Erikson's Psychosocial Stages Of Development In The Film Boyhood

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The film Boyhood follows the life of a normal American family through the ups and downs of adolescence. This movie resonated with people in a way that no other film had done previously. The events that take place over the course of 12 years are not unusual, but are instead typical and therefore provide the viewer with a connection to the story. The familiarity established by the directors made this movie an extreme success. As the movie was filmed, the actors grew and changed, along with the characters in the story. The real-life aspects of the film allow the audience to feel like they are involved in the story and relate to the characters through their growth and development. Part 1: Individual Differences Samantha is one of the two main…show more content…
The movie relates directly to theories of development studied thus far in class. During the course of the film, we see changes in the thought process and cognition of both children as they grow and develop further. Many of Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development are demonstrated throughout the movie as the children mature. The story begins with Mason around age 6. According to Erikson’s theory, children of this age would be transitioning out of the “ initiative vs. guilt” stage. During this stage, children begin to interact with their peers and explore their surroundings (McLeod, 2013). In the first minutes of the movie, Mason plays with his close male friend, Tommy, drawing graffiti on walls and riding their bikes around the neighborhood. This same-sex play is essential to children in order for them to take on a leadership role and develop a sense of initiative (McLeod,…show more content…
During this stage, both kids take on responsibilities- in their family and in their lives. They are assigned more chores, which align with their gender. Samantha is required to dust and work in the kitchen, while Mason works outside. Once in high school, Samantha becomes responsible for picking up her brother from school. Later, Mason begins working at a restaurant. Both children help their mother set up an online store to get more money. Still, neither is established in their identity or responsibilities, and both are sometimes reluctant to complete certain assigned tasks. As they grow, the children also develop a sense of self-identity. Sam dyes her hair and Mason begins to develop specific interests, such as photography. As they have to begin thinking about their individual futures and desires in life, there is an increased pressure on them to discover who they are supposed to be. The failure to do this may result in role confusion or an identity crisis (McLeod,

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