Child development that occurs from birth to adulthood was largely ignored throughout much of history. Children were often viewed simply as small versions of adults and little attention was paid to the many advances in cognitive abilities, language usage, and physical growth. Interest in the field of child development finally began to emerge early in the 20th-century, but it tended to focus on abnormal behavior. <br />
The following are just a few of the many child development theories that have been proposed by theorists and researchers:<br /><ul><li>Psychoanalytic Child Development Theories
Social Child Development Theories</li></li></ul><li>Psychoanalytic Child Development Theories<br />Are proposed by:<br /><ul><li> Sigmund Freud
Erik Erikson </li></li></ul><li>Sigmund Freud<br /><ul><li>It is ironic that Freud's theory, one of the most controversial theories of child development, is based not on a careful examination of children but rather on clinical interviews he conducted with adult patients in the course of his psychiatric practice in Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century.</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>The theories proposed by Sigmund Freud stressed the importance of childhood events and experiences.
The theories proposed by Sigmund Freud stressed the importance of childhood events and experiences.
exclusively focused on mental disorders rather that normal functioning. </li></li></ul><li><ul><li>In "Three Essays on Sexuality" (1915), Freud outlined these stages as oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital. Each stage involves the satisfaction of a libidinal desire and can later play a role in adult personality.
Freud saw activity during the first year of life, what he called the oral stage, centered on the mouth and the process of learning to take in, both in the biological and psychological sense, those things that initially are external to the infant. Because this taking in or incorporating is pleasurable to the child, Freud saw those associated with the process, most notable the mother and the father, as also acquiring positive value in the eyes of the infant. </li></li></ul><li><ul><li>By age two or three, during the anal stage, the focus of activity shifts from the oral region to the anal region, with issues of retention and elimination, again, at both the biological and psychological levels, becoming paramount. Because the child is now being asked to learn to balance power and control, a second psychic force, the ego, emerges as a regulatory mechanism.</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>The preschool years witness the phallic stage and a further shift in focus to the genitalia and issues of sex role identification. Freud sees this process as one of conflict for the child because the child initially sees the same-sex parent as a competitor for the affections of the opposite-sex parent rather than as a mentor and role model. </li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Middle childhood brings a respite to the child, a time Freud called the latency stage. According to Freud, from age five to thirteen children's efforts are directed at establishing same-sex friendships, strengthening ties with parents, and meeting the social and intellectual demands imposed by school and society. </li></li></ul><li><ul><li>The adolescent years witness the emergence of the genital stage. Again the focus is on the genitalia but it has shifted from parent-child issues to issues of establishing intimacy with a same-age peer. How successful the adolescent and young adult is in establishing adult sexual relationships is, to Freud, largely a function of how successfully earlier stages were resolved.</li></ul>If a child does not successfully complete a stage, Freud suggested that he or she would develop a fixation that would later influence adult personality and behavior. <br />