The development of self

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Psychology ・APA ・4 Sources

The development of self is heavily influenced by a number of aspects related to early interactions and upbringing. Every human being's psychological development is influenced by the society in which they were raised. Erickson developed eight degrees of psychological development that correspond to Freud's psychosexual theory. He contended that people are motivated by an inner desire to achieve a high level of proficiency in various aspects of life. Erickson's outline of each stage is based on Freud's psychosexual theory. Human beings go through eight phases of growth, according to psychosocial theory (Shaffer & Kipp, 2010). Each and every stage is marked with a crisis or a task that need to be undertaken in order to solve the situation. The successful completion of each task in the developmental stages leads to the creation of a healthy personality and a sense of competence.

Case study

My client is named Mr. Fernando Sanchez. He is a 46 year old American who was born and brought up in the city of El Paso in the state of Texas. He grew up with five of his siblings and both parents. Being immigrants from Cuba, his parents didn't have formal education hence could not secure formal employment in the United States. Both his parents worked in the farms located at the outskirts of the city. Despite the fact that the parents did not speak fluent English, him together with his siblings were able to learn the language at the local elementary school where they all attended. He later joined
Mr. Fernando remembers growing up together with many other children some of whom he came to learn later at the age of six that they were their relatives. This was in line with the Latino way of life in which the extended family matters a lot and children are brought up to love and appreciate all the extended family members. At the age of five, he had already been introduced to the observance of the Catholic Church and had learnt the prayers as taught to children. He became fully aware of the role of religion at that age and was quick to respond whenever the parents asked him to get ready for church services. By the age of four, Fernando was fully aware of the things that were regarded as bad and good habits by the family and the larger society. He clearly knew the areas to avoid and the things not to say so as to stay away from all forms of trouble and to avoid punishment from the parents and the older siblings.
He was fully aware that the parents will not hesitate to bring about physical punishment upon him whenever he went against their instructions. He conquers that the parents are of firm belief that at the age of four, every child should be aware of what is expected of them. He is aware of his sex as a male child at the age of four and had learnt what was expected of him as a male child. His parents had taught him how to conduct himself as a man who should be the protector and provider of the home. Throughout his life, he strived to meet these two responsibilities to the people he cares about. During his adolescent years, his parents were keen to see how he was relating with people of the opposite as that is the stage where such relations are defined. He was advised by his father to love and show respect to people of the opposite including those who were his peers. He learnt more about other races when he joined high school due to the diversity among the students. He struggled to appreciate the way of life of other races such as the African-Americans but with time he was able to understand that there are common values that exist in all humanity irrespective of their color or race.


My client experienced both rejection and acceptance during his early years. This is what Erickson defined in the fifth stage of identity vs. role confusion. The high level of acceptance came from the fact that he was a Hispanic and many people in the area are of the same race so he found the local environment to be welcoming. At the age of seven, he was already getting used to the demands of the school life. He was quick at doing his homework and emerged as one of the favorite students in his class. The teachers at school liked his punctuality and high level of discipline which he attributes to the manner of upbringing among Latino families. He informed me that his parents adopted strict measures of control that ensured total discipline among all the children in line with the way of life of the Hispanics. His parents used different forms of controls so as to ensure that they grew up as obedient and responsible children.
One of the means of control that the parents applied was direction in which they offered verbal commands and instructions to the children. The children were expected to follow whatever they were told without any objection or questions. The second form of control that the parents applied was modeling in which they acted in the manner in which they wanted their children to act. His parents used to do the house chores with them so that they could learn from watching them. They used protection as a way of keeping them away from any form of bad company and influences. They were instructed not to speak to strangers and not to cross the road without anyone's guidance. Finally, the parents monitored their actions and how they interacted with other people (Paniagua, 2014). He stared away from all the areas that parents instructed her not to go to. With the early lessons taught by his parents, he faced less rejection in the community. The area where he felt some element of rejection was in social gatherings such as sports grounds and entertainment joints where he was treated unfairly due to his race.
The client admits to the fact that his parents were deeply focused on ensuring that they adequately passed all the cultural attributes to their children as a way of preserving their culture. From the age of five, he was already introduced to the Spanish language as that was the primary language being spoken at home. The parents understood very little English hence no one spoke English at home. As a result, he still has good command of the Spanish language and he has passed the same to his family. Religion was another important aspect of the Hispanic culture that he grew up with. The parents together with other members of the extended family were devoted to the Catholic Church and they attended all the church masses besides taking part in other church related activities such as observance of special religious occasions. He has great attachment to the Spanish cuisine which his mother used to prepare in their home. Some of the common cuisines that he grew up with include tortillas, tacos, tamales, mole, pico de gallo and guacamole.
The culture of close family relations is an aspect that Latinos cherish a lot (Chong & Baez, 2005). Fernando alludes to the fact that the Hispanics and Latinos have large as well as close-knit families. Living together with close relatives and family members is a common phenomenon. His grandparents who moved from Cuba into the United States when he was 12 years played a key role in their upbringing as they devoted themselves into teaching their grandchildren their cultural attributes. They didn't have to wait for Thanksgiving Day for every member of the family to go back home to be with their parents. Such family gatherings were very common in the entire locality.


The case of Fernando can is in line with Erickson's theory of psychological development. He faced all the eight stages with involves trust vs. mistrust, autonomy vs. shame, initiative vs. guilt, industry vs. inferiority, identity vs. role confusion, intimacy vs. isolation, generativity vs. stagnation and finally integrity vs. despair. He attributes each and every stage and experience that he has gone through in life as having played an integral part of life (Greene & Kropf, 2009). His family contributed immensely into making him the family man that he is today.


Chong, N., & Baez, F. (2005). Latino culture: A dynamic force in the changing American workplace. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.
Greene, R. R., & Kropf, N. P. (2009). Human behavior theory: A diversity framework. New Brunswick: AldineTransaction.
Paniagua, F. A. (2014). Assessing and treating culturally diverse clients: A practical guide.
Shaffer, D. R., & Kipp, K. (2010). Developmental psychology: Childhood and adolescence. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

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