Samples Psychology Lifespan Perspective of Development

Lifespan Perspective of Development

642 words 3 page(s)

Growth and development, according to the lifespan perspective, has a number of approaches to its explanation. There are a number of theories that psychologists such as Maslow and Rodgers developed to explain the lifespan perspective of development.

The lifespan perspective can be defined as the period that starts at the time a person is born to the time of death. Lifespan development, therefore, refers to the process that starts at conception and gradually moves on to the time one dies. Lifespan perspective of development can thus be described as a methodical, intra-individual transformation that is attributed to the progressions corresponding to age (Baltes, Lindenberger & Staudinger, 2011).

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As a child grows, there are several changes that take place both phenotypically and physically. All these are marks that are used to illustrate transitions from premature periods to mature levels. Physical development is mainly associated with growth and development of body organs, signs of ageing and motor abilities. There are certain characteristics associated with lifespan perspective. To begin with, development is considered to be a distinctive feature that displays significant variation from person to person.

The second attribute of lifespan perspective is that development is considered to be historically embedded. This implies that historical milestones have an impact on the levels of growth and individual development. There are different theories that have been developed to provide different views towards lifespan perspective of development. Two of these theories are summarised in the following sections.

According to the psychoanalytic theory by Freud, the human personality was structured into three major sections. These are the id, ego and superego with id being the most primitive structure, the ego being the less primitive and the superego considered to be the most modern structure. According to Freud, all through the stages of development, the three were in constant conflict.

In the theory, Freud carried out multiple experiments and merged these with childhood memories and came up with the popular psychosexual stages of life. These included the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, the latency stage and the genital stage (Kail, & Cavanaugh, 2013). Though faced with multiple critiques such as too much emphasis on childhood experience, the theory has been applied in explaining finer details of lifespan perspective of development.

The humanism theory emphasizes on the study of the whole being. The humanistic psychologists such as Maslow and Rodgers look into the behaviour of the person not only from the eye behaviour of the observer but also through the eye behaviour of the person being observed. The major assumption behind the theory is that any person’s behaviour is connected to their inner feelings and self-concept (Kail, & Cavanaugh, 2013).

The theory was developed in an attempt to rebel against the views that some psychologists had towards behaviourist and psychodynamic theories. Just as in the case of the former theory, the humanism is based on certain assumptions. For example, the assumption that people have free will is significant in illustrating some of the decision concepts. In addition, the theory also has the assumption that people are basically good. Putting into consideration all these assumptions, Maslow and Rogers regarded personal growth and nourishment in life as a fundamental human motive.

Heredity mainly involves the transmission of characteristics from the biological parents to their offspring (Kail, & Cavanaugh, 2013). This means the developmental patterns of the parents may be acquired by the young ones. The environment also plays a role in determining an individual’s development patterns. For instance, issues such as friendship groups, education, occupation and sibling interaction have an influence in shaping up one’s behavioural development.

An aggregation of heredity and environmental factors contributes towards the growth and development of personality.

Lifespan perspective of development can be explained with the support of more theories. The complimenting theories such as the psychoanalytic, humanism and heredity features have an important role in shaping up development patterns.

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