The complexity of human development has over the years invited the creation of different theories that try to address specific principles.
These explanations provide a framework to enable an extensive study of the stages of human growth and the effects they have on both physical and behavioral aspects. Additionally, these models help to organize the vast information explaining the overall growth process and also provide ways of examining the available facts (McAdams & Zapata-Gietl, 2015). Equally, they also help to increase the focus on new understandings and external aspects that are also essential in comprehending the different stages. Noticeably, there exist several growth theories that have been developed over the years that present distinct angles of understanding human growth process and behaviors. Some of the explanations include Freud’s psychosexual theory, Skinner operant conditioning, Erikson’s psychosocial concept and Banduras social cognitive theory. However, the Erikson’s explanation of human psychosocial development provides an extensive understanding of adolescent cognitive and social relation.
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Erikson’s theory is composed of eight different stages that categorizes human development based on their behavioral aspects. According to Erikson, human personality forms in a predestined way which constructs on previous stages. Some of these steps include trust vs. Mistrust, autonomy vs. shame, initiative vs. guilt, and ego integrity vs. despair (McAdams & Zapata-Gietl, 2015). Essentially, during each of these periods, an individual experience a series of psychosocial crisis that could have either positive or negative effects on their personality development.
Furthermore, the completion of some stages leads to the acquisition of basic virtues and healthy personality. For instance, most teenagers at this stage are torn between living according to how the society wants or to fulfill their personal interests including fitting to a certain group. The identity vs. role confusion stage particularly explains the behavioral patterns during the transition from childhood to adolescence.
During this period, teenagers become more independent and begin to focus more on their future in such aspects as housing, relationships, families, and career. For instance, most of them start attending career conferences, assessing trends in the market, nurturing their talent and forming or joining groups that meets their specific interests. Moreover, they begin to feel the need to fit in the society or to belong to a specific group of people and feel appreciated. Particularly, this happens between 12 and 18 years where children graduating into this stage feel the need for personal identity through the exploration of their beliefs, values, and goals (McAdams & Zapata-Gietl, 2015). Erikson also asserted that the stage is vital and essential in human development as it prepares children for responsibility and new roles in society and defining their future lifestyles. Many theorists noted that during this stage, adolescents will be forced to re-examine their interests, identity while trying to find out what he or she wants in life. While the former helps to explain the physical and emotional needs of teenagers, the later explains their overall interests in life and their desires to achieve. (McAdams & Zapata-Gietl, 2015).
For example, most teenagers during period look for partners from the opposite gender and feel the need to love and build strong relationship bonds. This not only helps them to build their self-esteem but also to understand what the society expects of them. Most adolescents feel uncomfortable about their bodies due to the biological transformation they are undergoing. For instance, many feel awkward when they get pimples on their faces and other biological issues that arise. However, this occurs only for a specific period after which most of them adapt to the changes.
Similarly, they also engage in practices that can help them explore their identities and to establish their identity in the society. Notably, Erikson’s psychosocial development theory provides an extensive understanding of the human growth process, especially in adolescents. It successfully links both the behavioral and cognitive aspects of children. Considerably, these are some of the essential elements that define human relations and the ability to cope with the different changes taking place in both intrinsic and extrinsic environments.