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My hypothesis is that “because Rachael is twenty years, she will demonstrate behaviors which are consistent with Erickson theory of development”.
She is my friend, twenty years old and she is a female. We interacted in our daily lives; we meet so much in church and other social activities. Consent was obtained before the research was started. My research was more of observation though at times I would ask some questions. According to the theory, she will be interested in making love with people, she will want to have a boyfriend and she will be willing to commit herself on a long term basis to a man (Cavanaugh, 2009). The theory stipulates that, at the age of about twenty years, the person is in the stage of intimacy verses isolation. In this regard, she lies in the category of young adult. According to this theory of development, when a person gets to the stage of a young adult, he or she begins to associate with people of the opposite sex. He or she will be willing to make such associations which are focused on the development of a long term relationship. Rachael, twenty years old will be associating more with men and trying to seek the people who appear like they are serious with life. She would like to be in an association with an individual who wants to develop a long term relationship. She will therefore avoid men who are joking and who are not willing to start a relationship. Therefore, Rachael is expected to demonstrate a sense of being loved or of loving someone of the opposite sex. She may discuss that she is looking for a serious partner who is ready to develop a long term relationship.
In testing the above hypothesis, I will work closely with Rachael to establish the following. First, is Rachael in a relationship? This is what will guide me into understanding whether she had obeyed the theory of development of psychology by Erikson of intimacy verses isolation. If she has a relationship, it will be true that she is in the stage. On the other hand, she may lack a relationship which will be isolation. If she is not in a relationship, I would like to establish if she is feeling isolated. This is because in this stage, if she does not have a relationship, according to Erikson’s theory of socio-emotional development, she will feel isolated and thus would like to be in one. If she feels isolated, she will be in that stage. I will also ask whether the relationship is long term. In the theory of development by Erikson, she is supposed to develop long standing relationships and not temporally relationships. I will therefore ask her the intentions she has in the relationship. If she is not in a relationship, I will establish by asking her the reasons making her not get into one relationship. This will help establish if the person lacks a relationship because of her inability to get a person she can love or because she does not want to have the relationship. I will also ask her whether she will get into a permanent relationship in the future or she will be getting into temporally relationships. This will aid in the establishment of whether the hypothesis is true about the intimacy verses isolation in the Erikson’s theory of socio-emotional development of the stage of young adult.
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Rachael told me that she had a boyfriend who she got about two years ago. The main intention was the development of a long lasting relationship which would end up in marriage. She told me that she quite some other relationship because she was dealing with people she thought were not serious and were not determined to stay together for a long time. She told me that she was feeling that she was a grown-up and she needed to be in a relationship with someone to give her love to always. Thus she decided to pick on this one. She also told me that at the age of seventeen, she did not have a person to show her love to. The reason for this was because she did not get a person. She was thus feeling isolated and that the rest of the people did not want to associate with her. According to Rachael, the people were not willing to love her and therefore she was feeling isolated at that time. After she got this love she has currently has, she become happy and the sense of isolation was no longer in her.
In my observation, I realized that Rachael had developed some interest in a having a relationship. She was very careful about maintaining her relationship. For example, when her boyfriend wanted to meet her, she never at anytime failed to create time for him. He always got the first priority in her life. He was the most important person in her life. In all what she did, she considered what impact it will have on him. She was thus very concerned about him and how to ensure that he is always comfortable.
The ability of Rachael to engage in a relationship was very important. She said that she felt she was old enough to be in a relationship. This is important because, according to the Erikson’s theory of socio-emotional development, people start feeling the need to show affection of to be shown affection when they become young adults. Thus it was important for the testing of the hypothesis. She also said that she wanted a long term relationship. It is also important because the theory stipulates that the young adults feel that they need a person with whom they can live with for a long time. According to the theory, the young adults are more interested in the development of relationships which are long lasting (Gross, 2007). The loneliness she confessed to have been feeling when she did not have a boyfriend is also important because the theory stipulates that if the person does not develop a relationship, she is likely to be lonely. My observation that she was in a relationship was very important. This is the age which the theory assumes that a person should be in a relationship and thus, the relationship status of the individual important.
My interaction with Rachael was very important in testing of the hypothesis. The hypothesis stated that, Rachael, being twenty years old, she is likely to be in a relationship because she is in the stage of young adulthood in which she is expected to show love to someone or be shown love (Erikson, 1952). It is in this regard that I went into the study. First, I established that she was in a relationship. This justifies the theory of Erikson of socio-emotional development which states that human beings at this stage need love. The feeling of wanting to be loved is manifested by having a person of opposite sex near her. She has been feeling like she needs man near her to give her love and for her to show her affection. Rachael is in line with the theory and thus is proving the hypothesis to be true. In addition, she told me that she was interested in long term relationships. She told me that she had dropped men in the past for one reason that they were not appearing like they were serious and thus she felt that they were not after a long-term relationship. According to the theory, young adults want to develop long-lasting relationship. They are not just interested in having someone to love or someone loving them but a person who will love them forever. This creates a sense of protection in the person and thus important in the development of the person (Richard, 1999, Marcia, 2007)
She also said that at the age of seventeen, she had a feeling that she was lonely. According to the theory, the people who are not able to develop serious relationships end up being lonely. They end up thinking that they failed to secure a relationship because they are not fit in the society. When Rachael was seventeen and she failed to secure a relationship, she felt that she was isolated and the feeling disappeared only when she developed a long lasting relationship. Therefore, the Erikson’s theory of socio-emotional development is right at the stage of young adult, where the theory states that those who do not get someone to love usually become lonely (Erikson, 2008). In my observation, Rachael was very interested in maintaining her relationship. This means that her objective was to be in a long lasting relationship which was not a temporally arrangement but a permanent arrangement. There were no other characters which were not expected. Rachael showed that an individual at the age of a young adult needed to be in love. Therefore, my hypothesis was right.
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