Kayla Huggins is 17 years old. Kayla's parents are James and Christine Huggins. An only child, Kayla provides a rich example of how one individual progresses through the various stages of psychosocial development. Her life highlights some of the key concepts of developmental psychology.
Kayla's prenatal development was uneventful, as her parents were both healthy. Her early and middle childhood periods were characterized by a loving home environment and an active engagement with school activities, especially athletics. Currently, Kayla is a senior in high school..
Kayla's parents can both be described as introverts. This creates an interesting home dynamic because Kayla is an extrovert. Moreover, the Huggins family is strongly influenced by the military. Kayla's mother worked as a GS civilian worker on a military base. Kayla's father is a soldier in active duty. Kayla went to DOD schools on the military base up until middle school. Now Kayla goes to a public high school. She is known for being athletic and participates in basketball and soccer. Unlike her parents, Kayla is outgoing but she has never gotten into any trouble. Kayla's father was involved in her upbringing as much as possible until he had to go on one-year military deployments.
Kayla's parents are James and Christine Huggins. Christine Huggins is 5'4 and weighs 152 pounds. She was 23 years old when Kayla was born. Kayla's father is 6'1 and weighs 203 pounds. He was 24 years old when Kayla was born.
Kayla's parents can both be described as introverts. They have a small circle of friends and do not have regular parties. Moreover, the Huggins family is strongly influenced by the military. Kayla's mother worked as a GS civilian worker on a military base. Kayla's father is a soldier in active duty.
Christine Huggins was in excellent health when her baby was born. She exercises regularly, and experienced no teratogens during the development of the baby. Kayla's mother did not smoke or drink any alcohol during pregnancy. The mother received prenatal care and understood what having a healthy child entailed in terms of her personal responsibility. Her stress level was described as being low to medium, and she worked only for the first two trimesters of her pregnancy. Both Christine and James were planning their family and were well prepared for parenthood, which is why they were both excited when Kayla was born a healthy girl.
Kayla's physical development progressed smoothly during early childhood. She grew steadily in height, and was about average for her age. Her sensorimotor development progressed well. For example, Kayla smiled and giggled in response to adult smiles. She learned how to manipulate objects in her environment, including stuffed toys. The sounds of rattles and other objects delighted little Kayla, and her parents bought her some percussive toys to play with too. Kayla learned how to mimic sounds early in her development and was speaking words and small sentences by the time she was two. She progressed well through the object permanence phase of development and also through Piaget's preoperational thinking stage as well, during which Kayla talked about "me" a lot, developed a rich creative storyline related to her dolls, and creatively manipulated ideas to suit her unique vision of the world.
Kayla also progressed smoothly through Erikson's first three psychosocial stages of development, from infancy through early childhood to preschool. A deep sense of trust of her parents was engendered during infancy, as both her parents were there to feed and take care of her. During early childhood, Kayla learned control over her body through the process of toilet training. At this stage, Kayla occasionally experienced some frustration and setbacks, as she seemed to feel a sense of shame when she wet the bed.
At the preschool level, Kayla's personality began to develop in relation to her peers. Her teachers referred to Kayla as outgoing, and even as "dominant" by the time Kayla was in first grade. Kayla's nearly domineering personality could have adversely impacted her emotional development but by the time she turned 7, she seemed to have grown out of her authoritarian phase and entered into what Erikson called the school age. Kayla suddenly became altruistic and began making cards and gifts for her friends at school.
Middle to Late Childhood:
Kayla continued to grow in height until she was about 12 years old. Her athletic prowess also began to reveal itself during middle to late childhood, when Kayla started to excel in sports at school. Her motor skills development was far beyond that of her peers, and Kayla won awards in a variety of sporting events including team sports and individual athletic activities.
In other areas, Kayla was more average. For example, she struggled in math when the concepts became too abstract. This indicates some stagnation at Piaget's concrete operations stage. Kayla scored within an average range on her IQ exam. However, she did score well on tests related to conservation of objects. Her ability to memorize lists was good, and she scored reasonably well on tests in school. Both Kayla's athletic abilities and her concrete operational strengths reflect those of her parents, who are both athletic and left-brained in nature.
Kayla got along well with her parents, especially during middle to late childhood. The family played games and sports together. Kayla also loved having her friends over during this stage of her childhood. Slumber parties were every weekend, either at Kayla's house or at her friends' houses. Kayla had quite a few friends, which encouraged her parents to throw her birthday parties. Although Kayla did not watch much television, she did play video games. She enjoyed a wide variety of video games, but most of them tended to be non-violent in nature. As Kayla matured, she became keenly able to step into others' shoes and empathize. This indicates solid development within Selman's stages of perspective-taking. For example, one of Kayla's friend's dog died. Kayla cried with her friend, even though Kayla did not also have a dog. When her mom asked her why Kayla was crying, her response was "Jen is sad because her dog died, and I don't like to see Jen sad."
When Kayla was about 12, she was 5'2." She did not grow much until she was nearly 15 years old, at which point she grew another several inches. Kayla is now 5'5," or slightly taller than her mother. Her growth spurt coincided with her sexual maturation, which happened more gradually than some of her peers. Kayla got her first period when she was 15 and started masturbating when she was 16 years old. At this stage, she was also talking openly about her sexuality. When her friends started to engage in sexual relations with members of the opposite sex, Kayla confronted her mother about her ambivalence towards boys. Kayla was attracted to girls, and had kissed two girls by the time she was 17. Although her mother was uncomfortable speaking about Kayla's sexuality and especially about homosexuality, Kayla had some social support networks at school that mitigated the impending communication problems that would arise at home. When Kayla was 16, she became socially active in school clubs and organizations related to gay pride. Her relationship with her parents began to look strained, even as Kayla developed a stronger sense of personal identity and self-esteem related to being a lesbian. Now that she is 17, Kayla is looking forward to attending university and being able to engage in more mature romantic relationships.
Although Kayla did exhibit some of the characteristics of adolescent thinking, such as egocentrism, an imaginary audience, and the illusion of invulnerability, she is becoming more adult-like in her cognitive processes now. Within the framework of Marcia's identity statuses, Kayla currently experiences a good degree of identity achievement.…