Substance Abuse Analysis Using Erikson's Stages of Development

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Substance abuse is an enormous social problem in South Africa, as elsewhere. But in South Africa in particular, drugs and alcohol are devastating society, aggravating poverty and crime, and subsidising to child abuse and gender violence. This essay will discuss this issue of substance abuse by the South African adolescence. It will also scrutinize the concept of resilience in light of a South African youth at risk; the essay will also discuss Erikson’s theory of development and attempt to apply it to real life, as well as discoursing its strengths and weaknesses. In trying to resolve the applicability of Erikson’s theory the essay is going to introduce the other theorist who would credibly be more relevant to real South African context. The essay is also going to discuss some of the concerns that are influential to human moral development and their effects to the concept of resilience. The issues to be discussed are; influence of the type of relationship that adolescents have with their parents and peer group, environmental factors and cultural influences to moral development and resilience. Erikson’s best-known work is his theory that each stage of life is associated with a specific psychological struggle, a struggle that contributes to a major aspect of personality. Erikson emphasised that an individual reaches optimal development, when they mastered developmental tasks. The developmental tasks he mentioned are; reading, completing school, managing sexual maturity in adolescence and choosing a career or vocation. Erikson identified eight stages of development and these are; oral-sensory, muscular-anal, loco motor, latency, adolescence, young adulthood, middle adulthood and maturity. In these stages the first five are described as mimic developmental stages of Freud’s psychosexual development. Erikson argued that people face psychosocial dilemmas in each of these stages, that is, conflict between personal impulses & the social world (Coon & Mitter). In...
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