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Child Development Models

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This essay will describe the different explanations for children's behaviour, examining the Psychodynamic, Behaviourist and Social Learning perspectives. It will also evaluate each of these theories and make reference to their practical application. In doing so, the essay will set out how parents, child psychologists, social workers and teachers can aim to understand children's behaviour. As Haggerty (2006) states, "The theory supporting psychodynamic therapy originated in and is informed by psychoanalytic theory." The psychoanalytic approach to therapy was developed by Sigmund Freud, an Austrian psychiatrist. Freud's model proposed that an individual has three elements to their psychological self: the ego, superego and id. The id is the most primitive, consisting of largely unconscious biological impulses. The ego uses reality and its consequences to modify the behaviour being urged by the id. The superego judges actions as right or wrong based on the person's internal value system. (Strickland ed., 2001, p.637) According to Freud, children progress through various psychosexual stages of development. He claimed that, at particular points in the process, a single body part is particularly sensitive to erotic stimulation (Stevenson, 1996). The first stage begins at birth and continues until approximately 1 year old. It is classified as The Oral Stage because the mouth and lips are the main focus, displaying biting, sucking and chewing behaviour. The Anal Stage comes next and usually occurs between 1 and 3 years old. ...read more.


2001). Criticisms did exist around whether, as Pavlov believed, the behaviour observed in dogs could be replicated in humans. However, it is interesting to note that contemporary criticism mainly surrounds the former Soviet Union's integration of Pavlov's work with human psychiatry (Cohen, 1990). The modern-day usefulness of Pavlov's theories is demonstrated in several areas. One such practical application, which has been very helpful to parents and teachers, is that used by Jo Frost (Supernanny, 2008). In her show, Frost builds upon the conditioning work of Pavlov and other behaviourists to assist in cases where children are displaying unwanted behaviour. Through the use of consistently applied parental authority, the children are given boundaries relating to acceptable behaviour. Boundaries are reinforced by rewarding behaviour that is desirable and punishing that which is not. The main methods of reward that Frost uses are 'star charts' and interaction with, or attention from, parents. Children are given stickers to put on their charts and, when a certain number is reached, a treat of some nature is given. Frost continually stresses to parents that giving their child attention when they behave badly will merely reinforce that undesirable behaviour. Her belief is that a child should be placed in relative isolation and ignored when misbehaving. This has resulted in thousands of UK parents adopting her 'naughty step' technique (Supernanny Team, 2007), which involves placing the child in isolation for one minute per year of their age. ...read more.


Whether it is Freud's illumination of developmental stages, Pavlov's demystification of phobias or Bandura's confirmation of the importance of social modelling, there exists a rich and highly useful legacy. Reference List Bandura et al (1961) Transmission of Aggression Through Imitation of Aggressive Models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63, 575-582. Boeree, C. G. (2006) Sigmund Freud [online]. Available from: http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/freud.html [Accessed: 6 October 2008]. Bowcott, O. (2008) Supernanny banished to naughty step by report on children's rights. The Guardian Online. Available from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/oct/03/children.television [Accessed: 6 October 2008]. Cohen, D. (1990) Essential Psychology. London, Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Colman, A. M. (2006) Oxford Dictionary of Psychology. 2nd ed. Oxford, Oxford University Press. Donohoe, G. and Ricketts, T. (2006) Phobias. The Sage Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy. 2nd ed. London, Sage Publications Ltd. Errington, M. and Murdin, L. (2006) Psychoanalytic Therapy. The Sage Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy. 2nd ed. London, Sage Publications Ltd. Haggerty, J. (2006) Psychodynamic Theory [online]. Available from: http://psychcentral.com/lib/2006/psychodynamic-therapy/ [Accessed: 6 October 2008]. Mytton, J. (2006) Cognitive Therapy. The Sage Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy. 2nd ed. London, Sage Publications Ltd. Stevenson, D. B. (1996) Psychosexual Development [online]. Available from: http://www.victorianweb.org/science/freud/develop.html [Accessed: 6 October 2008]. Strickland, B. ed. (2001) The Gale Encylopedia of Psychology. 2nd ed. Detroit, Gale. Supernanny 2008. TV, Channel 4, October 1. Supernanny Team (2007) Discipline Techniques [online]. Available from: http://www.supernanny.co.uk/Advice/-/Parenting-Skills/-/Discipline-and-Reward/Make-the-Naughty-Step-Work-for-You.aspx [Accessed: 6 October 2008]. ?? ?? ?? ?? Barry Fotheringham - October 2008 1 ...read more.

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