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Developing Psychosocial Theories Essay

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Updated: May 7th, 2020

Horney and Winnicott

The two scholars collaborated in generating the object relations theory. They worked with young children and their mothers in establishing their theory. The concept of holding environment and the transitional object has become indispensable among parents in determining the behavior of their children. They noted that mothers win the trust of their children through elementary activities, such as bathing children, holding them, and feeding them. However, the way in which mothers hold their children matters most because children use such techniques to identify their mothers.

If a child loses the love of the mother, it may develop a form of behavior referred to as the anti-social tendency. This happens to school-going children as well because they will seek love from somewhere in case their parents fail to provide it. Another fundamental concept regarding the theory is the sense of being. The child feels that he or she should do something to win the trust of his or her parents. In this regard, the two theorists discussed the idea of playing among children. To the two researchers, playing plays a pivotal role in maintaining emotional and psychological health of children.

Kagan

Kagan is a renowned scholar in the field of developmental psychology. He has contributed enormously to the developmental theories. His most outstanding contribution is on temperament. He concluded his studies by observing that temperament is a stable variable that influences the behavior of children even after passing the childhood stage. This means that temperament is the main factor that affects even the behavior of adults. He noted through research that individuals develop some traits between the age of nineteen and twenty years.

Such behaviors are consistent with the actions of infants, who believe that some events are incompatible with their expectations. On temperament, he concentrated on establishing the causes and effects of fear among children. In his theory, he posited that there are two main types of fear. One of them is inhibited while the other is uninhibited. Inhibited fear is used to refer to an introverted, nervous, and afraid child, while uninhibited is a term used to refer to daring, gregarious and extrovert behaviors.

Erikson

Erikson is known for developing psychosocial theory, which is a class of psychoanalytic theories. He is referred to as the father of identify formation because his family background affected his writing. He extended Freud’s work in four main ways. One of them is that he increased understanding of the ego, by stating that the ego is a creative problem solver that emerges out of genetic, cultural, and historical contexts.

Secondly, he elaborated Freud’s five stages of psychosexual stages, by making explicit social dimension. Thirdly, he extended the concept of human personality development to embrace the entire life span. He expanded it from infancy to old age. Finally, he explored the impact of culture, society, and history on personality.

Ainsworth

Mary Ainsworth formulated the attachment theory, which talks about human relationships. It explains how individuals form long-term relationships. The theory claims that for a child to develop strong relationships in the future, it should develop a lasting relationship with at least one member of the family. In a family setup, children tend to establish linkages with members who care about their needs.

They become attached to such individuals because they know that their needs will be given whatever they need when the time comes. These attachments are extremely beneficial because they help a child in developing opinions, emotions, and feelings in mature commitments. Infants adapt fast to environments implying that they can cope easily with separation anxiety or grief.

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