Lifespan Development and Personality Paper

This essay will be considering several incidents that took place throughout the course of Hitler’s childhood and youth, reflecting on the way that they may have been instrumental in shaping the future personality, philosophy, and beliefs of the dictator. Through this observation, thought will be given concerning the different influences that affected his psychological development, with a view to determining how his growth could have been optimized. Finally, two different personality theories will be discussed, with an emphasis placed on the theory that best accounts for Hitler’s behavior, with reasons give for this choice.
Adolph Hitler, like millions of other children, had a difficult childhood that was marked with diverse tragedies, violence, personal failure, and under achievement. Born 1889, in Braunau Am Inn, which is a small Austrian village just across the boarder from German Bavaria, Adolph lived with his family on a small farm.
The family moved on several occasions when Adolph was a young boy, which caused several disruptions in his schooling, and his childhood was dominated by a father, who was a strict disciplinarian. The whippings and beatings were so bad that Alois Jn. left home at fourteen years of age, never to see his father again. Adolph was just seven years old at the time.
Hitler’s obsession with authority and power were present from a very young age, and were reflected through his love of playing war, role games, a fascination with any kind of authority figures, and his intense dislike of being corrected in any form. He had a terrible reputation at school, due to his refusal to either obey, or study.
It is also evident from research material that Hitler, even when still a young child, believed himself to be different. He saw himself as ‘one of the lads’, a popular ring-leader, who enjoyed hanging around with the tougher boys, whereas others have described him as a violent child, with a harsh temper, and spoilt by his mother. It is evident that he needed to be the ‘leader’ during any game, portraying at an early age his need to control both events and people.
The cold fingers of death first touched Hitler’s life when his little brother Edmund died of measles, and was believed to have deeply affected him. He could see his brother’s miniscule grave from his bedroom window and, in later years, neighbours spoke of remembering the young Adolph often sitting on the wall of the cemetery, just staring into space (Wikipedia, Online Article, 2007).
The sudden, and early, death of Adolph’s father in 1903 caused the thirteen-year-old boy to break down and cry. However, it also meant that no one was there to enforce discipline, or to guide the already headstrong young lad, and it was from this time onwards that Hitler began to really fail academically. Hitler had, before his father’s death, already experienced difficulties at school, but after his father’s departure, his behaviour deteriorated, and he was reputed as being a difficult student, with many teachers feeling that he ought to be expelled. He finally left school, definitively, at sixteen years old, without accomplishing his exams, claiming