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Lifespan Development

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Jacob Fiala

on 21 October 2013

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Transcript of Lifespan Development

Theories of Human Development
Sensorimotor Period
Preoperational Period
Concrete Operational Period
Formal Operational Period
Sensorimotor Period
The Sensorimotor Period consists of 6 stages that concentrate on the child recognizing actions and reactions, and begin to learn to apply schemes to manipulate these reactions. During this period, children learn primarily with their bodies and natural senses. Circular Actions lead to Schemes and the bettering of them. Towards the latter stages in this period, the child begins to recognize the difference between them and their environment. Distinguishing this difference leads to the notion that there exists a world completely independent of the child and sparks the disequilibrium that leads to symbolic thinking.
Preoperational Period
The Preoperational Period centers on the emergence of symbolic thought and the development of a very primitive version of logical thinking. They can not reverse mental operations however so there is issues with a full understanding of any given situation. The lack of this skill means that the child is not capable of "putting themselves in another's shoes." Also they concentrate too fully on a familiar characteristic while ignoring unfamiliar ones that may negate their conclusions. This is a major factor in the primitiveness of logic in this period.
Concrete Operational Period
The Concrete Operational and the Preoperational Period are often grouped together, but the primary difference is that Reversibility (a cognitive construct where children internalize and attribute the associated processes involved to the considered object, so they can effectively and accurately reverse an action), meaning that the children's mental processes can now accurately be considered operations. Egocentrism begins to decline as the children attain a better understanding of their environments through their new ability to attribute processes to the correct sources. Simply, they begin to realize that the people around them are intentional living beings just like themselves, and that natural processes act on the entirety of nature. Consequently, their logical flaws begin to decline as well, specifically when considering concrete objects, representations, or ideas. By the end of this period, thought has become dynamic.
Formal Operational Period
Formal Operational Period marks the completion of all cognitive structures. Upon the conclusion of this stage, all future development comes through qualitative improvement and refinement on the structures that are now already in place. The primary development between this period and the last, is that in this stage the child/young adult can complete operations on abstract thought, or as piaget said "Operations on operations". Simply, they can come to a logical conclusion about an object or representation, then draw further conclusions based on the first conclusion. Thought becomes truly dynamic and precise.
Anal Stage
Phallic Stage
Genital Stage
Oral Stage
Oral Stage
Anal Stage
After the first year, biological maturity gives the child a new focus, and therefore begins a new stage. In this stage the child no longer relies upon a parent to fullfil his/her needs. The child experiences anxiety from the need to defecate, he/she then learns to defecate and release that tension. The stimulation the child feels and relief that accompanies it conditions a new "erogenous zone" or area of the body that a person experiences the majority of his/her sexual pleasure. Social pressures require that the child learn to control this behavior and during this time, he/she does. We see the Superego strengthening in to a notable force. The pleasure the child is capable of providing for itself is limited by the social pressures required of him/her, so the child must find a balance between these two forces to exist harmoniously. Again behavior during potty training in this stage will be indicative of future corresponding traits, most of which centering around self-control. If a child often defecates at improper times, he/she could may have self-control issues later in life such as frivolous spending or messiness. It could also create hypersensitivity to the notion of control cause the child to later in life be compulsively neat.
Phallic Stage
Biological maturity during this stage brings a new source of tension in the child. According to Freud, it is during this age span that the child becomes concerned with whether or not they posses a phallus. The phallus takes on a symbolic meaning just as the previous erogenous zones have in each of the last two stages. The phallus belongs only to man. In Freudian theory, a child is sexually and intimately connected with his/her mother due to the relationship during the oral stage. In the child's mind, the phallus symbolizes the power that the father holds over his mother. His attraction to his mother is outweighed by fear of retaliation by his father (by castration), but also the mutual adoration that they share for the child's mother coupled with the respect (of the fathers power) causes the boy to identify with and strive to be like his father.We can see the Superego strengthening yet again, this time through fear of the child's father. In the case of a girl, she too sees the phallus as a symbol of power. She however notices that she does not possess one and blames her mother for not fully equipping her for life. Her desire for a penis, brings a respect and adoration for the figure who does, and since, according to Freud, she is not as worried of retaliation by the mother (since castration is impossible), the girl does not experience as much anxiety and fear during this stage and as such a girl's superego would not be as strengthened as a boy's would. It also may leave a girl with unresolved feelings towards her father that may cause later regression to this stage.
The conflicts and pressure of the first three stages and how a child resolves them effectively determine the child's basic personality. After the completion of the phallic stage, the child now has a strong Superego, and begins to repress the unacceptable sexual urges he/she feels. They do so very effectively and channel the sexual energy they feel in to socially acceptable non sexual activities such as school, sports, clubs, and pets, promoting growth in both the ego and superego. Sexual impulses become completely repressed until the onset of puberty which obviously brings back the child's sexuality full force.
Genital Stage
Biological maturation yet again brings about a knew stage and focus in the child's mind. The focus is of course on the genitals, as they are what is maturing. This maturation brings sexuality back into the forefront of the child's mind but now that he/she is equipped with a far stronger ego and superego, he/she is able to express it/act on it in a far more socially acceptable manner. No longer is the child so self-centered, considering only their sexual urges. Also when seeking after a love interest, a substitute for the child's mother or father, whatever the case may be, will suffice. This is the first stage where we see a well balanced human- possessing, yet able to control any given urge. This balance is only adjusted slightly from this point on in life with no further dramatic upheavals, with the exception of regression in a fully grown adult to a previous stage.
Initiative vs. Guilt
Industry vs. Inferiority
Intimacy and Solidarity vs. Isolation
Identity and Repudiation
vs. Identity Diffusion
Autonomy vs Shame and Doubt
Trust vs. Mistrust
Initiative vs. Guilt
The previous stage leaves the child convinced of his/her existence as an autonomous human being. The child must decide now who he/she will become. This stage relies heavily on Freud's Phallic Stage. The "guilt" in the title is the same guilt that Freud says that a child must repress to develop correctly, and the "initiative" refers to taking the initiative to mold one's identity into one that is accepted by society. This could evident itself in the ways that Freud suggests such as involvement with sports, clubs, or schools; but is not necessarily the way one must do so. Due to the Oedipus complex, the child's initiative should be channeled into something that is impressive. The child should be trying to distinguish themselves whether through art, cognition, creativity or physical skill or any combination of these. To healthily complete this stage and crisis, the child should lean toward success through initiative instead of defeat due to guilt from an obsession with a taboo sexual fixation.
Industry vs. Inferiority
The attitude of accomplishment from the previous stage continues into this stage. The industry vs. inferiority stage is a sort of qualitative compounding of the attitude of success and accomplishment or the lack thereof found in the previous stage. This stage is like a staircase, with the child becoming more and more confident and industrious with each successful accomplishment- cultivating an attitude of industriousness that will fuel his/her later ambition or conversely, develop an atitude of inferiority due to failures that also tend to compound. It is important for the parent to encourage the child during this stage to attempt tasks and to praise him/her when he/she succeeds (which will help in preventing an attitude of inferiority)
Identity and Repudiation vs. Identity Diffusion
In this stage, all the past ideas come together with the new biological developments (puberty) to create an identity crisis of sorts. They have discovered "identifications" from previous stages and must now compile them into a complete identity for the new self that is developing biologically. In this stage the child tries out new social situations in an attempt to identify with a group and therefore find a centralizing force for defining their identity. It is considered normal behavior to try out and "repudiate" these roles, until finding one's niche in society. The goal of this stage is finding a core to one's identity that unifies all the previously realized "identifications." Failure to do so results in identity diffusion. In that case the child experiences a sense of loneliness and lack of belonging. Diffusion is incredibly damaging as their is no structure for previous identifications and they could released, forgotten, or ignored. This stage is probably the most critical as it is where the true sense of "identity" that Erikson describes develops.
Intimacy and Solidarity vs. Isolation
Now with the discovery of one's true identity, the young adult is capable of true intimacy, as it is now possible to find a complimenting identity to one's own. The two complimenting identities identify with each other and feel seperate from others. This communal solidarity is what the title of the stage refers to. If attempts at intimacy fail, the person may retreat into isolation. This causes a stereotyping of relationships, and may cause them to be avoided all together.
Trust vs. Mistrust
In this stage, the child must learn basic trust, as it is necessary for development and consequentially to all further stages. They will still have mistrust, and this is considered healthy, but to successfully overcome this stage they must lean toward trust. If it does not, the child is likely to be withdrawn, anxious, and suspicious, making completion of the other stages that much more difficult. We can see the Freudian ideas of oral feeding, and reliance upon one's mother for the completion of needs reflecting the notion of developing trust as well, but unlike Freud, Erikson does not insist upon the specifically oral method of developing trust, though it could very well likely be the route the child learns it through.
Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
As children gain some personal control over themselves, like the ability to walk, talk, and control excrement, and are faced with more pressure to comply with social expectations, they face another dilemma. If the child is not supported and allowed to grow confident and autonomous in his/her skills and abilities, self doubt and shame may creep in and cause a child to lean towards defeatism. If you remember, the specifics of Freud's anal stage, you will recognize that this stage closely mimics it while again not insisting about the specific route. Erikson neither insists that control must be learned expressly through bowel control, or that a lack of control will surface as a specific problem such as messiness or compulsive neatness.
Piaget's idea of development was very internal. He strictly considered cognitive ability when defining level of development. Biological factors probably played the largest role in development, unless one considers cognitive advancement psychological growth. In that case, psychological factors would be the largest contributor to overall development. The way in which biological factors brought about development was by causing disequilibrium which would consequently bring about cognitive maturation. It could also limit the amount of cognitive development possible during certain stages in life, mainly due to brain development. Social factors' contribution to development was negligible, only initiating states of disequilibrium- the actual development still occurred strictly through cognitive consideration, very much in the same way as biology affected development, but
One of the major complaints with Piaget's theories is the lack of driving forces of development, at least in a tangible sense. His primary mechanism of development was, unsurprisingly, a cognitive construct, known as Cognitive Equilibration. Development comes about when the sense of equilibrium the child has with his/her environment (due to what Piaget called Cognitive Organization) is shattered by an event, causing a sense of disequilibrium with the child's previous understanding of it. This state of disequilibrium causes the child discomfort and anxiety, thus motivating the child to modify his/her understanding of reality to regain an equilibrium with it. The concept of the child changing his/her understanding to regain a sense of equilibrium with his/her environment is called Cognitive Adaption. This construct is how Piaget explains all movement from period to period as well as some of the movement between the stages within. Another mechanism that drives development that Piaget alludes to is the child's natural desire to perfect skills. This is derivative of a cognitive construct as well, called Primary Circular Reactions. The idea is that the child does something by chance, enjoys the result and begins to do the action habitually to recapture the result. This leads to the notion of bettering the skills that are uncovered in this manner.

Mechanisms of Development
-Birth to Two Years-
Modification of Reflexes
Primary Circular Reactions
Secondary Circular Actions
Coordination Of Secondary Schemes
Tertiary Circular Reactions
Invention of New Means Through Mental Combinations
Birth to One Month
One to Four Months
Four to Eight Months
Eight to Twelve Months
Twelve to Eighteen Months
Eighteen to Twenty-four Months
Normal Behavior during this period ranges from strengthening of reflexes and schemes during the early stages to strong grasp of schemes and the modest beginnings of symbolic thought
Abnormal Behavior during this period would be the lack of using schemes by eight months, or still relying completely on trial and error by two years of age
-Two to Seven Years-
Normal behavior during this period consists of a generally self important attitude (due to lack of understanding of other's experience and unreasonable weight of personal experience over anything else). Also, the child should be comfortable with symbolic thought, and the beginnings of reasonable thinking should be evident
Abnormal behavior during this period would be the lack of symbolic thought and primitive reason. Trouble with language would be a prime example of trouble with symbolic thought.
-Seven to Eleven Years-
Normal Behavior during this period is simply the emergence and strengthening of true "operations" (meaning a reversible, organized internalized mental action). This could surface as a heightened consciousness of one's environment, such as recognizing the consistency in specific physical properties such as weight or heat. Also, a child should be more conscious of others and their individuality. Simply, they should have less flawed thinking and become more considerate, consistent, and careful in reasoning
An example of abnormal behavior during this period would be any increase in egocentric thought. It would be abnormal for a child to take no notice of the significant processes occurring all around them. Most evident in whether the child grasps the concept of reversibility.
-Eleven to Fifteen Years-
Normal behavior during this period consists of the emergence of truly logical thought, and operations on operations. Egocentrism and logical flaws should continue to dwindle. They should be capable of scientific thought, complex mathematical operations and proofs (more and more complex as they progress further through the stages), and understanding relationships between objects and representations (even of representations of previous reasoning, such as algebraic formulas)
Abnormal Behavior during this period would be an inability to perform operations on other operations. This would be most easily observed if the child has an absolute inability to solve mathematical
Mechanisms of Development
Like Piaget, Freud believed that development occurred through conflict. However, unlike Piaget, he did describe specific instances that bring about this conflict and consequently development. These include "maturation", or simply biological forces; "external frustrations", which in Freud's theory are social expectations and rules that limit the children from expressing needs; "internal conflicts", which is simply conflict between the structures described above (the id, ego, and superego); "personal conflicts", which is a very vague title but refers to a lack of skills that the child deems useful or necessary; and finally "anxiety" which is simply the unpleasant feeling of impending pain or loss.
Freud is the most famous of developmental theorists, even though he is sometimes not thought of as one. He only analyzed and treated adults, but he believed that one's personality was almost completely defined by the conclusion of adolescence through the confrontation of specific stages that he described in detail. An older person can develop through facing these stages later in life, but this is only necessary if the stage was not resolved at a younger age. The act of returning to a previous stage is referred to as "regression." Personality is the nonphysical developing part of a human according to Freud. Personality is a very complex term in Freudian theory. The human psyche begins as what Freud refers to as "the id" which is a unconscious structure in the human mind that exists expressly to fulfill its desires or impulses. Due to external pressure it is forced to create two more stuctures, both of which are primarily conscious, yet partly non conscious. The first is referred to as "the ego". The ego exists to balance the urges of the id with the rules and expectations of society, which is what the final structure, "the superego", basically consists of. It is an internalization of the moral code that is imparted through socialization (and as such reflects the ideals and expectations of that person's society). The entirety of the mind, including these structures, contribute to one's personality. One's personal history, most notably how that person confronts the below stages is also an integral part of one's personality. The simplest way to look at it, is that development (and consequently realization/growth of personality) occurs every time a person confronts conflict and adapts to resolve it. It should also be mentioned that Freud believed that sexual energy (which may present itself in a desire for intimacy or something less explicit than sex drive) was the driving force in all human behavior. The urges of the id in the very least have a sexual tie in of some sort. The stages described below are defined as they are due to the routes that a person is allowed to acquire this sexual fulfillment by the limitations of his/her physical maturation.
During this stage of biological maturity, all pleasure (both nutrition as well as the most intense sense of touch) is accomplished through the mouth. Both pain and pleasure all both first felt the mouth. In Freud's theory, this creates an obsession or focus of sorts in the child's mind, and his/her behavior during oral activities (such as feeding) during this stage are indicative of later behavior that is related. For instance, continual biting suggests destructiveness later in life, and continual grasping at the nipple and holding on to it suggests stubbornness. Also, due to the nature of the stage, all of the needs of the child, sexual/intimacy, nutritional, or otherwise are fulfilled solely through the child's mother. Therefore an attachment is formed, and from this point on the child treasures intimacy with his/her mother. The Ego is also formed during this stage, since the child must rely on his/her mother to fulfill his/her urges, and can not physically fulfill them his/herself. Social interaction requires regulation of some sort. If a baby becomes angry due to hunger and bites the mother she may pull the nipple away and stop feeding him/her. In this way, the Id learns that regulation is necessary for pleasure and forms the Ego to do so.
-Birth to One Year-
-One to Three Years-
-Three to Five Years-
-Five Years to Puberty's Onset-
Generavity vs. Self-absorption
Integrity vs. Despair
Generavity vs. Self Absorption
Generavity is an interest in guiding the next generation. The obvious archetype would be parenting, but it could be teaching, preaching, or any other example that involves guiding the next generation. Generavity in Freudian terms can be described as applying one's ambition towards love and family instead of for self profit and indulgence. Self absorption in this stage makes progression to the final stage impossible. Again the positive and concerning behaviors are self evident.
Integrity vs. Despair
The final stage is more of a reminiscent stage. The person looks back at all that he/she has accomplished and recognizes that he/she has achieved integrity. Doing so involves recognizing one's limits and one's place in history; and cultivating a wisdom from history and a full integration of one's self. The lack of integrity leads to a final crisis, despair. The feeling that one has not achieved integrity inevitably leads to despair. Despair is categorized by regret, pointlessness, fear, and disgust.

Erikson, a neo-Freudian, formed his theories on the base of Freud's, but stripped them of the sexual driving force, keeping the notions behind Freud's specific examples. For instance oral becomes trust, and anal can be defined by control. He also operated within the general framework of development through the reaction to conflict. His work and study in many cultures led his theories to be more considerate of different possible avenues and forces of development, as opposed to Freud's very set and specific, universalist routes and forces. Since he focused primarily on social concerns as opposed to biological forces, he completely replaced Freud's stages (that were biologically based) in favor of his own socially driven developmental stages. Due to the more dynamic approach of social forces as opposed to Biological, Erikson also modified the Pyschoanalytic methodology for his purposes. He believed that a person completing an action was the smallest unit that could be studied. His stages called "the eight ages of man" are defined by crises that the logical ego must face to continue to operate comfortably within its social environment.
Where Freud's development was ignited primarily through physical maturation, In Erikson's theory, socialization was the major force of development. He took a far more optimistic approach than Freud, asserting that the main theme of life was determining and developing one's "identity." According to Freud, personality seemed to be a byproduct of defensive reactions to conflicts caused by biology. The development of identity according to Erikson was intentionally sought after through social interactions. He did consider Freud's mechanisms of development valid as well though, he just did not emphasize them as greatly, and supplemented them. He not only more highly emphasized social interactions as a driving force, but introduced a completely new mechanism of development- play. Play can be in the classical sense of children playing with dolls or model cars, but also can be adults using objects to help visualize problems such as scientific models.
-Birth to One Year-
Normal behavior and abnormal behavior during Erikson stages is often very self evident since they are alluded to in the names of the stages themselves. Throughout this stage a child should become more comfortable with depending to be fed by his/her mother, and experience less anxiety when being separated from his/her mother or father. Evidence of lack of trust, like crippling seperation anxiety would be considered unhealthy and concerning.
-Two to Three Years-
That being said, those are perfect archetypes for the phenomena that they are explaining, however the fact remains that it could become evident in a plethora of behavioral actions. Normal or positive behaviors during this stage would be a confidence in the child's decisions. He/she may put a toy with many pieces together or attempt to tie his/her shoes by themselves. Conversely, concerning behavior would be hesitancy or heavy reliance and second guessing.
-Four to Five Years-
During this stage healthy behavior is defined by accomplishment. The motivation will most likely be to impress the child's parent, due to the sexual fixation of the opposite sex parent, and the fear/respect of the other parent. Lack of initiative and accomplishment is concerning behavior during this stage, and likely indicates too strong an attachment to the opposite sex parent.
-Six Years to Puberty-
Normal or positive behavior during this period mimics the last but also compounds in to dramatic proportions. Abnormal behavior is related as well and should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent it compounding into a leaning towards inferiority in later life.
It is a positive, even vital behavior during this stage to try out other roles even though it may seem strange or undesirable to the parent. A lack of identification and increased lonliness and isolation during this period is incredibly concerning and should be addressed immediately.
-Young Adulthood-
Positive and negative behaviors are exactly as the title implies. Willingness for intimacy is healthy, desired and neccessary for completion of this phase. Isolation and withdrawal is concerning.
-Middle Adulthood-
-Late Adulthood-
Mechanisms of Development
Vygotsky is unique when compared to the other theorists considered in this presentation due to the fact that he does not take a stage/timeline approach. His differences extend much further than that though. He takes a completely relative approach with little to no absolutism or universalism present (hence the lack of stages). Where Erikson simply introduced elements of contextualism into is primarily organismic worldview, Vygotsky was completely withdrawn to a level of almost complete relativism. As such his theories have little to no practical use, and serve better as a logical framework in which practical theorists should ideally operate within. To Vygotsky, anything less than a child completing an activity in a specific context was insignificant or irrelevant for drawing conclusions. This is because of two beliefs he had. A developing child can only develop to better fit into his/her environment (or to become "enculturated." A child could not progress further than its society in a measurable "enlightenment." He made no claims of certain ideals equating to advancement, but left that for the context to determine. Therefore, development was relative to the context in which one was developing. This is the general idea of the most recognized principle attributed to Vygotsky. The "Zone of Proximal Development" This zone considers the child's current level of development and potential level of development. The child can attain to the potential level through further enculteration, and the potential level is determined by the child's society, specifically so that it is attainable. In this way both groups affect one another and development takes place in both ends. The culture may adjust expectations to be more realistic, and the child should attain to these. Vygotsky would probably take little issue with the previous theorists' stage descriptions and driving forces as they apply to the respective contexts and societies. He simply would see them as societal expectations that are attainable placed upon children in a specific society that values specific behaviors, therefor attaining them would be considered development even within his framework.
Mechanism of Development
Vygotsky had only one mechanism of development, social interaction. Early socialization structures and allows for "internalized socialization" which takes the place of the idea of cognition in Vygotsky's theory. Internalized socialization is the idea of internalizing processes and dialogues between people or objects so that thought is a dynamic interaction between representations as opposed to an active understanding, interpretation, and categorization of one's environment through laws and principles. This is further evidence of Vygotsky's incredibly relative approach as it does not make any assumption on a reliability on one's environment, instead it relies upon models
Five Years
Completion of Puberty
Three Years
Strengthening Self Control/Completing Accomplishments
Learning Healthy Sexuality
Meaningful Love or Intimacy
Trust and Social Dependence
Gaining Self Control
Middle Age
Old Age
Meaningful Non-family Interaction
Satisfaction or Regret
Conglomerate Timeline Based on Similarities Between All Stage Theorists
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