Psychology Essay Topic: Theories Explaining Human growth and Development



Human growth and development requires a lot of things to happen. In many cases, various issues that a child undergoes when born affect the growth and development of the child. Therefore, the situations in life that a child experiences, the kind of environment (Wodarski, & Dziegielewski, 2002, p. 40) a child is brought up in and the kind of people the child relates to affects the growth and development of that person.

The factors that affect human growth and development can be either natural or human inflicted depending on the cause of that situation. There are various theories that have been put forward in order to help people understand the life cycle development and the human behavior. These theories that have been selected for this case study are:

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Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory

According to the Psychoanalytic theory developed by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), human development and growth is always driven by motives and emotions that people hold and which people are mostly unaware of those motives and emotions. The theory explains that the earlier experience that an individual had helps in shaping the life of that particular individual. Every experience that a person undergoes in this would shapes how the life of that person will be and how the relationship of the individual and the other people will be in future (Beckett, C., & Taylor, 2010, p.30).

Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development

The theory of Psychosocial Development as developed by Erik Erikson (1902- ) which revised Freud’s theory of Psychoanalytic, places more emphasis on the influences related to social experiences of an individual. The theory also emphasizes on the development of stares using a broader focus, giving emphasis to the ego and expression of views of human nature that are positive and application of the theory throughout the life of human beings (Wodarski, & Dziegielewski, 2002, p.5).


Argument breakdown

The argument of the essay is human growth and development is affected by different factors. These are natural or man-made. The thesis statement of the essay appears to be “There are various theories that have been put forward in order to help people understand the life cycle development and the human behavior.” The two body paragraphs each present one of these theories.

Argument analysis

The essay must investigate theories behind human behavior. However, besides a summary of the chosen theories, real-life data and examples of their effects can support the argument well.

The argument succeeds at giving two points of view -- natural and man-made effects on development -- to support the main idea. The essay can be much stronger if the writer included examples of the how human characteristics are affected by the principles of the two theories.  


The introduction contains background information and a clear thesis statement. The writer should not split the introduction into two parts for this type of essay.

Body paragraph 1

Argument - The writer presents Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalytic theory which focuses on emotions and  motives and their effects on growth and development. The idea works well because it highlights natural, human characteristics.

Reasoning - While the information is valid, it appears the writer has only summarized Sigmund Freud’s theory without further analysis. Critical thinking needs to be used to link Freud’s principles to examples of growth and development trends among people in specific environments or with specific upbringings.

The paragraph would improve with a topic sentence. For example, the topic sentence could state the name and developer of the theory. It could also state that natural elements affect growth according to this theory.

Body paragraph 2

Argument -  A second theory is presented here. Erikson's theory of Psychosocial Development focuses on the effects of social experiences on development. This leans towards human-inflicted factors, so it is a good argument to support the thesis statement. As with the first body paragraph, the writer should first state the main point of the theory and introduce it in a topic sentence.

Reasoning - The writer has not explored the links between Erikson's theory and actual growth and development tendencies. Appropriate statistics or examples justify the inclusion of this theory in the essay.

Analysis summary

The essay almost succeeds at following the structure of a good academic essay. The arguments are valid, and they support a clear thesis statement. However, a lack of topic sentences and a failure to give a critical analysis of the theories weakens the paper. The author should edit essay conclusion and summarize the thesis and main points. Moreover, concise language would clarify ideas and strengthen the essay’s argument.

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