Theories Of Human Growth And Development Psychology Essay

Sam was adopted by Tony and Jan at four old ages old, a move which, despite initial reserves, was successful. However, in recent months Sam ‘s behavior has deteriorated and this, aboard other jobs, has led to the household seeking support. has long been regarded as important in kids ‘s development ( Aldgate, 2007: 57 ) . Bowlby ( 1977: 203 ) described attachment behavior as behavior ensuing in a individual achieving or retaining propinquity to another differentiated and preferred single, normally considered stronger and/or wiser. He considered it built-in to human nature, seen to changing extents in all human existences and performed the biological map of protection ( Bowlby, 1988: 22 ) . can be affected when separated from a chief attachment figure ; particularly if this happens involuntarily such as when a kid is removed from their parents attention ( Aldgate, 2007: 64 ) . Irrespective of their old fond regard experiences, they will happen this terrorization because “ they do non cognize who to turn to assist them return to a province of equilibrium ” ( Ibid. ) . This explains why kids who have experienced maltreatment may still desire to be with their parents, even if they are insecurely attached to them ( Ibid. ) and could exemplify why Sam was late protesting that he wanted to travel back to his existent female parent. Daniel ( 2006: 193 ) asserts kids between the ages six months and four old ages are most vulnerable when separated from fond regard figures because:

“ during these early old ages kids lack the cognitive accomplishments to grok the events taking to separation and this coupled with the leaning for charming thought, means immature kids are extremely likely to fault themselves for the loss ” .

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Sam was adopted at four old ages old and although we know small about the fortunes with his birth parents, significantly his fond regard bond was broken at this point. Aldgate ( 2007: 65 ) notes kids who have lost attachment figures through come ining the attention system are at hazard of farther injury by insensitive responses to their fond regard demands. Furthermore, kids get downing new arrangements with insecure attachment behavior may prove the parenting capacity of their carers ( Ibid. ) which could explicate Sam ‘s recent deteriorating behavior. Following two decennaries of research showing that arrangement dislocation is an on-going job in the UK ( Ibid. ) , practicians working with this household should be particularly careful to seek to forestall this.

Attachment theory differs from traditional psychoanalytic theories because it rejects the theoretical account of development suggesting an single base on ballss through a series of phases, in which they may go fixated or reasoning backward ( Bowlby, 1988: 135 ) . Alternatively, this theoretical account sees the person as come oning along one of many possible developmental tracts, some of which are or are non compatible with healthy development ( Ibid. ) . Yet, the function of parents in determining a kid ‘s personality has been critiqued by Harris ( 1999: fifteen ; 359 ) , who offers an alternate point of view in The Nurture Assumption and proposes it is experiences in childhood and adolescent equal groups that modify a kid ‘s personality in ways that will be carried frontward to adulthood. What ‘s more, O’Connor and Nilson ( 2007: 319 ) argue that amongst kids in the Foster attention system, fond regard is considered a powerful but diffuse beginning of behavioral and emotional jobs. Almost any riotous behavior can be attributed to attachment troubles in early relationships and the early experiences are frequently suggested as the lone beginning of their jobs, later understating the function of the current arrangement experiences ( Ibid. ) . They contend following research showing surrogate parents attachment and caregiving does act upon the kid ‘s fond regard to them, it is important that the impact of early fond regard experiences on later development should non be considered independently of current caregiving environments ( Ibid. : 320 ) . Finally, supplying that new attachment figures for kids can react to kids ‘s fond regard needs sensitively and are committed to manage any behavior that may prove their remaining power, it is believed early forms can be modified or discontinued ( Aldgate, 2007: 66 ) .

Bronfenbrenner ‘s ( 1979 ) Ecology of Human Development looks beyond the impact of fond regard to health professionals on development and offers much in footings of helping our apprehension of this households state of affairs and behavior. Bronfenbrenner ( Ibid. : 3 ) developed his broader prospective to development, supplying new constructs of the developing individual, the environment and the germinating interaction between them. He focussed on:

“ the progressive adjustment, throughout the life span, between the turning human being and the altering environments in which it really lives and grows. The latter include non merely the immediate scenes incorporating the developing individual but besides the larger societal contexts, both formal and informal, in which these scenes are embedded ” . ( Bronfenbrenner, 1977: 513 ) .

Harmonizing to Bronfenbrenner ( 1979. : 22 ) , the ecological environment is comprised of a nested administration of homocentric constructions with each one contained within the following. He labelled these the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem and each bed of a kid ‘s environment affects their development.

When looking at the microsystem, the form of functions, interpersonal dealingss and activities experienced by the developing individual in a given scene ( Ibid. ) , there are ways this could hold affected Sam ‘s development. For case, within the household puting Jan has struggled to get by since the unexpected reaching of their babe, which later could hold affected Sam ‘s relationship with her. He now has to portion his female parents attending with his sibling and may be experiencing left out or covetous. Furthermore, the disbursal of IVF has resulted in Tony working more, rendering him absent from the family more often. This alteration may hold influenced Sam ‘s relationship with Tony and he may be losing holding his male parent about as in the yesteryear. Additionally, following his acceptance, Dorothy felt unsure whether to see Sam as her existent grandson, a tenseness which Sam may sensed himself.

Bronfenbrenner ( Ibid. :7 ) besides regarded the connexions between other people in the scene of equal importance because of their indirect influence on the development kid through the consequence they have on those who deal first manus with that individual. Sam ‘s development could hold been affected by labored dealingss between his parents as a consequence of Jan non having the support she needs from her hubby due to his work committednesss. Similarly, dealingss between Jan and Dorothy have become tense since the babe ‘s reaching with Jan anticipating Dorothy ‘s aid, which has non materialised. Beyond the microsystem, an exosystem refers to scenes that the developing individual is non involved in as an active participant but “ in which events occur that affect, or are affected by, what happens in the scene incorporating the developing individual ” ( Ibid. : 25 ) . Bronfenbrenner ( Ibid. ) offered a kid ‘s parents topographic point of work as an illustration and with the demand for Tony to work every bit much as possible, any emphasiss he experiences in the work environment could encroach upon Sam ‘s development even though Sam spends no clip in this scene himself.

This theory recognises everyone exists within a context influencing who they are and how they respond to state of affairss in life ( Phelan, 2004: online ) . Whilst the edifice blocks in the environmental facet of this theory were familiar constructs in the societal and behavioral scientific disciplines, the manner in which these entities relate to one another and to development was new ( Bronfenbrenner, 1979: 8 ) . Hence, before this theory, sociologists, psychologists and other specializers studied narrow facet ‘s of kids ‘s universes ( Brendtro, 2006: 163 ) . However, Tudge et Al. ( 2009: 6 ) evaluated the application of Bronfenbrenner ‘s theory in late published work and found merely 4 out of 25 documents claiming to be based on his theory had utilised it suitably. They contend if theory is to play an of import function in developmental surveies it must be applied right because:

“ a failure to make so means that it has non been tested suitably ; informations seemingly back uping the theory do no such thing if the theory has been falsely described, and… a distorted theory is imperviable to assail from nonsupportive informations ” ( Ibid. : 206 ) .

Adoption is required when it is non possible for a kid to return place, either because the parents are unable to care for them or alter their lives in a manner that would be safe for that kid ( Brent Council, 2010: online ) . Whilst we are unsure of the fortunes taking to Sam ‘s acceptance, we can theorize that the attention provided by his birth parents was deficient. Infant encephalon research demonstrated that “ if there is grossly unequal attention in babyhood, the baby ‘s encephalon and other abilities that depend on encephalon development can be compromised ” ( Linke, 2000: online ) . The bulk of the critical times for encephalon development occur before the age of six months and research indicated orphans adopted after this age made less advancement than those adopted earlier ( Ibid. ) . Furthermore, parts of the encephalon that regulate emotions and emphasis responses are organised early in a kid ‘s life and may non be mutable subsequently ( Ibid. ) . Subsequently, parts of the organic structure and encephalon that respond to emphasis may go over sensitive and ready to react to menace even when a menace is non manifest if the baby is continually exposed to trauma and emphasize ( Ibid. ) . If Sam experienced unequal attention in babyhood it is possible that he has developed over sensitive emphasis responses and now regards the new babe as a menace, which could supply an account for his noncompliant behavior and neutrality in his sibling.

Pollak and the University of Wisconsin Child Emotion Lab are active in researching how early life experiences affect encephalon development ( see Child Emotion Lab, 2009: online ) . However, he and his co-workers stress that non all kids sing disregard develop the same jobs ( Wismer-Fries et al. , 2005: 17239 ) . In their work on the function of early societal experience in subsequent encephalon development they found kids sing lower hormonal responsiveness may travel on to develop satisfactory interpersonal relationships and highlighted potentially important single differences runing across the control group and the antecedently neglected group of kids ( Ibid. ) . Furthermore, other research led by Pollak has demonstrated how adjustable the encephalon can be when in the right environment ( University of Wisconsin News, 2003: online ) . Their survey of 5-6 twelvemonth old ‘s who lived in orphanhoods during their first seven to 41 months of life found that kids performed better in many trials the longer they had lived with their adoptive households ( Ibid. ) . Pollak ( quoted in University of Wisconsin News, 2003: online ) hopes these findings will promote kids to be placed in households instead than in institutional scenes and “ offer new avenues for planing more effectual intercessions that could assist kids who spent their early old ages in disadvantaged environments reach their full potency ” .


Erikson ‘s life rhythm attack proposes at certain points in their lives, people encounter life crises making a struggle within themselves as persons and between themselves and other important people in their lives ( Gibson, 2007: 74 ) . Each life crisis provides a struggle, characterised by a pull in different waies by two opposing temperaments, and if the single achieves a favorable balance between these so they are every bit prepared as possible to travel onto the following phase in the procedure ( Ibid. ) . However, if one does non accomplish this favorable ratio, this renders wining in subsequent life crises debatable ( Ibid. ) . Generativity vs Stagnation is Erikson ‘s 7th and next-to-last phase of psychosocial development covering in-between maturity and generativity “ is chiefly the concern in set uping and steering the following coevals ” ( Erikson, 1965: 258 ) and represents the major struggle in maturity ( Slater, 2003: 57 ) . As Slater ( Ibid. ) asserts, everybody has to confront the crisis of parentage whereby:

“ mmake a deliberate determination to go parents, but some become parents without witting determination, others decide non to go parents, and still others want to go parents but can non. The determination and its result provoke a crisis that calls for a re-examination of life functions ” .

Successfully accomplishing this sense of generativity is of import for both the person and society and parents demonstrate it through caring for their kids ( Slater, 2003: 57 ) . A failure to accomplish this leads to a feeling of stagnancy and unproductivity ( Heffner, 2001: online ) . Jan spent a long clip seeking to go a female parent to carry through this phase in Erikson ‘s theoretical account and accomplish a “ favorable ratio ” ( Erikson, 1965: 262 ) of generativity over stagnancy. After two old ages of seeking to gestate, three unsuccessful efforts at IVF and two gruelling old ages of the acceptance procedure, they adopted Sam and have since out of the blue conceived of course. However, as Erikson ( Ibid. : 259 ) asserts “ the mere fact of holding or even lacking kids… does non ‘achieve ‘ generativity ” . Blyth ( 1999: 730 ) composing about assisted construct, significantly high spots parentage after such attempts will non needfully fit outlooks and Jan ‘s feelings of being a useless female parent and happening maternity a battle may be unexpected after seeking for a household for such a long clip. Furthermore, in this phase, the importance of grownup mature dependence is implicitly inferred and suggests there are psychological wagess for those grownups who can run into the demands of others and hold other people dependent on them ( Gibson, 2007: 83 ) . Jan reports experiencing unable to soothe her babe and run into their demands and this should be addressed by a societal worker to forestall a “ pervading sense of stagnancy and poverty ” ( Erikson, 1965: 258 ) in this phase of the life rhythm.

Slater ( 2003: 53 ) acknowledges Erikson ‘s work, whilst grounded in psychoanalytic theory, rejects Freud ‘s impression that personality is fixed by childhood experiences entirely and provides an extension of the phases of development to cover adolescence, maturity and old age. However, Rutter and Rutter ( 1993: 1-2 ) criticised theories such as Erikson ‘s sing psychological growing as a systematic patterned advance through a series of phases in a preset order, through which everyone moves, taking them closer to adulthood represented by grownup operation. This trust on the universals of development and the impression of one developmental tract has ignored single differences ( Ibid. ) . They believe that whilst this theory made important parts to understanding the procedures involved in development, Erikson ‘s attack does non suit with what is known about socio-emotional development and “ it is likely that kids take a assortment of waies, and grownup results can non sanely be reduced to mere differences in degrees of adulthood ” ( Ibid. : 2 ) .

Goffman ( 1963: preface- 3 ) employed the term stigma to mention to a deeply discrediting property of an person that disqualifies them from full societal credence. Their ownership of this property that makes them different means they can be reduced in people ‘s heads from a whole individual to a discounted and tainted one ( Ibid. : 3 ) . Furthermore, the wider societies criterions mean the person is cognizant of what others regard as their weakness, which can necessarily do them to believe they fall short of what they ought to be and later shame becomes a cardinal possibility ( Ibid. : 7 ) . His work offers insight into how Jan may be experiencing about herself after being unable to gestate for such a long clip because for many adult females, “ sterility carries a concealed stigma Born of shame and secretiveness ” ( Whiteford & A ; Gonzales, 1995: 27 ) . Involuntary childlessness can adversely impact an persons relationships, their feelings about themselves and their ability to map, develop and take part in society “ may be compromised by their inability to set about conventional functions associated with parenting ” ( Blyth, 1999: 729-730 ) . Whiteford & A ; Gonzalez ‘s ( Ibid. : 27-35 ) research on 25 adult females who sought medical intervention for sterility, demonstrated the concealed load of sterility reflected in the stigma, hurting and spoiled individualities of those interviewed. The adult females in their sample experienced the effects of their societal individuality and suffered because they had:

“ internalized the societal norms expressed in dominant gender functions, and in so making see themselves as faulty. They suffer from being denied the chance proceed with their lives as others do ” ( Ibid. : 35 ) .

Goffman ( 1963: 9 ) believed the stigmatised individual frequently responds to their state of affairs by doing an effort to rectify their weakness. This is apparent in Whiteford & A ; Gonzales ( 1995. : 35 ) survey where the adult females attempted to rectify their job and repair the broken portion of them, giving all they could to go a ‘normal ‘ and ‘whole ‘ individual and take the stigma of being sterile. Unfortunately, failure is the most likely result of sterility intervention ( Blyth, 1999: 729-730 ) , as experienced by Tony and Jan, who had three unsuccessful efforts at IVF before retreating from the programme. Furthermore, Goffman ( 1963: 9 ) emphasised that where such a fix is possible, this does non needfully take to the acquisition of to the full normal position. Alternatively “ a transmutation of ego from person with a peculiar defect into person with a record of holding corrected a peculiar defect ” ( Ibid. ) occurs, which Jan, who has successfully overcome her sterility and go a female parent may be sing.

One important unfavorable judgment levelled at Goffman ‘s theory is of the seemingly incapacitated function attributed to persons with stigmatic qualities ( Carnevale, 2007: 12 ) . Furthermore, Nettleton ( 2006: 96 ) reiterates the importance of recognizing stigma is non an property of the person but a “ exhaustively societal construct which is generated, sustained and reproduced in the context of societal inequalities ” alternatively. Nonetheless, Goffman ‘s theoretical account remains dominant and extremely respected and his representation of the societal troubles people with stigmatic qualities face is still considered extremely valid ( Carnevale, 2007: 12 ) .

Whilst attachment behavior is particularly apparent in childhood, it besides characterises people from cradle to the grave ( Bowlby, 1977: 203 ) . Furthermore, the capacity to organize intimate emotional bonds in both the attention giving and attention seeking function is considered a chief characteristic of effectual personality operation and mental wellness ( Bowlby, 1988: 121 ) . Bowlby ( 1977. : 206 ) proposed there was a strong relationship between a individual ‘s experiences with their parents and their ulterior ability to organize affective bonds and that:

“ common fluctuations in that capacity, attesting themselves in matrimonial jobs and problem with kids every bit good as in neurotic symptoms and personality upsets, can be attributed to certain common fluctuations in the ways that parents execute their functions ” ( Ibid. ) .

Subsequently, attachment theory advocators believe many signifiers of psychiatric upsets can be attributed to failure of the development of attachment behavior ( Bowlby, 1977: 201 ) . This is supported by et Al ‘s. ( 1996: 310 ) research which found insecure fond regard appeared to impact upon self-esteem and self worth eventualities ensuing in depressive symptoms in maturity. Whilst we know small of Jan ‘s attachment behavior as a kid, her relationship with her female parent is unstable at present and when looking at the symptoms that Jan is exposing they could deduce she is sing postpartum depression. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale was developed by Cox et Al. ( 1987 ) to help wellness attention professionals recognise postpartum depression. Statements used to place the status include: “ Thingss have been acquiring on top of me ” ; “ I have been experiencing sad or suffering ” ; “ I have been dying or worried for no good ground ” and “ I have blamed myself unnecessarily when things went incorrect ” , all of which could be applied to how Jan is experiencing at present. Furthermore, her changeless low temper and feelings of insufficiency as a female parent lucifer some of the symptoms of postpartum depression described on NHS Direct ‘s ( 2008: online ) web site. Therefore, whilst this is merely a probationary account of Jan ‘s feelings, it should be explored by the societal worker working with this household.

Additionally, unresolved childhood attachment issues can go forth grownups vulnerable to sing troubles in forming secure grownup relationships ( Evergreen Advisers in Human Behaviour, 2006: online ) . Attachment jobs can be handed down transgenerationally unless the concatenation is broken and hence, an insecurely attached grownup may miss the ability to organize a strong fond regard with their ain kid ( Ibid ) . Subsequently, uthis theory offers the possibility that hapless formation of affective bonds in Jan ‘s ain childhood could explicate why she is fighting to organize an attachment bond with her ain babe. Furthermore, new dealingss can be affected by outlooks developed in old relationships and there is a strong correlativity between insecure grownup fond regard and matrimonial dissatisfaction ( Ibid. ) . This could offer an account for why Jan believes Tony does non supply the emotional support she requires.

However, whilst trauma experienced in the early old ages can be associated with jobs in the long term, it should non be assumed this is black for a kid ‘s physical, cognitive and emotional development and will automatically plague the remainder of a their life ( Daniel, 2006: 195 ) . As Barth et Al. ( 2005: 259 ) contend, while attachment jobs may predispose a kid towards subsequently jobs, these jobs must be evaluated and treated within the context of their current environment. Social work practicians supplying appropriate intercessions can do a long-run difference because hardship experienced in the early old ages can be compensated for and the worst effects ameliorated if support is given ( Daniel, 2006: 195 ) .

Obviously, an apprehension of human development theory provides more than an interesting background subject and is indispensable to good societal work pattern ( and Thompson, 2008: 139 ) . Whilst no theories supplying penetrations into development are unfailing, in combination they have much to offer to a practicians apprehension of those they work with. Therefore, it is imperative a societal worker should see biological, psychological and sociological attacks in order to transport out a full and holistic appraisal of this household ‘s demands. However, as Thompson and Thompson ( Ibid. ) assert, it is easy for practicians to wrongly believe the cognition base will offer off-the-rack, ready-made replies and merely use theories to pattern in a mechanical, across-the-board manner. Therefore, it is of import for skilled brooding practicians to be competent at pulling out relevant facets of the theory base and use them in a manner that is tailored to suit the state of affairs alternatively ( Ibid. ) .

Furthermore, as Thompson ( 2009: 63 ) accents, there is a danger that when looking at development across the life class it can be used as a stiff model that we expect everyone to suit into and so see those who do non as abnormal or holding a job. Consequently, it must be recognised that this traditional attack taken to development across the the life class can be really oppressive and discriminate against those who do non conform to the tendency ( Ibid. ) . For this ground, the life class should be considered as a agency of “ get downing to understand common phases of development and is non a stiff model for doing opinions about abnormalcy ” ( Ibid. ) . To reason, as Thompson and Thompson ( 2008: 99 ) remind us, understanding development is non doing everyone tantrum into a stereotyped premise about what is normal but instead to recognize there are important forms that underpin growing and development and to the attitudes and behaviors associated with these.

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