Theories Explaining Human growth and Development

Human growth and development requires a lot of things to happen. In many cases, various issues that a child undergoes when born affect the growth and development of the child. Therefore, the situations in life that a child experiences, the kind of environment a child is brought up in and the kind of people the child relates to affects the growth and development of that person. The factors that affect human growth and development can be either natural or human inflicted depending on the cause of that situation. There are various theories that have been put forward in order to help people understand the life cycle development and the human behavior. These theories that have been selected for this case study are:

Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory

According to the Psychoanalytic theory developed by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), human development and growth is always driven by motives and emotions that people hold and which people are mostly unaware of those motives and emotions. The theory explains that the earlier experience that an individual had helps in shaping the life of that particular individual. Every experience that a person undergoes in this would shapes how the life of that person will be and how the relationship of the individual and the other people will be in future.

Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development

The theory of Psychosocial Development as developed by Erik Erikson (1902- ) which revised Freud’s theory of Psychoanalytic, places more emphasis on the influences related to social experiences of an individual.
The theory also emphasizes on the development of stares using a broader focus, giving emphasis to the ego and expression of views of human nature that are positive and application of the theory throughout the life of human beings.

Vygotsky’s Cognitive Theory

This theory developed by Lev Vygotsky put a lot of emphasis on the fact that the mind of children is always shaped by the particular historical and social aspects of life within which the children live in. In addition, the theory also insists that the shaping of children’s mind depends on the interaction that exists between the children and the adults who they meet in the course of their lives, which in turn affects the development and the growth of the children.

Contextual Theories

According to the contextual theories, the perspective held in this theory is that the growth and the development of persons will always arise from the interrelationships that exist between the person and the changing world that the individual lives in. This means that any change that takes place in the life of an individual will also cause change in the environment within which that individual lives in. In addition, when there is a change that has occurred within the environment that the individual lives in, there will be change that will take place in the life of that individual. This interchange in the relationship between an individual’s life and his/her environment will be continuous according to the contextual theory.

Risk and Resiliency Theories

According to this theory, the development and growth of an individual will depend on the risks that face the individual and the resiliency of the person to overcome those risks. An individual’s growth and development will be affected by the risks that the individual faces and the ability of the individual to overcome the risks that may hinder the growth and development of the individual.

Skinner’s Operant Conditioning Theory

This is also another theory that can be used to explain and examine the process of human growth and development. According to B. F. Skinner, it is believed that human growth and development will be depended on the continuous acquisition of various new habits by an individual. The theory also states that these habits or behaviors that an individual learns and acquires are controlled by various external factors or stimuli which can be categorized as rein forcers and punishers.

Social Psychology Theories

This theory focuses on the social behaviors of an individual whereby, the behaviors of an individual are centered on particular social happenings which may include pro-social behavior, group behavior, love, social influence, and many other r aspects of life. Mainly under this theory is conformity which simply involves the changing of behaviors by an individual so that they are able to fit in or go along with the other people who are around that person. This may include agreeing with or behaving in a particular way so that one is believed to be “normal”. The influence of others or something plays a major role under this theory which also affects the growth and development of an individual.

Relevance of the theories in understanding the life cycle development and human behavior

The above describe theories have got a lot of relevant in helping one to have a clear and a better understanding of the life cycle development and the human behavior. These theories explain the issues that affect the human behaviors and life cycle development. In the Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory, one is able to understand that emotions and motives that an individual expresses during the life cycle development and through their behaviors are because of the previous experiences that an individual had. This means that for every form of life cycle development or human behavior that is observed in an individual, the experiences of that person play a major role, hence understanding a person’s past is relevant in understanding their life cycle development and behaviors.
Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development explains that social experiences that an individual undergoes in life will highly determine their life cycle development and their behaviors (Wodarski, & Dziegielewski, 2002, p.5). Therefore, it is relevant for one to know the social experiences that an individual has had so that one is able to understand the life cycle and the behaviors of a given individual. Vygotsky’s Cognitive Theory explains that the life cycle development and human behavior is affected and determined by the interaction that an individual had with adults as a child (Austrian, 2008, p.241). This means that, to be able to understand the life cycle development of an individual and their behavior, it is advisable to find out how was their interaction like with adults during their time as children.

According to Contextual Theories, the growth and development in a human being will be determined by the changes that occur in the life of a particular individual and the changes that occur in the environment within which that individual lives in. To understand the life cycle development and the human behaviors of an individual, one has to find out the changes that occurred in the life of the individual and the changes that occurred in the environment where that individual lived in.

In addition, the Risk and Resiliency Theories helps one to understand that the risks that an individual faced and the ability of the individual to overcome the risks affect the life cycle development and the behaviors of an individual. The Skinner’s Operant Conditioning Theory helps one to understand that the life cycle development and the behaviors in humans in many cases is determined by the habits or behaviors that an individual learns as they grow from childhood. Social Psychology Theories helps to understand that the life cycle development and development of a person is determined by the influences that the person faced in life and the need to conform to those influences. Therefore, the above descry bed theories helps one to get a clear understanding on how the life cycle development and human behaviour is affected and determined by various factors.

Relevance of the theories to the case study-Zara’s life and Issues affecting children

Zara’s Life

The theories discussed and described above are relevant in understanding Zara’s life from the case study. In addition, they help to know the kind of issues that affect the lives of children even in the current modern world (Agich, & Agich, 2003, p.93). From the beginning of the case study, Zara goes through a tough experience whereby her father passed away when she was only three years old. The loss of a parent in a child’s life is quite a traumatizing event that affects the growth and development of an individual throughout their lives. The death of her father, followed by the death of her grandfather and later her grandmother made Zara to become withdrawn from participating in other issues in life.

This is explained better using Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory which states that earlier experiences that an individual faced affect their growth and development in life either positively or negatively. Zara’s life was negatively affected by the loss of the people who were close to her when she was still a young child, hence the negative kind of life that Zara lived afterward was highly contributed to by those experiences. According to Vygotsky’s Cognitive Theory, the development, and growth of an individual is affected by the kind of relation they had with adults at a younger age.
Zara is seen to be attached to her grandparents such that when they pass away, she does not want to relate with other people and is seen to prefer to be left alone as she stares at her grandparents’ pictures. This had a negative impact in her life since she could not relate well with other people cause her to have problems in life and getting involved in various activities that were not good for her (Sigelman, & Rider, 2011, p.448). The effect of the relationship between an individual and an adult is also experienced in Sam’s life, whereby. Due to the deaths of his grandparents, he becomes traumatized, refuses school, and engages in various anti-social behaviors which land him into trouble. Therefore, it is evident that, the relationship between a child and an adult will have a greater impact in the development and growth of a child.

Social Psychology Theories indicates that a child’s development and growth in life will be affected by the kind of social life they live, especially in relation to conformity. Zara, she does not want to stay with her children because they will annoy her boyfriend, Matheus and she wants them to go and stay with her mother. Zara was trying to fit into the relationship by doing things that please Matheus, something that should not happen in the growth and development of a person in life. Conformity and social influences on a person’s life always have an impact on their growth and development, which may be negative or positive.

As per the Skinner’s Operant Conditioning Theory, the development of an individual will depend on the continuous acquisition of various new habits. The theory also states that these habits or behaviors that an individual learns and acquires are controlled by various external factors or stimuli which can be categorized as rein forcers and punishers. In this case study, it can be noted that when Zara’s family moved from Nottingham to London, she started to acquire various habits which included staying out late at night and engaging in sexual behaviors at a very young age. These habits that Zara acquired were due to the kind of environment within which they lived; hence to fit within that environment, she had to acquire those behaviors although the people she met influenced most of it.

The Risk and Resiliency Theories explains that an individual’s growth and development in life will be affected by the risks that the person faces and the ability of that person to overcome and prevent those risks. Zara was faced with the risk of loneliness and trauma due to the death of her father and grandparents in addition to the kind of environment within which she lived in.

She was faced with the risks of being misled and being used by men whom she met but she did not have the ability to overcome her loneliness and trauma. This led her to engage in activities that caused her great harm through becoming pregnant at young age and even having a miscarriage. Due to her inability to overcome those risks that she faced and the loneliness, she became depressed to the extent that she was hospitalized, something that affected her growth and development in life.

Issues Affecting Children

The theories discussed and their relevance in Zara’s life helps one to get a clear view on the issues that affect the development and growth in the lives of many children across the world. Zara’s life helps us to know the experiences and issues that affect children in life. These issues are social related, parental, and environmental related. The social issues that affect children are their relationship with their peers that they relate with in life.

Peer pressure and influence plays a great role in the life of children such that children will adopt or acquire behaviors that make them fit within their peer groups. These habits acquired due to peer pressure and influence may have a negative impact on the development and growth of a child. Parental factors also affect the development and growth of children positively or negatively. When parents neglect their children and lack time for their children, they are not able to know what the children undergo through in life.

This has been portrayed by the life of Zara and her mother who was quite busy with her job, forgetting to spend time with her daughter. Lack of parental guidance and presence leaves room for children to adopt some habits that are not good for their growth and development. Traumatic experiences also affect the lives of children, especially where loss of loved ones is involved, just like in the case study.

Zara’s life took a new turn in the wrong direction due to the loss of her father and grandparents. Therefore, experiences those children undergo in life will highly contributed to their development and growth negatively or positively (Newman, & Newman, 2012, p.20). Furthermore, environmental factors also affect the development and growth of children throughout their lives.

The environment within which a child lives in will have a great influence on the growth and development of a child. When a child lives in an environment that is tolerant to many social vices and does not care for the well-being of children, such as the kind of environment in which Zara’s family lived in, the development and growth of a child will be affected negatively. The environment that Zara lived in tolerated children engaging in sexual behaviors, and staying out late was also tolerated in children. Therefore, the environment within which a child lives will affect the growth and development of the child.

Conclusion

The life development and growth of an individual is an important aspect that must be looked into very carefully, especially in the lives of children. To have better life development and growth, proper care must be taken of children; counseling must be done for children who have had traumatic experiences. Parents must also ensure that they take care of the children and have time to spend with their children as they guide them through life. This will help in ensuring that the life development, and growth for children is better and the children will grow up, become more developed, and have a better life than what has been explained in the case study.

References

  • Agich, G. J., & Agich, G. J. Dependence and autonomy in old age: an ethical framework for long-term care. New York, Cambridge University Press.
  • Austrian, S. G. Developmental theories through the life cycle. New York, Columbia University Press.
    Beckett, C., & Taylor, H. Human Growth and Development. London, Sage Publications.
  • Fogiel, M. The best test preparation for the CLEP, College-Level Examination Program, human growth & development: with CD-ROM for Windows-REA’s interactive CLEP human growth & development TESTware. Piscataway, N.J., Research & Education Association.
  • Custom writing service https://essaylab.com/make_an_essay_for_me