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CH. 1 THE LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENTAL PERSPECTIVE THE LIFE-SPAN PERSPECTIVE The general course of our development , the pattern of movement or change that begins at conception and continues through the human life span, includes how we experience problems and growth throughout our life. THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT The ability to speak and write in native language has grown since you were a young child, but your ability to learn to speak a new language has probably declined. Through exploring development, we examine the life space from the point of conception until life ends. The benefits of examining life-span development would be to have a want to learn about children to become a better parent or educator. Possible gain of insight about own history throughout younger life. Researchers aim to describe, explain, and discover ways to optimize development as for example: - Massage therapy facilitates the growth of preterm infants and improves the functioning of their immune system - Friendship is a critical aspect of marital success, even for individuals who rate sexual satisfaction as highly important in a marriage. A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE Before the latter half of the 10 th century, development was something that only happened during childhood. A complete view of development requires we consider each change in the adult years, as well. Child Development Throughout history, philosophers have speculated about the nature of children and how they should be reared. Three of Western society influential philosophical views are based on the ideas of original sin (according to the Christian doctrine, children are born into the world corrupted, with an inclination toward evil. The goal is to save them from sin), tabula rasa (toward the end of the 17 th century, English philosopher John Locke argued that at birth each child is a “blank tablet”. He proposed that people acquire their characteristics through experience and that childhood experiences are important in determining adult characteristics. He advised parents to spend time with their children and help them become contributing members of society), and innate goodness (in the 18 th century, French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau proposed the concept, and believed that children are inherently good and therefore should be permitted to grow naturally with little parental monitoring or constraint) These conflicting views formed the historical backdrop for the study of childhood and for child-rearing practices. The modern study of children dates only to the late 1800s, when developmentalists stopped relying on a philosophical approach and began to apply the scientific method. Today, we conceive of childhood as a highly eventful and unique period of life that lays
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This note was uploaded on 04/30/2008 for the course PSY 235 taught by Professor Pak during the Spring '08 term at Rhode Island.

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