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Five Major Perspectives Used To Research Child Development

2538 words - 11 pages

Several theories have been developed from the five major perspectives used to research child development. These perspectives include psychoanalytic, learning, cognitive, contextual, and evolutionary/sociobiological perspectives (Papalia, Olds, & Feldman, 2008). Researchers use theories to explain child development. The theories are important because they propose ideas or explanations to describe development and to predict kinds of behaviors. In this paper, I will discuss and describe three theories of development, their key concepts, their similarities, their differences, how the domains of development influence each other, and how understanding development helps those who work with ...view middle of the document...

The final stage is called the genital stage. It occurs from puberty through adulthood. This stage is a reemergence of sexual impulses of the phallic stage, channeled into mature adult sexuality (Papalia et. al, 2008). According to Freud, personality is mostly established by the age of five. Early experiences play a large role in personality development and continue to influence behavior later in life.
“Erik Erickson’s psychosocial theory asserts that people experience eight ‘psychosocial crisis stages’ which significantly affect each person’s development and personality” (Chapman, 2010). The first stage of life is infancy which Erickson called ‘Trust v. Mistrust.’ During this stage an infant learns to develop trust and mistrust with the world around him. The second stage is during early childhood called ‘Autonomy v. Shame and Doubt.’ In this stage, the child develops a balance of independence and self-sufficiency over shame and doubt (Papalia, 2008). The third stage is ‘Initiative v. Guilt.’ This stage is during the preschool age. The child develops initiative when trying new things and is not concerned about guilt. The fourth stage is referred to as ‘Industry v. Inferiority. This stage is when the child must learn skills of culture or face feelings of incompetence (Papalia, 2008). It usually occurs during the school age. The fifth stage which happens during adolescence is called ‘Identity v. Role Confusion.’ During this stage the adolescent must determine who they are or a sense of self. There may be some confusion of roles. The sixth stage is called ‘Intimacy v. Isolation.’ This stage occurs as young adults. During this stage the person seeks to make commitments to others or suffer from isolation and self-absorption (Papalia et. al, 2008). The seventh stage is referred to as ‘Generativity v. Stagnation.’ This is a parenting stage. During this stage, the mature adult is concerned with establishing and guiding the next generation or they feel personal impoverishment (Papalia et. al, 2008). The final stage is ‘Integrity v. Despair.’ This stage occurs at a mature age such as with grandparents. During this stage, the elderly person achieves acceptance of his own life, allowing acceptance of death, or else despairs over inability to relive life (Papalia et. al, 2008).
There are two major aspects to Jean Piaget’s cognitive-stage theory. They are the process of coming to know and the stages we move through as we gradually acquire this ability (Huitt & Hummel, 2003). His theory of cognitive development is a description of cognitive development as four distinct stages in children. These stages include sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete, and formal. The first stage is the sensorimotor stage which occurs from birth to two years of age. During this stage, the infant builds an understanding of himself and reality and how things work through interactions with the environment (Huitt & Hummel, 2003). The second stage is the preoperational...

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