Development Theories Case study


DevelopmentTheories Case study

DevelopmentTheories Case Study

Thegrowth and development of a child comes as extremely fundamental toany parent irrespective of the society in which he or she lives.Indeed, this growth and development determines the physical,emotional and psychological states of the individual, both in theshort-term and the long-term. Nevertheless, numerous theories havebeen crafted in an effort to explain the varied changes that occur inthe course of an individual’s development. Of particular note isthe fact that the stages of development are not so distinct as toincorporate only a particular set of traits. Indeed, an individualmay exhibit certain traits that would place him or her in two stagesof development. Two of the popular stages of development areErikson’s Psychosocial Theory and Piaget’s Cognitive Developmenttheory. Erikson’s Psychosocial development theory underlines thenotion that individuals develop through eight stages of growth (Kail&amp Cavanaugh, 2013). He laid emphasis on the role that society andculture plays, as well as the conflicts that may occur in theindividual ego. Piaget’s cognitive development Theory, on the otherhand, is an all-inclusive theory pertaining to the nature anddevelopment of human intelligence. Piaget states that individuals gothrough four distinct stages.

CaseStudy 1

Kelly,a two year old child, lives with her parents in Chicago, Illinois. Asa child, it is evident that she has come a long way and is developingquite well. She can be seen to be developing a sense of independenceand is seen grabbing onto objects in what may be seen as acompassionate way. In addition, she is often seen walking or evenclimbing onto items in an effort to explore the external world thathas been hidden from her, or rather, that she has never fullyexplored (Kail &amp Cavanaugh, 2013). Of particular note is the factthat she seems to feel shameful upon realizing their inability towalk straight without falling or even that they are too physicallyweak to grab onto or climb something. More often than not, she wantsto do things for herself without any assistance (which she sees as ahindrance) from other people, and has really become fond of using theterm “no” every time an adult comes to her aid or seems to beinterfering (Keenan,2001).Of course, it is noted that the toddler has developed quite somemuscles that allow her to jump, walk, climb and hop, which she isutilizing (excessively) in an effort to explore the world. Of course,it is acknowledged that Kelly may get into dangerous situations atany given time, in which case, her parents feel the need to keep aneye on her (Keenan,2001).This has prompted her parents to take some fundamental measures toensure her safety, although they are afraid that they may beshielding her too much.

CaseStudy 2 : Initiative vs. Guilt.

Shemis a 5 year old child who lives with her single mother in StamfordConnecticut. Shem seems to have developed a clear consciencepertaining to the moral restrictions in the society within which helives. He seems to be immensely imaginative and can be seen puttingthis imagination and creation in the numerous drawings that hecreates. His curiosity pertaining to the environment within which helives has been well noted especially with regard to being overlyinquisitive about his parents and the things that are happeningaround him (Wadsworth,2004).For instance, she one day came from school and asked his mother aboutthe whereabouts of his father and why he never comes to visit them oreven take him to school like other kids’ dad so do. Of particularnote is the fact that she has even come to question things and evendecisions that are made, often posing the question “why” onalmost everything. In addition, he seems to have taken intoeverything and seems to want to master almost everything includingflying kites, painting, drawing and building puzzles (Thomas,2005).More often than not, he can be seen planning ahead, albeit on a smallscale, to do something such as determining what to draw or evenplanning to go out and fly kites at a certain time and with a certainperson. As much as he may have had this impetus to do things, heoften develops some anxiety especially in instances where he has setout to do something but does not manage to achieve it (Thomas,2005).

CaseStudy 3. Preoperational Stage

Kimberly,a 7 year old child, lives with her parents in Alabama. As much as shedoes not yet have the capacity to comprehend concrete logic or evenmanipulate information, she has been noted as becoming increasinglyplayful. Her play usually takes the form of symbolism andmanipulation symbols, for instance, she uses snacks as checkers,boxes as tables and pieces of paper as plates (Lindon,2000).She has also been engaging or taking part in role-plays with friendsor even coming up with imaginary friends especially when she isalone, an aspect that allows her to enjoy herself even in the absenceof friends. Often, she “talks” and “gets replies” from theimaginary friends, with whom they undertake varied activities. Thisis her idea of play in the absence of the real objects. On the samenote, she has been noted as having the capacity to form stableconcepts and stable beliefs (Lindon,2010).Of particular note is the fact that she is yet to take into the ideaof other people’s viewpoints, in which case she has remainedprimarily egocentric. However, she has been noted as having thecapacity to comprehend, picture, and represent, as well as recallobjects in her mind even in instances where that object is out ofsight. Further, her thought process seems pretty developed as she canask questions such as “how come” and “why” often seeming tohave insatiable thirst for knowledge. As noted earlier, she is stillpretty egocentric, in which case she believes in the rightness of herperspective (Wadsworth,2004).Her imagination causes her to believe that strong winds come up as aresult of someone blowing really hard and sometimes states that thewhite clouds are actually someone’s painting.

CaseStudy 4: Concrete Operational Stage

Joseph,a 10 year old boy, lives with his parents at Nebraska. As much as hedoes not seem to have developed abstract hypothetical thinking, it isnoted that he perfectly uses logic and has the capacity to solveproblems regarding concrete objects or events. In addition, he isable to draw conclusions or engage in inductive reasoning where theycan generalize about a particular issue by drawing inferences fromthe same and make predictions pertaining to the event’s outcome.However, he does not seem to comprehend the rules of transitivity(Grych&ampFincham, 2001).For instance, while he understands that his friend Jay is older thanhis brother Francis, and that Francis is older than Jack, he cannotseem to connect the two and state that Jay is older than Jack.Nevertheless, he has the capacity to classify objects by theirweight, mass and number, and performs exemplarily as far asmathematical problems of subtraction and addition are concerned(Doherty&ampHughes, 2009).On the same note, he does not seem to hold the false belief regardingthe rightness on his perspectives, rather he differentiates histhoughts and those of other people, while acknowledging thepossibility of variations between them. Unlike in the past where heused to cry over things that he seemed to think could not bereversed, he seems to comprehend the rules of reversibility. Forinstance, he has no issue even in instances where his balloon or ballhas been deflated or his clay ball flattened as he seems tounderstand that they can be brought back to shape again throughinflating or re-modeling them.


Doherty,J., &amp Hughes, M. (2009).&nbspChilddevelopment: Theory and practice 0-11.Harlow, England: Pearson Longman.

Grych,J. H., &amp Fincham, F. D. (2001).&nbspInterparentalconflict and child development.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Keenan,T. (2001).&nbspAnintroduction to child development.London: SAGE.

Kail,R. V., &amp Cavanaugh, J. (2013). Human Development: A Life-SpanView (6th ed). Belmont: Cengage Learning/Wadsworth.

Lindon,J. (2000).&nbspUnderstandingchild development: Knowledge, theory and practice.London: Thomson Learning.

Lindon,J. (2010).&nbspUnderstandingchild development: Linking theory and practice.London: Hodder Education.

Thomas,R. M. (2005).&nbspComparingtheories of child development.Belmont, Calif: Thomson Wadsworth.

Wadsworth,B. J. (2004).&nbspPiaget`stheory of cognitive and affective development.New York: Pearson.