Chapter 1 notes - PSY 256 Developmental Psychology Chapter...

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PSY 256 Developmental Psychology Chapter 1 Introduction I. The Life Span Perspective– development = the pattern of movement or change that starts at conception & continues through the human life span A. The importance of studying life-span development – may someday have responsibility for children; see yourself as an infant, a child, an adolescent, a young adult, a middle-aged adult, and in later adulthood B. Characteristics of the Life-Span Perspective = the perspective that development is lifelong, multidimensional, multidirectional, plastic, multidisciplinary, & contextual; that it involves growth, maintenance, & regulation; & that it is constructed through biological, sociocultural, & individual factors working together 1. Development is lifelong – early adulthood is NOT the end of development 2. Development is multidimensional – biological, cognitive, socioemotional 3. Development is multidirectional–some dimensions expand while others shrink 4. Development is plastic–capacity for change 5. Developmental science is multidisciplinary – psychology, sociology, anthropology, neuroscience, & medicine 6. Development is contextual– context = the setting in which development occurs, which is influenced by historical, economic, social, & cultural factors a. Normative age-graded influences = biological & environmental influences that are similar for individuals in a particular age group (puberty, menopause, starting school…) b. Normative history-graded influences = biological & environmental influences that are associated with history. These influences are
common to people of a particular generation (Great Depression, WWII, Cuban missile crisis…) c. Nonnormative life events = unusual occurrences that have a major impact on a person’s life. The occurrence, pattern, & sequence of these events are not applicable to many individuals (death of a parent, fire that destroys home, winning the lottery…) 7. Development involves growth, maintenance, & regulation of loss – change with aging 8. Development is co-construction of biology, culture, & the individual - interaction C. Contemporary concerns in life-span development 1. Health & well-being – the power of lifestyles & psychological states are now recognized 2. Parenting & education–child care, divorce, parenting styles… 3. Sociocultural contexts & diversity – shape development a. Culture = the behavior patterns, beliefs, & all other products of a group that are passed on from generation to generation b. Cross-cultural studies = comparisons of one culture with one or more other cultures. These provide information about the degree to which children’s development is similar, or universal, across cultures, & to the degree which it is culture-specific c. Ethnicity = a range of characteristics rooted in cultural heritage, including nationality, race, religion, & language d. Socioeconomic status (SES) = refers to the conceptual grouping of people with similar occupational, educational, & economic characteristics e. Gender = the characteristics of people as females & males
4. Social policy = a national government’s course of action designed to

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