Angel: A Case Study Of Angel By Karen Horney

2066 Words 8 Pages
Character Introduction As long as I’ve known Angel, she’s been the most outwardly happy and expressive person I know. She is very outgoing and does not shy away from approaching others and initiating conversation. If observed from a distance, it would seem that she is trying to gain everyone’s’ affection as if they were her lover, while at the same time not having any close friends. Notable things about her life at age 29 is that she has broken off an engagement, has changed her major three times and is currently a university undergrad. While studying, she does not work and lives with her parents at home. Angel does not seem to identify with any particular personality type per say, but rather takes on the role …show more content…
Horney explains that children have to suppress any discontent and instead gain the affection of adults for a feeling of security though if these problems continue to adulthood it is due to parental neglect during childhood (Freidman & Schustack, 2016). In a longitudinal study by Beckwith, Cohen, and Hamilton (1999), Horney’s parental neglect theory was put under consideration, asking whether adult attachment reflects infancy experiences or is it a result of combination of more recent events. Their findings were consistent with the theory, though it was found that it varied depending on how much of their childhood the adults could remember, also that the maternal neglect only contributed to a small portion of variance in adult attachment behavior and the relationship with the mother during adulthood was balancing; however, they do suggest that the effects are additive such that if both infancy and adult stage consist of strong bond with mother, it will intensify attachment (Beckwith, Cohen, & Hamilton, 1999). In another longitudinal study by Bocks, Levendosky, Bogat, and Eye (2004), it was suggested that that there are many factors that determine attachment behavior to mother, not merely the mother’s care towards the child; …show more content…
This is where Erik Erikson’s view of Identity Formation becomes relevant. According to Erikson’s eight stage life-long developmental process, Angel’s trust issues would be connected to the inability of her mother to provide the fundamental needs at infancy during Trust vs. Mistrust stage. On the other hand, another stage that Erikson would predict that Angel had not mastered, is the Identity vs. Role Confusion; the fact that Angel’s mother has continually been making decisions for her could have stopped her from exploring various roles and venturing out of her comfort zone to find an adaptable “cohesive whole” that she could perceive as “herself” (Freidman & Schustack, 2016). Erikson believed that one who does not manage to overcome these stages will struggle with the consequences throughout their life and in Angel’s case, he would suggest that the reason for her reliance on her mother is an identity crisis, entailing uncertainty about the scope of one’s capabilities and ambitions, which in Angel’s case would be termed Identity foreclosure due to the fact that she had not attempted to experiment with different identities but rather complied to her parent’s rules without any resistance. According to Erikson, the success of completing each stage affects the outcome of the subsequent stages, and

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