Top Five Child-Development Theories - bestupbringing.com

Top Five Child-Development Theories


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Child-development theories are based upon how children grow and change over their childhood duration. These theories are based upon their social, cognitive and emotional growth. Here are the theories explained.

Top-Five Child Development Theories

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  1. Freud’s Psychosexual Developmental Theory

Sigmund Freud has come up with this psychoanalytic theory through his clinical work on patients suffering from mental trauma. As per this theory, childhood experiences influenced the behaviour of people. As per his theory, the conflicts that arise in the childhood stage of children affect them for quite long in their lives. It affects their personality and behaviour. He believed that child development occurs in various stages that are focused on various pleasure areas of the body. Each stage plays a significant role in the development course and how it affects the behaviour of the child. Failing to fix the conflicts in a particular stage can hamper other stages of development.

  1. Erikson’s Psychosocial Developmental Theory
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Erik Erikson’s eight-stage theory of psychological development in children mainly focuses on how children grow and change throughout their lives. This theory is quite different than that of Freud’s. It believes that social interaction and experience helps to shape up decision making characteristics in a child. This eight-stage theory starts right from infancy through death. The key lies in successfully managing the challenges in each stage that leads to emergence of a lifelong quality.

  1. Behavioral Child Development Theories

As per this theory, all the humans can be described in terms of environmental influence. As per this theory, learning happens only through a process of association and reinforcement. As per this theory, environmental interaction affects the behaviour of a child. This theory does not give any significance to internal thoughts or feelings. It only focuses on reaction to rewards, stimuli and reinforcement. This theory focuses on two kinds of learning such as classical conditioning and operant conditioning. 

  1. Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory

This theory focuses on a person’s thought process. How it influences a person and how we interact with the world. It is one of the most influential theories of cognitive development. This cognitive theory focuses on the development of thought processes and mental states. This theory can be divided into Sensorimotor stage, pre-operational stage, concrete operational stage and formal operational stage. 

  1.  Bowlby’s Attachment Theory

This theory focuses on the social development of children. It is one of the earliest theories of development. Early caregivers play a major role in a child’s developmental journey. As per this theory, children are born with a need to form attachments. These attachments help in survival of the child and in ensuring that the child receives full care and protection. 

These are some of the basic child development theories for growth and development. These theories have a major impact on the personality and behaviour of the children and their growth as future adults. 

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