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Psychoanalytic Theories of Mental Development
Strong positions in modern developmental psychology are occupied by psychoanalysis created by Z. Freud. One of the key ideas of psychoanalysis is that the causes of internal conflicts and adult neuroses lie in childhood. The restoration of the history of the development of an individual in early childhood is a method of knowing human nature. The stages of psychosexual development described by Freud are directly related to child psychology. At the same time, he identified the psychosexual development of man with the development of personality. Each of the five stages of psychosexual development allocated to him has his own manifestations of libido (sexual energy) through erogenous zones characteristic of a given age. The changing ways and physical areas of libido satisfaction make up the stages of psychosexual development. If the libido does not receive satisfaction or is satisfied in an inadequate way, the person runs the risk of stopping in his development at this stage and certain personality traits are fixed in him.
Oral stage (0-1 year). This stage is characterized by the fact that the main source of pleasure is concentrated on the zone of activity associated with feeding. The leading erogenous zone here is the mouth, the instrument of nutrition, sucking and primary examination of objects. At first, sucking is associated with food enjoyment, but after some time, sucking becomes a libidinal effect. The fixation of libido in the oral stage, according to Z. Freud, leads to the formation of personality traits such as gluttony, greed, exactingness, verbal aggression, dissatisfaction with everything offered.
Anal stage (1-3 years). At this stage, accustoming the child to cleanliness leads to a movement of the source of libido satisfaction in the anal area of the body. Sensual pleasures are associated with excretion processes. The child is concerned about process control issues
“Containment” and “release”. In the process of accustoming to the potty, the child begins to get used to the fact that an increase in the level of control brings him the attention and praise of his parents. If the parents are too strict about the mistakes of the child, this can lead to the fixation of such features as accuracy, neatness, punctuality, frugality, stubbornness, and hoarding.
Phallic stage (3-5 years). The leading erogenous zone is the genital organs. During this developmental period, children first become aware of sexual differences. At this stage, the Oedipus complex in boys and the Electra complex in girls develop. According to Z. Freud, these complexes are characterized by a strong but unconscious attraction of the child to the parent of the opposite sex and aggressiveness towards the parent of the same gender. Since the realization of desires of this kind is clearly unacceptable, they result in anxiety. Exemption from complexes is accomplished by identifying the child with a parent of the same gender; as a result, the child becomes attached to the values, roles and attitudes inherent in his gender. The phallic stage corresponds to the origin of personality traits such as self-observation, prudence, rational thinking.
The latent stage (5-12 years) is characterized by a decrease in the strength of sexual desire. Much of what the child did or knew earlier is left and forgotten. School education and socialization come to the fore. The energy of libido is transferred to the development of universal human experience, as well as to the establishment of friendly relations with peers and adults outside the family environment. In this period, shame, disgust and morality arise,
designed to withstand subsequent sexual desires.
The genital stage (12-18 years) begins in adolescence. At this stage of puberty, libidinal energy returns to the genitals. Boys and girls have a sexual identity, they begin to look for ways to satisfy their erotic needs, strive for normal communication with representatives of the opposite sex. The goal of this stage is the formation of mature sexuality, the desire to work and the ability to love another person for his own sake.
The most popular psychoanalytic theory in modern Western psychology is the epigenetic theory of personality development by E. Erickson. In interpreting the personality structure in the same way as Z. Freud, E. Erickson substantially departed from the positions of classical psychoanalysis in understanding the nature of personality and the determinants of its development. He accepted the idea of unconscious motivation, but devoted his research mainly to the processes of socialization, believing that the foundations of the human self are rooted in the social organization of society. He created a psychoanalytic concept about the relationship between the self and society. The key to E. Erickson’s theory is the concept of “identity,” defined as a “subjective feeling of identity and integrity.” Identity is the identity of a person to himself, which includes an assimilated and subjectively accepted image of himself, a sense of adequacy and stable possession of a person’s own self, the person’s ability to constructively solve problems that arise before her at each stage of its development. The formation of personality identity continues throughout a person’s life and goes through a number of stages. E. Erickson identifies eight stages of development of identity, at each of which a person makes a choice between two alternative phases of solving age-related and situational development tasks.
The solution of the problem at each stage of the life cycle is reduced to the establishment of a certain dynamic relationship between positive and negative development options. Personal development is a struggle of these extreme opportunities, which does not stop when moving to the next stage of development. The equilibrium achieved at each stage marks the acquisition of a new form of self-identity and opens up the possibility of including the subject in a wider social environment.
Widely recognized in Western psychology was the periodization of the mental development of E. Erickson. To be oneself in the eyes of significant others, including in one's own eyes, is the driving force of development that E. Erickson puts in the foundation of his periodization. The expansion of the radius of significant relations sets the external conditions for the development of the identity of a growing person. Entering into a new relationship with others, a person more or less unconsciously makes choices
(resolves crisis contradictions of this type of relationship), which determine the direction of development at each age level. This direction can be productive, and then a person develops his strong qualities, or the basic ability of self-identity. The chosen or imposed direction of development can be destructive - in this case, the central pathology of a given age develops, destroying, weakening the sense of self-identity.
Periodization of development in ontogenesis, developed by E. Erickson, is called epigenetic. He believed that a periodization scheme should not be like a chain of formal time intervals following one after another; periodization is an epigenetic ensemble in which all ages are simultaneously present. Not a single age lived by a person ends in the sense that not a single crisis contradiction of age can be finally resolved in vivo. One stage of development does not replace another, but adapts to it. Not a single age ends, is not exhausted at the beginning of the next age. Many problems, complications, developmental deviations are the result of unresolved crisis contradictions of previous periods of development. So, a teenager who has a basic trust in people and in himself did not develop in infancy or did not develop in subsequent ages, will experience greater difficulties in entering any group of peers than a teenager with a strong trust in others.
The transition from one form of self-identity to another causes identity crises.
Crises, according to E. Erickson, are not a personality disease, not a manifestation of a neurotic disorder, but “turning points”, moments of a choice between regression, integration, and delay.
The first stage is infancy (0-1-1.5 years): the fundamental faith and hope against the fundamental hopelessness.
Here the task of forming a basic trust in the world around us is solved ("Can I trust the world?"). Signs of confidence in the baby are manifested in light feeding, deep sleep, normal bowel function. A decisive role in the formation of a child’s basic trust in the world E. Erickson assigned to his mother; he considered the ability of the child to calmly endure the disappearance of the mother from the field of vision as an important criterion of the infant’s confidence in the world. Of the antitheses of development at the first stage - the fundamental faith and hope against the fundamental hopelessness - with the support, the sequence of behavior of close relatives, while satisfying the basic needs of the baby, the birth of the first basic quality occurs
- hopes. If the child does not receive proper care, does not meet loving care, deprivation of the needs of the child occurs and, as a result, distrust of the world.
The second stage is an early age (1.5-4 years): autonomy against shame and doubt. At this stage, the child solves the problem of forming and upholding his autonomy and independence ("Can I control my behavior?"). The negative development option - the result of either hyper-custody, or lack of support and trust, when adults are impatient and are in a hurry to do what they can do for the child - leads to the development of self-doubt in children, doubt in their actions, and shame. At the end of the stage, a moving equilibrium is formed between these opposites: it will be positive if the parents and close adults show reasonable permissiveness, support the child’s desire for autonomy, and do not rush him. Out of the confrontation of autonomy and shame (doubt), a new quality is born - the will.
The third stage is preschool childhood (4-6 years): initiative against guilt. ("Can I become independent from my parents and explore the boundaries of my capabilities?"). With the encouragement by adults of the child's research activity aimed at the surrounding world, his fantasies and inquisitiveness, he learns to deal with people and things in a constructive way and gains a sense of initiative. If adults limit the child’s possible actions, severely criticize or punish him, then he gets used to feeling guilty for many of his actions. The integral quality of this stage E. Erickson calls focus.
The fourth stage is school age (6-11 years): hard work versus inferiority. The main question at this stage is: “Can I become so skilled as to survive and adapt to the world?” At this stage, the formation of industriousness and the ability to handle tools; the opposite trend is the realization of one’s own ineptitude and worthlessness. At school age, learning skills for children turn into a special independent world, with their own goals and limitations, achievements and disappointments. Systematic training and education, encouragement by adults of the educational and labor creativity of schoolchildren, their inclinations for needlework, design, etc. they develop enterprise, perseverance, initiative. If, while studying at school, the child does not enjoy the work, does not feel proud that he will do at least one thing really well, if his diligence is not encouraged, this can lead to the formation of a sense of inferiority. The main positive acquisition of this level is skill, competence.
The fifth stage - adolescence and youth (11-20 years): a personal individuality against role-based mixing (confusion of identity) - sets the individual the task of the first holistic awareness of himself and his place in the world; the negative pole in solving this problem is the lack of confidence in understanding one’s self (“diffusion of identity”, “confused identity”). The teenager is faced with the task of uniting at a new level all that he knew and knows about himself, about his social roles, into something whole and to project this idea for the future (“Who Am I?” “What are my beliefs, views and positions?”) . In the teenage identity crisis, all the critical moments of development that have arisen again arise: the adolescent must now solve all the old problems consciously and with the inner conviction that such a choice is significant for him and society. Then social trust in the world, independence, initiative, mastered skills will create a new integrity of the personality, fully expressed in fidelity.
The sixth stage - youth (21-25 years): intimacy versus loneliness - marks a transition to solving adult problems on the basis of the formed identity. The main
of them - the search for a life partner, the desire for close cooperation with others, the desire for close friendships with members of your social group ("Can I completely give myself to another person?"). A young man confident in his identity shows psychological intimacy, warmth, understanding, trust in communication with another person, finds it in
friendship, in erotic relationships or in joint activities. A young man, unsure of his identity, avoids interpersonal intimacy, his relationship with others becomes very stereotyped, and he comes to a deep sense of isolation. His lot becomes loneliness - the state of a person who has no one to share his life with and no one to care about. The main acquisition of this stage is love.
The seventh stage is maturity (25 - 50-60 years: productivity (generativeness) against stagnation .. This stage of a person’s life is connected with resolving the contradiction between developmental ability and personal stagnation, slow regression in the process of everyday life (“What can I offer future generations ? ”). At this stage, a new parameter of personality development is manifested, the poles of which comprise the person’s ability to be interested in the fate of other people, reflect on the life of future generations and self-absorption, self-focus, health, care for one’s own comfort. The development of the personality continues due to the influence of their children - they confirm the subjective feeling of being needed by others. Productivity and procreation as the main positive characteristics of the personality at this stage of development are realized in caring for a new generation work and creativity.Care is the main quality that is developed at this stage. If there is an excessive focus on oneself, then this leads to stagnation, stagnation and personal devastation.
The eighth stage of the life path - old age (over 60 years): the integrity of the individual against despair - is characterized by the achievement of a new form of identity. A person must answer the question: “Am I satisfied with my life?” Here, a person either finds peace and poise as a result of a sense of meaningful life and the integrity of his personality, or is doomed to a sense of hopelessness, perception of a lived life as a series of missed opportunities and annoying mistakes. The absence or loss of personal integration leads to complete hopelessness: fate is not accepted as the end of life, and death as its last frontier. At this stage of development, wisdom arises with many shades of meaning
- from the maturity of the mind to the concentration of knowledge, - carefully thought-out judgments and deep comprehensive understanding.
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Psychoanalytic Theories of Mental Development
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