Sigmund Freud's Child Development Theory Video
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Video:Sigmund Freud's Child Development Theory

with Katherine Wald

Sigmund Freud's Child Development Theory describes the five psychosexual stages of development. Watch this educational video from to learn more about the different stages and how they relate to a child's development.See Transcript

Transcript:Sigmund Freud's Child Development Theory

Hello, my name is Katherine Wald I’m a licensed Psychotherapist for and today we’re going to be discussing Sigmund Freud’s Child Development Theory.

According to Freud, children go through five psychosexual stages of development:

Child Development: Oral Stage

The oral stage begins at birth and continues until the child is approximately 1 ½ years old. During this stage the erogenous zone is the mouth. The child derives pleasure from nursing on his/her mother’s breast and from orally exploring his/her environment by placing objects in the mouth. The consequences of not moving through this stage are developing a psychological fixation. This can be manifested through orally aggressive behavior such as chewing gum, ice, or even the ends of pencils.

Child Development: Anal Stage

The second psychosexual stage of development is the anal stage, which spans from approximately 1 and a half to 3 years old. The erogenous zone for the child changes from the mouth to the anus. The consequences of a psychological fixation in this stage are what Freud refers to as anal retentive.  When adults are anal retentive, they are obsessively organized and/or excessively neat. Another consequence is what Freud refers to as anal expulsive, which is a person who is careless, defiant, reckless, and disorganized.

Child Development: Phallic Stage

The third psychosexual stage of development. This spans from approximately 3 to 6 years old. During the Phallic Stage, the child becomes interested in his/her genitalia, as well as the genitalia of the people around them. Children become aware of the sexual differences between males and females. As a result, a conflict arises, which Freud termed the Oedipus Complex (or the Electra Complex in women)

Child Development: Latency Period

The fourth psychosexual stage of development exists from approximately 6 years old until puberty. At this stage the child merges the habits that he/she developed in the three earlier stages.

Child Development: Genital Stage

The fifth psychosexual stage of development, which spans from puberty to adult life. This stage’s primary purpose is to allow individuals to psychologically detach and gain independence from their parents. During this period, individuals are given an opportunity to at last resolve any conflicts that may be remaining from childhood.

For more information on psychological development, please visit our psychology section on

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