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Lifespan and Development Case Study

Case Study #1: Erickson stage of Initiative Vs. Guilt

Increased mental, muscular, and verbal abilities provide the way for new activities and inquiries. There is a great deal of willingness to learn and a great deal of curiosity. Parents who answer their children’s questions encourage them to think for themselves. Parents who see their children’s questions as a nuisance, on the other hand, may limit their effort, leaving them unduly reliant on others and self-conscious. Parents should communicate realistic but age-appropriate crisis information to their children, assure their safety and develop projects and chores to assist them in regaining control.

John Paul is an American youngster who lives in a rural household with his parents. He is beginning to interact with other youngsters at this age, and he must make decisions about how to interact with them. John Paul’s parents are mainly preventing him from playing with others. The trait of the initiative is eventually developed as a result of the conduct. He is more prone to acquire guilt towards the activity or himself because he is more likely to experience disapproval from other youngsters.

As a counselor, I would advise the child’s parents to seek help and support during a traumatic experience to lessen fear and foster initiative. I would also encourage them to plan tasks and activities for the child to do while going through a difficult time. This will allow children to engage in play that will enable them to try out new skills without fear of being evaluated or failing. It will also help the child establish emotional control and a positive self-image when interacting with his mates.

Case Study #2: Erickson Stage of Trust Vs. Mistrust

Psychiatrists have discovered two separate feral toddlers in recent years. They were born one month apart and found nine months later. The two children had been confined and abused their entire lives until they were discovered. Mitchelle, a Chicago native, was imprisoned in a darkened room with only her hard-of-hearing mother as a connection. Jane, a native of Pennsylvania, was restricted to her family’s living room basement. When they were discovered at six, both sisters had significant developmental issues. They did not receive early socialization, which led to linguistic difficulties, intense mistrust, and a range of health issues.

Anna died at the age of ten due to Gilbert’s syndrome. Psychologists collaborated with the youngster to increase her abilities and accelerate her growth, but they failed. Anna died with the verbal and interpersonal skills of a two-year-old. It is clear from this case study that if a youngster does not engage with their family, they will not develop correctly. A lack of engagement with family may cause a child to establish guilt, worry, a loss of hope, or mistrust in less severe circumstances than Anna and Isabelle.

As a counselor, I would advise that the best way to build trust with children is to respond when they try to communicate immediately. Toddlers find it difficult to use words to explain themselves; thus, they use non-verbal means. I would also recommend that parents become familiar with how their children ccommunicate since this will lead to the success of this stage (Sege & Browne, 2017).

Case Study #1: Piaget’s preoperational stage

Bosco is a five-year-old boy living with his parents and teenage sister. The boy is still in the development stage, and most of the time, you will find him trying to construct and deconstruct things within his environment. On one of his typical days, Bosco collected several egg-sized pieces of plasticine and began rolling them into balls. He asked his sister, who was nearby watching him play alone, for skewers, which he placed into the balls in various areas. The balls were of varying sizes and were spaced at unpredictable intervals. Finally, he connected the balls with drinking straws and declared that he had invented the “borf particle.” As a result, his sister steps in and corrects one of the balls before requesting his brother change the others to the same shape. Bosco is working on a serious construction project. In this scenario, he makes or constructs stuff using resources.

When a toddler learns to stack one block on top of the other, constructions can commence elementarily. Like the child’s abilities develop, he may balance his layout and employ resources to recreate a building or molecule, as Bosco did. As a counselor, the first piece of advice I would encourage the family of Bosco to keep up with the habit of directing him on what to do best or role-playing as the sister did. It would help Bosco more to overcome egocentrism. The family of Bosco should also allow him to play with materials that can change shape, which would help him start to understand conservation. Siblings and parents also should get involved in helping out with the Bosco’s play games and encourage him.

Case Study #2: Piaget’s concrete operational stage

Conservation. As a parent, you can pour a large cup of juice into a smaller cup. This is done to put your child’s abilities to the test in a practical setting. Will your youngster accept the smaller cup without resentment? Possibly. The child has deduced that just because the new cup is shorter than the previous one, the quantity in the first cup is constant. It’s all about the environment.

Another strategy for testing a particular operational stage is classification and decentralization. You may give your children four red flowers and two white flowers as a parent. Inquire afterward if there are any more red blossoms or flowers in general. The younger one would almost probably say more red ones. However, the older one will be sure of what he saw. When they reach the concrete operational level, however, they can decenter and focus on two factors simultaneously: number and class. They’ll realize there’s a class and a sub-class now, and they’ll be able to say, “More flowers.” Your older child is utilizing both classification and decentralization mechanisms.

As their counselor, I would advise their mother to understand her children and interpret the types of learning between her two children. She should always encourage them to work together and help one another. It will be of importance for the mother to know how her children will learn fast and always remember the information explained

Part 2: Differences and similarities

It’s worth noting that both Erikson and Piaget acknowledged that children go through phases and stages in their development. As per the two theorists, the process is progressive, and there are problems for children at each step. What distinguishes these difficulties is the manner they affect development. Another point of convergence between the two theorists is that personality evolves throughout time. Both Erikson and Piaget concluded that nurture, not nature, is responsible for developing character. They think that social, environmental, and familial conditions form one’s personality. These two theories promote the idea that children are inspired by their environment during the learning cycle.

Erik’s theory concentrates on the eight stages of the life development cycle. He claims that a person’s growth is influenced by how the environment engages with them. Personal insecurity is reduced due to skills developed during the passage to the next stage. These difficulties can occur at any point in a person’s life, from infancy to old age. On the other hand, Piaget’s theory of cognitive development examines a person’s thinking patterns. His focus is primarily on children under the age of twelve. The phases are named according to the level of cognitive ability acquired by young and older people. Despite the use of stages, they disagree in terms of timing; Erikson’s theory claims that the first stage finishes at one year of life, while Piaget claims that the first stage begins at six months and ends at two years of age.


Rathus, S. A. (2021). Childhood and adolescence: Voyages in development. Cengage Learning.

Sege, R. D., & Browne, C. H. (2017). Responding to ACEs with HOPE: Health outcomes from positive experiences. Academic pediatrics, 17(7), S79-S85


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