The environment in which a kid develops forms a powerful experience that affects the child’s future life. Human development is a process of forming and creating personality under the impact of external and internal, controlled and uncontrolled factors (Abbott, 2021). The leading role is played by purposeful upbringing and education. In the process of evolution, the child should become a person, that is, a human being who is a social individual, combining the features of the universal, socially significant, and individually unique. Nowadays, no single theory can provide a comprehensive picture of the mental evolution of the child factors (Abbott, 2021). Thus, to obtain complete information about the development, behavior, and upbringing of children, it is essential to consider several theories on the example of Siyasanda.
Description and Explanation of Development According to Developmental Theories
Siyasanda experiences challenges in the process of developing an identity that is caused by the individuals and groups in the environment. According to Erik Erikson’s theory of personality development, a person needs to interact closely with society to pass through eight stages of evolution successfully. The followers held the same opinion of the social learning theory (Abbott, 2021). However, Siyasanda has a limited social circle, including primary relatives. Moreover, when the girl had problems with urinary incontinence, Siyasanda was not supported by family members (Case Study, 2022). Accordingly, the girl has communication difficulties, which are exacerbated by the fact that Siyasanda has not yet received proper attention from the mother. Erickson argues that in orfer to move to a new stage of development, it is necessary to pass the previous one (Abbott, 2021). Thus, the girl cannot do this because the mother works all the time to provide for the family financially, and the father died when Siyasanda was still a little girl (Case Study, 2022). Therefore, the child has not passed all the stages of development, which is why she has problems communicating and developing contacts.
It is significant that Bandura’s theory of social learning highlights motivation as a condition of development. The girl has no role model, and Siyasanda understands that the mother will not support education, which is why it is impossible for the girl to determine which profession to choose. In this way, there is a threat that Siyasanda will model the behavior of family members. Behaviorist theory indicates a significant role of external factors contributing to the child’s development (Eysenck, 2018). In Siyasanda’s case, these factors put pressure on the girl because Siyasanda experiences a sense of being an outcast in society and not getting the proper attention from relatives.
Although Siyasanda attempts to study in order to have a chance at a decent education, the girl spends a lot of time learning. This is due to the fact that Siyasanda is trying to escape from the fate of the mother, but at the same time has negative consequences because it leads to complete isolation in society (Case Study, 2022). Thus, according to developmental theories, Siyasanda is a withdrawn child who does not have a proper role model. This leads to an inability to go through all the stages of development, to learn how to make decisions and control one’s life.
The Problems in the Previous Stages and Their Long-Term Consequences
It is essential to identify the problems faced by the girl and their long-term prospects. The first problem arose when the girl could not completely manage a behavior pattern. The fact that the child was stressed after the father’s death and did not have enough time with the mother caused problems with urination. In other words, it is worth citing that “in two and two years ago, Siyasanda could not be definitely unable to go to the bathroom during the time, resulting in teasing by her cousins for wetting underwear” (Case Study, 2022, p.1). Thus, Siyasanda was raised with people who ridiculed it and received no protection. This led to the fact that at the age of 17, the girl was not confident and could not identify without describing the details of a biography (Case Study, 2022). In the long run, being traumatized as a child will affect the girl’s relationships with others. Siyasanda will be exposed to negative influences and absurdities, which will lead to depression.
In addition, after the death of Siyasanda’s father, the girl was left together with Boniswa, who could not cope with the loss of a man for a long time. The woman reports that “Siyasanda would often cry, and that reminded her of the loss of her husband, and she would find herself staring out the window with her baby crying in the background” (Case Study, 2022, p.1). Thus, the girl experienced considerable stress, which they later did not help to overcome. Siyasanda feels defenseless and needed as a mother, which is why the girl tries to study hard in order to obtain approval and the possibility of a better future. Although, the girl cannot make a decision about choosing a profession because of a lack of self-confidence (Case Study, 2022). In the long run, this can lead to Siyasanda being dissatisfied with the profession that the girl chose and regretting that the girl spent a lot of time studying. As a result, Siyasanda will not receive a positive effect from it.
Another challenge the girl faced was the lack of attention and understanding in childhood. This affected Siyasanda’s perception of self as a personality. The girl deliberately did not participate in social life at school because the girl considered it to be not significant. It should be noted that “she is part of a small social circle at school, but does not really engage socially or attend any of the school’s social functions” (Case Study, 2022, p.1). Hence, the girl may have had several friends, but Siyasanda had an inferiority complex. Therefore, in the future, the girl will have difficulty communicating in the workplace. At the same time, it would be complicated for the girl to create a family and raise a child (Abbott, 2021). That is because Siyasanda emotionally and psychologically has not completed the preliminary stages of development. Accordingly, these problems will have significant adverse effects in the long run and will be more challenging to eliminate in adulthood.
Differences and Similarities of the Theories
Erik Erikson’s theory of personality development states that society is not antagonistic to the child. The psychologist also argues that personality develops from birth to death. According to Erik Erikson, there are some obligatory and successive stages in personality evolution that everyone should undergo in their progression. That is, development continues throughout life, with each stage of growth marked by a specific conflict, the favorable resolution of which leads to the transition to a new stage factors (Abbott, 2021). The favorable passage is usually determined by the degree to which a person has passed through the previous development steps. The advantageous resolution of that conflict leads to the transition to a new phase.
It is significant to mention the similarities in the influence of society with Bandura’s theory of social learning. This concept assumes that people learn from each other through observation, imitation, and modeling (Cattell, 2017). Social learning theory explains human behavior as emerging through the continuous interaction of cognitive, behavioral, and environmental factors. However, this theory indicates that the internal mental state is necessary for the cognitive process. Erikson did not focus on this and concentrated on the stages of developmental progression. Additionally, Bandura devoted a considerable amount of attention to motivation; the psychologist argued that in order for observation-based learning to be successful, motivation is needed to imitate behavior (Cattell, 2017). Support and punishment play an essential role in motivation. Similar to the introduction of motivation, observing others’ experiences with reinforcement or punishment is a highly effective means of learning
While behaviorists also believe that training results in a permanent behavior change, observational learning indicates that people can learn information without demonstrating new behaviors. Adherents of behaviorism stated that if individuals want a concept of child development, it is necessary to describe the various external causes that can have an effect on a child (Eysenck, 2018). Accordingly, it is essential to trace children’s behavior under these conditions. This is because knowledge of these conditions and behaviors will help to manage a child’s development. This statement fundamentally differs from Erikson’s theory, which states that changes in child development depend on the passage of certain stages (Eysenck, 2018). In conjunction with the theory of social learning is that an influential developmental condition also determines the mental state.
Predictable Futures in Early and Middle Childhood
According to the first stage of Eric Erikson’s theory of personality development, an element of trust is found. In the case of Siyasanda, the mother’s focus is not on the child but the care of Siyasanda. The result of the negative way of such an approach is the child’s mistrust, suspicion, cowardice toward the world and people, and pessimism (Lester, 2019). Thus, already at the first stage of development, the child feels that the world is hostile and does not want to create social contacts. According to Erikson, the second stage of personality development consists of the kid forming and asserting their autonomy and independence. The outcome of the negative way is that the child establishes indecisiveness and insecurity about one’s abilities (Lester, 2019). Therefore, the girl was not supported when Siyasanda had difficulty controlling urination.
On the contrary, relatives laughed at the child, which further strengthened the feeling of inferiority. Accordingly, Siyasanda’s dependence on others and their opinions developed when the girl was older. This is expressed in the fact that Siyasanda cannot choose a profession independently and cannot define the sphere of the girl’s own interests. At the same time, a sense of shame in front of others was established in the girl, and the foundations of constrained behavior were laid (Hampson, 2019). Thus, Siyasanda became a poorly sociable and constantly wary girl.
It is crucial to mention that the girl studied hard in order to have a chance to enter a higher education institution and obtain a decent profession. Siyasanda’s mother, in turn, did not encourage Siyasanda to do what she loved due to the constant employment on the job (Case Study, 2022). Consequently, at an older age, this leads to the fact that the girl does not have a clear goal and cannot determine what is essential for choosing a profession. Therefore, Siyasanda may lose the only motivation that contributed to its development.
Bandura’s theory of social learning also emphasizes the negative effect of a lack of communion with society on development. At the same time, Siyasanda did not have a role model at an early age, which is why it is likely that the girl modeled the mother’s behavior. This would cause Siyasanda to be unadaptable to life in society and to receive significant stress when faced with challenges. Adherents of behaviorism argue that the causes of children’s conduct should be investigated in their childhood (Hampson, 2019). This will help identify problematic aspects and overcome them in the future. In the case of Siyasanda, relatives do not pay enough attention to the girl’s behavior and do not attempt to correct it. Accordingly, Siyasanda will face many difficulties when the girl is older and will need to attend to a specialist to identify the causes of the problems (Hampson, 2019). Only after that can action be taken to evaporate Siyasanda’s negative experiences in early and middle age.
Hence, the development of people cannot be reduced to assimilation, the simple accumulation of knowledge, skills, and abilities from various fields of science and practical activity. Personal development should not be viewed only from the quantitative side, but qualitative changes in mental activity should be considered. Siyasanda did not receive enough attention in childhood due to the prevailing circumstances in the family. At the same time, the girl did not have an example to motivate and imitate. This led to Siyasanda’s inability to form a personality and could not independently determine the direction of her future development. According to developmental theories, the girl has significant problems with social communication due to a lack of self-confidence. Moreover, the problems in early childhood and middle age result from the fact that the girl’s mother created a self-personality late.
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Eysenck, H. (2018). Dimensions of personality. Routledge.
Hampson, S. E. (2019). The construction of personality: An introduction. Routledge.
Lester, D. (2019). Theories of personality: A systems approach. Routledge.