13 May 2022


Child Development Theory

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 985

Pages: 3

Downloads: 0


Development of children and adolescents entails the development of social skills and emotional intelligence that is necessary for individuals to live a healthy and happy life. When children and adolescents experience emotions or are engaged in behaviors that potentially interfere with their happiness and their ability to thrive they many benefits from meeting a counselor. There are many theories identified that address the development phases that all children encounter. Erik Erikson theory is a widely recognized stage-based theory that outlines all the stages of psychosocial development from birth to adulthood (McAdams & Zapata-Gietl, 2015). He identified eight stages of life, five of the noted stages take place in childhood and adolescence. Erik Erikson is a German psychoanalyst who has explored three aspects of identity: the ego identity, personal identity, and social/cultural identity. Child development is a fascinating journey that Erik Erikson explores on psychosocial development from birth to adulthood. 

Theory influential aspects

The most prominent aspects of the theory of today’s child development are that the theory has in-depth considered how the impact of external factors such as parents and the social implications on the child personality from their childhood and adulthood. Moreover, according to Erikson’s theory, there are eight critical interrelated stages over the entire life cycle: infancy birth-18months old, toddler 18 months to 3 years, pre-schooler 3 to 5 years. And school age child 6 to 12 years, teenage 12 to 18 years, young adult 18 to 35 years, middle-aged adult 35 to 55 age and late adult who starts from 55 age to death (McLean & Syed, 2014). Throughout these stages, every child will respond differently to the different events presented to them as normal parts of growing. With every development phase presenting different challenges for the children who they are expected to work their way through normal growing up. In many cases, there are reported cases of mental health issues that directly influenced by the parent's decisions like parental divorce or separation physical abuse domestic violence. Therefore, whether the child goes through traumatic experiences such as being bullied or moving into a new house which is normal, every child responds differently to these changes in life (Parkay, Anctil & Hass, 2014). 

It’s time to jumpstart your paper!

Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.

Get custom essay

Child development stages

Erik Erikson theory notes from the identified eight stage that is critical for development five of the stages take place in childhood and adolescence. Infancy- the first step defined by the theory that starts from birth till 18 months to be characterized by either development of trust or mistrust (McAdams & Zapata-Gietl, 2015). During this juncture, the infants explore the world, and they learn whether the world is the same place for them or not. Therefore, they require a significant amount of attention from their parents and guardians as they are the first from whom the infants develop either trust or mistrust. Thus the theory notes during the infancy stage parents need to pay close attention to the children. The second stage is early childhood/toddler that starts 18 months to 3 years. In this second stage, children begin to assert independence, and they start to develop preferences and make choices. During this stage, the children develop either shame and doubt or autonomy. Therefore, the parents have to observe the children defiance, temper tantrums and also stubbornness. Upon identification is up to the parents to know how to nurture (McAdams & Zapata-Gietl, 2015). The third stage is preschool years between 3 to 5 years. During this stage, the children learn about their emotions and social roles. They are characterized to become active and curious. Therefore, the children either become guilty or initiative thus the parents and caregivers have a responsibility to encourage the children to be initiative and act independently failure to which they develop a sense of guilt about inappropriate actions. The fourth stage which is school age 6 to 12 years where the academics and peers become very important. During this juncture, the children begin to display a wider range and complex emotions. Moreover, it is at this juncture that failure in academics and social setting that may set in depression or anxiety. Thus the caregivers are charged to encourage competence and check on inferiority traits that may start to develop (McAdams & Zapata-Gietl, 2015). Finally, adolescence that runs 12 to 18 years’ stage where the children begin to feel the need for independence based on their experimentation on the new behaviors and roles accorded to them by different quotas. Notably, during this state, there is strain relationship experienced between the parent-adolescent relationships especially when the parent has the feeling the experimentation has gone beyond the threshold which translates to anxiety and depression. Therefore, the parents are expected to hold their ground and deal with the physical and emotional changes in the children and encourage them to have correctly identified identification rather than role confusion (McAdams & Zapata-Gietl, 2015). 

Theory significance after preschool age

Erik Erikson theory supports development past the preschool age. During the adolescent between 12 to 18 years, the theory emphasized that until this fifth stage development depends heavily on what needs to be done to the individual (McLean & Syed, 2014). However, from this juncture, forward development primarily is what the person does. The adolescent is expected to struggle to discover and fight his own identity. Therefore, the theory stresses on the caregivers being very cautious as some of the children start withdrawing from their responsibilities. The young adult period 18 to 35 years is established for the young adults seeking to develop meaningful relationships with marital partner and friends. Therefore, it is important for the young adults to be monitored as failure to successful relationships will translate to isolation. The middle-aged adult 35 to 55 years is where career and work are the most important things (McLean & Syed, 2014). What the theory emphasizes for this stage is the significance of an individual attempting to make a difference in the society. Moreover, significant life shifts can occur at this juncture. The late adult according to the theory is much of a reflection stage of the individual. At this stage, individuals are afraid of death. The theory is a perfect reflection of what is alive with adults as what people go through has been captured in all the explained stages. The theory is significant as not only does it give a perfect illustration of what is happening in peoples but it also gives guidance to the primary caregivers on the different steps necessary to ensure the children have an excellent development.


McAdams, D. P., & Zapata-Gietl, C. (2015). Three strands of identity development across the human life course: Reading Erik Erikson in full. The Oxford handbook of identity development, 81-94. McLean, K. C., & Syed, M. U. (Eds.). (2014). The Oxford handbook of identity development. Oxford Library of Psychology. Parkay, F. W., Anctil, E. J., & Hass, G. (2014). Curriculum leadership: Readings for developing quality educational programs. New Jersey, United States. Prentice Hall

Cite this page

Select style:


StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Child Development Theory.


Related essays

We post free essay examples for college on a regular basis. Stay in the know!

17 Sep 2023

Personal Statement for College

Growing up in the inner city especially as a first-generation African-American is very challenging mainly because of poverty that makes every aspect of life difficult. These are neighborhoods with poor services and...

Words: 926

Pages: 3

Views: 85

17 Sep 2023

Phonics and Phonemic Awareness Lesson Plan for Kindergarten

The objective of this lesson plan is to teach students how to add or interchange individual sounds within one syllable words. The will the students to learn new words and new pronunciations. The use of CVC word...

Words: 329

Pages: 1

Views: 197

17 Sep 2023

Similarities and Differences of Educational Theories

As a philosophy of education, idealism is based on the notion that reality should only be inferred from ideas. People should strive to conceive ideas as the only source of world reality. They must apply conscious...

Words: 1304

Pages: 5

Views: 63

17 Sep 2023

How to Overcome Financial Challenges in Research

Running a school and improving the way it operates requires the availability of resources, prime of which is money. The financing of school budgets in the US varies between school districts and states. The...

Words: 3007

Pages: 10

Views: 45

17 Sep 2023

Suggestopedia Learning Method Analysis

The video is an explanation of the suggestopedia, and this is a learning method that’s used in classrooms, particularly in those ones in which students are taking English as their second language. This method is...

Words: 926

Pages: 3

Views: 40

17 Sep 2023

Behaviorist versus Humanist Philosophical Orientation

Purpose of the philosophical orientation Psychologists and other researchers have for the longest time tried to unearth the behavioral orientations of individuals by integrating numerous approaches. One of the most...

Words: 2558

Pages: 9

Views: 123


Running out of time?

Entrust your assignment to proficient writers and receive TOP-quality paper before the deadline is over.