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Growth and Development, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 624

Essay

Sigmund Freud influenced human growth and development by bringing in the theories of psychosexual development that sought to explain the stages of human development and hence brought new understanding of the consequences of fixation in these stages of development. This fixation results in a persistent focus on an earlier stage of development (about.com).  The theory of psychosexual development outlines the various stages of early human development and gives the key features of these stages. The stages are as outlined below.

The first stage is the oral stage where the only major point of action for the infant is the mouth. The feeding activity including sucking is the major source of gratification. Because the infant is mainly fed, they develop trust on the caregivers at this stage of development. The child is eventually weaned out of this stage. Fixation might however make one fail to grow out of this stage and it can lead to aggressiveness and dependency. This can lead to problems like eating disorders or overeating and nail biting.

The next stage is the anal stage where the main out let for psychosexual energies is by bowel evacuation. Development out of this stage is dependent on toilet training. Positive experience at this stage triggers good development leads to a child growing into a productive adulthood. If children are not encouraged to develop proper toilet skills at this point in life, they grow up to be messy and wasteful. Fixation at this stage is described by Freud as anal retentive personalities who are stringent and obsessive (Freud & Bill 1930).

The third stage of psychosexual development is called phallic stage and it’s a stage of genital discovery and the children notice their physical differences the children get fixated with the organs of those of the opposite sex. The growth process eventually resolves this stage as the children start identifying with their parents gender as a way of owning the parent of the opposite gender. Freud’s argument that women never fully overcome this fixation has drawn a lot of criticism.

The fourth stage is the latent stage characterized by the development of the ego and superego status. In this stage the libido needs are quite repressed though present and they are focused on the pursuit of playmates and social interactions. It’s at this stage that social skills as well as self confidence and communication skills are developed. Children who do not develop well in this stage are likely to be shy and have poor communication skills.

The last stage of psychosexual development is the genital stage. This stage is characterized by the children developing strong sexual feelings and interests in the opposite sex. Those that have experienced complete development in the preceding stages come across as balanced and caring hence they do well in their relationships (Freud & Rieff 2008).

Many analysts have disputed Freud’s theories and they argue that Freud does not base his research on factual information and that the ideas he uses such as Libido are hard to explain. Freud’s theories though a bit controversial have been the basis of studies in psychology as well as psychoanalysis. As well the theory has been used to explain how individual dreams and aspirations are formed (Eder & Freud 2009). Freud therefore brought a major understanding of the forces that seem to direct ones actions from inside them. It brought a fresh perspective into the study of human psychology. This understanding has been used in psychological counseling to assist people with developmental problems.

References

About.com. Freud’s Stages of Psychosexual Development. Retrieved 12 November 2009. http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/ss/psychosexualdev_7.htm

Bill, A. & Freud, S. (1930). Three contributions to the theory of sex. KayDreams. Washington.

Freud, S. & Rieff, P. (2008). General Psychological Theory. Simon & Schuster. New York

Freud, S. & Eder, M. (2009). On Dreams. Cosimo Inc. New York

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