Divorce & the Psychological Theories of Development

2116 WordsNov 15, 20139 Pages
The Effects of Divorce on Children Based on the Application of the Psychological Developmental Theories Abstract This paper looks at the effects of divorce on children based on the application of various psychological developmental theories. More specifically, children within the age groups of 4 to 6 and 7 to 11 will be taken into account. The theories explored and applied will include Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, Erikson’s psychosocial tasks, Bowlby’s attachment theory, Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory, Bandura’s social learning theory and Vygotsky’s, and later Bronfenbrenner’s, ecological or developmental systems approach. Keywords: divorce, developmental theories, Freud, Erikson, Bowlby, Piaget,…show more content…
The latter situation can produce difficulty in learning the relational and self-regulatory skills necessary for successful functioning (Portnoy, 2008, p.130). Attachment theory, put forth by John Bowlby, is in agreement with Freudian psychoanalytic theory in that our early experiences with caregivers shape our adult ability to love. In contrast to psychoanalytic theory, attachment theory focuses on what Bowlby called the attachment response (Belsky, 2013, p. 15-16). Basically, we are genetically pre-programmed to form attachments with others because this will help us survive (McLeod, 2007). Bowlby believed in monotropy, which is an attachment conceptualized as being a vital and close bond with just one attachment figure, typically the mother. This attachment to the mother is the most important and if it is broken or disrupted during the critical two-year period the child will suffer irreversible long-term consequences of this maternal deprivation. This risk continues until the age of 5 (McLeod, 2007). So, based on this, a child who is 4 or 5 and whose parents are going through a divorce may experience a disrupted attachment to the mother due to diminished or incompetent parenting. Long-term consequences of maternal deprivation might include delinquency, reduced intelligence, increased aggression, depression and affectionless psychopathy. Attachment theory, just as in
Open Document