Life Span Development and Personality of Michael Jackson

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Life Span Development and Personality of Michael Jackson
Jesse Jackson
February 4, 2001
Dr. Marcy Satan

Life Span Development and Personality of Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was born August 29, 1958. Born the eighth of 10 children, Michael grew up in a working class family in a small three bedroom home in Gary, Indiana. As a child, Michael struggled with his fame. He never lived a normal childhood and throughout his adulthood he tried to recapture his lost youth. Although labeled as an outstanding entertainer and humanitarian in the world, Michael became dependent on pain medications. Scandals of child molestation and Michael’s obsession with his appearance further fueled his addiction. Overdosing on pain medication ultimately would take the life of Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009. Influences of Heredity and Environment

According to Kowalski & Weston (2009), “The interaction of heredity and

environment occurs when the effect of having both genetic and environmental

vulnerabilities is different from that which would be predicted by simply adding up their

independent effects. For example, mounting evidence suggests that both genetic and

environmental factors predict later development of anxiety disorders but that the

presence of both multiplies the likelihood of disorders.” At the age of five Michael began

performing, by the age of eight he was a star. Because of his stardom, he did not live

the life of a normal child at his age. Whereas children were going to school, interacting

with other children, and playing in playgrounds, Michael’s time was spent rehearsing

and traveling around the country to perform. According to Michael he never had any Christmas or birthday parties like normal children. The absence of a childhood caused

Michael to act in a way that was suspicious. Michael began friendships with younger

children. He had sleepovers with kids that further led to allegations of child molestation.

Michael did not see that he was doing anything wrong. In his mind he was a kid at heart

and was trying to recapture his lost childhood. These issues led Michael to have

an emotional and social development problem.

Family Issues

“The importance of parents to child development is sufficiently obvious that

it is practically axiomatic” (Sheppard, 2008). Michael had a very rocky relationship with

his father, Joseph Jackson. Michael’s father would push Michael to perfection. Even

though Michael was only a kid at the time, he was to rehearse daily and if he

made a mistake his father would beat him. According to Drehle (2009), “Joe Jackson

drove his sons relentlessly. He ridiculed their shortcomings and punished them for their

mistakes. He supervised daily practice sessions with a whip in his hand; he beat the

kids with fists, hangers, a razor strop.” Michael grew deathly afraid of his father

and labeled his father as a vicious and mean man. Michael was not allowed to play with

the other kids in the neighborhood. He would go to school, when not home

schooled, go home, and practice until bedtime. Michael resented his father for

taking away his childhood. Michaels never understood why his father pushed him so

hard. Michael’s relationship with this father drove him to seek perfection. No matter

what Michael accomplished in life, he continued to seek to please his father.
Theories of Personality

As Michael evolved into his teenage and adult years, he could not grasp his identity. “Erikson described identity as "a subjective sense as well as an observable quality of personal sameness and continuity, paired with some belief in the sameness and continuity of some shared world image” (Cherry, 2012). Michael knew what was expected of him. He was viewed as a great entertainer, but he struggled with his self-identity. Michael’s lack of...
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