Freud, Piaget and Skinner on Child Delinquency

An analysis of a child’s violent behavior through the perspectives of Freud, Piaget and Skinner.

This paper analyzes the case scenario where a child of seven kills an animal, is disruptive in class and bullies other children. The paper discusses the theories of Freud, Piaget and Skinner and concludes that the deviance the seven year old shows suggests that there is some form of violence in his socialization process to which he is responding. The paper suggests a through analysis of his social environment at school and at home to determine the source of his violence and posits that the child should be taught persistently through a punishment-reward method. The paper asserts that whether behavioral or genetic, violent tendencies and aggressiveness can be subdued, especially at his age where cognitive growth is still taking place.
Various psychologists have presented their theories in an attempt to understand the characteristics of such deviant actions. Sigmund Freud defined and characterized development on the basis of three categories, which he termed, ID, Ego and Superego. He contended that in the initial stages of development the ID is predominant. The child at that time requires all his needs to be immediately fulfilled. It has an animalistic tendency where selfishness is predominant and survival the main focus. Freud maintained that humans were guided by the Pleasure Principle and the Reality Principle. The Reality Principle being the subjugation of internal desires to societal norms while the former being giving in to person temptation. The world of the infant, one of boundless egoism, is totally unaware of the demands of the Reality Principle. It is ruled exclusively by the search for pleasure. But the infant quickly is made to realize that his demands cannot be met.