Life Span Development Narrative
Life Span Development Narrative

Life Span Development Narrative

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  • Pages: 4 (1916 words)
  • Published: October 11, 2017
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Oprah Any person experiences growth of different aspects of personality during various points of time. In fact, it is the day to day good and bad experiences that shape the personality of an individual.

There are different theories of growth of personality of an individual. In this assignment, I will take up the case of well-known figure Oprah Winfrey. Based on different theories of personality, I will study the factors which contributed to the growth of personality of Oprah Winfrey. I will discuss Oprah’s family issues and support systems that may have influenced her developmental growth and adjustment.I will also distinguish between the influences of heredity and environment on her psychological development.

Oprah Gail Winfrey (born January 29, 1954), often referred to simply as Oprah, is an American television host, media mogul, and philanthropist. Her internationally-syndicated talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, has earned her multiple Emmy Awards and is the highest-rated talk show in the history of television. She is also an influential book critic, an Academy Award-nominated actress, and a magazine publisher.She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the most philanthropic African American of all time, and the world’s only black billionaire for three straight years. (Wikipedia, 2008 ¶ 1) Oprah was born in rural Kosciusko, Mississippi to a poor teenaged single mother, and later raised in an inner city Milwaukee neighborhood. She later explained that her conception was due to a single sexual encounter that her two teenaged parents had; they quickly

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broke up not long after.

There are conflicting reports as to how her name became “Oprah. According to a 1991 interview with the Academy of Achievement, Winfrey claimed that her family and friends’ inability to pronounce “Orpah” caused them to put the “P” before the “R” in every place else other than the birth certificate. However, there is the account that the midwife transposed letters while filling out the newborn’s birth certificate. Her mother, Vernita Lee, was a housemaid, and her father, Vernon Winfrey, was a coal miner and later worked as a barber before becoming a city councilman.Winfrey’s father was in the Armed Forces when she was born. After her birth, Winfrey’s mother traveled north and Winfrey spent her first six years living in rural poverty with her grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee, who was so poor that Winfrey often wore dresses made of potato sacks, causing the local children to make fun of her.

Oprah was reared by her grandmother on a farm where she “began her broadcasting career” by learning to read aloud and perform recitations at the age of three. Academy of Achievement, 2006) When Oprah was a child, her grandmother would take a switch, which is a flexible rod, typically used for corporal punishment of the birching type, (Wikipedia, 2008 ¶ 1) and would hit her with it when she didn’t do chores or if she misbehaved in any way. From age six to thirteen, she lived in Milwaukee with her mother, who was less supportive and encouraging than her grandmother had been, due in large part to the long hours Vernita Lee worked as

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maid.Oprah has stated that she was molested by her cousin, uncle, and a family friend, starting when she was nine years old, something she first revealed to her viewers on a 1986 episode of her TV show, when sexual abuse was being discussed. (Wikipedia, 2008 ¶2) Oprah was raped at the age of nine. Oprah skipped two of her earliest grades, became the teacher’s pet, and by the time she was thirteen received a scholarship to attend Nicolet High School in the Milwaukee suburb of Glendale, Wisconsin.

After suffering abuse and molestation, she ran away and was sent to a juvenile detention home at the age of thirteen, only to be denied admission because all the beds were filled. At age fourteen, she got pregnant and gave birth to a son who died in infancy. As a last resort, she was sent to Nashville, Tennessee to live under a barber who she calls her father. She was under his strict discipline, but he was encouraging and made her education a priority.Vernon Winfrey saw to it that his daughter met a midnight curfew, and he required her to read a book and write a book report each week.

“As strict as he was,” says Oprah, “he had some concerns about me making the best of my life, and would not accept anything less than what he thought was my best. ” (Academy of Achievement, 2006 ¶ 1) Oprah became an honors student, was voted Most Popular Girl, joined her high school speech team at East Nashville High School, and placed second in the nation in dramatic interpretation.Oprah’s broadcasting career began at age seventeen, while she was still in high school, when she was hired by WVOL radio is Nashville, and two years later, she began co-anchoring the local evening news and later signed on WTVF-TV in Nashville as a reporter/anchor. She attended Tennessee State University where she majored in Speech Communications and Performing Arts.

In 1978, she discovered her talent for hosting talk shows when she became co-host of WJZ-TV’s “People Are Talking,” while continuing to serve as anchor and news reporter.In January 1984, she came to Chicago to host WLS-TV’s “AM Chicago,” a faltering local talk show. In less than a year, she turned “AM Chicago” into the hottest show in town. The format was soon expanded to one hour, and in September 1985 it was renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show. ” (Academy of Achievement, 2006 ¶ 4) Oprah’s career choice in media did not surprise her grandmother, who once said that ever since Oprah could talk, she was on stage. As a child she played games interviewing her corncob doll and the crows on the fence of her family’s property.

Oprah later acknowledged her grandmother’s influence, saying it was Hattie Mae who had encouraged her to speak in public and “gave me a positive sense of myself. ” (Wikipedia, 2008 ¶ 5) In 1991, motivated in part by her own memories of childhood abuse, she initiated a campaign to establish a national database of convicted child abusers, and testified before a U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of a National

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