Useful Theories Of Human Development Essay

1659 words - 7 pages

There are many areas of psychology. The field of human development is divided into
five main theory groups. The theory groups are psychodynamic, biological, cognitive, behavioral, and systems. Each theory group has many contributing theorists, all with different views, beliefs, research methods, and life experiences. All theories are valuable in the field of psychology, however some theories may prove to be more helpful than others, in specific careers. There are some theoretical approaches that I will utilize while working with school-aged children and others that I will discard.
Psychodynamic Theory
The psychodynamic theory of human development’s main focus is personality and social development. It is based on the belief that the mind is divided into two parts, the conscious and unconscious. The theorist’s believe that development occurs in stages, for one to develop a healthy and positive personality or identity all stages must be completed successfully. Sigmund Freud is a major contributor to the field of psychology; he developed the id, ego, and superego, which are described as the three elements of personality. Freud believed development occurs in five psychosexual stages and that personality is heavily influenced by early childhood experiences. Erik Erikson is also a huge contributor to the Psychodynamic theory. He developed eight psychosocial stages of development through one’s lifespan, which focuses more on conscious influences (Craig & Dunn, 2010).
In my future career as a school counselor or psychologist I will not use Freud’s psychosexual development theory because I believe it focuses too much on unconscious sexual drives. However, I will use his theory of id, ego, and superego and I will remember the defense mechanisms associated with the theory. I think that knowing the various defense mechanisms and what they actually may represent will be a valuable tool when trying to help a child through difficult circumstances. I will also take into account Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development; I believe that it is very important to remember that children do go through stages of development and are seeking certain acknowledgements throughout those stages.
Biological Theory
The biological theory suggests that an individual is born with specific characteristics, including personality and behavior. Every individual has physical characteristics that are predetermined based on genetic factors. Some genetic physical characteristics include eye color, hair color, body type, and height. Biological theorists believe that an individual’s genetic makeup also contributes to one’s personality and behavior. Arnold Gesell contributed his theory of Maturation. The theory supports the idea that each child's genetic and biological makeup determines the rate of development, regardless of other environmental influences. The theory also suggests that development has a preordained sequence, in which the rates may vary, but the sequence will not....

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