Free «Erikson’s and Duvall’s Theory of Family Development» Essay Sample
The family that volunteered is my sister’s; I chose the family because it is familiar to me and exhibits certain characteristics, outlined in both Erikson’s and Duvall’s theory of family development. The stage theories provide valuable frameworks for understanding human experience. Although the mother, H.T. (29 years old) and the father, T.N. (32 years old) work full time, they find time to be with their three sons aged eleven years, nine years, and six months. In contemporary families, the roles of parents have converged as they seek to balance family and work. The two work collaboratively so as to avail care and guidance for their children by adopting active steps that guarantee the best outcome for their children.
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The Erikson’s psychosocial stages of psychosocial development outline the development that manifests throughout the lifespan. Duvall’s theory of family development, on the other hand, explores how families sequentially develop overtime based on events that mark the stages of family life. The role of the parents is continuous, but it may also shift in content from birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and through aging (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2010).
The parents T.N. and H.T. fall in the adult vs. stagnation stage (19 to 40 years). The attainment of generativity draws from readiness to care about the individuals as well as dedication to safeguarding and improving the conditions of one’s society (Weiner, 2003). Although having children does not essentially guarantee generativity, both T.N. and H.T. have succeeded in coping with raising children and maintaining a household, which eliminates the sense of stagnation. Moreover, the couple is yet to hit mid-life crises that may lead to overextension and stagnation. Both T.N. and H.T. have a strong sense of self, which enhances their commitment to relationships and reduces their emotional isolation, depression, and loneliness.
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The schooling children face conflict based on industry vs. inferiority. At this phase, S.N. and N.N. are expected to cope with growing social and academic demands and must be able to tame their impulses and imagination. Support for the child’s efforts aids in the development of a sense of competence while failure yields to feelings of inferiority and inertia, or helplessness (Weiner, 2003). It is apparent that both S.N. and N.N. have received adequate encouragement and commendation from teachers, parents, or peers to establish a feeling of competence and belief within their skills. However, the school-going children remain at risk of adverse resolutions linked to behavioral problems.
At infancy stage (birth to 18 months), the core conflict centers on trust vs. mistrust, whereby parents must avail consistent, sufficient, and nurturing affection, and care to stimulate trust among their children. Since K.N. is an infant, he is fully dependent upon his parents, which makes the quality of received care an integral component in shaping his personality. K.N. has learnt to fully trust the family members around him since the family members consistently come to his aid when he is frightened and needs comfort. As such, K.N. has learnt that his family members are dependable and the world can be a safe place, which helps him to feel safe and secure. As such, the mother’s work is to ensure that she is emotionally available for her sons.
The family falls in stage four of the Duvall’s theory of family development given that the sons are at the school age (6-12 years). At this age, the sons establish peer relationships, which forces T.N. and H.T. to adjust to their sons’ changing social dynamics. Since two elder sons have entered school, the family promotes school achievement by encouraging S.N. and N.N. to broaden their interactions outside of the family. The demands associated with a preschool age have eased; indeed, the schooling of the two boys has provided the parents with more free time. However, the birth of K.N. means that coupled still experience sleep interruptions.
Families require a range of strategies to aid them cope with the challenging circumstances, under which they live. The family enjoys several strengths, including effective, open communication which fosters adaptability and flexibility for every role undertaken by the family members (Shaffer & Kipp, 2014). The concise set of shared values, rules, and beliefs guarantees that the family members have clear expectations for each other, which informs the behaviors exhibited. The support system ensures that the family maintains balance by effectively coping and adapting to life events.
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In conclusion, the support of friends and family has contributed to positive emotional impacts on the family. Nevertheless, this is not to mean that conflict is entirely absent because infrequent confrontations occur when the family confronts each other in attempt to clear things out, or where misunderstandings manifest. The birth of children and their development into adolescence caused major realignments of roles and responsibilities in the family. The birth of the third son, K.N., triggered a short-lived crisis given that the pregnancy was unplanned, but the couple successfully weathered the crisis. However, the family viewed the various crises occasioned by movement through the stages as an opportunity to learn and grow.