The Final Developmental Analysis Paper provides the opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to apply the concepts covered throughout the course. This assignment MUST be typed, double-spaced, in APA style, and must be written at graduate level English. Select a minimum of eight (8) current research articles* taken from scholarly journals (online or hard copy) on your selected topic.
* Do not use the course text or other course texts for this assignment.
This is a research-based paper.
The length is from 12-15 pages plus a title and reference page.
There are two (2) options for this Final Paper:
Personal Development Analysis – analyze your life incorporating theories covered in the course, with emphasis on Freud and Erikson
Individual Developmental Analysis – analyze the life of another individual incorporating the same theories
DEVELOPMENTAL ANALYSIS GUIDE
The developmental analysis allows the professional to look at life experiences and analyze them according to developmental theories. This helps to determine the impact of life experiences on present day development and in healing the negative impact of earlier life experiences while capitalizing upon constructive experiences.
– Include a summary of each of the life stages emphasizing main points and integrating the pertinent research on developmental theories. Use Freudian and Eriksonian Theories along with at least two others that may be applicable.
– Analyze how each theory applies to present life.
– In most cases, it is not possible to recall many early life experiences. In order to explore early experiences, several strategies can be followed:
A. Consult with primary care givers.
B. Look at the present manifestations of the stages and hypothesize what probably occurred. When there is discrepancy between (a) and (b) explore and analyze the probable reasons for the disparity.
NOTE THAT TERMS IN PARENTHESES ARE FOR YOUR INFORMATION AND ARE NOT TO BE INCLUDED IN YOUR ANALYSIS
SAMPLE EXCERPT OF DEVELOPMENTAL ANALYSIS:
(Autobiographic information) During the first year of my life my father was absent from home because he was serving in the Korean War. My mother was forced to return to work shortly after I was born. She indicates that although she was tired and lonely, she spent as much time as possible with me and this time was the high point of her life. While my mother worked, I was cared for by several relatives, some of who enjoyed this responsibility while others resented it tremendously.
(Related theory) Freud stated that during the first 18 months of a child’s life, the mouth is the primary source of libidinal gratification. When care is consistent and libidinal drives are fulfilled at the oral stage, the child manages to move to the next stage without being fixated.
(Analysis) I engage in nail biting, which is an oral passive fixated behavior. I also struggle with nicotine addiction and a food addiction that I have struggled with during two hospitalizations and a five-year involvement in Overeaters’ Anonymous. I also find that I resort to the oral aggressive behavior of sarcasm as a stress reliever and as a cover-up for hurt feelings in my personal relationships and in my relationships with my coworkers. It is likely that the lack of consistency I experienced during the oral stage of my life coupled with some of the hostility I might have perceived from those caretakers who resented having to care for me have caused me to experience fixations that in turn resulted in these behaviors. Integrate research on Freud’s developmental theory.
(Theory) Erikson stated that during this period the child learns to develop trust. (Analysis) I find that I trust universally and that this trait has not been harmful to me. I am confused because it seems to me that given my background I should not be as trusting as I am. Integrate research on Erikson’s developmental theory.
I can only surmise that, even though I had many caretakers and their feelings about their roles were mixed, there must have been enough consistency and care for me to meet my psychological needs. I believe this also relates to the quality of time that my mother spent with me when she was not working outside the home.
DEVELOPMENTAL ANALYSIS WOULD CONTINUE THROUGHOUT THE SUBSEQUENT LIFE STAGES FOLLOWING THE ABOVE FORMAT
INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENTAL ANALYSIS
SAMPLE EXCERPT OF INDIVIDUAL ANALYSIS
Mary, age 20, has begun suffering from depression and is seeking clinical treatment.
(THE FIRST YEAR OF MARY’S LIFE WOULD BE EXPLORED ACCORDING TO THE FORMAT ON THE PREVIOUS PAGES.)
Mary’s parents report that she was a good baby and that she asserted her independence acceptably. They continued to enjoy her and to let her know how much they loved her. They report that her toilet training was accomplished with a minimum of effort and with no strain on the parent-child relationship.
Erikson states that during the second year of a child’s life if there is an accepting and healthy relationship between care givers and child that the child will begin to develop a sense of autonomy, meaning a sense of uniqueness and self worth. If this is not present the child often doubts herself and her worth and carries shame and low self-esteem into her adult relationships. Integrate research on Erikson’s developmental theory.
Mary seems to experience herself as a worthwhile individual who does not wish to be depressed. Her depression seems totally out of line with her positive sense of self, which according to Erikson comes from a healthy experience during the second year of life.
Freud states that during the second stage of a child’s life pleasures are primarily located in the anal area. She learns to control bowel and bladder function and begins to experience some control over her life. If the child experiences a healthy relationship with caregivers during this time, she will proceed to the next developmental stage free of anal fixation. If not, anal retentive or anal expulsive behaviors will become a part of her adult life. Anal-retentive behaviors include perfectionism, rigidity, frugality, and unrealistic expectations of self and others. Anal expulsive behaviors include excess sloppiness, indifference to routine, and problems with impulse control. Integrate research on Freud’s developmental theory.
Mary is organized but not perfectionistic. She spends wisely and has realistic expectations of herself and her friends and family. Anal fixations are not seen to be a part of Mary’s adult life.
Looking at Mary’s experience of herself during the second stage of her development seems to be realistic rather than based on denial. This would tend to suggest that the second stage of her development was healthy and non-problematic and therefore not very significant to her present depression. (As the developmental analysis proceeded, it became evident that Mary’s depression was rooted in later aspects of her development.) This sample also shows that theory can be used to analyze healthy development.
SAMPLE INDIVIDUAL ANALYSIS
John, age 34, is a recovering poly-substance abuser. He began treatment after he was encouraged to by his family of origin as it became apparent that his substance abuse was “out of control” and was affecting his job and his family life. He has been arrested three times for driving under the influence of various controlled substances. He is a heavy smoker but does not wish to stop smoking because smoking helps him to control his tendency to overeat.
John also has difficulty in relationships. He has a tendency to go to extremes. Either he over-relies on people and they disappoint him so that he goes to the opposite extreme and withdraws from people, thus adopting the philosophy that the only person in this world I can trust is myself.
He reports that drugs, alcohol or nicotine abuse did not occur in his family of origin. He further reports that although he has no recollections of his infancy, his family reports that his life was normal.
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW RECOLLECTIONS ARE NOT CONSISTENT WITH PRESENT DAY MANIFESTATIONS AND GIVES THE WRITER THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE THE POSSIBLE REASONS WHY. SEE NEXT PARAGRAPH
Social learning theory suggests that a person adopts the behaviors that they observe in others who are a significant part of his life. As John indicates that the type of behavior he exhibits was not learned in his family of origin, it might be wise for him to examine how other individuals in his life impact his behavior by possibly providing him with role modeling which somehow made this type of behavior appealing to John. Integrate research on social learning theory.
Freud suggests that during the first 18 months of a child’s life, his needs are primarily oral. If care is consistent and the individual experiences security and safety during this time, he proceeds into the next developmental stage of his life without a residue of unmet needs. If this time of life was not healthy, the individual becomes fixated at this stage and develops oral fixated behaviors. Integrate research on Freud’s developmental theory.
John’s drug and alcohol abuse, along with his nicotine addiction and his tendency to overeat, strongly suggests that John’s first eighteen months of life were not healthy and may have contributed to oral fixations that have carried over into his adult life.
This may be a difficult concept for both John and his family to address and difficult for the professionals working with John. Defense mechanisms such as denial, repression, and rationalization which the orally fixated individual may use to prevent the pain of addressing painful issues of childhood are often so thoroughly entrenched that the individual strongly resists the pain of looking at infancy issues which are, impacting upon his adult life.
Erikson suggests that during the first year of life if care is consistent and healthy, the child develops a healthy blend of trust and mistrust that serves him well in his adult life. John’s adult relationships suggest that healthy trust is problematic for John. This again suggests that John’s experience in infancy may have not been healthy and may be contributing to the problems he is experiencing in his adult life. Integrate research on Erikson’s developmental theory.
John recalls that his father traveled and was away from home much of the time during the third to fifth year of John’s life. He and his mother were very close. He recalls that when his father returned from long absences and would attempt to be affectionate with him and his mother, he would pull away from his father and be jealous of his father’s attention to his mother.
John further recalls that when his father was away he was allowed much more freedom than when his father was present. It was confusing to him when he was admonished by his father for behaviors that were acceptable when only he and his mother were at home. He recalls modeling his father’s behavior by packing “luggage” and going to neighbor’s homes to play and being disappointed when he returned home and did not receive the warm welcome his father received when he returned. He recalls doing “guy things” when his father was home but missing being with his mother but eventually cherishing the time he and his father spent together during this time of his life.
Freud suggests that during the third developmental stage the boy falls in love with his mother and experiences his father as the enemy but fears castration by this large male who is in competition with him for his mother’s affections. During this stage the boy goes from extreme dependence upon and affection for mother to the identification with his male parent. If this is accomplished in a healthy way, the child continues to develop healthy sex roles. If not fixation may occur. These behaviors may include; macho behavior, over dependence upon the opposite sex and confused sexual identity. Integrate research on Freud’s developmental theory.
John seems to be experiencing some sexual identity confusion which he may not be addressing but which manifests itself in unhealthy male-female relationships, violence and aggression in relationships with other males, and extreme homophobia.
It is highly likely that his experience during the phallic stage is contributing to this.
Erikson suggests that during the third stage of life, the child develops initiative, which involves the ability to venture out and to try new behaviors and to increase competence. If he is thwarted in his efforts, he will develop a sense of guilt and questions the quality of his efforts and his accomplishments. Integrate research on Erikson’s developmental theory.
John’s experience with different standards of behavior when his father was present may cause him to question the value of his efforts and to experience guilt even when he is not responsible for something that happens. This hampers him in his efforts to be successful in his adult life.
These again may be difficult for John and his family and the well-developed defense mechanism of denial must be carefully addressed if it remains possible that issues from the phallic stage of John’s development are negatively impacting upon his adult life.