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Child Development, History of the Concept of

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I feel like an absolute nothing. I know I can satisfy her in other ways and I do, but that's not the point. Unfortunately, because of this culturally shared fantasy model of male sexuality, many women interpret occasional lack of erection as if they were rejected, not desired, not loved, or not attractive enough. Women have difficulties understanding the intense threat that erectile problems pose for men because they have no parallel experience.

The female gender identity will not be questioned by any sexual dysfunction because it is not linked to sexual performance. In addition, women can almost always perform sexually: they can have intercourse without being aroused and can fake enjoyment, but there is no way to fake an erection.

These cultural influences, shared and gender-specific ones, are of considerable importance for psychosocial development and well-being in the elderly Rosenmayr, Aging individuals as well as aging couples have to cope with various developmental tasks.

Developmental psychology - Wikipedia

Robert Peck described three phases of development in late adulthood: ego differentiation versus work-role preoccupation, body transcendence versus body preoccupation, and ego transcendence versus ego preoccupation. The first phase refers to coping with retirement. The crucial question is whether a person can derive self-esteem from activities other than work. The second phase means coping with physical decline and health problems.

The last stage is very similar to Erikson's description of ego integrity vs. Acceptance of one's unique life with unchangeable failures and the realization of death are the most important challenges of this stage. These difficult tasks represent a threat to normal narcissism and can have pathological consequences Eckert, ; Liptzin, Kernberg described the difference as follows:. It is part of normal narcissism to love oneself, to be satisfied with one's own appearance, and to wish to be accepted, liked, and loved for what one is.

The problem begins when a highly ideal, beautiful and triumphant image of the self linked to childhood or youth becomes an indispensable precondition for self-acceptance and for trusting that one will be accepted by others: this usually reflects a deep devaluation or depreciation of one's self, a sense of loathing and distrust for one's present appearance and value, which can only be compensated for by the eternal looks of triumphant adolescence. Coping with the narcissistic wounds of aging is a major task for every individual.

Intimacy and intimate relationships seem to be especially important for coping with the demands of aging Weiss, , see also Chapter 3, this volume. Intrapsychic changes and role transitions additionally challenge the aging couple. Two examples are marital life after children have left the household, and the retirement of one or both partners. Life-span development of gender identity and the concept of androgynization with age has important implications for the individual as well as for the interindividual dynamic of couples and their sexuality Livson, Jung reasoned that role demands in early adulthood require development of selective domains and that older people show greater awareness of aspects of their self which were suppressed earlier.


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Colarusso and Nemiroff theorized that oedipal issues might reawaken because ofillness and death of parents. Therefore, internal representations of parents may change and alter the adult's self-concept. This change in personality may also effect sexual feelings insofar that long-standing relationships are higher valued than short-term sexual gratification Nadelson, Finally, aging couples have to face possible dependency of one partner due to chronic illness, and separation through death.

Four Pioneer Developmentalists

Coping with increasing losses of significant others is one of the most difficult tasks for elderly people. Death of the partner means for many traditionally oriented women, besides many other losses, the end of any sexual activity Malatesta et al. Cognitive developmental psychology , which applies an epistemological conception of learning to the development of moral consciousness also uses such a truth-analogous conception of correct moral judgment. Here, the venerable problem of the relation of theoretical and practical reason that first appeared in German Idealism returns in a less virulent form.

Measuring Personality: Crash Course Psychology #22

If this phenomenology of learning also applies to the acquisition of moral beliefs, we must assume that moral judgments can be true or false—or can at least claim a similarity or binary-coded justification. He took the development of cognitive operations as a necessary condition for acquiring corresponding levels of moral judgment.

I believe moral development is its own sequential process rather than the reflection of cognitive development in a slightly different content area. But it remains unclear in what way the two are different. Piaget focused on the similarities that appear when the development of cognitive abilities are explained with the same general learning mechanisms. Piaget found that neither moral learning nor cognitive development depend on the specific content that adolescents learn in everyday life or in school.

The Psychodynamic Perspective

Through practical interactions with the physical environment and by reflective abstraction, the child develops the basic concepts and operations that are appropriate for understanding the physical world. In the same way, the child acquires the basic concepts and perspectives that are necessary for appropriate moral judgments in conflicts of action.

Thus, the genetic theory of intelligence maintains a realistic core despite its constructivistic approach.

Developmental Theory

This is because mature forms of knowledge mirror the invariant constraints imposed on our active minds as they engage in practical attempts to master an objective world presupposed as independent. In a similar way, the invariant features of the social world are reflected in mature forms of moral consciousness, explaining the universal validity of moral judgments. This understanding, in terms of an analogy to knowledge, certainly has an advantage in that it accounts for the intrinsic validity of moral judgments, and the differentiation between the acceptability and the factual recognition of moral norms.

But if the social world plays a similar role in the development of moral consciousness as the objective world plays in cognitive development, the question arises whether we can then avoid a moral realism of this, or another, sort. The doubt can be intuitively formulated as follows: Can a social world that we cannot assume to exist independently in the same way as the objective world of knowledge impose the same constraints on our sociomoral cognitions as the objective world imposes on the recognition of facts?

How can the symbolically structured world of interpersonal relations that we somehow construct ourselves help us decide whether moral judgments are valid or not? Moral knowledge is apparently determined by history and by the historical constitution of the social world in ways that are different from the determination of empirical knowledge. This is precisely the reason for the typically two-level justifications of actions. Ex ante, we only consider those consequences and repercussions of typical eases that we can predict at any given time. Unanticipated constellations of subsequent conflicts give rise to further needs for interpretation that must be satisfied from the different viewpoint of applied discourse.

Here, the hermeneutic insight that the appropriate norm is made explicit in light of the specific situation and, conversely, that the situation must be described in light of the relevant normative rules comes into play. In any case, moral knowledge differs from empirical knowledge in that it internally refers to the solution of problems of application. This notable asymmetry between the justification of actions and the explanations of events cannot be resolved with the reservations of fallibility that apply to all knowledge.

The reservation that even well-founded moral norms always depend on further elaboration to be accepted as valid is not due to the general cognitive limitations of a finite mind in face of better knowledge in the future.