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Stages of psychosexual developmentAt each stage, developmental changes from conflicts among the id, ego, and superego. ABLE 2.1Freud’s psychosexual stages and developmental processesPsychosexual stageApproximate ageDescriptionOralBirth–1 yearThe mouth is the focus of stimulation and interaction; feeding and weaning are central. Pleasure is derived by the infant from oral activities such as sucking and chewing. If the oral needs of the infant are not suitably met, the infant may develop habits such as thumb sucking, fingernail biting and pencil chewing in childhood and later in life smoking and overeating.Anal1–3 yearsThe anus is the focus of stimulation and interaction; eliminationand toilet training are central. Toddlers and preschoolers take pleasure in holding and releasing urine and faeces.Phallic3–6 yearsThe genitals (penis, clitoris and vagina) are the focus of stimulation; gender role and moral development are central. As
Psychosexual stageApproximate ageDescriptionpreschoolers gain pleasure from genital stimulation, Freud’s Oedipus complex for boys and Electra complex for girls are evident. Young children feel a sexual desire for the other-sex parent, and often hostility towards the same-sex parent. To avoid punishment and loss of parental love, children suppress these impulses and instead adopt the characteristics and valuesof the same-sex parent. The superego is developed and children begin to feel guilty when they disobey moral standards.Latency6–12 yearsA period of suspended sexual activity; energies shift to physical,social and intellectual activities. The superego is developing further. Social values from adults and same-sex peers outside the family are acquired.Genital12–adulthoodThe genitals are the focus of stimulation with the onset of puberty. With sexual impulses of the phallic stage re-emerging, mature sexual relationships develop and extend through adulthood.Developmental processesDevelopment occurs through a series of psychosexual stages. In each stage, the child focuses on a different area of their body. How they invest their libido (sexual energy) in relationships with people and things reflects the concerns of the stage they are in. New areas of unconscious conflict among the three structures of personality — the id, ego and superego — also occur. Conflicting pressures from the id to impulsively achieve pleasure, from the ego to act realisticallyby delaying gratification, and from the superego to fulfil moralistic obligations and to achieve idealistic standards all threaten the ego.-Defence mechanisms – unconscious distortions of reality that keep conflicts from the ego’s conscious awareness. One such defence mechanism is repression, in which unacceptable feelings are impulses are forced from memory and forgotten. Another is projection, in which a person’s conflict-producing feelings are mistakenly attributed to another person -According to Fred, unresolved id-ego and superego-ego conflicts can lead to a fixation or a blockage in development. Fixation can also result from parenting that is not appropriately