Analysis Of Sibongile's Case From The Perspective Of Developmental Theories Of Psychology

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Studying Sibongile’s case from the Developmental field of Psychology, it is important to keep in mind that Sibongile is currently 16 years-old, according to Freud’s psychosexual stages of development, Sibongile is in her genital stage which is experienced during adolescence and can include puberty and learning to express ones’ feelings in a socially acceptable way. According to Erikson’s stages of psychosocial behaviour Sibongile is also in her adolescence and is experiencing industry vs. inferiority, during which she has to learn to work with others, and she is also experiencing identity vs. identity confusion, during which Sibongile has develop a lasting and integrated sense of self.

Sibongile is in a stormy phase of her life as an adolescent who is experiencing puberty and bodily changes as well as environmental and social changes as she gets older which could probably be one of the main causes for her current situation and behaviour towards her parents and others surrounding her. It is important to take into account that with Sibongile’s puberty in adolescence she is also experiencing many hormonal changes which also influence her emotions and behaviours. Louw & Louw (2014) explains adolescence as a transitioning period where a person moves from childhood to adulthood and in the developmental bridge between being a child and becoming an adult which can be quite a confusing period in life.

Studying Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development, it is important to note, especially in Sibongile’s case, that from birth to the age of 1 year-old, is the basic trust vs. mistrust stage, during this stage Sibongile should have developed a sense that her world is a safe and good place, however Sibongile was left with a nanny from about four months old and her parents where never around much as they valued their high job positions as important, this could explain Sibongile’s current moods and behaviour during adolescence because as Louw & Louw (2014) explain, not all but some adolescents do experience this phase as stormy and stressful but only as a result of dysfunctional family backgrounds.

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Studying Freud’s stages of psychosexual development, it indicates that at the ages of 6 to 11 years-old Sibongile is facing her latency stage of development, during this stage her superego should develop more and she acquires new social values by interacting with other adults and other girls, during this stage her energy is supposed to be focussed mainly on school and social activities. However, at the age of 9 years-old Sibongile was moved to a different school due to her developmental delay and two years later the malignant tumour was discovered on her head which lead to Sibongile being in and out of the hospital for a period of two years, thus Sibongile did not have much interaction with many other girls of her age and Sibongile missed out on school activities and socialising. The lack of socializing with other girls and missing out on school activities and socialising with friends could explain Sibongile’s difficulty with making and keeping friends and maintaining good relationships. According to Louw & Louw (2014) schooling plays an important role in an adolescent’s life as they have to learn to adapt to a new environment and this is done easier if the relationships with the parents and peers are stable and supportive, however Sibongile did not have a lot of parental support as her parents where on business trips most of the time, Sibongile was also moved to a remedial school which is a different environment to get used to.

Studying Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development and comparing them to Sibongile’s life during age 9 and up it becomes clear that Sibongile missed out on many opportunities for successful development as she was constantly in and out of hospital and moved to a remedial school. According to Erikson’s eight stages Sibongile missed out on industry vs. inferiority, during which Sibongile was supposed to learn how to work with others, explaining Sibongile’s difficulty in making and keeping friends as well as why she gets into fights at school. Another reason for Sibongile’s constant fighting with other children could also be explained by her being in and out of the hospital a critical age during which she was supposed to socialise with children of her age as well as other adults as she was age 9 and up when she was moved to a remedial school and had to go to hospital for her malignant tumour on her head. Louw & Louw (2014) explains that young children have difficulty in understanding perspective-taking, that others see and feel things from a different point of view as their own, and this perspective-taking starts to develop in children from the ages 6 to 8 years old, however Sibongile had unnoticed developmental delays and she was moved to a different school once her delays where identified and thereafter she was in and out of hospital thus not giving her perspective taking skills a fair chance at developing. Sibongile’s delay in perspective-taking skills’ development could also explain her tendencies to steal from the nanny and her parents as she has not developed morals due to a lack of perspective-taking, Sibongile can’t quite see how her doings and actions are affecting the people around her.

However as said in the beginning of the developmental section of Sibongile’s case it is important to keep in mind that she is currently a 16 year-old and it is a stressful and stormy phase of life due to many bodily and hormonal changes as will be found when taking the biological field of psychology into account.

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