THEORIES OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT 1
Theoriesof Human Development
Theoriesof Human Development
Piaget’s Theoryof Psychosocial Development
Psychologists have established different theories to explain people’sholistic development from childhood to adulthood. Jean Piagetconceived four stages of cognitive development. The sensorimotorstage occurs during infancy when children gain knowledge throughtheir corporeal experiences that involve playing around with objectsin their environment. They also learn to distinguish the objects intheir surroundings (Sigelman & Rider, 2014). The preoperationalstage follows, and children engage in various roles, but they stillstruggle with the logical interpretation of situations. At thisstage, they may not tell the difference between size and weight.Children then go through the concrete operational stage where theybegin to develop logical thoughts. Unlike during infancy when theyegocentric, they develop empathy towards others. The last stage asexplained by Piaget is the formal operational stage where childrenexhibit improved logical reasoning, and they can rely on theirdeductive capabilities. They also begin to think about their world inless abstract forms (Sigelman & Rider, 2014).
Freud’s Theoryof Psychosocial Development
Sigmund Freud also developed a psychosexual explanation of humandevelopment. From birth to around one year, children go through theoral stage. They develop pleasure from oral stimulation, and theytend to suck or put objects in their mouth. During the second and thethird year, the erogenous zone changes and children concentrate onwithholding fecal matter using their anus and achieving the controlresults in a feeling of accomplishment (Sigelman & Rider, 2014).The phallic stage follows between the third and sixth year. Duringthe phase, children become aware of their sexes and the primary focusis on their genitals. From 6 years to puberty, children’s libido issuppressed, and they interact freely. The sexual energy is directedto other pursuits, for instance, education. During adolescence,children enter the genital stage which lasts throughout theirlifetime. They develop a strong sexual feeling towards members of theopposite sex.
Erik Erikson developed the psychosocial theory of development thatdepicts the progression from childhood to adulthood (Sigelman &Rider, 2014). Between infancy to 2 years, children experience trustvs. mistrust. They learn to trust their parents and others aroundthem especially if they are caring. Between two and four years, theyundergo through autonomy and shame. It is during this period thatthey learn to use the toilet and to accomplish it result in a feelingof autonomy. Those who fail may feel shameful. During the pre-schoolyears, initiative vs. guilt occurs between four and five years. Atthis age, children are generally active, and they engage in numerousactivities for the sake of remaining active. Guilt develops when theactivities fail to produce the expected outcomes.
Erikson also outlines that industry vs. inferiority develops inchildren aged between 5 and 12 years (Sigelman & Rider, 2014).This period coincides with the school going years whereby childrenwork hard to please their parents and teachers. Those who do notperform well experience a feeling of inferiority while those whoexcel become more industrious. During adolescence, identity and roleconfusion occurs. Children become concerned about what others thinkabout them, and they achieve sexual identity. The shift fromchildhood to adulthood may result in identity confusion. In addition,children are triggered to identify themselves with various socialgroups and other structures in their settings. Between 20 and 39years, Erikson outlines that individuals go through a period ofintimacy and isolation (Sigelman & Rider, 2014). The sexualattraction between members of opposite sex instigates the adults toform intimate relationships that can lead to marriage. Pain andrejection are inevitable for some, and they may become isolated.
During middle adulthood (40-64 years) Erikson proposes thatindividuals either experience Generativity or stagnation (Sigelman &Rider, 2014). The period is characterized by economic and socialdevelopment. Generativity involves contributing to the wellbeing ofchildren and family members. Those who may not have the means toachieve such functions do not make recognizable milestones. Duringlate adulthood, individuals get a chance to reflect on their life andErikson refers to phase as integrity vs. despair (Sigelman &Rider, 2014). Those who have achieved all the milestones feel proud.Desperation results when individuals discover that they cannot redeemthe time lost to make their more meaningful and impactive.
Kohlberg Theoryof Moral Development
Kohlberg developed the theory of morality through the differentstages of development. During the pre-conventional stage, morality isenforced by punishments or rewards and there is no conceptualizationof what is rights or wrong (Sigelman & Rider, 2014). Duringadolescence, the conventional stage of morality is experienced andindividuals conform to what the society deems right. Duringadulthood, individuals realize they are separate entities from thesociety. The post-conventional thought allows people to challengerules because they cannot be absolute in governing people’sbehaviors.
Sigelman, C. K., & Rider, E. A. (2014). Life-span humandevelopment. New York N.Y.: Cengage Learning.