May 7, 2012
PSY 104 – Child and Adolescent Development
Developmental Stages in Children and Adolescents
In exploring the differences in children and why and how they develop can be quite interesting. There are many different theories that suggest different explanations as to why children develop when they do, whether it is cognitive, socially, mentally, etc. Three very interesting theories are Kohlberg’s moral development theory, Piaget’s cognitive theory and Freud’s psychosexual theory. How does each of these theories pertain to the average child, and can these theories work together? First let us explore three very different theories, the first being Kohlberg’s theory of moral development. Moral development is a major topic of interest in both psychology and education. One of the best known theories was developed by psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg who modified and expanded upon Jean Piaget's work to form a theory that explained the development of moral reasoning. Kohlberg extended Piaget's theory, proposing that moral development is a continual process that occurs throughout the lifespan. Piaget described a two-stage process of moral development, while Kohlberg's theory of moral development outlined six stages within three different levels, which are outlined below: * Level 1. Preconventional Morality
* Stage 1 – Obedience and Punishment - at this stage children see rules as fixed and absolute, they view rules as being important because they avoid punishment * Stage 2 – Individualism and Exchange – at this stage children account for individual points of view and judge actions based on how they serve individual needs * Level 2. Conventional Morality
* Stage 3 – Interpersonal Relationships – at this stage the focus is on living up to social expectations and roles. * Stage 4 – Maintaining Social Order – at this stage the focus is on following rules...