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JS1325 Wednesday, December 28, 2011 09:47 PM

Question regarding Growth, Development and Maturation
Hi folks,

There is a question in 2007 paper which goes like:

Define Developmental Psychology. Describe the characteristics of Growth, Development and maturation in the light of methods of Developmental Psychology.

Now what confuses me is the term [B]growth, development and maturation[/B] because as per my understanding, the term "Development" encompasses both the processes "Growth" and "Maturation". What I want to ask is, do we take this phrase [B]growth, development and maturation[/B] as just one phrase "Development" and mention its characteristics? Or do we have to specify characteristics of Growth, development and Maturation separately?

Let me also point here that in all the past papers, the three terms "Growth", "Development" and "Maturation" have been used TOGETHER or the examiner has simply used the term "Development". I hope I have mae myself clear

And also if some member can simply name the characteristics of Development, it'll be appreciated


Sheeza Durrani Sunday, January 01, 2012 08:04 PM

Theories of Development
Development is the series of age-related changes that happen over the course of a life span. Several famous psychologists, including Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, and Lawrence Kohlberg, describe development as a series of stages. A stage is a period in development in which people exhibit typical behavior patterns and establish particular capacities. The various stage theories share three assumptions:
1. People pass through stages in a specific order, with each stage building on capacities developed in the previous stage.
2. Stages are related to age.
3. Development is discontinuous, with qualitatively different capacities emerging in each stage.
Sigmund Freud’s Theory of Personality
The Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud first described personality development as a series of stages. Of these stages, Freud believed that early childhood was the most important. He believed that personality developed by about the age of five.
Freud’s theory of personality development is described in more detail on pages 268-–273 of Chapter 13, “Personality.”
Erik Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development
Like Freud, Erik Erikson believed in the importance of early childhood. However, Erikson believed that personality development happens over the entire course of a person’s life. In the early 1960s, Erikson proposed a theory that describes eight distinct stages of development. According to Erikson, in each stage people face new challenges, and the stage’s outcome depends on how people handle these challenges. Erikson named the stages according to these possible outcomes:
Stage 1: Trust vs. Mistrust
In the first year after birth, babies depend completely on adults for basic needs such as food, comfort, and warmth. If the caretakers meet these needs reliably, the babies become attached and develop a sense of security. Otherwise, they may develop a mistrustful, insecure attitude.
Stage 2: Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
Between the ages of one and three, toddlers start to gain independence and learn skills such as toilet training, feeding themselves, and dressing themselves. Depending on how they face these challenges, toddlers can develop a sense of autonomy or a sense of doubt and shame about themselves.
Stage 3: Initiative vs. GuiltBetween the ages of three and six, children must learn to control their impulses and act in a socially responsible way. If they can do this effectively, children become more self- confident. If not, they may develop a strong sense of guilt.
Stage 4: Industry vs. Inferiority
Between the ages of six and twelve, children compete with peers in school and prepare to take on adult roles. They end this stage with either a sense of competence or a sense of inferiority.
Stage 5: Identity vs. Role Confusion
During adolescence, which is the period between puberty and adulthood, children try to determine their identity and their direction in life. Depending on their success, they either acquire a sense of identity or remain uncertain about their roles in life.
Stage 6: Intimacy vs. Isolation
In young adulthood, people face the challenge of developing intimate relationships with others. If they do not succeed, they may become isolated and lonely.
Stage 7: Generativity vs. Self-Absorption
As people reach middle adulthood, they work to become productive members of society, either through parenting or through their jobs. If they fail, they become overly self-absorbed.
Stage 8: Integrity vs. Despair
In old age, people examine their lives. They may either have a sense of contentment or be disappointed about their lives and fearful of the future.
Erikson’s theory is useful because it addresses both personality stability and personality change. To some degree, personality is stable, because childhood experiences influence people even as adults. However, personality also changes and develops over the life span as people face new challenges. The problem with Erikson’s theory, as with many stage theories of development, is that he describes only a typical pattern. The theory doesn’t acknowledge the many differences among individuals.

Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development
Stage Conflict Faced Typical Age Range Major Challenge(s)
1 Trust vs. mistrust First year of life Having basic needs met, attaching to people
2 Autonomy vs. shame and doubt 1–3 years Gaining independence
3 Initiative vs. guilt 3–6 years Acting in a socially responsible way
4 Industry vs. inferiority 6–12 years Competing with peers, preparing for adult roles
5 Identity vs. role confusion Adolescence Determining one’s identity
6 Intimacy vs. isolation Early adulthood Developing intimate relationships
7 Generativity vs. self-absorption Middle adulthood Being productive
8 Integrity vs. despair Old age Evaluating one’s life
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
While conducting intelligence tests on children, Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget began to investigate how children think. According to Piaget, children’s thought processes change as they mature physically and interact with the world around them. Piaget believed children develop schema, or mental models, to represent the world. As children learn, they expand and modify their schema through the processes of assimilation and accommodation.Assimilation is the broadening of an existing schema to include new information. Accommodation is the modification of a schema as new information is incorporated.
Example: Suppose a young boy knows his pet parrot is a bird. When he sees a robin outside and calls it a bird too, he exhibits assimilation, since he broadened his bird schema to include characteristics of both parrots and robins. His bird schema might be “all things that fly.” Now suppose a bat flaps out at him one night and he shrieks, “Bird!” If he learns it was a bat that startled him, he’ll have to modify his bird schema to “things that fly and have feathers.” In modifying his definition, he enacts accommodation.
Piaget proposed that children go through four stages of cognitive development:
Stage 1: Sensorimotor Period
In this stage, which lasts from birth to roughly two years, children learn by using their senses and moving around. By the end of the sensorimotor period, children become capable of symbolic thought, which means they can represent objects in terms of mental symbols. More important, children achieve object permanence in this stage. Object permanence is the ability to recognize that an object can exist even when it’s no longer perceived or in one’s sight.
Example: If a three-month-old baby sees a ball, she’ll probably be fascinated by it. But if someone hides the ball, the baby won’t show any interest in looking for it. For a very young child, out of sight is literally out of mind. When the baby is older and has acquired object permanence, she will start to look for things that are hidden because she will know that things can exist even when they can’t be seen.
Stage 2: Preoperational Period
This stage lasts from about two to seven years of age. During this stage, children get better at symbolic thought, but they can’t yet reason. According to Piaget, children aren’t capable of conservation during this stage.Conservation is the ability to recognize that measurable physical features of objects, such as length, area, and volume, can be the same even when objects appear different.
Example: Suppose a researcher gives a three-year-old girl two full bottles of juice. The girl will agree that they both contain the same amount of juice. But if the researcher pours the contents of one bottle into a short, fat tumbler, the girl will then say that the bottle has more. She doesn’t realize that the same volume of juice is conserved in the tumbler.
Piaget argued that children are not capable of conservation during the preoperational stage because of three weaknesses in the way they think. He called these weaknesses centration, irreversibility, and egocentrism:
• Centration is the tendency to focus on one aspect of a problem and ignore other key aspects. In the example above, the three-year-old looks only at the higher juice level in the bottle and ignores the fact that the bottle is narrower than the tumbler. Because of centration, children in the preoperational stage cannot carry out hierarchical classification, which means they can’t classify things according to more than one level.
• Irreversibility is the inability to mentally reverse an operation. In the example, the three-year-old can’t imagine pouring the juice from the tumbler back into the bottle. If she poured the juice back, she’d understand that the tumbler holds the same amount of liquid as the bottle.
• Egocentrism is the inability to take someone else’s point of view.Animism, or the belief that even inanimate objects are living, results from egocentrism. Children assume that since they are alive, all other things must be too.
Talking Tables and Dancing Dishwashers
Animism explains the popularity of children’s movies featuring characters such as talking vegetables or singing candlesticks. Young children can readily believe that objects around them are alive, which means they can be entertained by stories involving living objects. Children and adolescents past the age of seven generally lose interest in heroic toasters and prefer stories about people.
Stage 3: Concrete Operational Period
From the age of seven to about eleven, children become capable of performing mental operations or working through problems and ideas in their minds. However, they can perform operations only on tangible objects and real events. Children also achieve conservation, reversibility, and decentration during this stage:
• Reversibility is the ability to mentally reverse actions.
• Decentration is the ability to focus simultaneously on several aspects of a problem.
Furthermore, children become less egocentric during this stage as they start to consider simultaneously different ways of looking at a problem.
Stage 4: Formal Operational Period
In this stage, which begins around eleven years of age and continues through adulthood, children become capable of applying mental operations to abstract concepts. They can imagine and reason about hypothetical situations. From this point on, people start to think in abstract, systematic, and logical ways.
Critiques of Piaget’s Theories
Although Piaget made important contributions to the research on cognitive development, his theory has come under attack for several reasons:
• Recent research has shown that he greatly underestimated children’s capabilities. For example, researchers have shown that babies achieve object permanence much sooner than Piaget said they do.
• Children sometimes simultaneously develop skills that are characteristic of more than one stage, which makes the idea of stages seem less viable.
• Piaget ignored cultural influences. Research has shown that children from different cultures tend to go through Piaget’s stages in the same order, but the timing and length of stages vary from culture to culture.
• Some people never develop the capacity for formal reasoning, even as adults.

Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
Stage Age Important Features
1 Sensorimotor First two years of life Object permanence, symbolic thought
2 Preoperational 2–7 years Centration, irreversibility, egocentrism, and animism
3 Concrete operational 7–11 years Reversibility, decentration, decrease in egocentrism, conservation
4 Formal operational 11 through adulthood Abstract thought
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development
Lawrence Kohlberg focused on moral reasoning, or why people think the way they do about right and wrong. Influenced by Piaget, who believed that moral reasoning depends on the level of cognitive development, Kohlberg proposed that people pass through three levels of moral development. He divided each level into two stages.
Level 1: The Preconventional Level
At this level, children ascribe great importance to the authority of adults. For children in the first stage of this level, an action is wrong if it’s punished, whereas in the second stage, an action is right if it’s rewarded.
Level 2: The Conventional Level
In the next level, children value rules, which they follow in order to get approval from others. In the first stage of this level, children want the approval only of people who are close to them. In the second stage, children become more concerned with the rules of the broader society.
Level 3: The Postconventional Level
In the final level, people become more flexible and consider what’s personally important to them. In the first stage of this level, people still want to follow society’s rules, but they don’t see those rules as absolute. In the second stage, people figure out right and wrong for themselves, based on abstract ethical principles. Only a small proportion of people reach this last stage of moral reasoning.
Critiques of Kohlberg’s Theories
Research supports key parts of Kohlberg’s theory. People do tend to progress in order through Kohlberg’s stages, and cognitive and moral development do affect each other. However, critics of Kohlberg’s theory have two main concerns:
• People often show the reasoning characteristic of several different levels simultaneously. For instance, in one situation, a person might reason as if he is at a conventional stage, and in another situation, he might use reasoning typical of a postconventional stage.
• Kohlberg’s theory of moral development favors cultures that value individualism. In other cultures, highly moral people may base their reasoning on communal values rather than abstract ethical principles.

Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development
Level Stage What Determines Right and Wrong
1. Preconventional 1 Punishment by adults
2 Reward by adults
2. Conventional 3 Rules set by close people
4 Rules set by society
3. Postconventional 5 Rules set by society, judged by what’s personally important
6 Rules based on abstract ethical principles
Prenatal Development
Development happens quickly during the prenatal period, which is the time between conception and birth. This period is generally divided into three stages: the germinal stage, the embryonic stage, and the fetal stage.
Stage 1: The Germinal StageThe two-week period after conception is called thegerminal stage. Conception occurs when a sperm cell combines with an egg cell to form azygote. About thirty-six hours after conception, the zygote begins to divide quickly. The resulting ball of cells moves along the mother’s fallopian tube to the uterus.
Around seven days after conception, the ball of cells starts to become embedded in the wall of the uterus. This process is called implantation and takes about a week to complete. If implantation fails, as is quite common, the pregnancy terminates. One key feature of the germinal stage is the formation of a tissue called the placenta. The placenta has two important functions:
• Passing oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s blood into the embryo or fetus
• Removing waste materials from the embryo or fetus
Stage 2: The Embryonic Stage
The embryonic stage lasts from the end of the germinal stage to two months after conception. The developing ball of cells is now called an embryo. In this stage, all the major organs form, and the embryo becomes very fragile. The biggest dangers are teratogens, which are agents such as viruses, drugs, or radiation that can cause deformities in an embryo or fetus. At the end of the embryonic period, the embryo is only about an inch long.
Stage 3: The Fetal Stage
The last stage of prenatal development is the fetal stage, which lasts from two months after conception until birth. About one month into this stage, the sex organs of the fetus begin to form. The fetus quickly grows as bones and muscles form, and it begins to move inside the uterus. Organ systems develop further and start to function. During the last three months, the brain increases rapidly in size, an insulating layer of fat forms under the skin, and the respiratory and digestive systems start to work independently.
Fetal Viability
Around twenty-two to twenty-six weeks after conception, the fetus reaches the age of viability, after which it has some chance of surviving out-side the womb if it is born prematurely. The chances of a premature baby’s survival increase significantly with each additional week it remains in the mother’s uterus.
Adverse Factors Affecting Fetal Development
Although the womb provides protection, the fetus remains indirectly connected to the outside world through its mother. Several factors that are linked to the mother can harm the fetus:
• Poor nutrition
• Use of alcohol
• Smoking
• Use of certain prescription or over-the-counter drugs
• Use of recreational drugs such as cocaine, sedatives, and narcotics
• X-rays and other kinds of radiation
• Ingested toxins, such as lead
• Illnesses such as AIDS, German measles, syphilis, cholera, smallpox, mumps, or severe flu
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Mothers who drink heavily during pregnancy may have babies with fetal alcohol syndrome. Babies with this syndrome may have problems such as small head size, heart defects, irritability, hyperactivity, mental retardation, or slowed motor development. Fetal alcohol syndrome is incurable.
Infancy and Childhood
Babies come into the world with many innate abilities, or abilities that are present from birth. At birth, they possess motor reflexes such as the sucking reflex and the grasping reflex. Newborns can also hear, smell, touch, taste, and see, and these sensory abilities develop quickly.
Motor Development
Motor development also progresses quickly. Motor development is the increasing coordination of muscles that makes physical movements possible.Developmental norms tell us the median age at which babies develop specific behaviors and abilities. Babies often deviate a fair amount from these norms.
Researchers used to think motor skill development could be explained mostly by maturation, genetically programmed growth and development. According to this view, babies learn to sit up, pull themselves to a standing position, and walk at particular ages because they are hard-wired that way. However, recent research suggests that motor development isn’t just a passive process. Although maturation plays a large role, babies also actively develop motor skills by moving around and exploring their environments. Both maturation and experience influence motor development.
It’s Not All Maturation
Maturation plays a much greater role in the development of early motor skills, such as crawling and walking, than in development of later motor skills, such as juggling or playing basketball. The development of later motor skills depends on genetic predisposition, exposure to good teachers, and social factors.
Cultural differences also affect how quickly motor skills develop, although the timing and sequence of early motor skill development remains similar across all cultures.
Example: In cultures where babies receive early training in sitting up, standing, and walking, they develop these skills earlier. Conversely, in other cultures, mothers carry babies most of the time, and babies develop these skills later.
Some babies have fussy personalities, while others have chirpy or quiet natures. These differences result from temperament, the kind of personality features babies are born with. Researchers generally agree that temperament depends more on biological factors than on environment. In the 1970s, Alexander Thomas and Stella Chess, two researchers who study temperament, described three basic types of temperament: easy, slow to warm up, and difficult. In their research, 40 percent of the children were easy, 15 percent were slow to warm up, and 10 percent were difficult. The remaining 35 percent of the children displayed a mixture of these temperaments:
• Easy children tend to be happy and adapt easily to change. They have regular sleeping and eating patterns and don’t upset easily.
• Slow-to-warm-up children tend to be less cheerful and less adaptable than easy children. They are cautious about new experiences. Their sleeping and eating patterns are less regular than those of easy children.
• Difficult children tend to be glum and irritable, and they dislike change. Their eating and sleeping patterns are irregular.
Attachment is the close bond between infants and their caregivers. Researchers used to think that infants attach to people who feed them and keep them warm. However, researchers Margaret and Harry Harlow showed that attachment could not occur without contact comfort. Contact comfort is comfort derived from physical closeness with a caregiver.
The Harlows’ Baby Monkeys
The Harlows raised orphaned baby rhesus monkeys and studied their behavior. In place of its real mother, each baby monkey had two substitute or surrogate mothers. One “mother” had a head attached to a wire frame, warming lights, and a feeding bottle. The other “mother” had the same construction except that foam rubber and terry cloth covered its wire frame. The Harlows found that although both mothers provided milk and warmth, the baby monkeys greatly preferred the cloth mother. They clung to the cloth mother even between feedings and went to it for comfort when they felt afraid.
Responsive Mothering
Psychologist Mary Ainsworth and her colleagues found that attachment happens through a complex set of interactions between mothers and infants. The infants of sensitive, responsive mothers have stronger attachments than the infants of insensitive mothers or mothers who respond inconsistently to their infants’ needs. However, an infant’s temperament also plays a role in attachment. Difficult infants who fuss, refuse to eat, and sleep irregularly tax their mothers, which makes it hard for the mothers to be properly responsive.
Attachment Styles
Ainsworth devised an experiment called the Strange Situation in order to study attachment behavior. She asked each mother in the sample to bring her infant to an unfamiliar room that contained various toys. After the mother and infant had spent some time in the room, a stranger entered the room and tried to play with the infant. A short while later, the mother left the room, leaving the infant with the stranger. Then the mother returned to the room, and the stranger left. A little later, the mother left the room again, briefly leaving the infant alone. Finally, the mother returned to the room.
Based on her observations of infants’ behavior in the Strange Situation, Ainsworth described three types of attachment patterns:
1. Secure attachment: Most infants in the sample had a secure attachment to their mothers. These infants expressed unhappiness when their mothers left but still played with the stranger. When their mothers returned, the infants looked happy. The infants displayed greater attachment to their mothers than to the stranger.
2. Anxious-ambivalent attachment: Some infants showed a type of insecure attachment called an anxious-ambivalent attachment. These infants became upset when their mothers left but resisted contact with their mothers when they returned.
3. Avoidant attachment: Other infants showed a type of insecure attachment called an avoidant attachment. These infants didn’t seem upset when their mothers left and avoided their mothers when they returned. Researchers did not see a significant difference in the way these infants treated their mothers and the stranger.
Culture and Attachment Style
Culture can influence attachment style because different cultures have different child-rearing practices. Ainsworth’s research in the United States showed that most of her white, middle-class sample of infants had a secure attachment to their mothers. However, in Germany, where parents encourage independence from an early age, a much higher proportion of infants display an avoidant attachment, according to Ainsworth’s classification. In Japan, where infants rarely separate from their mothers, the avoidant style is nonexistent, although a higher proportion of anxious-ambivalent attachments occurred than in the United States.
Separation Anxiety
Whether they are securely attached or not, most babies do experience separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is the emotional distress infants show when they separate from people to whom they are attached. Separation anxiety typically begins at about six to eight months of age and reaches peak intensity when an infant is about fourteen to eighteen months old.
Day Care
Controversy surrounds the question of whether or not to place children in day care. Some research has suggested that babies have a greater chance of developing insecure attachments if a nonparental figure cares for them for more than twenty hours per week. However, most of the evidence suggests that day care doesn’t create poor attachment. Studies have even shown that day care can have positive effects on social development.
Gender Development
Sex isn’t the same as gender. Sex refers to a biological distinction between males and females. An example of sex difference is the timing of puberty. Because of biological processes, girls’ sexual organs mature before those of boys. Gender refers to a learned distinction between masculinity and femininity. An example of gender difference is girls’ and boys’ attitudes toward dolls. Very early on, American society teaches boys that playing with dolls is considered a girlish thing to do. Gender stereotypes are societal beliefs about the characteristics of males and females.
Gender Differences
Some gender differences exist, although certainly not as many as stereotypes suggest. For example, starting in preschool, gender differences arise in play behavior. Boys prefer playing with boys and girls with girls. Boys prefer to play with boyish toys like trucks and girls with girlish toys like dolls. Different people give different answers for why this is so:
• Researchers who emphasize biological differences between the sexes say that these preferences arise from biological factors such as genetics and evolution, prenatal hormones, or brain structure.
• Researchers who focus on cognitive development believe that these preferences exist because boys and girls develop different gender schemas or mental models about gender.
• Researchers who study learning think that environment produces these preferences. They point out that almost from the moment of birth, girls and boys receive different treatment. Gender preferences, these researchers say, simply reflect what society teaches children about gender.
Adolescence used to be automatically associated with trouble. Recently, however, researchers have found that adolescence is not always so difficult, even with all the changes that occur during this period.
Physical Changes
Pubescencerefers to the two years before puberty. The adolescent growth spurt actually begins during pubescence, at about age eleven in girls and about age thirteen in boys. At this time, children get taller and heavier and develop secondary sex characteristics. Secondary sex characteristics are sex-specific physical characteristics that are not essential for reproduction. Girls develop breasts, widened pelvic bones, and wider hips. Boys develop facial hair, broader shoulders, and deeper voices.
After pubescence and at the beginning of adolescence, puberty occurs. Puberty is the point at which sexual organs mature. Sexual organs include the ovaries in girls and the penis and testes in boys.
Menarche, or the first menstrual period, marks the onset of puberty in girls. The average age of menarche for American girls is about twelve and a half. The beginning of nocturnal emissions, so-called wet dreams, marks the onset of puberty in boys. American boys typically begin to produce sperm by fourteen years of age. Girls reach full sexual maturation around age sixteen, and boys reach sexual maturity at around eighteen.
Earlier Onset of Puberty
Girls and boys in the United States reach puberty earlier now than they did a few generations ago, possibly because nutrition and medical care have changed over the years. In Western Europe and the United States, girls have their first menstrual periods at around age twelve or thirteen. In poorer regions of Africa, which lack proper nutrition and health care, girls may not begin to menstruate until they are between the ages of fourteen and seventeen.
Varying Maturation Rates
Puberty occurs at different rates for different people. In girls, puberty usually happens between ages ten and fifteen and in boys between ages eleven and sixteen. Early or late maturation can have the following consequences:
• Early-maturing girls and late-maturing boys tend to have more psychological and social problems than their peers.
• In girls, a correlation exists between early maturation and poorer school performance, earlier sexual activity, more unwanted pregnancies, and a higher likelihood of eating disorders.
• Both boys and girls who mature early use more alcohol and drugs and have more problems with the law than their peers.
As Erik Erikson pointed out, the search for identity marks an important step in adolescence. Adolescents may go through an identity crisis, during which they struggle to understand themselves and decide their future. The psychologist James Marcia described four identity states, based on where people stand on the path to identity:
• Identity foreclosure happens when a person prematurely commits to values or roles that others prescribe.
• Identity moratorium happens when a person delays commitment to an identity. He or she may experiment with various values and roles.
• Identity diffusion occurs when a person lacks a clear sense of identity but still hasn’t explored issues related to identity development.
• Identity achievement occurs when a person considers alternative possibilities and commits to a certain identity and path in life.
Certain experiences tend to occur in adulthood, including:
• Marriage
• Parenthood
• The empty nest
• The midlife crisis
• Menopause (for women)
• Aging
Not all adults go through all these experiences, and the timing of particular experiences can vary greatly from person to person. However, average ages for major life events do exist.Social clocksindicate the typical life events, behaviors, and issues for a particular age. Each culture and historical period has a specific social clock. A middle-class white woman living in contemporary U.S. culture may be “off time” for motherhood if she had her first child at age fifteen. In another cultural context or another historical period, however, motherhood at age fifteen may have been “on time.”
A midlife crisis is a time of doubt and anxiety in middle adulthood. Research suggests, however, that midlife crises don’t automatically happen when people reach middle age. The empty nest refers to the time in parents’ lives when their children have grown up and left home. Parents who have other roles in addition to parenting usually find this period less difficult.
Menopause is the gradual, permanent cessation of menstruation and usually begins between ages forty-five and fifty-five. Though many women suffer uncomfortable physical symptoms during menopause, such as hot flashes, emotional reactions to menopause are far from universal: many women have strong emotional reactions, while just as many others may not. Though men don’t experience menopause, they do experience a gradual decline in testosterone production and sperm count as they age.
Researchers now know quite a bit about the process of growing old. Some abilities and functions decline:
• As people age, they usually lose neurons in the brain, but this loss rarely causes problems such as dementia, which is a condition characterized by several significant psychological deficits.
• Vision and hearing tend to decline as people grow older.
• Some aspects of memory decrease in old age. This results from a decline in the speed of mental processing. Decrease in memory capacity is normal and is not necessarily related to dementia.
Other abilities and functions stay the same or even improve as people age:
• Crystallized intelligence, which is intelligence based on a life span of knowledge and skills, remains constant or increases.
• Physical exercise and mental stimulation can form new connections between neurons in the brains of older adults.
• Most people’s overall sense of well-being increases as they get older.
Quick Review
Theories of Development
• Many psychologists have proposed stage theories of development, which argue that people pass through stages in specific orders, with challenges related to age and different capacities emerging in each stage.
• Sigmund Freud first described personality development in terms of stages and believed personality developed by age five.
• Erik Erikson proposed a theory of psychosocial development that occurs in eight stages over a person’s lifetime. He proposed that people face new challenges at each stage: trust vs. mistrust,autonomy vs. shame and doubt, initiative vs. guilt, industry vs. inferiority, identity vs. role confusion, intimacy vs. isolation,generativity vs. self-absorption, and integrity vs. despair.
• Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development states that children develop schema or mental models to represent the world. He proposed four stages of cognitive development: the sensorimotor period, the preoperational period, the concrete operational period, and the formal operational period.
• Lawrence Kohlberg proposed a theory of moral development that includes three levels or stages: the preconventional level, theconventional level, and the postconventional level.
Prenatal Development
• Prenatal development occurs between conception and birth.
• Prenatal development is divided into three stages: the germinal stage, the embryonic stage, and the fetal stage.
Infancy and Childhood
• Motor development or increasing coordination of muscles improves rapidly in infancy and childhood.
• Maturation is genetically programmed growth and development. Maturation and experience influence motor development.
• Temperament refers to the personality features a person is born with. Alexander Thomas and Stella Chess proposed three basic types of temperament: easy, slow to warm up, and difficult.
• Attachment is the close bond between babies and their caregivers.Margaret and Harry Harlow concluded that attachment requirescontact comfort, which is the comfort deriving from physical closeness.
• After conducting an experiment called the Strange Situation, Mary Ainsworth proposed three types of attachment styles: secure attachment, anxious-ambivalent attachment, and avoidant attachment.
• Separation anxiety is the emotional distress infants show when separated from people to whom they are attached.
• Gender is the learned distinction between masculinity and femininity. Gender stereotypes are societal beliefs about the characteristics of males and females.
• Depending on their perspective, researchers ascribe different causes for gender differences.
• Pubescence refers to the two years before puberty and entails growth spurts and the development of secondary sex characteristics.Secondary sex characteristics are sex-specific physical traits that are not essential to reproduction, such as breasts, widened hips, facial hair, and deepened voices.
• Puberty, the point at which sexual organs mature, occurs at the beginning of adolescence. Menarche refers to the first menstrual period.
• On average, puberty occurs between ages ten and fifteen for girls and eleven and sixteen for boys. Maturing before or after these ages can have adverse consequences.
• The search for identity is an important step in adolescence. James Marcia described four identity stages: identity foreclosure, identity moratorium, identity diffusion, and identity achievement.
• Adulthood usually includes experiences such as marriage, parenthood, the empty nest, the midlife crisis, menopause, and aging.
• Social clocks indicate the typical life events, behaviors, and concerns for a particular age.
• As people age, they tend to experience loss of neurons in the brain, a decline in vision and hearing, and decreased memory. People may also experience increased crystallized intelligence, which is intelligence based on accumulated knowledge and skills. Physical exercise and mental stimulation can create new neural brain connections, and older adults generally have a better sense of well-being.

Sheeza Durrani Sunday, January 01, 2012 08:07 PM

I hope this material will prove to be helpful.

Sheeza Durrani Sunday, January 01, 2012 08:40 PM

Characteristics of growth and development
The term growth and development both refers to dynamic process. Often used interchangeably, these terms have different meanings. Growth and development are interdependent, interrelated process. Growth generally takes place during the first 20 years of life.; development continues after that.
1. Is physical change and increase in size.
2. It can be measured quantitatively.
3. Indicators of growth includes height, weight, bone size, and dentition.
4. Growth rates vary during different stages of growth and development.
5. The growth rate is rapid during the prenatal, neonatal, infancy and adolescent stages and slows during childhood.
6. Physical growth is minimal during adulthood.
1. Is an increase in the complexity of function and skill progression.
2. It is the capacity and skill of a person to adapt to the environment.
3. Development is the behavioral aspect of growth.

JS1325 Sunday, January 01, 2012 10:18 PM

[QUOTE=Sheeza Durrani;391739]I hope this material will prove to be helpful.[/QUOTE]

Yes I 've grasped the subtleties of these terms. Thanks a lot for the much needed response

shoaib khan12 Friday, April 13, 2012 03:03 PM

[QUOTE=rubraiz;390262]Hi folks,

There is a question in 2007 paper which goes like:

Define Developmental Psychology. Describe the characteristics of Growth, Development and maturation in the light of methods of Developmental Psychology.

Now what confuses me is the term [B]growth, development and maturation[/B] because as per my understanding, the term "Development" encompasses both the processes "Growth" and "Maturation". What I want to ask is, do we take this phrase [B]growth, development and maturation[/B] as just one phrase "Development" and mention its characteristics? Or do we have to specify characteristics of Growth, development and Maturation separately?

Let me also point here that in all the past papers, the three terms "Growth", "Development" and "Maturation" have been used TOGETHER or the examiner has simply used the term "Development". I hope I have mae myself clear

And also if some member can simply name the characteristics of Development, it'll be appreciated


Maturation is very simply defined as

"the gradual unfolding of genetic blue print is known as maturation"

imaan77k Saturday, February 08, 2014 03:55 PM

I also need info about this..

12:39 PM (GMT +5)

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