Children are on the whole impressionable, and therefore likely to replicate behaviors they see as normal or acceptable, and therefore can perpetuate antisocial behaviors they are shown at early ages. When a child who has had a misguided childhood, socio-economically or emotionally, incorrect development can carry these behaviors into later life situations–proving without a doubt that nurture is extremely important when considering child development and antisocial behavior.
The key is that how the child is extremely indicative of the direction the child receives. The “initiative versus guilt” stage is truly important in Erickson’s model–with regards to proper direction, ages three to six children develop the extent to which a child can, or cannot interact with his or her peers. If this stage in development becomes misguided by a lack of a steady support system that the parents’ problems can cause. A child neglected in this stage of Erickson’s model can grow no sense of self-esteem at all, harming chances at any interpersonal relationships as they continue to grow older. In addition, if conflicting social compasses are employed–where what is expected in a neglected home is significantly less than society expects–than this can predispose a child to developing the same problems their parents’ experience.
According to Erikson’s model the ages between one and six are the most important from a developmental standpoint, because these are the ages that most effects a child’s development from a social and intellectual standpoint. Children exposed to negative environments at these ages can have long-term consequences, including an inability to interact with others, a stunting of creativity, abstraction, as well as symbolism. Any misdirection in development by antisocial behaviors of the parents can lead to a stunting in development–a child can begin to make associations with both behavior and emotions that can seriously affect the next stages of development.
Erickson’s “industry versus inferiority”, between ages six and twelve, directly impacts self-esteem, and therefore predisposition to antisocial behaviors like they were taught. In previous stages of the adolescent behavioral model by Erickson, it was shown how anxiety, depression, and substance abuse within a household can have direct negative consequences on development due to the behaviors the child sees as acceptable–a direct result of false associations made in earlier stages.
When a child becomes increasingly developmentally complex, the possible problems that can occur as a result also increase. In addition, development between six and twelve is really the first time a child has the capability, or should have the capability, to separate social situations. This can be particularly problematic in social situations where there is not a steady, consistent level of expectancy in earlier development phases. For instance, the psychiatric issues and subsequent self-medication of the parents can often times give a child little direction in earlier, as well as this stage with regards to Erickson. An inability to separate a chaotic home life from the rigidity of something such as a classroom can be a very tough transition for the developmentally stunted child.
There are many consequences of being developmentally deficient by this stage in Erikson’s model, as well as Piaget’s. The continuation of antisocial behaviors perpetuated in the home environment is very likely to carry over, as the child cannot make a proper transition to social settings. Looking at Piaget’s model of development, the neglect that can be associated to children without steady home lives can be very far-reaching indeed. The family life, school life, as well as the overall community a child develops in clearly have the largest impact in development. Because children have family lives first, it is very often that this is the most important. The school and the community can do very little when there is not foundation to build off of.
Piaget’s analysis of the egocentric phase of his developmental model can be directly applied. If, during movement through the different phases of development, this concept of egocentrism is interrupted, or what Freud would call the id is inflated, this can have serious negative impacts on a child in various social situations. A self-centered person develops as a result of a lack of direction during Piaget’s egocentric phase. This can have an even further negative impact on the development of identity.
Erickson’s and Piaget’s model both address a child’s development socially, and their ability to conform to socially accepted norms and values. This is directly linked to Piaget’s egocentrism, as with the wrong direction, this can affect what Erickson described as the distinction between different social situations. If the egocentric compass is tainted in some way, this can lead to antisocial behavior as a way to generate attention.
Moving to Freud’s analysis of human consciousness, specifically with regards to the development of the id, ego, and superego, these same ideas can also be approached. Children in households with marital problems, divorced parents, as well as children with parents that abuse substances are generally more susceptible to developing a psychiatric disorder themselves. This is no surprise with regards to Freud’s model.
Again, Piaget’s idea of egotism can directly be related to Freud’s id–defined as the carnal and selfish nature all humans are born with. The development of the id is very important in Freud’s model in particular. A child’s concept of what is considered egotistic, when damaged, can greatly affect the ego, which is also readily developing during this period in a child’s life. A child can quickly develop an out of control ego, or develop none at all, reflecting their overall outlook.
Freud defined the ego as the balance between what is realistic versus a child’s’ selfish wants imbedded in the concept of id. Ego is especially important when regarding a child growing and developing in an environment plagued with psychiatric instability. The “normal” expectations that are supposed to develop proper develop of the ego can be significantly different than children in stable home environments. This can not only to isolate a child as they age and mature, but come to embody the same problems as well as values of their parents.
The final stage of development in Freud’s model of consciousness, the superego, can both predict the future behavior of a child growing up with an unstable psychiatric environment, but explain the mother’s problems with anxiety and depression. According to Freud, development of the superego, which occurs towards the ages of twelve and beyond. The superego explains that children, through the development of the id and ego, take on the values, and even habits of their parents. If the mother was emotionally neglected or abused as a child, than perhaps her behavior is also a product of faulty development.
Considering the values of the child’s alcoholic father with regards to the superego, it is not difficult to predict future behavior of the child. If the child begins to take on habits and behaviors of their parents, the child is immediately predisposed to substance abuse.
On the whole, children who grow up learning antisocial behavior are more likely to replicate said behavior.