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Human Development Theories Essay

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Updated: Nov 18th, 2019


Freud developed theories that assist in understanding the developmental stages of individuals. He approached psychology in a three split entities such as “id”, “ego”, as well as the “super-ego.” “Id” is the primary drive with the “ego” and the “super-ego” providing a control for the drive. In addition, the “super-ego” acts as the alternate of the “id.” The super-ego ensures that an individual behaves in an efficient and socially acceptable manner. The purpose of this essay is therefore two-fold.

First of all, it seeks to establish how emotions and desires help individuals develop defense mechanisms. Secondly, it provides an explanation of the role that attachment theory plays in an individual development of the adulthood. Finally, a summary of the effect of emotions and desires on development, as well as the influence of attachment theory on development to adulthood are also provided.

Sigmund Theories

Individuals become anxious and get into trouble because individuals seek to maintain a balance among these impulses. The super-ego entity performs the task of suppressing and controlling the desires, and at the same time, protects the personality. As a result, the urges and the desires are forced into the unconscious mind in order to stop any damage of the individual. However, when the issues receive no attention, they may result into psychological disorders.

This results into a process termed as defense mechanisms. Individuals in their everyday life bury unwanted experiences and thoughts as their defense mechanisms. The common form of defense mechanism is repression. In this case, an individual locks his/her thoughts plus memories unless there is a specific need to retrieve them. Essentially, this form is applicable as an appropriate device in instances of crime.

Reaction formation is a different defense mechanism where an individual convinces him/herself that he/she does not feel in certain way by acting in a way that is completely different. Sublimation and projection create other forms of defense mechanism where individuals shift their frustrations to third parties.

Freud maintains that the individual’s emotions and desires play two roles in either helping them survive or be protected from destructions. He further maintains that, even though individuals suppress their feelings, they tend to reveal them in their dreams.

For instance, an individual enrolls in school because of the defense mechanism to search for a better survival, money/finances, and increase the possibility of getting a life partner. Furthermore, individuals demand security, safety, and health in order to fulfill their desires and emotions. In fact, the individual’s emotions and desires help in the development of the defense mechanism (Salkind, 2004, p. 53).

Attachment Theory

This theory maintains that the relation between a caregiver and infant is essential during the development stage of the infant. The attachment bond takes place between the mother and the infant. It points out that the bond plays a crucial role in preparing the infant for adult relationships. The infants are born with a bundle of emotions such as fear, irritation, sadness, and happiness.

The infant also encounters a bonding relationship with the caregiver through nonverbal communication as part of the interaction. As such, the bonding will influence the way they deal with other individuals during their lives. This is because the bonding develops a foundation for all forms of communication in individual prospect relationships (Ivey, Andrea and Ivey, 2012, p. 61).

On the other hand, Individuals who experience perplexing, worrisome, or wrecked emotional communication at some stage in their formative years are prone to emotions and feelings understanding difficulties during their adulthood. As a result, they experience difficult times in initiating and nurturing successful relationships.

In general, the bonding between mother and infant is in charge of shaping the failure or achievement of prospect close relationships; the aptitude to sustain emotional balance; the aptitude to locate satisfaction in ourselves and in groups; and the aptitude to bounce back from dissuasion, dissatisfaction, and misfortune.

The role of the attachment bonds is scientifically justified in shaping ones brain. The bonding overwhelmingly influences the infant brain. This is because the adult copes with life challenges and mishaps such as stress, dealing with stress, conversing through sentiment, sharing joy, quiet the infant, and letting off easily. It leads to a secure attachment of the nervous system of the infant.

The existence of a strong basis for attachment bond creates an opportunity where the child become self-confident, optimistic, relaxing and trusting whenever he/she faces a conflict. As a result, the adult will develop traits such as flexibility, creativity, optimism, and hopefulness as well.

The secured attachment will ensure development of abilities that ensure that individuals are safe, relate well with others, manage stress, balance emotions, encounter security and comfort, adventure the world, develop memories and expectations concerning relationships, and make their lives sensible. Conversely, when infants grow in an environment with insecure attachment, there is a higher likelihood that they will have difficulties in their adult relationships.


In conclusion, the individual’s emotions and desires play a crucial role in developing ones’ defense mechanism through their objectives of ensuring their survival, and, at the same time, the need to protect them from any destruction. In addition, it is essential for a caregiver to maintain an emotional-full environment in order to facilitate an efficient and proper development of an infant into adulthood. Attachment bond plays a vital role in ensuring the development of brain and nurturing communication skills.


Ivey, A E, Andrea, M J and Ivey, M B 2012, Theories of counseling and psychotherapy: a multicultural perspective (7th ed.), SAGE Publications, Los Angeles.

Salkind, N J 2004, An introduction to theories of human development, Sage Publications, Los Angeles.

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IvyPanda. "Human Development Theories." November 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/human-development-theories-2/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Human Development Theories." November 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/human-development-theories-2/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Human Development Theories'. 18 November.

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