Paul Hamm

By: Nick McArthey

Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development

Lawrence Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development states that there are six stages to a person's morality. The first being a simple choice of whether or not that individual will be punished, eventually leading up to obeying the individual's own moral standards even if it is against the law or social norms. Paul is most likely at stage 5; Post-Conventional. In this stage the individual takes into account whether or not the rule is fair as well as what would be best for public interest. In 2004 when Paul became the first ever American gymnast to will All-Around, there was speculation that the judges might have scored wrong and that he did not deserve the gold medal. Paul offered to share the medal with the Korean silver medalist but in the end it was discovered that Paul Hamm was the rightful owner of the 2004 Olympics All-Around Gold Medal.

Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

Jean Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development states that an individual acquires schema. Schema are models or outlines of information that we have learned throughout our lives. We can either assimilate or accommodate new information. Assimilation is incorporating new information into our existing frameworks whereas accommodation is adjusting old frameworks to fit new information. There are four stages to Piaget's theory; Sensorimotor, Preoperational, Concrete Operational, and Formal Operational. Paul is mos likely in the Formal Operational stage, stage four. In this stage the individual can think abstractly and experiment with ideas while thinking logically about the future.

Erik Erickson's Psychosocial Theory

Erik Erikson's theory was that there are eight stages throughout a person's lifetime and at each stage they encounter a new crisis. The early crises are simple things like trust vs. mistrust and a sense of autonomy vs. shame. The later crises are more complex things like Self-Absorption and Despair. Paul is most likely in stage six of these stages; Intimacy vs. Isolation. Although not actively looking for a wife, Paul Hamm has stated that he would like someone to spend the rest of his life with but is not currently feeling absent of a partner.

Parenting Styles & Childhood

The Hamm brothers (Morgan and Paul) first got into gymnastics at the age of nine watching their older sister compete with Iowa State University. from then on they were intrigued by the sport and would eventually become some of the best in the world. This could not have been achieved without their parents though. Despite living on a farm, their father, Sandy Hamm, built various pieces of equipment that allowed them to train even when not at the gym. The brother push each other and teach each other how to do certain skills they excel at while the other has trouble with. The parents seemed to have an authoritative parenting style, allowing the children mostly what they wanted with strict limits and duties as are required on a farm while still helping them to achieve their dreams. This can also be seen in their children; Morgan and Paul. They help each other grow while also maintaining a strict routine and imposing high expectations on each other. They show their parents' authoritative parenting styles in their career.


Penny, Brandon. "Revisiting Paul Hamm's Golden Moment 10 Years Later."Revisiting Paul Hamm's Golden Moment 10 Years Later. Team USA, 18 Aug. 2014. Web. 21 Dec. 2015.

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"USA Gymnastics | Paul Hamm." USA Gymnastics | Paul Hamm. Team USA, n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2015.