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Child and adolescent developmental Psychology There are many theories that have been developed over the years in order to help us understand how and why we develop as we do While some aspects may appear odd and limited by todays standards there are undeniably at least some parts of these theories which still hold significant relevance Whether we agree with all that is put forth by these various theorists or not they still remain influential in the way in which we make sense of the way we develop This essay will critique the various theories put forth by some of Psychologys most renown psychologists it will also discuss how these various developmental theories influence the way that we think about human development while questioning their adequacy in describing how and why we develop in the way that we do The value of human development theories goes undisputed they offer a systematic means to understand the processes that define our existence They provide a way to catagorize data compare behaviour and identify specific patterns These theories enable us to make generalisations about what it is that we understand As such they are the basis of recognizing the differences and variations in development and behaviour and thus enable us to make decisions appropriate to the stages that children are going through Theories also provide a means of gaining insight into future events thus enabling us to anticipate future occurrences Goldhaber DE 2000 Having an understanding of how we develop can ensure a child is nurtured in the best way according to their culture and family situation Smith 2002 There are many theorists that come to mind when one thinks of human development Bronfenbrenner Vygotsky Erickson Watson to name just a few but we could not begin a discussion on development without first mentioning the father of psychology Sigmund Freud Freuds psychosexual theories on development and abnormal behaviour were controversial to say the least
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