Child Development: Psychodynamic Theory of Freud – Essay Sample
Psychodynamic theory was first introduced by Sigmund Freud to study human behaviour and development. This essay will primarily focus on the psychodynamic theory of Freud and its impacts on the development of children at a social and psychological level.
The psychoanalytical theory is used interchangeably with this theory of Psychodynamic. It includes both therapy for patients and the study of the psychological theory of human behaviour. This therapy is used to treat social anxiety and depression in patients. Freud had different views in the field of psychopathology & the development of children.
He believed that people have generally three key aspects in their personality – ego, id, and superego. The personality of a child is shaped in the first few years of his development. It depends upon the care provided by the carers and their level of interaction with the child.
Freud believed that mental health issues arise as a result of not accepting the reality of life. He believed that early childhood experiences play a vital role in the development of the behaviour and personality of an adult.
Stages of Psychoanalytic theory of development in children
The psychological and social development in children takes place during these five psychosexual stages of children. It includes – oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital stages. It considers sexual behaviour or factor to play a part in the developmental stages of children.
Psychosexual stages of development in children
- The oral stage (0-1 year) is the first stage of the psychosexual development of children. The first year of life of a child is infancy and he creates a habit of chewing on things that are brought close to his mouth. It brings an infant oral gratification, comfort, and stimulation in doing so.
Psychologically the infant is all Id. Essentials are being provided by the carers to the infants and it includes – food, water, affection, comfort, etc. If such basic needs are not fulfilled by the carers or they neglect the infants then such children may not develop from this stage. They remain stuck in this stage and create a habit of munching and chewing on objects when they grow up.
A consistent supply of nutrition and care must be given to the infants otherwise it may adversely affect their personalities. When neglected infants grow up into adults they create consistent eating, drinking, and smoking habits. It gives them a sense of comfort and security.
- The anal Stage (2-3 years) is the second stage of development of children in which toilet training is an important aspect. Teaching children to sanitize, maintain hygiene and self-control can help them to grow up to be responsible adults.
Self-control can enhance their ego but they should not be restricted much of their independence. Whenever children feel they are being controlled and their freedom is being controlled they feel fearful.
Teaching children self-control during this training helps them to become organized, responsible and hygienic as a person. If caregivers neglect him he might grow up to be irresponsible, disorganized, and unhygienic. This will also impact the social life and development of a child and as an adult.
- The phallic Stage (3-5 years) is the third stage of a child’s social and biological development. Freud believed that boys are mostly sexually attracted to their mothers but fathers come in between them. Initially, they get angry and on realizing the strength of their fathers but later they try to become like the personality possessed by their fathers.
They develop an Oedipus complex which includes fear, the anxiety of castration, and anger. If this issue is not resolved at an earlier stage then they might get stuck in this stage. In growing up, up might faced problems in having an intimate relationship with women. But on resolving the issue they might like to compete with other men and develop a masculine personality.
Therapists believed that girls have a complicated issue of believing that they had a penis and it was cut off. They have an Electra Complex in which they want to marry their fathers by getting rid of their mothers.
- The latent Stage (6-11 years) is the stage of a child’s social development in which his mind shifts its focus to developing friendships. Socially interactive carers and parents help them to enhance their social skills and psychological behaviour. It helps them to boost their self-confidence and self-esteem by being communicative and social with others.
A child with no social skills or interaction becomes a loner, lacks other skills as well, and has social anxiety behaviour.
- The Genital Stage (12 -18 years) is the stage of adolescence and adulthood stage. In this stage, the sexual drives, hunger drives, and sexual arousal are all high as there are changes in the biological factors and hormonal balance of children. Adolescent psychology helps in understanding the nature and self-control required to control sexual urges. So, they redirect the sexual energy into productive activity and it strengthens the ego. They have reason to manage their sexual urges and drives.
Criticisms of Freud’s Psychodynamic theory
- This theory is sexist by nature. Females are considered to be less psychologically well off than men. They are told to accept fewer positions in society than men. It focuses on masculinity and promotes patriarchy in society which is unacceptable.
- It highlights the darker side of human nature and does not focus on the positive aspect.
- The theory is difficult to be measured as it has no specific standards of measurement. The theory is not scientifically tested and proven and predictions about defence mechanisms can be untrue.
- This theory is not supported by any empirical research, surveys, or experimental data.
- Sexuality is not the only factor in shaping the personality of a person. Other factors have not even been considered by Freud.
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The sample essay written above is based on the psychodynamic and psychoanalytical theory of Freud which impacts the development of children. It mentions the stages of development of a child psychologically, socially, and sexually along with criticisms of Freud’s theory.
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Social development of children, Child psychological behaviour, psychopathology, child and adolescence psychological needs, adult needs, sexual behaviour in children, theories of child development and stages of child development, etc are a few topics that can be read in this essay.
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