Adolescence is an integral part in the theories of several renowned academicians in the field of psychology, especially those who specialize in understanding the behaviors of people out of the workings of the human mind. For the most part, Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson and Jean Piaget have each provided us with their interpretations on human development, giving way to broader and more comprehensive approaches towards human adolescence.
In his Psychosexual Stages of Development, Freud outlines the stages where each child would normally undergo from the time of birth. At the very center of Freud’s theory is the belief that the sexual physical drive of young children shape the individual psyche, and every stage corresponds to unique developments in human personality. When a child exhibits stronger tendencies to one stage above the rest, that same stage will generally influence the personality of the child until his adult life.
On the other hand, Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory puts forward the idea that human development goes beyond five years of age. And unlike Freud, Erikson’s theory embraces the idea that the personality of the individual is not only limited to human sexuality since it also has to include both culture and society. Thus, adolescence is a phase which involves the many different factors present in one’s immediate society and unique culture.
Lastly, Piaget’s development theory espouses the belief that in order for a person to understand the increasing complexities in the world one first has to be mature enough to handle these complexities. A person’s adolescent life, therefore, is a product of previous learning acquired from the many transitions familiarized during one’s childhood experiences.
Green, C. D. Theories of Development. Retrieved July 16, 2008, from http://classweb.gmu.edu/awinsler/ordp/theory.html