THE DEVELOPING PERSON THROUGH
THE LIFE SPAN 8E
Chapter 1– Introduction
1. Why do developmentalists consider themselves
scientists?
2. Does life get better or worse as we grow older?
3. At what age do we stop changing?
7 STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
1. Infancy
 2. Early Childhood
 3. Middle Childhood
 4. Adolescence
 5. Emerging Adulthood
 6. Adulthood
 7. Late Adulthood

DEFINING DEVELOPMENT
The science of human
development…
seeks to understand
how and why people—
all kinds of people,
everywhere, of every
age—change over time.
1. SCIENCE

developmental study is a science….
 theories
 data
 analysis
 critical
thinking
 sound methodology
 Understand the “how” and “why”
4
2. DIVERSITY

studying all kinds of people
 young
and old
 rich and poor
 every ethnicity, background
 sexual orientation
 What is universal? What is unique?
5
3. CONNECTIONS BETWEEN CHANGE AND TIME

Changing or remaining
the same over time
 transformations
 consistencies
 beginning

of human life
to end
understanding each segment
of life
Each stage is better
understood by
remembering the
whole life, and,
conversely, the
whole life is
understood best by
knowing each
segment.
6
Understanding How and Why
Five Basic Steps of the Scientific Method
• Begin with curiosity.
• Develop a hypothesis.
• Test the hypothesis.
• Draw conclusions.
• Report the results.
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
Often, a sixth step is needed before the
scientific community accepts conclusions.

Replication:
THE NATURE-NURTURE DEBATE

Nature

Nurture





health and diet of the embryo’s mother
family
school
community
society
Can
we really ask, “How Much?”
CRITICAL AND SENSITIVE PERIODS

A critical period is a time when certain things
________________ for normal development.

A sensitive period is when a particular
development occurs __________________.
OBSERVING CHANGES OVER TIME

Dynamic-Systems Theory
A view of human development as an
ongoing, ever-changing interaction
between the physical and emotional
being and between the person and
every aspect of his or her
environment, including the family and
society.
THE LIFE-SPAN PERSPECTIVE
“…developmentalists are acutely aware of
the reciprocal connections between one
moment in life and another… leading to
five principles that are useful for
understanding any age of human life…”
12
MULTIDIRECTIONAL (1)
 Change
you
occurs in every direction
are affected by many forces!
physical health, intellectual
growth, and social interaction
up, down, stable or erratic
MULTICONTEXTUAL (2)
“…humans develop in dozens of contexts that
profoundly affect their development…”
physical surroundings
 family patterns

 Urie

Bronfenbrenner
Social context


historical
socioeconomic
14
MULTICONTEXTUAL (2)

Ecological-Systems Approach
 (Urie

Bronfenbrenner)
a leader in understanding ecological
systems approach
he believed that we need to examine all
systems surrounding the development of
each person
microsysems
exosystems
macrosystems
ECOLOGICAL-SYSTEMS APPROACH

microsysems


exosystems


a person’s immediate
surroundings
local institutions, such
as schools and churches
macrosystems

larger social setting,
including cultural values,
economic polices, and
political processes
16
THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT
cohort
 people born within a few years of one another
these
people are affected by the same
values
 events
 technologies
 culture

17
THE SOCIOECONOMIC CONTEXT
 Socioeconomic includes
 socioeconomic
status (ses),
MULTICULTURAL (3)
 Culture—
 set
of values, assumptions, and customs
as well as physical objects such as
clothing, housing, etc.
 includes
all decisions people make
 is dynamic, supportive
ETHNICITY, RACE, AND CULTURE
 ethnic
groups
share certain attributes
ancestral heritage (customs
and traditions)
 national origin
 (country of birth)
 religion
 culture
 language
 ethnic categories arise from history,
sociology, and psychology, not from
biology

20
ETHNICITY, RACE, AND CULTURE
 Race
a
distorted
concept, no clearcut racial groups
(1970’s census:
white/black/other)
 -What
racial
categories have
been added?
For your racial profile report? Well, sir, my
mother was part Panamanian, part
Jamaican. My dad was part Ukrainian, part
Puerto Rican. I hope that helps.
MULTIDISCIPLINARY (4)
“…a broad array of disciplines and cross-cutting
topics… each person develops simultaneously
in body, mind, and spirit…”
Development is divided into three domains;
Biosocial –
 Cognitive –
 Psychosocial –

22
PLASTICITY (5)
 The possibility to change:
 human
traits can be molded
yet maintaining durability of identity
culture and upbringing affect both
aspects of plasticity
Genes and other biological influences
 provides hope and realism
hope = changes is possible
realism = each developing person
must build on what has come before
23
THE LIFE-SPAN PERSPECTIVE

Mirror neuronsCells in an
observer’s brain
that respond to an
action performed
by someone else in
the same way they
would if the
observer had
actually performed
it.
“We
need to keep
in mind that the
future is not
something we
simply enter, the
future is also
something we help
create.”

Paul Baltes (Founder of lifespan developmental
study)
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Invitation to the Life Span by Kathleen Stassen