Erickson’s Theory

The study by Granger and Kivlighan (2003) on “Integrating Biological, Behavioral, and Social Levels of Analysis in Early Child Development: Progress, Problems, and Prospects” supports Erikson’s Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development. The study notes that there has been an increase in the integration of procedures that do not penetrate the body, as by incision or injection, biological measures into behavioral research. The study shows that these researches delve much into biological behavior but very few delve into the developmental outcomes in a more straightforward manner. Granger and Kivlighan, (2003) highlight on the need for more specific theories that explain inter-individual differences in intra-individual change. The theories should be inclusive of specific, theoretically derived hypotheses, and in addition, they should entail multiple methods on assessing behavioral and biological processes and analytical strategies (Granger & Kivlighan 1).

Granger and Kivlighan (2003) suggest that future researches on biological and social research should not only specialize on the description processes but on developing the existing theories. This would enable researchers to come up with specific conclusions, tests, on how the development of a person is influenced by biological behavioral processes and their interaction with the social environment. The proposed biosocial models will enable researchers to come up with specific inferences on the possibility of individual differences in children’s adrenocortical activity that have the ability of presenting risk or resilience. This is due to the possibility of the lack of parental care early enough or cumulatively in their lives (Booth 55).

In accordance with the article, Erickson’s theory delves on how human beings develop psychologically depending on the environment where they are brought up. The theory is more inclusive as it does not focus on 0-20 year olds but is inclusive of the entire life span until death. The theory divides psychological development based on the social environment into eight distinct stages.

The first stage is referred to as the trust vs. mistrust. This stage is inclusive of children who are 0 to 18 months old. At this age, the child is new to the surrounding and needs to develop enough trust to enable him or her explore this new world with ease. The second stage in Erickson’s theory is the autonomy vs. shame and doubt. The ages of the children inclusive of this stage are between 1½ years to three years old. At this age, the children need to realize that they have some sense of self-control over their behaviors and that their intentions can be acted out on. When they lack support on their newly acquired skills their development can stagnate but if encouraged, they tend overcome the feeling of shame and doubt (Mash 55).

The study claims that there are indeed human behavior was related to biological processes. This is the same as what is implied by the Erickson’s theory. The study shows that measuring biological variables by using non-penetrative means, as by incision or injection in saliva has led to the ability to test integrated biological and social models to better investigate child development. Due to this ability, the number of studies also increased, and their findings becoming more conclusive in determining behavioral patterns that are characteristic with biological changes (Shaffer 45). I personally agree with the conclusions with the study as the character of a person is highly by the person’s age and the social environment that the person interacts with.


Works Cited

Granger, Douglas A., and Katie T. Kivlighan. “Integrating Biological, Behavioral, and Social Levels of Analysis in Early Child Development: Progress, Problems, and Prospects.” Child Development. 74.4 (2003): 1058–1063. Print.

Booth, Alan. Biosocial Foundations of Family Processes. New York, NY: Springer, 2010. Print.

Mash, Eric and Russell A. Barkley. Assessment of childhood disorders. New York, NY: Guilford Press, 2007. Print.

Shaffer, R. David. Social and Personality Development. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.

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