at adulthood.

At the oral stage, children develop oral personality due to too little or too much suckling. As a result, I have been a victim of nails biting, aggressiveness towards others as well as being pessimist (Majeski, 2007). All these are symptoms of oral personality. In the phallic stage, boys develop sexual attractions towards their mothers. They, therefore, see their fathers as competitors for their mother's love. Similarly, girls develop sexual desires towards their fathers. During the latency stage, children only played with children of the same gender. Most games were classified as either boys games or girls games. At genital or puberty stage, sexual desires are awakened, and boys get attracted to girls and vice versa. It is at this stage that most people enter into my first relationship with the opposite sex.

Stage of Development According to Erikson

Eriksons theory of development explores the impacts of parents, external factors and the society on the personality development. Having been influenced by Freud, Erikson researched on three identity aspects namely the ego or self-identity, the social or cultural identity that categorizes the different roles that every individual can play, and the personal identity which distinguishes one individual from another. Erickson came up with eight stages of psychosocial development namely integrity vs. despair, trust vs. mistrust, generativity vs. stagnation, autonomy vs. shame, industry vs. inferiority, initiative vs. guilt, intimacy vs. isolation, and identity vs. role confusion that every person pass through over the life cycle (Majeski, 2007). In every stage, there are two conflicting ideas that play out and must be successfully resolved for an individual to gain confidence and to contribute to the society. If these conflicting ideas are not resolved, then, the individual will develop feelings of inadequacy.

At infancy stage (from birth to 12 months), the infants will either develop trust or mistrust depending on the parental care provided for the child regarding touch and visual contact (Majeski, 2007). Proper parental care will lead the child to develop trust, confidence optimism, hope and a sense of security. On the contrary, if the child does not experience good parental care, then, he or she will develop mistrust, insecurities, and worthlessness.

In the early childhood when the toddler is between 18 months to 3 years, the child will either build their self-esteem and autonomy through learning of new skills and the aspects of differentiating right from wrong. Children who receive good parental care will be confident and will carry themselves with some pride as opposed to shame. At this stage, children are vulnerable to feelings of shame and low self-esteem due to inability or difficulties of learning new skills.

Preschooler stage occurs between 3 to 5 years. During this stage, children will develop the desire to imitate and copy their seniors around them. Children will experiment various roles that make them feel like adults. They develop the purpose of life: initiative vs. guilt as they ask themselves why as they explore the world. Children at this stage will often experience guilt when frustrated with desires and goals.

School-age children are usually between 6 to 1 years of age. The two conflicting ideas in this stage (latency stage) are industry vs. inferiority which determines the competence level of the children. In this stage, children will are capable of learning and accomplishing various skills and knowledge that lead to the development of industriousness. Since this, is a social stage, children who experience unresolved feelings of inferiority and inadequacy amongst their peers will develop issues with their self-esteem and competence.

In the next stage of adolescent which last between 12 to 18 years, children will develop depending on what is done to them. Personal actions of the children will determine how they develop. As an adolescent, a child must struggle in search of his or her identity through social interactions and belongingness, fitting in and at the same time being moral conscious and develop the sense of right and wrong choices. This stage is characterized by a conflict between identities vs. role confusion. Some may delay the transition to adulthood through irresponsible behaviors.

The young adult stage begins at 18 t0 35 years. This is also referred to as the youthful stage. The conflicting ideas that emerge in this stage are intimacy and solidarity vs. isolation. At this stage, young adults seek love and companionship. It is at this stage that some families are started. However, if they do not find love and intimacy, isolation may result.

The middle-aged adult is a stage that starts from 35 years to 55 years, and some extend to 65 years. At this stage, people are concerned the most with their careers, families, and work. At this stage, people become more responsible and take greater control. The different issues that arise at this stage are generativity vs. absorption or stagnation. Generality is the idea of working to developing stability and producing something unique to the community. Being useless or meaningless and inactive are the fears that people in this stage face.

The late adult stage is the final stage of human development. This stage starts at 55 or 65 years and ends at death. Integrity and despair are the two conflicting issues that people face while at this stage. To most people, this is a reflection stage. People will either experience fulfillment and contentment having lived valuable and meaningful lives. However, others will experience a sense of despair due to the reflection of past failures and mistakes.

Stage of Development According to Piaget

According to Piaget, children pass through four stages of mental development namely: the sensorimotor stage the preoperational stage, the concrete operational stage and the formal operational stage (Majeski, 2007). He observed that children took active roles in the development process. For example, they make observations, they experiment them and learn more as they interact with the world.

The sensorimotor stage begins at birth up to 2 years. Major characteristics in this stage include: the children will learn about the world through movements and sensations; children learn through actions such as looking, suckling, listening and grasping; children learn they are different from other people and surrounding objects; and they finally learn that through their actions, they can make things happen.

The preoperational stage begins at 2 to 7 years. The noticeable developmental characteristics in this stage include: children start to reason symbolically and understand the use of words and images to represent objects; children will tend to be self-centered with much struggle seeing things in other peoples perspective, and children get better in reasoning and language.

The concrete operational stage starts at seven years up to 11 years. Noticeable developmental changes and characteristics include logical thinking in children; understanding of being conservatives; they become more organized, and they start using inductive reasoning.

The formal operational stage is the final developmental stage that begins at 12 years and above. In this stage, young adults begin to reason abstractly and about hypothetical problems; teenagers begin thinking about philosophical, social, political and moral issues that require them to theoretically and abstractly.

Nature versus Nurture

In human development, nature is defined as the genetic makeup or inheritance that a child inherits biologically from the parent at conception and carries them in his or her life. Genetic makeup inherited from parents includes physical characteristics such as height, certain diseases, eye color among others (Belsky, Steinberg & Draper, 1991). On the contrary, nurture includes the different environmental aspects to which an individual is subjected to from birth to the point of death.

Nature uses the genetic coding to assist in the development of physical characteristics in human beings. It, therefore, does not impact the negative or positive personality traits to a child. However, it is nurture that can only impact on personality traits to an individual (Belsky, Steinberg & Draper, 1991). Nature can not improve personality traits, but nurture can be used to improve traits and therefore, end the effects of negative children behaviors.

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