THEORY OF DEVELOPMENT OF THE PERSONALITY OF ALFRED ADLER, Introduction to the theory of personality development A. Adler, Inferiority complex - Child psychology


As a result of mastering this topic, the student must:


• the basic concepts formulated by A. Ader in relation to the development of the personality;

• the specifics of the family situation, depending on the child's birth order, formulated within the framework of Adler's theory;

be able to

• Analyze the child's behavior from the point of view of his life style according to A. Adler;


• skills in analyzing the practical application of A. Adler's theory.

Introduction to A. Adler's personality development theory

The theory of Adler, on the one hand, is the development of the bases of psychoanalytic theory 3. Freud, on the other - is an original psychological concept of human development. According to Adler, human development is caused not so much by instinct (as claimed by 3. Freud), and objectives, on the man who sent. Adler says that everyone strives for a goal, and that is what determines its development. In this case, the goal can be real or ideal. A. Adler gives the following example of the ideal goal, people can build their lives in the belief that hard work and a little luck can achieve in life most of. Adler believes that such an assertion is only apparent reality, as many hard working people do not get what they deserve. But in any case, the development of a person is connected not so much with the past as with the present. In other words, a person is more concerned about what will happen in the future than what has happened in the past.

Inferiority Complex

It's no secret that many people suffer from various diseases that are caused by birth defects of certain organs. A. Adler drew attention to the fact that a person tries to compensate for the weakness, inferiority of the diseased organ in one way or another (usually with the help of prolonged training). However, according to Adler, not only physical weakness or disease, but also any psychological experience of insolvency, can refer to the concept of inferiority.

Alfred Adler believed that inferiority is closely related to childhood. The fact is that for quite a long time the child is dependent on the parents, because without their help, he simply will not survive. And already this early experience, according to Adler, causes the child to have deep feelings of inferiority in comparison with other people in the family environment. The child is not only weak and defenseless, the fact is that the relationship between children is full of tension and aggression. As long as a child grows, he constantly experiences a sense of inferiority, as he constantly meets new situations, to which he is not ready. The feeling of inferiority affects both girls and boys. It is due not to oedipal problems, but is a consequence of the inequality of social roles.

According to A. Adler, when a person feels his inferiority in this or that sphere, he tries to overcome it in every way, that is, strives for excellence. Thus, the development of the child is due precisely to this sense of inferiority, which makes us strive for a higher level of development. More precisely, the child himself sets himself an ideal goal, which he later strives for. Experience of own inferiority and failures in interaction with other people is especially characteristic for teenagers. They can direct themselves, engage in various physical exercises, etc. But similar experiences occur in children and in preschool age. A child can acutely experience a situation in which a parent forcibly takes the child by the hand and literally drags him away from an interesting lesson. One can observe how many children resist this, but since an adult is physically stronger than a child, this gives the child a sense of inferiority, unequality. Of course, a child can quickly forget this situation, but if it is repeated often, then he will have sustained experiences that will cause changes in child behavior. Since the child will not have confidence in the possibility of completing the case (he will always expect to be interrupted at any time), the child activity itself depreciates in the eyes of the child, and even if the child has many different, seemingly bright and interesting toys, they will not cause him joy and stimulate his activity (because in general, children's activity will be reduced). Here it should be specially noted that the game with the subject involves the development of a special plan for children's representations, in which the child keeps a very complex relationship between objects. For example, when a child takes a typewriter, he can imagine himself as a chauffeur and comes up with a route for his movement. With the advent of anxiety, this plan is broken, and the machine becomes just an object with which childhood experiences are not associated. Instead of children's images associated with objects, in the situation of a stable experience of anxiety, children can have completely different, frightening ideas that will be reproduced in dreams. As a result, the child will be afraid to stay alone and go to bed.

So, from the point of view of L. Adler, the goal to which man seeks is the desire for excellence. The desire for superiority, according to Adler, is related not to the social status and not to leadership qualities, but to the desire to overcome oneself, to improve oneself. This desire is the cause of development. Thus, the child from birth pursues goals. As a rule, at first they are of an individual character, and only in time acquire the relation to society as a whole.

If all the efforts of a person are unsuccessful, then he will have a permanent sense of inferiority, or an inferiority complex. A. Adler distinguished three main reasons that can cause his appearance: physical inferiority of organs, excessive guardianship and rejection by parents.

Children with congenital physical inferiority may develop a sense of psychological inferiority. With this phenomenon, we come across especially brightly when a child with a physical disability comes to the kindergarten group. First of all, the passivity of such children is evident. During children's games, they stay aside and only watch the actions of others. In this case, it is important for the educator to find such activities in which the child can be successful, and to combine several children in this process. The teacher should not just encourage the child. Its real task is to ensure the real success of this child in the course of any joint activity. It is equally important that the parents of other children do not emphasize the physical defects of such a child, but talk about the fact that there can be different circumstances in life. Physical qualities, of course, are important, but the main thing is how much a person is sensitive, how much he is able to understand and help others (it is desirable to find some specific positive skill and evaluate together with other children the achievements of such a child).

The inferiority complex can also arise in physically healthy children. So, if parents constantly encourage any actions or qualities of children, they will have a feeling of inferiority, connected with insecurity in their own abilities, because adults did everything for them, and they themselves did not have the opportunity to overcome certain life obstacles.

In the case of parental disregard for children, rejection can be perceived by children as unwillingness, which will certainly contribute to the development of an inferiority complex. Such children and in the future will not be sure that they are worthy of love and respect from other people.

It is important to note that, according to A. Adler, children with inferiority complex can use various means for their own protection. For example, urinary incontinence can serve as such a weapon. In fact, the child returns to that level when he has not yet mastered the regulation of urination, i.e. When the mother and other close relatives cared about him.

During this period the child was in the center of cares and attention of others. At the same time, the child did not need any internal efforts to remain in the spotlight. In other words, the child should not have overcome anything.

In this case, teachers and parents need to understand what is behind this violation. If this is an inferiority complex, then it is necessary to begin with the formation of the child's courage, to maintain faith in one's own strengths and abilities, and in no case to intimidate him. Such friendly relations will create the basis for the child to be able to try his hand at solving various life problems. The adult should give the child the opportunity to come to himself as a correct answer, and to mistakes. If the child is constantly "pulling back", saying that he has chosen the wrong way, this will only increase the child's indecisiveness. The goal of the adult is to convince the child that everything that he has not yet achieved can be achieved through diligence, effort and will.

However, on the basis of the desire for excellence, a person can develop a complex of superiority - a constant excessive desire to excel others as a reaction to the appearance of feelings of inferiority. This complex is expressed in a tendency to exaggerate their physical, intellectual or social abilities. For example, a person can constantly show others that he is smarter than others. If he understands a particular topic, then he will constantly translate the conversation into her, in order to demonstrate his erudition. A person with a complex of hypercompensation, according to Adler, is often boastful and arrogant.

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