Erikson’s Epigenetic Theories in Adolescence

Psychology into adulthood

Taq1 – look at cross cultural studies of life stages are these reliable and valid?

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Taq1 – also consider case studies to support his theories?

Erikson believed that childhood is the most important years during a child’s personality development. Erikson’s accepted many of Freud’s theories which includes the id, ego, and the superego and the theory of Freud of the infantile sexuality. But the theory of Freud to try and describe the personality solely on the basis of sexuality Erikson rejects it. They also felt that the personality continued to develop after the age of 5 and above.

All stage of Erikson’s epigenetic theories are present when a child is born and they all start to unfold as a child grows up according to the innate plan, all of the stages are building up on the preceding stages, and they are paving the way for subsequent stages. All the stages are characterised by a psychosocial crisis, it is then based on the physiological development, but it also depends on the individual by their patents and the society they live in. in order for these development to proceed correctly the crisis in each stage should be resolved within that stage. The outcome of the stages are not permanent they can be changed later on in life. Everyone is different and we have different mixtures of the traits which are attained in each stage’s if the person had more “good” traits than the “bad” traits.

Adolescence is an important time in a person’s life, it is a time in our life that we develop between puberty and adulthood. This usually happens between the ages 11 and 13, it also is the time of appearance of our secondary sex characteristics and our teenage years. Completion of our development into an adults is usually between the ages 18 to 20 years. During these years in our life’s we usually undergoes extensive personality, emotional, psychological and physical changes.

During adolescents we are said to be challenging and facing the hardest time in our life during the process of growth and changes within out body, the stress and storm from this is related to the pressure and expectations from the society and peer pressure. Stress is not usually caused by this but the new challenges of demands and changes in our life causes the stress.

Adolescents stress can vary of what kind of stress we go undergo this stress can include, social, emotional, intellectual and physical stress. Depending of the situation we are in or if we are emotional due to physical changes to our body, it can cause stress towards us.

Adolescent is believed to be a very difficult time and very important stage of transition in our life because of the different qualitative shifts that pass through our life and breaking away from all of our old self and all the stuff we used to do in our childhood all of these changes of various degrees. For example puberty, the girl’s body begins to change as our body starts our menstrual cycle and they begin to have hair growth in certain places of our body were we didn’t have it before whereas in boys they have the hair begin to grow for them to and their voice then becomes deeper.

I believe that adolescent experiences all differences stages of storm and stress at some time in their life, Arnett 1999 quoted “not all adolescents will experiences storm and stress, even though all of the stages of life span, these years of life are the most volatile and he always said that most of adolescents do experiences stress and storm. These are the ways

Conflict with their parents – they usually tend to be rebellious due to their search of freedom
Mood disruptions – they usually go through an emotional cycle compared to childhood into adulthood
Strange behaviour – strange behaviour such as recklessness, norm breaking and some antisocial behaviour.

Stanley G. Hall (1904) he is a psychologist and an education was back up he said that the time of adolescence is a stressful time for stress and storm which is then influential theoretician since he started his work in the early 1904. Stanley hall was motivated by Darwin, Darwin was a human development as an analogous to evolutionary development he also saw adolescence the same as eras of turbulence and storm. Stanley halls ideas are not part of a popular culture, this tells us that parents expect that adolescents will go through a period of storm and stress.

Throughout research psychologist have recognise that adolescence period in a humans life is part of our human development but Twifod and Carson 1980, believe that some adults are disturbed in trying to understand the behaviour of adolescents. I mention is the previous comments about conflicts with their parents, the mood disruptions and the strange behaviour during adolescence these are some of the factors of why adolescence experience various storms and stress during these changes this is because of the rapid changes towards our body and the people and environment around us. I have looked through a lot of the factors and one of the responsible is the search of the autonomy, according to Erikson it is the process of the individualisation and according to Freud it is the developing sense of detachment from their parents.

Most people who stress throughout the adolescent is usually related to the Jack of identity which usually arises because we start to think about what they want and who they are this then becomes tend and puts us under pressure to discover who they are and then it pursuits this to lead to the sharpened sense of dignity this then gives them their freedom and freedom of choice and creates a gap between themselves and their parents. As we start to see ourselves as an individual and we start to make our own decision on our own life, this can cause a lot of confusing between us and our parents which then makes our parents find the situation difficult and they find it hard to cope the adolescence then is seen as self-centred, detached, moody or being too concealed.

School years also play a huge role during an adolescent period, the school and the environment of the school also has a huge impact on the adolescent life.

Huizinga and Jacob 1998 said that more than 80% of adolescent had a lot of problems at school such as being suspended, truancy, and poor attendance and in bad cases had dropped out completely as they could not cope with the changes. The environment of the school played an important part during adolescences as if the school had a high rate of noncompliance students, students who are violence and aggressive it tended to circulate easily within such environment.

I think that adolescence is a very important and very exciting time throughout an individual’s life as there are a lot of difference stages of development and a lot of new challenges in life. Throughout adolescence so many different things can happen to our bodies and mind it can either make us or break their life and future. It is a very unstable time in someone’s life there is a lot of storms and stress with adolescence but it is suggested that less than 10% of people’s family’s with adolescents experience conflicts whilst only a small amount of adolescent only experience storm and stress.

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