Essay by cr8zlex December 2012

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Applying Developmental Theory to an Interview with a Teen


The purpose of this paper is to apply Erikson's Developmental psychosocial Theory to an interview with a teen. My interview subject is a 19-year old male living in San Rafael, California. I am familiar with this adolescent and I am knowledgeable on his current life and background history. By the request of the teen, I will address him as Joel. Joel is a recent high school graduate who was primarily homeschooled. He lives with his mother, stepfather and sister. He is the oldest child. He has not had contact with his biological father in recent years and describes him as a "very evil man". When Joel was a toddler he was subjected to abuse by a female caretaker. Something he believes still affects him today. This essay will show Erikson's theory corresponds with Joel's development.

Theory Issues Illustrated by the Interview

The epigenetic principal encompasses the eight stages of Stages of Psychosocial Development and states that each stage has a purpose, and if that purpose is not fulfilled at the correct stages, the person develops too little of a negative or positive influence or too much of a positive or negative influence.

An example of this is trusting too easily or not being trusting enough. Stage one involves Trust vs. Mistrust and takes places from birth to around 2 years old. During this stage the infant is totally dependent on their primary caregiver for survival. If the child's needs are met and they are shown affection they grow to feel as though the world is a safe and secure place. If a child's caregiving is unpredictable and uncaring, they grow to believe the world is an undependable and fearful place.

Joel grew up with divorced parents. His primary caregiver...