Applying Developmental Theory to an Interview with a Child.

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Applying Developmental Theory to an Interview with a child.

(Introduction) Erik Erikson, an influential and pioneering psychologist in the field of child development, established a theory of child development described in eight distinct psychosocial stages. Between the ages of 6 and 12, he believed that the conflict of “industry vs inferiority” was central in a child’s development. He explained that during this stage of childhood, the child’s world extends beyond the home to the school. The emphasis is on academic performance, acquiring abilities, and demonstrating competence in accomplishing work. Therefore, school plays a major role in this stage of childhood. At the same time, a child must learn to overcome or master potential feelings of inferiority. These feelings can arise when a child doubts his/her abilities, which can occur if the child receives no encouragement or positive reinforcement for his accomplishments. I interviewed a young 10 year-old girl named Emily. In her answers, she displayed many aspects of the psychosocial conflict of industry versus inferiority as described in Erikson’s fourth stage.

(Main body part one) The concept of the sense of industry explains that children, who are 6-12 years old, will be learning to read and write, and to make things on their own. By acquiring skills and completing useful tasks, they will become industrious and gain in confidence. When asked what she was most proud of, Emily mentioned a school assignment that required her to write four paragraphs. In general, she seemed particularly concerned with school and grades. She even went as far as stating that she loved school and homework. Clearly, Emily’s answers demonstrated a desire to be competent, successful and to work to accomplish something. Even outside of school, her activities indicate a sense of industry. Emily stated that her favorite activity to do with her friends was to write songs and make music. Writing music is a creative activity that...
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