Essay, Pages 6 (1357 words)
Life Span Development and Personality Paper: Princess Diana of Wales This paper will discuss the life span development and personality of Princess Diana of Wales. I could not think of a better person to speak of when it comes to an influential figure from the 20th century. She not only made an impact on her country, but she was a representation of class, elegance and grace. Diana was one of four children who were born into British aristocracy. She was the daughter of divorced parents who remained with their father after the separation.
She became known as Lady Diana after he father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in late 1975. Although she was known to be somewhat shy, at a very young age Diana showed interest in helping children and revealed a great fondness for them. When she determined that school was not an option in her life at that point in time, she began working with kids and became a Kindergarten teacher in London.
Diana was no stranger to royalty; she had been known to reportedly play with Prince Edward and Prince Andrew as a small child while her family vacationed at an estate which was owned by Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1977, she became reacquainted Prince Charles, who was the older brother of the two princes. Prince Charles and Lady Diana caused quite a stir when they began their courtship. Prince Charles was no stranger to being in the media and was usually the subject of media attention. The press was captivated by the seemingly odd couple; “the reserved, garden-loving prince and the shy young woman with an interest in fashion and popular culture” (Biography, Princess Diana).
When the couple eventually decided to marry, the ceremony was broadcasted all over the world and was deemed the wedding of the century.
From that day forward, Lady Diana would be referred to as Princess Diana of Wales. From researching different aspects of Princess Diana’s life, I believe that hereditary and environment both played a role in her psychological development. She was no stranger to opulence or being able to enjoy the finer things in life. Diana was never part of the lower, working class when it came to her upbringing; she never had to want for anything. The environment she was accustomed to definitely influenced her development; individuals who are in a lower social class tend to be relatively deprived when it comes to their atmosphere.
They have lower learning resources, where as Diana was able to attend the top boarding schools and was tutored at home until the age of nine; she never experienced a low quality education. On the other hand, she never was overly accomplished in her academic career either. Her grades were never above average and she did not seem interested in her studies. After her father enrolled her into a Swiss school, she became extremely lonely and homesick, and decided to come back home. At this stage of her life, Diana was well into adolescence; a time when major psychological, cognitive and behavioral changes take place.
A normal child at her age would have already gotten a taste of what life would be like on their own. They would have been able to do what they wanted to do aside from the demands of their parents and other influences. When you are an element of royalty, the world around you is completely different. She did not know how to be independent or self-reliant, it was a foreign feeling. Entering adulthood was a particular difficult time for Diana; while most people at the age of 20 would be well into the beginning stages of living their own personal life, Diana still was in limbo as to what she was destined for.
Suffering from the depression of having lost her paternal grandfather, and accepting that she could no longer put forth effort and move forward with her education took a major toll. Emotionally, Diana lacked a stable emotional foundation. When it came to relationships, she did not believe in happily ever after due to the collapse in her parents’ marriage. The difficulties that she experienced surrounding her own marriage seemed to make her stronger and more noticeable when it came to the type of charity work she carried and the media speculation.
Those played a significant role in providing a support system for her – she focused her attention on helping others in order to make herself happy. Deciphering which theory of personality best describes Princess Diana was difficult. Her life seemed to be just beginning after marrying Prince Charles and becoming a mother. However, I did choose Erickson’s theory simply because his method extends throughout the life-span and is divided into different stages. The quantity of conflict within each stage determines the extremity. With each stage marked by inconsistencies, a successful resolution will result in a positive end result.
The fifth stage of Erickson’s theory is Adolescence; 12-18 years of age. The conflict is identity versus confusion, and this was rather difficult for Diana; she experienced long periods of loneliness and depression. Everything changed for her during this period of time on numerous occasions; her identity, her title, expectations, and life direction as she became a princess. Becoming the wife and companion for Prince Charles was exhausting. The sixth stage, Adulthood, which is technically 18-40 years old, presents conflicts within intimacy versus isolation. This was part of her failed marriage to Prince Charles.
The media would constantly scrutinize her for having various failed love relationships and accusing her of having a problem with bulimia. This increased her depression and would often cause her to isolate herself from the public eye. She tried so hard to maintain her image as the people’s princess, which seemingly worked well a majority of the time, but the media had her targeted. The other theory of personality I chose was humanistic psychology. This is known to be difficult because there is no proven or agreed- upon definition of what constitutes a humanistic personality theory.
The four points I am about to list are predominant to the general notion to which the “ humanistic “ label is applied; “1 – an emphasis on personal responsibility ( one is ultimately responsible for what happens to them) , 2- emphasis on the here and now (individual should focus on his or her life at a specific point in time, instead of reminiscing about the past or daydreaming of a future event , 3- focusing on the phenomenology of the individual ( person knows themselves more than anyone else) , and 4- emphasis on personal growth ( there is more to life than having immediate needs met, unfortunately, some people are not content when those needs are met).
They are rather motivated to continue their individual development in a positive manner. Diana excelled in this field when it came to her being an ambassador and helping to participate in well over 100 different charities. I personally feel that there is not one particular best theoretical approach to Diana’s individual behaviors and achievements. Within each stage of her life, Erickson’s theory is clearly identified. The humanistic approach holds three main components to Princess Diana and the uniqueness she maintained. She does not, however, meet the criteria of the second element. She gave all of herself in order to raise millions of dollars for numerous causes all of which would benefit the sick, homeless and poor.
She had been known to bring her sons, William and Harry, with her to poverty stricken areas in order to introduce them to the homeless population and see how other people live. She cared for the children and adult victim’s whole- heartedly. To an outsider, Princess Diana’s life began as a fairytale; yet she rose to the occasion and was able to demonstrate to the world that one can overcome adversity and leave a momentous and meaningful legacy. She was world renown as the “people’s princess “with a highly respected profiled life. Although she died a tragic, untimely death, she will always be remembered as an inspiration and one of the most noteworthy leaders of all time.