Developmental Theories in Child Development

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Developmental Theories In Child Development
Rebecca Campbell
PSY 104 Child and Adolescent Psychology
Dr. Allyse Sturdivant
January 14, 2011

Developmental Theories In Child Development
There are five theoretical perspectives on child development. 1.) Psychoanalytic-Theory which is the view of human development as being shaped by unconscious forces. For example, when a child acts withdrawn or shy around a particular person,such as an abusive parent or a parent they may idolize, they could have an unconscious fear or attraction to that person. 2.) Learning-Theory which is the view of human development that holds that changes in behavior result from experience or adaptation to the environment. A good example of this theory would be a child acting out at school, bullying or taunting other kids because this is what their parents do to them, its a learned behavior. 3.) The Cognitive-Theory which is the view that thought processes are central to development. If a child grows up in an environment in which the parents teach them that the man is the head of the house and the mom cooks cleans and cares for the children as the child grows up and begins dating the will seek out the same behavior from their mate whether its a male looking for a submissive wife or a female looking for a male who is aggressive. 4.) The Contextual-Theory which is the view of child development that sees the individual as inseparable from social context. This would be the child growing up in an environment in which the parents fight a lot, but never in front of the child, the child will grow up doing the same when they are married or dating because they may not see them fighting but hear them or vise verse. 5.) which is the Evolutionary or Sociobiological -Theory which is the view of human development that focuses on evolutionary and biological bases of Social behavior. The belief or thought that a child is because of the genetic makeup they got from their parents. The child is violent because they are from the Italian decent or they are prone to be submissive from an oriental decent, the the anthropology, genetic, or ethology of that child shapes who they are and will become. (Papalia, pg 27 & 28)

Sigmund Freud developed the psychoanalytic-Theory through observations and documentation of adult recollections of memory during therapy sessions. In his overall theory, three components include the ID, the Ego, and the Super Ego. Major concepts are the division of the mind and components of personality. (Berryhill)

The division of the mind is also put into three distinct area's which are the conscious, the pre-conscious and the subconscious. The conscious is the things of which we are aware and attentive. This includes our current thinking processes, behavior, and environmental awareness's. The pre-conscious consists of what we are aware of but not attentive to. Freud believed that these things can be paid attention to and we can deliberately bring them into the conscious mind and control our awareness. The subconscious thinks and acts independently. Such as a child who is having night terrors due to the subconscious fear of spiders or a subconscious fear of a parent because they were overly aggressive in a particular moment of time,scaring the child more than they realized. Freud found that much of our behavior is driven directly from the subconscious. (Berryhill)

Freud's theory has five stages of development. First we have the Oral Stage. This stage ranges between birth and two years and is where babies and toddlers explore the world with sensitive area's such as their mouths, for example my fifteen month old grand daughter will put anything in her mouth to see what it is and if it tastes good. Next we have the Anal Stage, this stage ranges from two years to three years, and learn to control the elimination of body fluids. The third stage is the Phallic Stage and is the most controversial and is present from three years...
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