There are quite a few theoretical
perspectives when talking about lifespan development which include the
psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, contextual, and evolutionary
perspectives (13). Although all six perspectives make great points about
lifespan development, I think psychodynamic and humanistic may make the most
effective points. This theory includes Freud’s psychoanalytic theory and
Erikson’s psychosocial theory. Freud’s psychoanalytic theory basically states
that people have three different aspect to their personality. They are id, ego,
and superego. Id is the part of personality that is present right at birth. It
is the hunger, sex, aggression, and irrational impulses. The ego is the mean
between society and the id in which it helps the person fit into society.
Lastly, superego is a person’s conscience between what is right and wrong (14).
Erikson’s psychosocial theory states that developmental change occurs as we
interact and start to understand other members of the society (15). Combined,
the theories basically state that childhood helps shape a person’s personality.
I definitely agree with this theory because people are generally the most
sensitive as they’re growing up and it is also a time they’re most susceptible
to bullying and peer pressure. It is also quite possible for kids to forget
events that took place if it happened while they were too young or if they were
too tragic. It could explain personal problems some people face as they grow up
such as why it’s harder for some than others to keep a relationship. Also, if
referencing Erikson, a person’s childhood is a time that is especially
important for kids to learn right from wrong and to learn compassion. This is
probably most easily achieved through exposure to many other kids and through
discipline. I think this concept is equally as important when kids go through
puberty since that is another sensitive time in everyone’s life.
On the contrary, the humanistic
perspective frays from the unconscious mind and goes into the conscious mind.
It states that people are responsible for their own decisions and behavior as
they grow up. This perspective emphasizes free will and the desire of humans to
reach their full potential. It is up to each individual if they want to change
certain aspects of their lives and if they’re willing to take the necessary
steps to move onto the next level in their life (21). Surprisingly, this
perspective does not have a major impact on lifespan development. It states
that there is no developmental change that result from increasing age or experience.
However, I strongly disagree. For example, most people are about 17-18 when
they graduate high school. From there, everyone makes their own decision as to
whether they want to go to college or not. People either go straight into
working full time jobs or being full time students with part time jobs.
However, skipping college doesn’t mean people no longer can achieve their
highest potential. They just reach the next step at different paces.