Sigmund Freud

Child Developmental Theorist

A Little Background..

Born- in Mahren, Moravia on May 6, 1856

Died- in London, England on September 23, 1939

Known for- Psychoanalysis

Graduated from- University of Vienna in 1881

Married to- Martha Bernays from 1886 until death


Sigmund Freud developed psychoanalysis in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Basically he thought that a persons personality and their development was determined by their childhood. Freud would undergo a treatment with the patients that would make them verbalize their thoughts, dreams, and fantasies. Then the analyst would clarify their defenses, wishes, and guilt, and they would then hypothesize to the patients that they are their own enemy by the unconscious, symbolic reactions that have been stimulated by experience are causing symptoms.

The 5 Stages

Freud had 5 stages that he thought would later play a role in adult personality.

Oral-(Birth to 18months). During the oral stage, the child if focused on oral pleasures (sucking). This type of personality may have a stronger tendency to smoke, drink alcohol, over eat, or bite his or her nails. Personality wise, these individuals may become overly dependent upon others, gullible, and perpetual followers.

Anal- (18 months to three years). The childs focus of pleasure in this stage is on eliminating and retaining feces. Through mainly through parents, the child has to learn to control anal stimulation. In terms of personality, after effects of an anal fixation during this stage can result in an obsession with cleanliness, perfection, and control, or they may become messy and disorganized.

Phallic-(ages three to six). The pleasure zone switches to the genitals. Freud believed that during this stage boy develop unconscious sexual desires for their mother. Because of this, he becomes rivals with his father and sees him as competition for the mother’s affection. During this time, boys also develop a fear that their father will punish them for these feelings.

Latency-(age six to puberty). It’s during this stage that sexual urges remain repressed and children interact and play mostly with same sex peers.

Genital-(puberty on). The final stage of development begins at the start of puberty when sexual urges are once again awakened. Through the lessons adolescents direct their sexual urges onto opposite sex peers, with the primary focus of pleasure is the genitals.