Senin, 15 Oktober 2007

Freud' Stages of Development

Now we turn to developmental theories, and the most famous, historically, is psychoanalytic or Freudian theory. This theory sprung from Freud's observations of adults' recollections in therapy of their lives. Children were not directly observed. Although Freud's theory has been roundly criticized for its lack of scientific character, it does stand however as a grand metaphor for describing personality.

Freud's theory has three main parts, the stages of development, the structure of the personality, and his description of mental life. Here, the stages of the personality will be discussed.

Again, only from adult recollections did these stages emerge. The first stage is the Oral Stage. It runs from birth to age 2. In the oral stage infants and toddler explored the world primarily with their most sensitive area, their mouths. They also learn to use their mouths to communicate. The next stage is the Anal Stage. In the anal stage, children learned to control the elimination of bodily wastes.

The Phallic Stage (3-5 years of age) is probably the most controversial. The word phallic means penis-like. In this stage, children discover their sexual differences. The controversy comes from Freud's description of the Oedipus (for males) and Electra (for females) complexes, with their attendant concepts of castration anxiety and penis envy, respectively. Those complexes lead, according to Freudian theory, to normal differentiation of male and female personalities. The defense mechanism of repression was invoked to explain why no one could remember the events of this stage.

The phallic stage is followed by a Latency Period in which little new development is observable. In this stage, boys play with boys, and girls with girls, typically. Sexual interest is low or non-existent.

The final stage is the Genital Stage. It started around 12 years of age and ends with the climax of puberty. Sexual interests re-awaken at this time (there were sexual interests before, dormant and repressed from the phallic stage).

Neo-Freudian approaches added more stages (Erikson) and/or altered Freud's emphasis on psychosexual development. Those approaches will be discussed on a below.

Freud's Stages of Development--tutorial, basic, short, links. Provides capsule descriptions of Freud's stages of development: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital.

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