Childhood to Adulthood Developmental Analysis : Personal Experiences

The transition from childhood to adulthood is a lengthy and complex process due to the influence of technology. In today’s technology world, it takes longer for youths to gain adequate training, get employment, and become financially independent. Societies are made up of systems that structure relationships of householding, care, and reproduction that define different stages of development. My transition from childhood to adulthood has undergone several dimensions of development: cognitive, emotional, physical, social, moral, and sexual. My childhood and adolescent development have been influenced by my family members and surroundings. I have had a close relationship with my parents who have shaped my personality and behaviors. The development changes I have experienced are parallel with Freud’s, Erikson’s, and Piaget’s stages of development. Hence, this research discussion uses these models to explain my childhood to adulthood development.

Theoretical Perspectives of Development

Stage of Development According to Freud

Freud’s model of development is based on how the effects of sexual desire drive a person’s psyche. Freud claims that every body part is sensitive to erotic stimuli. Freud divides the model into several stages;

The Oral Stages. This phase begins at birth when a child’s libidinal energy as the main focus is the oral cavity. A child gets pleasure from sucking and accepting things into the mouth. Children either receive inadequate nursing or overindulge their oral characters that impact their development (Elkatawneh, 2013). During my childhood, I was excessively satisfied due to unlimited access to nursing. As a result, I have grown to become an optimistic person who is full of admiration for those around me. I experienced the increased psychological pleasure of being cared for by my mother and close family member.

The Anal Stage. A child enters this phase at one and one-half years. The stage is characterized by toilet training to aid retention or expulsion of the feces. According to Elkatawneh (2013), children face two things; the pleasure of expulsion of bodily wastes and social burdens to control bodily functions. I grew up surround by my extended family; therefore, I was often under pressure to control the expulsion of feces. My parents were strict in regards to careless or reckless expulsions; as a result, I develop an anal-retentive character to make them happy.

The Phallic Stage. The phallic stage is the most critical sexual conflict in Freud’s development model. During this stage, children acknowledge the genital region and become more interested in their genitals and of others resulting in conflict. This conflict is defined by children’s unconscious longing to possess the opposite-gendered parent and to eliminate the same-sexed one. For me, this conflict developed based on my natural love for my mother; however, the father stood on the way for this love that generated aggression towards my father.

The Latency Period. Freud explains that this period is non-psychosexual since sexual drive lies dormant after the child has resolved his sexual desires in the phallic stage. Elkatawneh (2013) illustrates that during this phase children often focus their repressed libidinal energy into asexual hunts, such as athletics. For example, during this stage, I increased my focus on school spending many hours in the library. I was also an active basketball player.

The Genital Stage. During this stage, a child’s energy concentrates on genitals in which interest turns to heterosexual relations. My phallic stage was a success and unlike some students, I was not obsessed and could develop typical relationships with the opposite sex.

Stage of Development According to Erikson

Erik Erikson’s model of psychological development describes eight fundamental psychosocial tensions that people have to balance throughout their lives. According to Sacco (2013), each of these phases has a biological foundation that defines the process of physical maturation and cognitive development.

Infancy. This stage is based on trust v. mistrust. During this stage, infants recognize the responsiveness, reliability, and consistency of their caregivers and environments (An & Cooney, 2006). This stage is parallel tom my development as I developed trust that my parents will provide my basic needs.

Toddlerhood. This phase includes the first step towards developing as an individual by becoming independent. It is characterized by autonomy vs. shame and doubt. I started developing a sense of autonomy from an early age when my parents started toilet training. I started to exercise the little control I had and what was expected of me for future development.

Early Childhood (Initiative vs. Guilt). This stage takes sovereignty one step further as children learn to take greater risks by separating from their caregivers. During this stage, I engaged more with the environment by taking initiatives that did not involve my parents, such as performing some household chores.

Middle Childhood (Industry vs. Inferiority). This stage builds upon taking initiative as children develop the ability to see projects through to completion. Children often show skills, interests, and motivation to complete tasks. During this stage, my interest and skills in basketball developed. I spent more time practicing to achieve my set goal.

Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood (Identity vs. Role Confusion). During this stage, persons start to engage in novel and special projects that revolve around them. according to An & Cooney (2006), identity is the central concept in this stage. I experienced some level of identity crisis in regard to sexual orientation. However, I later resolved the issue.

Emerging Adulthood and Adulthood (Intimacy vs. Isolation). Youths enter adulthood and develop intimate relationships characterized by romantic and platonic relationships. I entered adulthood I became inclined towards sharing myself with others. By the end of this stage, I had developed a reasonable sense of identity in regard to my sexual orientation and gender identity.

Adulthood (Generativity vs. Stagnation). At this stage individuals think about what they want to leave behind; they have developed an identity that they share with others. According to An & Cooney (2006), many people start families and engage in activities that benefit future generations.

Old Age (Integrity vs. Despair). The central development project at old age involves self-reflection. People reflect on what they have achieved in regards to helping others and whether they have done so in the right way.

Stage of Development According to Piaget

Jean Piaget’s model focuses on children’s cognitive development by analyzing quantitative concepts. Ojose (2008) examines the stages and their applicability.

Sensorimotor Stage. Pertains to the development of mental and cognitive abilities from birth until the appearance of language. I successfully develop my mental and cognitive attributes defined by the capacity to find objects after displacing at different parts of the house.

Preoperational Stage. This phase is characterized by increased language ability, limited logic, egocentric perspectives, and symbolic thought. During my early phases of this stage, I struggled with problem-solving, especially those that demand extensive thinking. However, I later increased my problem-solving abilities with the help of my teachers.

Concrete Operations Stage. This stage is characterized by increased cognitive growth in which children develop language and acquisition of basic skills upsurge. It involves the use of cognitive thinking to know. During this stage, I could provide mathematical representations and apply multiple concepts to making ideas meaningful.

Formal Operations Stage. At this stage, children can form suppositions and presume or infer conceivable consequences promoting their capacity to generate own mathematics. They can also develop nonconcrete thought patterns based on perceptions performed using pure symbols. At this stage I was active and science and mathematics classes. I could solve mathematical problems without having to refer to concrete situations presented by my instructors.

Nature versus Nurture

In the debate of nature vs. nurture, nature denotes organic tendencies that influence human traits. On the other hand, nurture defines the impact of learning on a person’s environment. For example, my skin is the result of direct genetic inheritance. According to Levitt (2013), nurture is more influential than nature. My parents and family have been the most influential to me; for example, my personality and friendship nature is due to how I have been brought up. I believe that my strong attachment to my mother has been the foundation for how I relate with many people. The attachment theory illustrates that children without strong attachments characterized by stability and security are fearful and less willing to seek help from others as well as learning new experiences. Hence, my connectedness to my mother is the reason I always seek out for help, am less fearful, and always to experience new things.

Bowlby’s Attachment

Bowly’s attachment model examines the psychological connectedness that develops among people and lasts for long periods. All my life I have been close to my mother and our relationships have always influenced my bond with others.

Faith Development

Fowler developed six stages of faith and identity development.

Pre-Stage: Undifferentiated Faith. Made up of children from birth to about 2 years. I grew up in a family that showed love in different ways, which allowed me to build a live experience of love, hope, and trust.

Intuitive-Projective Faith. Comprise of pre-school aged children. During this stage, I had limited knowledge about problem-solving and thus was unable to think abstractly. I could only see the world from my own perspective. I could consider logical arguments or deal with complex ideas.

Mythic-Literal Faith. At the age of 6 through to 12, I started to differentiate between speculations and verified facts. I started to understand religious different perspectives from those of my parents.

Synthetic-Conventional Faith. Between the age of 13 to 18, I could think abstractly and could recognize values and morals. I could deduce meaning from stories, symbols of faith, and rituals.

Individuative-Reflective Faith. Starting from 18 through to 22 years, I could question assumptions about the faith tradition and its authority. I was more mature and with a better understanding of faith.

Conjunctive Faith. At this stage, I acknowledge faith develop after self-reflection. I was more open to different faith perspectives.

Universalizing Faith. This stage is characterized by special grace that makes people more lucid and simpler (Andrade, 2014). It is common among religious teachers due to their ability to relate with people with different believes.

Challenges and Success

My personal development goes beyond what has been discussed in this paper. For example, family events have been influential as they allow me to interact with extended family members and learn from their experiences. My childhood and adolescent development have been influenced by my relationship with others. I find family gatherings to be meaningful events for my growth. Even though I have experienced some problems with some family members due to conflicting opinions, such disagreements have presented different perspectives necessary for individual development. Overall, childhood and adolescent development have been a long and enlightening process characterized by unique life experiences.


Andrade, A. (2014). Using fowler’s faith development theory in student affairs practice. College Student Affairs Leadership, 1(2), 2. Web.

An, J. S., & Cooney, T. M. (2006). Psychological well-being in mid to late life: The role of generativity development and parent-child relationships across the lifespan. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 30(5), 410-421.

Elkatawneh, D. H. (2013). Freud’s psychosexual stages of development. Web.

Levitt, M. (2013). Perceptions of nature, nurture, and behavior. Life sciences, Society and Policy, 9(1), 1-13.

Ojose, B. (2008). Applying Piaget’s theory of cognitive development to mathematics instruction. The Mathematics Educator, 18(1), 26–30.

Sacco, R. G. (2013). Re-envisaging the eight developmental stages of Erik Erikson: The Fibonacci life-chart method (FLCM). Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 3(1), 140-146.

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PsychologyWriting. "Childhood to Adulthood Developmental Analysis : Personal Experiences." September 6, 2023.