Theories of Freud and Erickson in Human DevelopmentArticle Critique

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¶ … Freud and Erickson in Human Development

Sigmund Freud and Erickson are the leading psychologists to have ever lived in the history of human psychology. The two had their differences as well as similarities regarding the stages that the human beings go through as they grow up. Sigmund Freud's theory came to be known as the psychosexual theory while Erickson's theory is termed as the psychosocial theory. In Sigmund's theory, the psychologist has listed eight stages that each of the human beings must go through in the process of growing. In this theory, all the growth stages that man goes through are connected to sexuality. On the other hand, Erickson based his research on the psychological paradigms of human beings. For instance, the he mentions that children change their psychological view as they move through eight stages to adulthood.

Similarities between the two theories

Freud and Erickson share many similarities between them. From the birth to the age of one year, Sigmund termed the stage of growth as the oral stage. As the first stage of development, the child develops connection with everything that goes into his or her mouth through eating or sucking. This stage is likened to Erickson's Trust vs. Mistrusts stage. In this stage, Erickson describes as one where the child learns to trust and mistrust all that their caregivers give them. They share the similarity that children are being exposed to the conditions that the caregivers give to them in their formative years. From this, it can be noted that children can be attached to what they eat or drink since it is the only activity close to them Their infancy only allows them to suckle their mother's breasts as well as take a little food that is given to them (Slater, 2003).

Freud described the second stage as the age of age one and three years as the anal stage. According to him, children at this stage learned to control the bowel movements. This gives them confidence to handle situations as they grow. It also enables the children to have a self-assurance and familiarity with the environment around them. In this case, the environment that the children stay in matters a lot. Similarly, Erickson described this stage as the Anatomy vs. Doubt stage. On this, he described that children develop self-sufficiency ability. At this point, they learn to control abilities such as eating and toilet movements. The two agreed that the nature of growth that children face when they are at this stage signifies a stage in life where they learn to control their bodily and mental activities. Children undergo both psychological and physical growth. In this stage, children also learn to appreciate those they are with as well as develop a sense of belonging. In Freud's theory, this stage is explained as one that gets children out of their infancy and prepares them for growth into advanced growth. In this sense, the children have a chance to experience better view of life (Mancini, & Roberto, 2009).

Freud describes the age of 3 to 6 as the phallic stage. At this stage, Freud explains that the sexual orientation of the child grows as more sensitive and as such, children start getting attachments with same-sex parents. Boys start to develop interest in knowing their fathers and girls their mothers. According to Erickson, this stage is referred to as the Initiative vs. guilt stage. He describes it as a stage in which children learn to control their environment. It is here that children develop a sense of attachment with all that surrounds them, which includes their parents, as well as the physical environment surrounding them (Slater, 2003).

Both theories accept that children at this age spend time learning all that surrounds them. In the case described, in this case, it shows that the psychological and sexual nature of the children interact at this point. The nature of child growth is in this case evidently dependent on the environment. The environment builds or breaks the ties that children have with their surrounding environment. It is either they are going to be attracted and thus embrace or will be repulsed and withdraw from the occurrences around them. Children often blame their parents whenever they go through any unfavorable event around them (Slater, 2003).

The age of between 7 to 12 years is considered as the Latent period. On the other hand, Erickson describes it as the Industry vs. Inferiority stage. Freud explains that children at this stage suppress their sexual emotions and start focusing on serious issues of life like learning an art or something to build them. Their life appears comfortable when they dwell on whatever builds them. At their stage, children also stop focusing on their sexual orientation. On the same note, Erickson acknowledges that children are more interested in developing an art or a skill that will see them through the stages of as they grow from age seven all the way to 12 (Mancini, & Roberto, 2009).

Notably, children at this age develop interest in toys and other hand tools that make them occupied. Since most of them will be of the schooling age, their attention is seen to be coinciding with the activities they may be doing. They tend to develop fascination and interest in what is taught to them by their teachers. Significantly, the two theories also agree on the fact that children face off with the reality of dealing with the school events and other learning experiences in a comfortable manner. In their opinion, all that matters is that which surrounds them (Mancini, & Roberto, 2009).

Freud refers the adolescence stage as the genital age. According to him, children looking for their mates of the opposite gender characterize this age. They pursue romantic relationships and develop feelings for the opposite sexes. In this age also, the adolescents develop in terms of their sexual growth. The Children also stop feeling attached to their parents and start looking for their mates. On the same note, Erickson explains that children at this stage develop a sense of self-identity. On this note, they become aware of their gender and the need to look for a male or female to hang out or share the experiences together. Children develop a sense of belonging and start meddling with issues of romance. According to Freud, the fascinating thing is that children are interested in making happiness a priority. The priority issues for them are to develop a sense of affection, responsibility, and belonging. In every instance, this lot believes in affection and attachment to the issues affecting them (Slater, 2003).

When adulthood comes, Freud notes that the genital phases still dominates. In this sense, adults continue propagating the issue of romance at all times. Dating period lasts for as long as they are alive. Unlike in the adolescence age, adults are surer of their age and acknowledge that their growth is more guaranteed. The decisions they make inspire them to see through their life comfortably. Erickson also shares in the same believe regarding this age. He refers to this age as the Intimacy vs. Isolation age. He divided the age into three categories. This intimacy and isolation stage is one meant for the young adults. The young adults are known to seek romantic love and companionship (Essau, 2012).

Unlike the adolescents, individuals at this stage are more serious and committed to their romantic life. They also spend more time looking for mates and preferably marriage partners. The second stage is what Erickson refers to as the generatively vs. stagnation period. This is the age for the middle-aged adults, and they are known to dedicate their time to nurturing others and contributing to the society. Lastly, Erickson described the third phase of adulthood as the integrity vs. despair age. Here, they look back to their lives in either a sense of fulfillment or bitterness (DePaolo, 2007).

Differences between the two theories

The two presumptions vary in terms of the approaches used. While Freud based his explanation on sexuality, Erickson, however, focused on the identity issue. Freud believed that the sexual orientation of an individual determines the nature of growth that the same individual will undergo either physically or psychologically. In this sense, he explains that as children grow, the transformations that happen to their sexual orientation are characterized by the creation of a new belief in growth. In fact, they tend to advance their emotional and physical growth in line with the sexual developments that happen in their lives. Temperaments and personalities develop depending on the sexual transformations, according to Freud. Freud also believed that sexuality influences the way in which people develop their view of life in terms of mates. As seen in the stages of development, the life of an individual is highly dependent on the sexual orientation and as such, people fail to develop in any other way other than the stated sexual path (Eileen, & Marotz, 2003).

The view held by Freud is in total… [END OF PREVIEW]

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