Freud And Erikson's Theory Of Child Development

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Although no one group of theories can explain all child behaviour, each developmental theory can in its own way provide a framework for the registered children’s nurse to care for a pre-school child in hospital. In this essay, psychosexual, psychosocial, cognitive development and moral development theories will all be explored and related to the care of a preschool child aged 15 months to 5 years in hospital. Sigmund Freud developed theories to explain psychosexual development. Freud maintained that there are five psychosexual development stages; oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital. In each stage certain parts of the body have psychological significance as foci of sexual energy. These areas move from one part of the body to another as…show more content…
Because child development is viewed from an environmental as well as a biological perspective Erikson’s theory highlights the importance of family in the care of the pre-school child. Freud and Erikson both studied psychosexual and psychosocial development. Jean Piaget brought new insight into the area of cognitive development. He described intellectual development as a sequence of four principal stages, each made up of several sub-stages. Piaget claimed that all children move through these stages in the same order, but each moves at his or her own pace. The Preoperational Phase is associated with the child of approximately two to seven years. The child’s thought process in this phase is characterized by egocentrism; that is, the child cannot look at something from another’s point of view. However, Piaget’s theory is not without its shortfalls. Some theorists have criticised Piaget for underestimating the cognitive ability of young children (Wood, 2008). Others have criticised his theory for focusing only on children living in western society and culture (Edwards, Hopgood, Rosenberg & Rush, 2000)/ (Gray,…show more content…
Lawrence Kohlberg mostly agreed with Piaget's theory of moral and cognitive development but wanted to develop his ideas further. Kohlberg proposed that there are six stages of moral development all grouped into three different levels: pre-conventional morality, conventional morality, and post-conventional morality. A child the between the age of 15 months and 5 years is at a pre-conceptual level of moral development and will pass through two stages during this level. For example, a toddler is at the first stage of this level and learns whether an action is right or wrong depending on whether the action is punished or rewarded. A slightly older preschool child, however, may be at the second stage and views a particular action as right if it satisfies his or her needs. Kohlberg’s theory can certainly assist a children’s nurse in caring for a pre-school child in hospital. For example, according to Kohlberg, a young pre-school child is in the process of developing a sense of right and wrong. The child may see an illness as a form of punishment for something that he or she has done wrong. With an understanding of Kohlberg’s theory the children’s nurse can recognise this and take measures to reassure the child that they are not being punished and have done nothing
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