Initiative Vs Guilt Case Study

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Introduction Erik Erikson’s psychosocial stage of initiative versus guilt as well as B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning within behaviorism would be the theories that best describe the given scenario. Initiative vs. Guilt At this stage, it is known that children assert themselves more frequently and according to Bee (as cited in Thatcher, 2011) it is a “time of vigor of action and consists of behaviors that the parents may see as aggressive". This stage also sees the child wanting to initiate and complete his/ her own actions for a purpose. In addition, Thatcher (2011) mentioned that activities sought out by a child in this stage may include risk-taking behaviors, such as crossing a street alone or riding a bike without a helmet. And most often negative behavior of a child usually stems from a sense of frustration, of them being unable to achieve a certain planned goal and they may therefore; engage in behaviors that seem aggressive, ruthless, and overly assertive to parents. Relating this back to the case study, the child is most likely to be engaged in the initiative versus guilt stage. His display of aggressive behavior in the classroom could be due to the fact that his primary caregivers (e.g. his parents) may have been too lenient in his display of initiative and guilt. For example, to get his parents attention the child initiates by throwing his toys on the ground and upon seeing that, his parents does not do anything to discipline him. And because of that, the
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