Human development is a process that takes place This paper applies Erik Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development; Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development; Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic Stages of Human Growth and Development; Lawrence Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development; Lev Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory; Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory; and John Bowlby Attachment Theory to present a critical Individual Development Narrative of the developments that I went through during my prenatal, infancy, childhood, middle childhood, and adolescent stages. During each of these stages, I underwent growth in different domains. Growth at each stage took a different dimension because it was influenced by differing factors. For instance, during my infancy stage, I developed cognitively. My mental capacity was expanding as I grew up because it is a necessary occurrence in human life. The development of my cognitive abilities can be explained using the Piaget’s theory of cognitive development.
The first stage that I went through is prenatal. This stage occurred right after my conception up to birth. The prenatal stage occurred before I was born. Meaning, I was not able to interact with other people because I had not been born. Since there were no people around me, I could only interact with the environment enclosed within the uterus (Sigelman & Rider, 2014). However, I mainly developed physically because of the cell division and metabolic changes in my body. For me to develop well during this stage, I had to have a good attachment with my mother. My parent had to observe recommended maternal care because it would determine my growth and development even after birth. If provided with a healthy environment, I would enjoy a well-being both before and after birth.
One of the things that the mother was supposed to do during my prenatal stage is the use of a healthy and balanced diet because I had to solely rely on her as the source of food. The food that my mother had eaten would be transmitted to me through the placenta. Therefore, it had to be nutritious. At the same time, my mother was supposed to engage in physical exercises and refrain from harmful behaviors like smoking and alcoholism because they would interfere with my physical and cognitive growth (Booth, Crouter & Snyder, 2015). For example, my mother narrated to me a story that when after my conception, she did not engage in alcoholism or smoking. At the same time, she used to eat a balanced diet which enabled her to provide me with good nourishment. If my mother engaged in alcoholism, I would be exposed to congenital diseases that would impair my cognitive and physical development. There is no theory that can be used to justify the moral, social and psychological changes during this stage. The dominant domain during this stage was physical.
Infancy is the second stage that I went through. It followed the prenatal stage and lasted for 2 years right from my birth. Infancy differs from the prenatal stage because during the infancy stage, human beings undergo a lot of changes in their growth. Research has proven that once a child is born, it starts to progressively develop physically, cognitively, psychologically, and socially (McAdams & Zapata-Gietl, 2015). Physical development naturally occurs because a child is provided with the necessary nourishments that can enhance growth. At the same time, mental growth happens since the child is exposed to the environment with which it interacts (Batra, 2013). Emotional growth take center-stage during this period because a child appears t portrays behaviors like sadness and happiness. The changes can be explained using the theory of attachment because I was still attached to my parents from whom I acquired knowledge.
According to Jean Piaget, human beings undergo a cognitive development during the infancy stage. Infancy stage is equated to Piaget’s sensory motor stage which also lasts from birth up to 24 months (Beckett & Taylor, 2016). So, I had to undergo a similar experience because I was interacting with my immediate environment. I also developed psychologically because, as Freud explains in his psychoanalytic theory, infants use their oral and anal simulations to acquire psychological traits that end up defining whom they become as they grow up (Grusec & Lytton, 2012).
I was a happy child during my infancy because I developed a good attachment with my mother. In order to ensure that we were attached, my mother did not go for work during my childhood. Instead, she spent her time at home to enable me to breastfeed and get used to her. This attachment was very important because it enabled me to live healthily. It made me to develop good emotional skills that would later influence me. As Erickson and Vygotsky exclaim, I had to rely on my immediate environment to determine my moral and social development. The changes can be explained using the attachment and social learning theories because I was learning from my parents and immediate surroundings. Socio-cultural and emotion were the main domains of growth during this stage. I however disagree with the attachment theory because it did not work well with me all the time. At times, I tended to detach from my parents when I was punished by my parents.
Early Childhood Stage
Early childhood is the third stage that I went through in my growth cycle. During this stage which basically lasted between the age of 2 and 4 years, I developed cognitively, morally, and psychologically. Cognitive development took place during my early childhood because, as explained by Piaget, children who are 2-4 years are categorized as preoperational or toddlerhood. Here, the children develop cognitively because as they continue interacting with their surrounding, the children can manage to construct symbolic meanings of the objects they see. The children are also able to develop a language, imagination, and memory on which they rely to understand the environment. The changes in these skills are justified by the social learning theory. Cognitive growth is the most dominant domain during this stage of growth.
Early childhood stage also gives children an opportunity to develop psychologically. During each of these stages, a child interacts with the environment and manages to develop character traits based on how successful the interaction is (Shapiro & Margolin, 2014). A child who undergoes through these stages can end up becoming respectful disobedient, punctual, lazy, dirty, or tidy (Booth, Crouter & Snyder, 2015). I think my early childhood experiences influenced my personality. I have grown up to be a respectful person because of the success in the training I received during this stage. Social learning theory justifies these changes. However, sometimes I disagree with this theory because it might result into the acquisition of negative behaviors that are unacceptable in the society.
During the early childhood stage, I also developed socially. I remember living in a house with my mother, caretaker, father and siblings. Each of these people influenced my growth because we used to interact with them. For example, my mother who was very close to me enabled me to develop good morals, skills and emotions. My mother taught me lots of lessons which influenced by development. This is what happened to me because I have learnt to be an autonomous individual who does not necessarily rely on the support of other people. This shows that I had a good experience that prepared me to develop healthily (Kivnick & Wells, 2014). Since Kohlberg says that early childhood is a pre-conventional stage in which a child learns morality because it is expected to abide by the moral standards of the society taught by the parents (Carr, 2015). However, Kohlberg’s theory did not apply to me the way it is explained. Sometimes, I acquired immoral acts that were not in agreement with the Kohlberg’s stages of moral development.
Middle childhood is the third stage in human growth and development. The middle childhood stage which occurs between the age of 5 and 12 years is a stage in which the children are expanding their social environment because they no longer need to be confined into their respective houses under the care of the parents and care takers, but have to be allowed to interact with other people such as teachers, class mates, friends, siblings, and community members (Newman & Newman, 2014). During the middle childhood stage, the children go through a rapid cognitive, psychological, moral, and social development as explained by the social learning theory. Emotional growth is the most dominant domain in this stage of growth.
According to Freud, middle childhood is closely related to the latency stage which lasts between the ages of 5 years up to puberty. During this stage, Freud established that a child develops psychologically because it is a time when energy is spent in schools. Although no fixation occurs during this stage, children still get a chance to develop as time goes by (Patton, et al., 2016). While at school, children get an opportunity to interact with others and acquire behaviors that can end up determining whom they become in the future. Personally, I had to undergo through this process because when I reached school-going age, I was taken to school where I send my entire energy in playing and learning to acquire important life skills (Funder, 2015). The other change that takes place during middle childhood stage is the acquisition of cognitive skills.
Personally, I successfully went through the middle childhood stage. During this stage, I was balancing my time between our house and school. I got to learn lots of behaviors from the people with whom I was interacting. For example, when I was in school, I had to learn the morals of the society by complying with all the rules and regulations given to me. At the same time, I spent time participating in games and the physical activities from which I learnt certain rules. When growing up, I had to experience this because I ended up developing the initiative aspect of Erik’s explanation. It made me to be me to be an innovative child who could perfectly fit into the environment (Dale & Smith, 2013). I don’t think that the Erickson’s theory applied to me during this stage. I did not experience what he says in his theory.
Adolescence is a stage which lasts from the age of 12 and 20 years. All the children who are in this age bracket have to undergo adolescence, a stage in which they experience changes in their physical, biological, moral, and psychological development (Batra, 2013). It is at this stage that I enjoyed all the domains of development because my growth was at exponential stage. In terms of cognitive development, Piaget explains that adolescents can use their mind to make logical arguments which can be relied upon to justify their actions and make abstract decisions (Day, et al., 2014). From my own narrative, I would like to point out that I successfully went through the adolescent stage because it enabled me to develop my cognitive skills to be a rational child who could make reasonable decisions. The changes in my behavior and emotions can be explained by social learning theory.
In terms of moral and social development, it is undeniable that adolescence is a stage in which children acquire lots of skills to use their day-to-day endeavors. According to Kohlberg, adolescence stage is synonymous to the conventional stage in which the adolescents in which the children can reason morally in compliance with the societal norms and standards. I was influenced by my environment because I was able to behave morally and do things in a right way because I had already known to differentiate morality from immorality (Grusec & Lytton, 2012). My adolescence stage was brought many changes in my life. My development during adolescence conformed with Freud’s theory because I tended to be attracted to the members of the opposite sex.
Human being is a living organism that undergoes a series of developmental stages. The process which begins after conception continues through the infancy, childhood, middle age, adolescence, young adulthood, adulthood, and elderly stages. During each of these stages, human being undergo different changes in its physical, cognitive, moral, social, and emotional growth. It is for this reason that people behave differently in each of these stages. The development of human beings can be explained using a number of theories that have been developed by scholars. These include the Stages of Psychosocial Development; theory of cognitive development; Psychoanalytic Stages of Human Growth and Development; Stages of Moral Development; Social Development Theory; Social Learning Theory; and Attachment Theory. As explained by Sigmund, early childhood can be equated to the anal and phallic stages which take place between the age of 1 and 7 years.
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