Stages of Development

Although Freud had little firsthand experience with children (including his own), his developmental theory is ahnost exclusively a discussion of early childhood. To Freud, the first 4 or 5 years of life, or the infantile stage, are the most crucial for personality formation. This stage is followed by a 6- or 7-year period of latency during which thne little or no sexual growth takes place. Then at puberty, a renaissance of sexual life occurs, and the genital stage is ushered in. Psychosexual development eventually culminates in maturity.

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