Brian O. Poole
ORG 6300: Human Development
February 28, 2010
Erickson named 8 stages of human development. These stages are infancy (birth to 18 months), early childhood (18 months to 3 years old), play age (3 to 5 years old), school age (6 to 12 years old), adolescence (12 to 18 years old), young adult (18 to 35 years old), middle age (35 to 55 or 65 years old), and late adulthood (65 to death), (Harper, 2009). With the first 3 stages, infancy, early childhood, and play age, the parent is the most significant figure. Just because Erickson does not state that the parent is the most significant figure in the other stages does not take away the fact that “parents” are not a significant figure. Although peers may become a more important reference group in shaping adolescent behaviors numerous studies show that the parent-child relationship remains important for the psychosocial adjustment of young adolescents. Some have even suggested that early adolescence is the key period in which a trajectory is set for future behavior problems (Pettit, Bates, Dodge, & Meece, 1999). There is little doubt that the parent-child relationships have an exceedingly vital part in forming Erickson’s last 5 stages of development.
There have been analyses that have explored the behavioral consistencies between parent-child relationships. The parent-child relationship has a deep impact on other relationships in adulthood. For example, on the basis of both behavioral and self-report data collected across a 15-year span, concluded that there is a significant association between the child–parent relationship and adult romantic relationship functioning (Conger, Cui, Bryant, & Elder, 2000).
Securely attached children, compared with those with insecure attachment histories, fare better on a wide range of measures of social competence, ranging from sociability with unfamiliar peers to more synchronous and higher quality friendships (Elicker,...