Karen J Hammer
May 23, 2011
The Life Span Perspective of Development
According to Berger (2008), “a developmental theory is a systematic statement of principles and generalizations that provides a coherent framework for understanding how and why people change as they grow older” (p. 33). A life span consists of the time frame from conception to death. Therefore, the life span development is best described by Hultsch and Deutsch (as cited in Woolf, 1998) as being “concerned with the description, explanation, and optimization of intra-individual changes in behavior, and inter-individual differences in such changes in behavior from conception to death.” This paper will identify and explain two developmental theories of the life span perspective as well as attempt to explain how heredity and environment interact to generate differences in an individual’s development. Psychoanalytical Theory
The psychoanalytical theory was developed by Sigmund Freud after treating patients suffering from various mental illnesses. Freud developed this theory from listening to patients discuss dreams and fantasies combined with his knowledge of Greek drama and primitive art. According to Freud’s theory, the life span is broken down into five stages and is related to sexual aspects. The oral stage starts at birth lasting to age one and focuses pleasure sensations on a person’s lips, tongue, and gums. During this period of life, sucking and eating are considered the most stimulating activities. The second stage is the anal stage, ages one to three. The anus is considered to carry the most stimulating pleasure. During this time, toilet training is extremely important. Stage three is considered the phallic stage, age three to age six. During this time the penis derives the most pleasure in that boys are proud of possessing a penis and girls wonder why they do not have one. The fourth stage is the latency stage, age...