The Importance of Studying Life-Span Development
Development s the pattern of change that begins at conception and continues through the human life span. It includes both growth and decline. studying life-span development help prepare us to take responsibility for children, gives us insight abut our own lives, and gives us knowledge about what our lives will be like as we age.
Characteristics of Life-Span Perspective
The life-span perspective includes these basic conceptions: Development is lifelong, multidimensional, multidirectional, and plastic; its study is multidisciplinary; it is embedded in contests; it involves growth, maintenance, and regulation; and it is a co-construction of biological, sociocultural, and individual factors. Three important sources of contextual influence are (1) normative age graded influences, (2) normative history graded influences, and (3) non normative life events.
Some Contemporary Concerns
Health and well-being, parenting, education, sociocultural contexts and diversity, and social policy are all areas of contemporary concern that are closely tied to lifespan development. Important dimension of the sociocultural context include culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and gender There is increasing interest in social policy issues related to children and to older adults
the pattern of movement or change that begins at conception and continues through the human life span
the perspective that development is lifelong, multidimensional, multidirectional, plastic, multidisciplinary and contextual; involves growth, maintenance and regulation of loss and is constructed through biological sociocultural and individual factors working together.
Normative age-graded influences
influences that are similar for individuals in a particular age group.
Normative history-graded influences
influences that are common to people of a particular generation because of historical circumstances.
Non-normative life events
Unusual occurrences that have a major impact on a individual's life
The Behavior, patterns, beliefs, and all other products of a group of people that are passed on from generation to generation.
comparison of one culture with one or more other cultures. these provide information about the degree to which development is similar, or universal, across cultures, and the degree to which it is culture-specific
A characteristic based on cultural heritage nationality characteristics, race, religion, and language.
Socioeconomic status (SES)
Classification of a person's position in society based on occupational, educational, and economic characteristics.
The characteristics of people as females or males
A government's course of action designed to promote the welfare of its citizens
Biological, Cognitive, and Socioemotional Processes.
Three key developmental processes are biological, cognitive, and socioemotional. Development is influence by an interplay of these processes.
Periods of Development
The life-span is commonly divided into the following periods of development: prenatal, infancy, early childhood, middle and late childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood. Recently, life-span developmentalists have described the human life span in terms of four ages, with a special focuses on the third and fourth ages (young old and oldest old.)
The Significance of Age
An increasing number of studies have found as adults get older they are happier. We often thing of age only in terms of chronological age, but a full evaluation of age requires consideration of chronological, biological, psychological, and social age.
The nature-nurture issue focuses on the extent to which development is mainly influence by nature (biological inheritance) or nurture (experience). The stability change issue focuses on the degree to which we become older rendition of our early experience or develop into someone different from who were earlier in development. A special aspect of the stability-change issue is the extent to which development is determined by early versus later experiences. Developmentalists describe development as continuous (gradual, cumulative change) or as discontinues (abrupt, a sequence of stages). Most developmentalists recognize that extreme position on th nature-nurture, stability-change, and continuity discontinuity issues are unwise. Despite this consensus, there is still spirited debate on these issues.
Processes that produce changes in an individuals's physical nature.
Processes that involve changes in an individuals thought, intelligence, and language
processes that involve changes in an individuals relationships with other people, emotions, and personality.
Debate about whether development is primarily influenced by nature of nurture. Nature refers to an organism's biological inheritance, nurture to it s environmental experiences. The "nature proponents" claim biological inheritance is the more important influence on development; the "nurture proponents" claim the environmental experiences are more important.
Debate as to whether and to what degree we become older renditions of our early experiences (stability) or whether we develop into someone different from who we were at an earlier point in development (change).
Debate that focuses on the extent to which development involves gradual, cumulative change (continuity) or distinct stages (discontinuity)
An interrelated, coherent set of ideas that helps to explain phenomena and make predictions
Specific assumptions and predictions that can be tested to determine their accuracy
Theories that describe development as primarily unconscious and heavily colored by emotion. Behavior is merely as surface characteristic, and symbolic working of the mind must be analyzed to understand behavior. Early experiences with parents are emphasized.
Theory that proposes eight stages of human development. Each stage consists of a unique development task that confronts individuals with a crisis that must be resolved.
Theory stating that children actively construct their understanding of the world and go through four stages of cognitive development.
Sociocultral cognitive theory that emphasizes how culture and social interaction guide cognitive development.
Theory emphasizing that individuals manipulate information, monitor it, and strategize about it. Central to it's theory are the processes of memory and thinking.
Social cognitive theory
Theoretical view that behavior, environment, and cognition are the key factors in development.
Theory stressing that behavior is strongly influenced by biology, is tied to evolution, and is characterized by critical or sensitive periods.
Bronfenbrenner's ecological thoery
Focuses on five environmental systems: Microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem
Eclectic theoretical orientation
Does not follow any one theoretical approach, but rather selects from each theory whatever is considered best in it.
A controlled setting from which many of the complex factors of the "real world" have been removed.
Observing behavior in real-world settings
A test with uniform procedures for administration and scoring. Many standardized tests allow a person's performance to be compared with the performance of other individuals.
An in-depth look at a single individual
A type of research that aims to observe and record behavior
A type of research that strives to describe the strength of the relationship between two or more events or characteristics.
A number based on a statistical analysis that is used to describe the degree of association between two variables.
Carefully regulated procedure in which on or more factors believed to influence the behavior being studied are manipulated while all other factors are held constant.
A research strategy in which individual of different ages are compared at one time.
A research strategy in which the same individuals are studied over a period of time, usually several years or more.
Effects due to a person's time of birth, era, or generation, but not actual age.
use of an ethnic label such as African American or Latino in a superficial way that portrays an ethnic group as being more homogenous than it really is.
A branch of psychology that emphasizes the importance of adaptation, reproduction, and "survival of the the fittest" in shaping behavior.
Threadlike structures made up of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA
A complex molecule that has a double helix shape and contains genteic information
Units of hereditary information composed of DNA. Genes direct cells to reproduce themselves and assemble proteins that direct body processes.
Cellular reproduction in which the cell's nucleus duplicates itself; two new cells are formed, each containing the same DNA as the original cell, arranged in the same 23 paris of chromosomes.
A specialized form of cell division that occurs to form eggs and sperm (or gametes)
A stage in reproduction whereby an egg and sperm fuse to create a single cell, called zygote.
A single cell formed through fertalization
Observable and measurable characteristics of an individual, such as height, hair, color, and intelligence.
A chromosomally transmitted form of mental retardation, caused by the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21.
A chromosomal disorder in which males have an extra X chromosome, making them XXY instead of XY.
Fragile X Syndrome
A chromosomal disorder involving an abnormality in the X chromosome, which becomes constricted and often breaks.
A chromosomal disorder in females in which either an X chromosome is missing, making the person XO instead of XX, or part of one X-chromosome is detected.
A chromosomal disorder i which males have an extra Y chromsome
A genetic disorder in which an individual cannot properly metabolize phenylalaine, an amino acid; PKU is now easily detected- but, if left untreated, results in mental retardation and hyperactivity.
A genetic disorder that affects the red blood cells and occurs most often in African Americans.
The field that seeks to discover the influence of heredity and environment on individual difference in human traits and development.
A study in which the behavioral similarity of identical twins is compared with the behavioral similarity of fraternal twins.
A study in which investigators seek to discover whether in behavior and psychological characteristics adopted children are more like their adoptive parents, who provided a home environment or more like their biological parents who contributed their heredity. Another form of the adoption study compares adoptive and biological siblings.
Passive genotype-environment correlations
Correlations that exist when the biological parents, who are genetically related to the child, provide a rearing environment for the child.
Evocative genotype-environment correlations
Correlations that exist when the child's characteristics elicit certain types of environments.
Active (niche-picking) genotype-environment correlations
Correlations that exist when children seek out environments they find compatible and stimulating.
Shared environmental experiences
Siblings' common experiences, such as their parents' personalities or intellectual orientation, the family's socioeconomic status, and the neighborhood in which they live.
Nonshared environmental experiences
The child's own unique experiences, both within the family ad outside the family, that are not shared by another sibling; thus experiences occurring within the family can be part of the "non shared environment."
Perspective that emphasizes that development is the result of an ongoing bidirectional inheritance between heredity and environment.
Gene X environment (gxe) interaction
The interaction of a specific measured variation in the DNA and a specific measured aspect of the environment.