Life Span Development and Personality Essay Questions

1695 Words Jan 5th, 2012 7 Pages
Life Span Development and Personality Essay Questions
Cathy Perry
Psy 300
September 27, 2010
Tara Terry Ph.D.

Select a famous individual from the 20th or 21st centuries: Maya Angelou (born as Marguerite Ann Johnson).
Conduct research concerning the background of your selected individual to determine what forces have impacted his or her life from the viewpoint of developmental psychology. 1. Discuss the influences of heredity and environment (including family and social support) on your individual’s psychological development. Be sure to describe specific areas of psychological development (moral, emotional, etc.). (300-500 words). Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928. At the age of three, she and her
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The Psychodynamic theory can be applied to Maya Angelou in several areas. One of these areas was the continuous moves from parents to grandparents throughout her childhood. The consistency she had as a child was her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. Maya and her brother had love, stability and the meaning of family while they lived with her. According to Kowalski and Westen, (2009), Disrupted attachments are associated with severe personality disturbances, depression, antisocial behavior and adjustment problems…, and childhood experiences such as parental neglect or even parental divorce cause more vulnerability to adult insecurities. Psychodynamic theorists state that depressive behaviors have various causes, one of which would be a parental attachment history influencing problems and fears of rejection and or abandonment. Both Maya and her brother had problems dealing with the thoughts of abandonment. Maya thought it was better to think of them being dead than to imagine having parents that did not want their children (Mongeau-Marshall, 1994).
Maya was a rape victim at a very early age that traumatized her into speechlessness for five years. The fact that she was only eight years old is enough reason for her to have trust issues. According to Mongeau-Marshall, (1994) Maya trusted Mr. Freeman and felt him to be a father figure. After his death, she stopped talking to everyone but her brother, which in a psychodynamic theory viewpoint the psychological thought
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