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Developmental Autobiography Psychology - Term Paper Example

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As I look back and picture the various stages of my childhood, I can clearly see how the experiences of my childhood shaped my adult life. I was born and raised in the United States island territory of Guam and my childhood was far from being typical as it involved being raised by a single parent…
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Developmental Autobiography Psychology
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Download file to see previous pages I was born on August 21, 1983 in Guam and my earliest memory of my childhood was playing with my siblings in front of our small house. I have four sisters and three brothers and I am the third oldest among my siblings. Financially, we were poor and therefore my family lived on the support provided by the federal government. I remember, as a child I always had to forgo things that I desired because of our financial limitations. That was not all. I and my siblings also had to face several challenges that came from the home front. Both my parents were addicted to alcohol and drugs. This combination of living in poverty and my parent’s addiction to drugs and alcohol resulted to a lot of fights and arguments in the house between my parents and also between my parents and my siblings. This challenge increased further when one day my parents decided to get separated. Therefore, a large part of my childhood was spent in a single parent home.
In the following pages, I will try to analyze my life with respect to the eight stages of social skills development as identified by Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. Each of these stages are characterized by specific developmental achievements, which act like a turning point in the development of an individual (Cherry, n.d.) .
Erikson identifies the first stage, which is seen from birth to 18 months, as the oral-sensory phase wherein a child learns to trust his/her caregiver (Heffner, 2001). Although I can hardly recollect any experience before I was 18 months old, my older siblings have mentioned that we grew up trusting and caring for each other. The parental role in my life was mostly filled by my older siblings. They were my so called “caregivers” and we would always stand up for each other. I strongly believe that their support has helped me to gain confidence and not feel threatened by my surroundings. If this void was not filled in by my siblings, I would have certainly developed a sense of fear, anxiety and insecurity while growing up. Since my siblings had stepped in to fill the parental role in my life, they were always there for me whenever I needed any help or assistance. I vaguely remember eating my meals on my own during this phase of my life. Although there were a few occasions when my parents would criticize me for messing up the place, my siblings always helped me and encouraged me to learn these basic skills. Erikson identifies this second stage, which occurs between the ages of one and three, as the muscular-anal phase wherein a child begins to develop self-esteem and autonomy as he/she gains control over their bodies and acquire new skills (Harder, 2009). I believe that these early experiences helped me to gain confidence and not be ashamed of my abilities. As I grew, I slowly began to care for my younger siblings just the way my older siblings cared for me. I would help them with their daily chores and be there for them whenever they needed me. Even in school, I would take my siblings to their classrooms first and then ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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