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Lifespan Development Theory

Lifespan Development Theory

Lifespan Development Theory

Freud’s psychosexual developmental theory tends to be among the most recognized developmental models. According to Lantz & Ray (2021, Freud’s theory was among the primary tries to take psychology under matching scientific system and medicine methodology. Typically, the unification was attained by initially describing normative human sexual progress. The theory arranged psychosexual growth into five varying stages. Every phase embodies instincts or libido concentration on diverse body areas, recognized as erogenous areas. For purposes of maturing into an efficiently functioning individual, a person ought to develop consecutively through all the said psychosexual phases. If libidinal drives are not properly discharged or repressed, children are left unsatisfied and wanting. Fixation was the term used to describe dissatisfaction. Fixation would cause anxiety at any stage, thus continuing into adulthood as neurosis.

The initial phase is oral, which lasts from birth to one year. The libido is normally concentrated in the child’s mouth in this stage. Typically, the baby’s gratification is attained by putting different things in the mouth to gratify the libido and its id demands. The oral activities in this phase comprise breastfeeding, biting, and sucking. The theory specified that there was a possibility of oral stimulation later in life, resulting in an oral fixation. I can relate to this aspect because I tend to bite my nails when I am stressed. Previously, I could find myself thumb sucking, but I was able to end the personality with time.

Figure 1: The five stages: Source: Simply

The second phase tends to be anal, which lasts from one to three years. In this stage, the libido concentration is on the anus, whereby children get a lot of pleasure from defecating. At this stage, children are completely cognizant that they are individuals in their own right and that their needs could make them have conflicts with the outside world’s demands. In other words, ego development has taken place. During this time, toilet training is particularly a delicate job.

In most cases, parents desire satisfactory performance, which moves the libidinal energy from the oral to the anal region. Typically, children encounter many chances to be reproached, feel insufficient, and have a high capacity to get an adverse assessment from a guardian on failing to perform suitably. Fixation could be noticeable in anal expulsiveness and anal retentiveness at this phase. Typically, I might have undergone a liberal toilet-training regime during this stage; thus, I have an anal expulsiveness personality. This is because I enjoy giving things away and sharing them with other people. On the downside, I can be very rebellious if I want to, and at times, disorganized and messy.

Phallic is the third phase, lasting between ages three to six. In this stage, the children’s libido is concentrated on the genitalia as the erogenous stage. It is here that the children are aware of the anatomical sex variations. This results in the conflict between resentment, erotic attraction, jealousy, rivalry, and fear. In girls, the Electra complex was the name given to the conflict (Khan & Haider, 2015). Conversely, in boys, the conflict is the Oedipus complex (Zepf et al., 2016). The identification course tends to resolve this, and it encompasses children assuming the traits of the same-sex guardian. This makes me understand some traits I inherited from my parents.

Figure 2: Picture showing Electra complex : Source: Verywell

Figure 3: Picture showing the Oedipus complex: Source:

Latency is the fourth stage and spans from six years to twelve years. At this phase, the libido tends to be dormant or rather sublimated. No erogenous areas are identified in this phase. Here, children start acting on their impulses by concentrating on activities like creating relationships and school sports. I have experienced many challenges in creating healthy relationships in my adult life, which shows that I had a dysfunction at this stage.

Finally, there is the genital phase, which begins from thirteen to eighteen years. Here, there is the complete development of the children’s ego, and consequently, they are in search of their independence. They have a concrete capacity to form significant and long-lasting relationships. Additionally, their sexual desires and activity are consensual and healthy. Seemingly, I also had dysfunction in this stage as a young adult because I had not successfully developed meaningful, healthy relationships. In explicating Freud’s developmental theories, addressing the structural mind theory is vital. Typically, the id, ego, and superego are said to be the psychic structures encompassing the personality. As Freud argues, the id tends to be the personality part that holds people’s basic yearnings (Niaz et al., 2019). Such desires comprise hunger, anger, and thirst, not forgetting the craving for immediate gratification or release.

Figure 4: Picture showing Genital Stage: Source:

Sexual orientation is all about who a person is attracted to and includes bisexual, gay, or straight identifications. Contrariwise, gender identity is the personal conception of an individual as a man or woman. According to the psychoanalytic theory, gender develops in the third stage, which is recognized as the phallic stage. It is here that the Electra complex and Oedipus complex come up.


Niaz, A., Stanikzai, S. M., & Sahibzada, J. (2019). Review of Freud’s psychoanalysis approach to literary studies. American International Journal of Social Science Research4(2), 35-44.

Khan, M., & Haider, K. (2015). Girl’s First Love; Their Fathers: Freudian Theory Electra complex. In Research Journal of Language, Literature and Humanities, International Science Congress Association [Internet] (Vol. 2, No. 11, pp. 1-4).

Lantz, S. E., & Ray, S. (2021). Freud Developmental Theory. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

Zepf, S., Ullrich, B., & Seel, D. (2016). Oedipus and the Oedipus complex: A revision. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis97(3), 685-707.


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Create an Adobe Sparks, Smore Newsletter, PowerPoint, or Word Document and include your name, class title, name of the assignment, & date at the beginning of the assignment.
Select ONE Lifespan Development Theory that was discussed in the Lesson this week. Explain each stage of your selected theory.

Lifespan Development Theory

Lifespan Development Theory

List and compare each stage with your own life up to your present stage. Then, name and describe stages that you have not encountered yet.
Include physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development from prenatal through the last stage of life.
Define sexual orientation & gender identity based on Week 4’s Lesson (Hint: they are not synonymous concepts!). Describe how the development of gender identity occurs based on your selected theory and its impact on personality & sexuality.
Add at least 4 pictures (illustrations/charts/graphics or videos) and include a caption for each to indicate which stage in which it would occur.
Add at least 4 scholarly references in APA format (NOTE: With only a few exceptions, .com, .org, .gov, and .edu websites and others found by “Googling” are not considered scholarly sources because they are not peer-reviewed). Use the APUS Library to find academic/scholarly sources.


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