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Theories of Individual Development Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Sep 5th, 2021

The personal analysis according to the theories of individual development will be held in several steps, as the common feature of every theory is the separation o the human developmental process into several periods. These periods are youth/ childhood/ adolescence/middle adulthood/ late adulthood.

The comprehensive theory of human development had been elaborated by several scholars. One of them is the Yale psychologist Daniel Levinson. He suggested the structure adult life into several periods in 1986. The theory is based on the suggestion that every period of life is closely linked with the special and particular dilemma, the solving of which influences the future life and forces to face further dilemmas.

Personality theories mainly explain human behavior in frames and conditions of the communication of different element of personality. Sigmund Freud is regarded as the founder of this school. Freud drew on the physics of his day (thermodynamics) to coin the term psychodynamics. Based on the idea of changing heat into automatic energy, he offered that psychic power could be changed to behavior. Freud’s theory puts central significance on active, insensible mental disagreements.

Freud splits human personality into three important elements: the ego, superego, and id. The id acts in accordance with the enjoyment principle, commanding instantaneous pleasure of its needs not taking into account the exterior environment; the ego then must materialize in order to sensibly meet the needs and requirements of the id in harmony with the exterior world, adding to the reality principle. Finally, the superego inculcates moral decision and communal rules upon the ego, thus forcing the demands of the id to be met not only practically but courteously. The superego is the final function of the personality to develop, and is the embodiment of parental/communal models stated during infancy. According to Freud, traits are based on the dynamic contacts of these three elements.

Freud offered five psychosexual stages of personality development:

  1. Infantile Stage – Birth until four to five years a.) Oral Stage – birth to approximately eighteen months b.) Anal Stage – eighteen months to three years c.) Phallic Stage – between three and five
  2. Latency Period – roughly from six years to puberty
  3. Genital Stage – adolescence and adulthood

Freud supposed that adult character depends on early childhood experiences and largely concluded by the age of five. Obsessions that are enhanced during the infantile stage donate to adult character and performance.

The notion of the 16 personality factors includes the principle of growing children in the united families. Thus, if the family is full, and all the members maintain perfect (or close to perfect) relations, children grow with the realization of being needed to their parents, and with minimum psychological deviations.

In 1983 when I was born my nation was in the middle of fighting a very much unequal war against a fully equipped super power (the Soviet Union). I took my very first breaths when my country was struggling for survival namely self dependence and dignity. My birth marked the third and last in small middle class family consisting of my parents and two brothers. My mother was a high school teacher and my father was an almost high ranked officer in the department of public statistic. I was growing up in a divided society over shadowed by the culture of hostility and distrust.

The invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet Union divided its nation into four groups.

  1. people who were fighting the invasion.
  2. people who were supporting the invasion.
  3. people who were remained neutral.
  4. people who were left the country.

The presence of people in favor of invasion did not let the other three groups to get united despite sharing the idea of opposing invasion and supporting the holly resistance. Regardless of what was happing outside my personality and belief system were taking shape inside my religious family where respect, self sacrifice, loyalty and tolerance were highly valued.

In a very young age I lost my father. This unfortunate and ugly event drove our life’s boat into a very stormy ocean where just my mother was the sailor, the protector, the supporter and the guide. An idle mother and perfect and extraordinary woman who carried the load of life with its hardships and challenges in a troubled country on her own and never let us feel the burden of being orphans. I can obviously read sorrow, anxiety and pain of that critical period of our life in her faded eyes and frustrated face. She was chasing the dream of our bright future as successful medical doctors to cure the pain and long suffering of our wounded nations. Her tireless efforts and endless supports succeeded my two brothers in getting into medical faculty at Kabul University.

The loss of one of the parents often leads to introversion, which is related to pessimistic effects affect such as being apathetic, dazed, indifferent and friendly. In their work, Friedman (1994) found that introverts are more nervous over subdued reaction. Then, introverts are weakly motivated to look for collective conditions or to be leading in those situations, as they try to stay invisible. By joining the fight, they are seeking to be recognized and after the fight, they may dominate. They are motivated by change, variety in their lives, challenges, and they can easily tire of situations that are not challenges. They are also known to be adaptive, ambitious and hardworking in the society. Therefore, those who joined the fight combined the two of the big five.

Everything seemed to be heading toward convenience and fortune. In 1992 when the Russian backed government collapsed to the hand of Mujahidin (those who fought against Russian invasion), our dark chapter of life turned over. Different groups being backed by different countries particularly by out neighbors (Pakistan, Iran, Russia) started fighting each other for more power and tertiary.

I was witnessing the death of our best friends and beloved ones every day while living in a state of horror and confusion where we were not sure whether or not be alive tomorrow.

Within this cursed period of time my mum like a wonderful adviser was trying to keep us away from hopelessness by creating optimism and by saying that as good days are gone, bad time will not stay either. This sentence gives me the strength to face the challenges imposed by time and never loss hope. In addition, the current supportive environment dominating our family life is thankful to her. I have learned that someone will not be affected by failure if they have supportive people around their selves. Therefore, from 1992 to 1996 I was living in a country which was struggling with waves of insecurity, injustice and terror. Despite leading an uncertain life, I never lost hope and patient.

As people get older, the death of friends and close people becomes more ordinary. But losing and inconsolable for a friend, or one of the parents is one of the most traumatic situations frequently faced by adults.

Thus, the development of neuroticism may appear, which leads to restraint. It can be classified as a lasting tendency to practice pessimistic emotional conditions. Persons who score high on neuroticism are more likely than the average to knowledge such feelings as nervousness, annoyance, feeling of guilt, and detached melancholy. They counter more poorly to surrounding stress, and are more likely to understand routine situations as intimidating, and minor aggravations as terribly complicated. They are often awkward and shy, and they may have trouble managing urges and delaying enjoyment. Neuroticism is related to emotional brainpower, which involves emotional regulation, motivation, and interpersonal skills. It is also considered to be a predisposition for traditional neuroses, such as phobias and other anxiety disorders.

Death is the one great assurance in life. Some people die in ways out of our control, and most of people will be ignorant of the minute of death itself. Still, death and dying well can be regarded in a healthy way. Realization, that people disagree in what they consider about death and dying, and regarding those dissimilarities, can encourage a nonviolent death and a vigorous method of dying.

The prime course of action when death is near is to fulfill the dying person’s wishes. If the person is dying from an illness, ideally, they will have participated in decisions about how to live and die. If the demands made do not seem sensible to the care-giver, options should be raised with the failing personality to try to adapt his demand and still offer sufficient care. If the dying personality has not been able to contribute in formulating final plans, people should aim to do what this individual would desire.

If the individual is in a hospice, they may most likely desire a natural death. In this situation, the aim will be for the final days and moments of life to be guided toward maintaining comfort and reaching a natural death.

In the late 1996 our book of life opened another black chapter (the advent Taliban on the political and military stages of our country). There were trying to impose their beliefs on their opponents and other ethnic groups by force. Another goal of Taliban was to depict Islam as negative and horrible to the rest of the world. Acceptance of Taliban and their absorb rules were against my ideology and religious principles.

Taliban is frequently regarded as the psychological war, and that is why it would be unfair to leave it without attention. It’s a psychological war. The kidnappings are certainly a means to obtaining money, but that’s not the main reason. It’s a psychological war. The Taliban have other sources of revenue: drug money, financial contributions from the Gulf, etc. The essential objective is the extraordinary publicity that such acts confer, all the more so as they are highly mediatized. The hostages are filmed and those videos circulate worldwide. The kidnapping of an Italian journalist, just freed and very well known in Italy, has had incomparably more impact than the latest attack committed in Kabul. The Taliban want to obtain the departure of Westerners, particularly aid workers. For that, they need to target them directly, show their ability to do damage and strike public opinion. It’s the same method they use with military action: kill the British, the Americans, the Canadians, the Dutch… all Western soldiers that are on the front line. These kidnappings are going to increase until they arouse a kind of lassitude and end up going unnoticed. But they belong to the war arsenal.

From a very young age I was taught by my family (by my mum in particular) to say no to oppression. My religious philosophy says that when you do not have the mean to fight cruelty and your tyrannical enemy, at least do not stay in their territory. You should be neither the tyrant nor the oppressed. Thus, we had to leave Afghanistan for Pakistan. Pakistan is a poor country buried in corruption and religious fanaticisms. Majority of Pakistanis including the government considered the Taliban as army of the God and true soldiers of Islam. Therefore, we found ourselves in a hostile country.

My brothers and I were working for a very insignificant income. We did not have any legal travel document. So we had to pay the corrupt Pakistan police wherever we were stopped by them. My mum was advising us to avoid any political and religious discussion with Pakistanis. As a great teacher she was encouraging us to be patient and manage our anger with tolerance. My mum spent six years trying very hard to take us out of that suffocating environment and finally her efforts paid off and we came to Australia.

In late 2002 when we got into Australia, we want to get into job industry and start working, but my mum stressed that if you want to serve the humanity in more positive method and have a greater impact in society you need to study. She has still kept telling us that your best country is the country which provides you with services and you have to pay it back by taking greater responsibilities. I owe my entire life to my mum who played the role of a delicate rain when I growing.

The period, described in the previous passage is claimed to reveal the matters of the early adulthood. According to the Personality Theories, the dilemma of early adulthood is familiarity versus separation. Intimacy is being capable to amalgamate the individuality with somebody else’s without losing oneself during this process. Adults concentrate on their donation to society in the next stage of life, generativity against stagnation. The issue of this stage is to choose how to make a personal input to society, and by doing so, obtain the basic power of caring.

In conclusion, the events of my life proven to have a great deal of impact on shaping my personality as calm, patient, caring and compassionate person or character. During my six years stateless life as an illegal immigrant in Pakistan, my heart was touched by thousands tragic stories and sufferings of refugees from Africa and meddle eastern countries. Sometimes we had constant contact with each other. It gave me the opportunity to learn few languages and figure out what issues make headline among them. Life in a refugee style of living gave me the vision to realize the refugees lived experience and burden. Therefore, I consider myself to be and effective and useful employee in refugee affairs. As friend and as someone who has come from same background (refugee) I would help them over come their self conflicts while merging in a new stream. As preview refugee, I knew which areas they are suffering the most, and issues worsen their depression, I will help them more effectively in taking the required steps towards socialization and making the right decision regarding their education and work.

Middle adulthood is the period when people need to separate from their parents. As I lost my father in my childhood, and grew with my mother it was too difficult for me to separate from her. But young adults can take emotional liability for themselves. According to the family life-cycle theory, three developmental tasks must be mastered for this to happen.

  1. Young adults need to form an individuality divide from that of the native family. This process of individuation needs young adults to “sort out expressively what they are wishing to take along from the family of origin, what they leave behind, and what they create for themselves.” (Carter & McGoldrick, pg.13)
  2. Young adults need to expand new personal relations with people outside the family to supply the common and emotional maintenance they require.
  3. Young adults must create their first hesitant commitment to a vocation or workplace role.

According to the Trait Theory, an integral part of the Personality Theory, states that the Personality comprises broad features, called traits that tend to lead to characteristic responses. People can be featured in terms of the natural ways they perform, such as whether the are sociable and gracious, or whether they are leading and confident.

Basic Five Factors

  1. Emotional stability. Being calm rather than anxious, secures rather then insecure, self-satisfied than self-pitying.
  2. Extraversion. Sociable instead of retiring, fun-loving instead of sober, and affectionate instead of reserved.
  3. Openness. Imaginative rather than practical, preferring variety to routine, and being independent rather than conforming
  4. Agreeableness. Being softhearted, not ruthless, trusting, not suspicious, and helpful not uncooperative.
  5. Conscientiousness. Being organized rather than disorganized, careful rather then careless, and disciplined, not impulsive.
  • Individualism — Giving priority to personal goals rather then to group goals; it emphasizes values that serve the self such as feeling good, personal distinction, and independence.
  • Collectivism — Emphasizes values that serve the group by subordinate personal goals to preserve group integrity.


  1. Adams, Donald K., et al. Learning Theory, Personality Theory, and Clinical Research: The Kentucky Symposium. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1954.
  2. Collis, Janet M., and Samuel Messick, eds. Intelligence and Personality: Bridging the Gap in Theory and Measurement. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2001.
  3. Guntrip, Harry. Personality Structure and Human Interaction: The Developing Synthesis of Psycho-Dynamic Theory. New York: International Universities Press, 1961.
  4. Rychlak, Joseph F. A Philosophy of Science for Personality Theory. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1968.
  5. Vonk, Roos, and Willem J. Heiser. “Implicit Personality Theory and Social Judgment: Effects of Familiarity with a Target Person.” Multivariate Behavioral Research 26.1 (1991): 69-81.
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