Essay on Developmental Psychology : A Broad Range Of Human Development

Essay on Developmental Psychology : A Broad Range Of Human Development

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Developmental psychology addresses a broad range of human development. Covering the period from pre-natal growth to late adulthood, it can offer greater understanding of healthy human development, as well as provide deeper insight into human nature and human behavior. Knowing about other people is essential for cultivating healthy relationships with them. Before one can know other people, however, one must know oneself, and especially, one must know God. John Calvin (1559) acknowledged this truth when he wrote,
Without knowledge of self, there is no knowledge of God. Our wisdom, insofar as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes and gives birth to the other (p. ).
Although Calvin approached this knowledge from a theological perspective, integrating a psychological viewpoint can be equally valuable. During this course, I have learned a considerable amount about Developmental Psychology and about myself.
All the major theories of development begin at birth. Psychoanalytic Theory, popularized by Freud and Erickson, believes that unconscious drives, usually originating from childhood, motivate human behavior. Freud advanced psychosexual stages, emphasizing sexual urges during development. Erikson advanced psychosocial periods, underscoring family and cultural influences during growth. Freud’s stages culminate in adulthood, which he believes lasts throughout life, while Erikson recognizes three stages during adulthood. Behaviorism, pioneered by John Watson, emphasizes observable human behavior. This theory focuses on learning with classical conditioning, operan...


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...vely to my development was being sexually molested during the latter half of middle childhood. This event only magnified the sense of fear, mistrust, and shame that I was already experiencing.
Adolescence is Erikson’s time of identity versus role confusion. Myers (2014) writes, “the adolescent’s task is to synthesize past, present, and future possibilities into a clearer sense of self” (p. 196). The negative experiences that had characterized my life to this point left me lost. At fifteen, the violence and instability that characterized my parents’ marriage finally reached a breaking point which ended in divorce. Having no connection to either of my parents or to friends, I left Hawaii (where I grew up) and stayed with my grandparents in Nevada where I completed my last two years of high school (I graduated in the bottom half of my class) and entered young adulthood.

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