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Child Development Theorists

Select Three of the Child Development Theorists we have studied that have inspired you. Describe how their theories are relevant to psychotherapeutic work with young people. Illustrate these theories with your personal development and your toddler observations.

Child development theorists

Though many scholars and scientists have been involved in the study of child development in the last decade, Only a few of the theories have remained applicable in the current time. Among this group of theorists include five major scholars. Freud, Erikson, and Kohlberg’s are some of the major theorists that have been involved in the discussion of child development. Freud proposed the psycho-sexual stage development theory, while Erickson developed the psycho-social stage development theory. Kohlberg in his study developed the moral understanding stage theory.

Child development theories 

Freud’s psychosexual development theory

According to Freud’s child development theory, the psychological development of a child takes place in five major psycho-sexual stages. These stages include oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital developmental stages. These stages represent the fixation of libido on different parts and areas of the body.

Child development theories and  personal development

At the oral stage, the primary form of interaction of the infant is through the mouth. The sucking and rooting reflex occurring during eating are considered the major source of pleasure for the child. At this stage, the infant derives pleasure from the oral stimulation of the body, achieved through tasting and sucking. This stage is evident when the child is between 0-1 years of age.

The anal stage is focused on controlling libido through a bowel movement. The theory holds that the major conflict during the anal stage is toilet training and results in a sense of independence and accomplishment. The successful accomplishment of this developmental stage is dependent on how well the child learns to use the toilet

The phallic stage is characterized by the discovery of the difference between male and female. This stage is witnessed when the child is between 3 to 6 years. At this stage, the child learns the sexual difference between the two parents and desires to associate with the same sex.

The latent period is evident when the child has attained 6 years, to puberty. The sexual feelings of the child are however inactive. The development of the ego and superego continues during this stage. Children are likely to become fixated of stuck at this stage.

The genital stage is characterized by the onset of puberty that causes the libido to become active again. The individual at this stage develops a strong sexual interest in the opposite sex. This stage starts during puberty and lasts throughout the stages of the person’s life. Interest in the welfare of others also grows during this stage