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Stages of social and moral development among children

O Explain the stages of social and moral development children experience from early
childhood through adolescence.
o Compare the social and emotional development of the children in each of the age
groups selected in Week Six. Preschool ages (3,4&5), middle school ages (9,10&11).

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1.The stages of social development which children experience from early childhood through adolescence can be well explained by Erik Erikson's theory of psycho-social development. This theory emphasizes the importance of social factors in the development of personality of an individual. Erikson developed the concept of "developmental milestones" that are functions meant to vary in stability and persistence throughout life, and at the same time provide regulatory constants at different age levels. He opines that an individual gradually undergoes a shift or change from one psycho-social stage to the other as a result of the process of growth from infancy to maturity. The changes take place through eight stages in the lifespan of an individual. They are: Oral stage-infancy to 1 year -Trust Vs Mistrust; Anal-1 to 2 years- Autonomy Vs Shame;Genital-3 to 5 years- Initiative Vs Guilt; Latency-6 to12years-Industry Vs Inferiority; Adolescence-13 to 18 years-Identity Vs Identity diffusion/Confusion; Young Adult-19 to 21 years-Intimacy Vs Isolation; Adulthood-22 to 50 years-Creativity Vs Stagnation; Maturity- after 50years-Integrity Vs Despair.

The first five stages of psycho-social development enables us to understand the stages of social development of children ranging from early childhood through adolescence.
Stage 1: A sense of trust versus mistrust: Infants develops a basic sense of trust within themselves and their environment during this stage. If the needs of an infant are fulfilled, it deveops a sense of trust /faith in the world around him/her. If the needs are not satisfied, then the infant loses the sense of faith regarding the world. The sense of faith which is the foundation stone of social development is laid down during this stage. Children are completely dependent on others during this stage.
Stage 2: A sense of autonomy versus shame: During this stage, children develop a sense of autonomy. They do not want to depend on others, instead like to do things on their own. Parents need to assist children to develop a healthy sense of autonomy through a balance of firmness and permissiveness. When children are not given legitimate freedom to explore their environment, they develop doubt about their abilities to perform simple tasks and become self-conscious. Thus, they develop a sense of shame. Thus, children should be provided with ample opportunities to explore their social environment, which leads to healthy social development at this stage.
Stage 3: A sense of initiative versus guilt: At this stage, children will be growing rapidly in almost all dimensions. Thus, social boundaries expand beyond the home. Children express their autonomy in behavior which is known as initiative. They begin to develop a sense of right or wrong. If parents and teachers set very high moral standards for children to achieve, they may develop a feeling of badness which inhibits their urge to test themselves in their expanding social world. It finally results in the development of guilt regarding themselves.
Stage 4: A sense of industry versus inferiority: During this stage, children devote their energies towards self-improvement and to conquer people and things. They develop a sense of industriousness by adjusting themselves to the inorganic laws of the world of tools. They will need to master whatever they do. They are full of energy and puts in lot of effort to produce new things. But, on the other hand, when they feel that they are still young, and fail to master certain tasks, it leads to the development of inferiority complex among children.
Stage 5: A sense of identity versus identity diffusion: During this stage, adolescents are forced to overthrow their identification of childhood and develop new identities which prepare them for the obligations and privileges of adulthood. They are in a suspended state in which society provides them with opportunities to establish commitments to life. ...

Solution Summary

The solution deals in-depth regarding the stages of social development of children ranging from early childhood through adolescence using Erik Erikson's theory of psycho-social development, and the stages of moral development of children using Kohlberg's theory of moral development. It also provides a comparison between the social and emotional development of children during the pre-school ages with those of the middle school ages.