Sample Nursing Paper on Psychosexual Theory of Human Development

Psychosexual Theory of Human Development

            Sigmund Freud is famous for developing the psychosocial theory of development that takes place during childhood through a series of fixed psychosexual stages. Freudian psychosexual theory proposes that human development occurs through five distinct stages. Theses stages include oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital. Each step has distinct characteristics displayed through erogenous zones (McLeod, 2017). There is a probability of the individual developing fixation as they go through these stages. Each psychosexual stage represents a possible fixation of the libido on different body parts. Each development stage identifies with an erogenous zone that are sources of pleasure and frustration. Freud’s theory is built around tension and joy. He suggests that tension results from increased libido and pleasure is achieved when pressure is discharged. 

            Freud proposes that the behavior and personality development occur because of the interaction between conscious and non-conscious aspects of one’s mind. He introduces three components of the human mind, id, ego, and superego, which contain psychic apparatus and operate on different levels of consciousness to generate specific behavior (Cherry, 2019). The Id is present at birth and resembles everything acquired from parents. It comprises needs that require constant fulfillment and operates on the pleasure-seeking principle and immediate need gratification without consideration of realities and consequences. On the other hand, the ego develops as a result of a child’s attempts to fulfill desires through interaction with the social and physical environment. It tries to create a balance of the demands of the Id and the reality. The superego is the third component of the human mind and develops from the ego. Moreover, it represents the moral values learned from a child’s environment. 

Freud describes the first five years of an individual life as the most critical years as they shape up the personality one will endure for the rest of their life. Each development stage is characterized by conflicts that propel or stifle development. Conflicts contribute to individual development depending on how they are resolved. If a psychosexual stage is completed successfully, the individual is likely to develop a healthy personality. However, if a person develops conflicts and does not address the issues of any stage effectively, one is expected to experience fixation at some point in life(McLeod, 2017). It is imperative to resolve all the conflicts of a particular step to address the fixation. Unresolved conflicts cause stagnation at one stage hindering the healthy development of personality.

Freud proceeds to discuss frustration, fixation, and overindulgence noting that some people find difficulties in progressing from one stage to the other. Mostly this occurs because the needs of the developing person at a particular stage if not fulfilled, which results in frustration. On the contrary, if the needs of a developmental stage are adequately resolved, individuals may be reluctant to quit the psychological benefits of a step leading to overindulgence(Cherry, 2019). Both frustration and overindulgence lead to what mental health workers describe as fixation at a particular psychosexual stage. Some desires are permanently spent in a psychosexual stage causing the individual to portray childish characteristics. 

Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychosexual stages of development is essential in the nursing profession because it contains crucial contributions that help professionals understand human development. In the nursing profession, psychosexual development is reduced to its essentials to facilitate learning and equip nurses with interventions from a theoretical base that is necessary for their day-to-day practice(Halter, 2017). To the professionals, it is a crucial stage in determining successful service delivery to clients by strengthening the determination of treating an individual as an integrated whole. Human sexuality, expressed in maleness and femaleness is inseparable from the health issues of an individual.


Cherry, K. (2019). What Are Freud’s Stages of Psychosexual Development? Retrieved from

Halter, M. (2017). Relevant theories and therapies for nursing practice. Retrieved from

Mcleod, S. (2017). Psychosexual Stages | Simply Psychology. Retrieved from