S: IDN: Amanda Wood (0427662)
FC: The Story of My Life | Psychology and Lifespan Development. Individual Development Narrative. Amanda Wood (0427662) 2010.
2: References to and photographs of people other than myself have been used with permission and thanks.
3: Mum, Erin (3 years) Amanda (newborn - 6 months)
4: Though we fight, and though we fury - you are the only one I have, you are my kindred, you are half of me... | Sister.. | Parents
5: Physical Development: Infancy and Toddlerhood My older sister, Erin, was determined to get me to play with her even before I was able to. At 3 1/2 years old when I was born, she didn't understand that I was too young and she would try to get me to crawl and move so I could be part of her games. Without knowing it, Erin was the main influence on my developing motor skills and I learned to crawl at 7 months and walk at 10 months. Her actions were reflecting Vygotsky's Theory of Proximal Development (Berk, 2009) by demonstrating how to crawl and helping me to master the technique. Although I would have learned to become mobile without my sister's input, her teaching allowed me to learn the skills faster than I would have done without her instruction.
6: Physical Development: Adolescence. As I reached puberty at about 12, my body was acting age appropriately or responding to an age graded influence which is characterised by "events that are strongly related to age and therefore fairly predictable" (Berk, 2009) This set the stage for the later teenage years which brought the development of sexuality and the desire for intimacy to light.
7: Amanda, age 12 | Parents
8: When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers | Amanda, 6 months
9: Cognitive Development: Infancy - Toddlerhood. As a newborn I was exclusively breastfed but when I got to be a few months old my mother would express milk and bottle feed me during the night. At 5 months old I began to refuse the breast and would only take the bottle. This demonstrates Piaget's theory of Cognitive Development, specifically the Sensorimotor Stage (Berk, 2009) in that I adapted/accommodated to the bottle because I realised it was more efficient.
10: Amanda, 4 years.
11: Cognitive Development: Childhood. I always asked questions as a child. My mother tells me I've never stopped talking from the moment I started. I would ask about all the things I felt I needed to know in order to discover why things are the way they are. According to Piaget, this is the Concrete Operational Stage of the Cognitive Development Theory. (Berk, 2009) I saw and understood that I knew a lot of facts but I had no understanding of HOW I knew what I knew or why a fact happened to be true. I began to develop logic and reason from my interaction with my environment (Morra, 2008.)
12: Mother | Grand Mother | Grand Father | Great Grand Father | Great Grand Father | Great Grand Mother | Great Grand Mother | Eileen | Lilly | James | Mary | William | Dorothy | George | Those that went before.. | Amanda, Erin, William, Dad and Mum, 2007
13: Father | Grand Mother | Grand Father | Great Grand Father | Great Grand Father | Great Grand Mother | Great Grand Mother | Martin | Alison | Douglas | Della | William | Elizabeth | George | ..are the greats that paved the way | Four Generations. William, Grandad Doug, Nephew Caleb, and Dad.
14: Social Development: Infancy - Toddlerhood. I grew up the younger of two children and because of this, I learned to share right from infancy. This was because I was the younger sibling in my family and the games played together were most often of my sister's creation. I became very social and had little trouble in playing with other children because I had not learned to be dominant, or to see toys as "mine" (Shaffer, 2002.)
15: Amanda 1-3 years, Aiden, 1 year.
16: Erin 3 years, Dad, and Amanda 6 months.
17: Social Development: Childhood. As a child, I struggled with figuring out the things I was good at. In my mind, it always seemed as though my sister could do things slightly better that I could. This reflects Erikson's Inferiority (versus Industry) Stage. (Shaffer, 2002.) My father saw that I was insecure about this and made it a point to always make me help him cook dinner. Dad was using authoritative parenting (Low & Jose, cited in Mpofu, 2010) to teach me skills that my sister had never learned and could therefore not be better at than I was. Even though, at first, I didn't want to know how to cook, the skills and confidence I gained from my father in that time lead me to become a professional chef in later years.
18: Mum, Dad and Amanda (3)
19: Emotional Development: Infancy - Toddlerhood. Learning to swim as a toddler involved me needing to decide whether I trusted the promise that my mother would catch me when I jumped into the water. Erikson's theory of Psychosocial behaviour calls this the 'basic trust versus mistrust stage. When I was finally persuaded into the water, my mother caught me and reinforced my expectation of the world to be "good and gratifying". (Shaffer, 2002.) | Parents
20: Amanda (4), Cousin Logan (5), and Erin (7)
21: Emotional Development: Childhood. As a child I loved to be dramatic. I often put on performances for my parents and they always managed to give me the acclaim I was looking for. Mum and Dad would clap and cheer and tell me I was the best actress in the world which was a great factor in building my self-esteem and my character boldness. Erikson's theory, specifically in terms of the 'initiative verses guilt' stage speaks of positive encouragement being a driving factor in children making "strides in conscious development" (Shaffer, 2002.)
22: Amanda and Mum. | William (8) Amanda (17) and Dad
23: Emotional Development: Adolescence. When I was in my early teens, I struggled a lot with who I was and what I believed in terms of morals, standards and goals outside of what my family had taught me. At 14 I began to attend a church youth group each week and found that their morals and values matched things that sat well with me. Erikson describes this phase as identity versus role confusion and says that all adolescents go through an "identity crisis - a period of distress as they experiment with alternatives before settling on values and goals." (Berk, 2009)
24: Amanda age 4 | Amanda age 24
25: Moral Development: Childhood. As a child, if I was disobedient toward my parents I would get smacked. I learned quickly that if I was obedient, I wouldn't get punished. This demonstrates Kohlberg's preconventional stage of moral reasoning (Berger, 1995.) I became aware of cause and effect and began to realise that it was in my best interests to do as I was told by my parents.
26: Nature vs. Nurture. I come from a long line of alcoholics, specifically on my fathers side. Genetically, there are some people with biochemistry that "makes them highly susceptible to alcoholism" (Berger, 1995.) My father decided that alcoholism would stop with him and made a conscious decision to make his life different than his forebears. Because of this and, although alcohol still has an addictive quality, my father, sister, brother and myself are non-drinkers. Dad took it upon himself to teach us moderation and self control over what is a genetically natural course for us to take.
27: Environmental Influences. When I was a small child, my father worked three jobs to provide for the family while my mother went to university and worked part time. From the time I was very small, my family was hugely pivotal in imparting the importance of hard work and diligence in my life. As I entered my teen years, I began to attend church. The people I met became family to me and taught me to never run from what I believe is the right thing, even if it scares me. Both of these are examples of microsystems (Berger, 1995) in my life and they are joined by the mesosystem (Berger, 1995) that was created by the interaction between the two.
28: Biological Influences. I have always had very curly hair, this I inherited from my mother - her curly hair gene was dominant over the recessive straight hair that runs in my fathers family line. I did not, however, inherit the farsightedness that my parents share, although my sister did. These are both examples of dominant-recessive inheritance. (Berk, 2009) In addition to my curls and normal vision, I also inherited the fair skin that is characteristic of my Irish heritage, even though my family have lived in New Zealand for four generations.
29: References: Berk, Laura. E. (2009). Exploring Lifespan Development. Pearson Education, Inc. USA. Morra. S, Gobbo. C, Marini. Z, & Sheese. R (2008) Cognitive Development: Neo-Piagetian Perspectives. Taylor & Francis Group. New York. Shaffer, David R (2002) Developmental Psychology: Childhood and Adolescence. Thomson Learning Inc: Wadsworth Group. USA. Mpofu. C (2010) Psychology and Lifespan Development: An Introductory text for Health Professionals. Pearson. New Zealand. Berger, K. S, & Thompson, R. A (1995) The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence. Worth Publishers. New York.