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Life-Span Development, Twelfth Edition Chapter 1: Introduction ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Presentation on theme: "Life-Span Development, Twelfth Edition Chapter 1: Introduction ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved."— Presentation transcript:

1 Life-Span Development, Twelfth Edition Chapter 1: Introduction ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

2 The Life-Span Perspective ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Development: the pattern of movement or change that begins at conception and continues through the human life span  Involves growth and decline  Traditional Approach: emphasizes extensive change from birth to adolescence, little to no change in adulthood, and decline in old age  Life-Span Approach: emphasizes developmental change throughout childhood and adulthood

3 The Life-Span Perspective  Life Span: based on oldest age documented  Currently 122 years  Life Expectancy: average number of years that a person can expect to live  Currently 78 years ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

4 The Life-Span Perspective ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Life-Span Perspective views development as:  Lifelong  Multidimensional  Multidirectional  Plastic  Multidisciplinary  Contextual  Development is a process that involves growth, maintenance, and regulation of loss  Development is constructed through biological, sociocultural, and individual factors working together

5 The Life-Span Perspective ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Development is Lifelong  Early adulthood is not the endpoint of development  No age period dominates  Development is Multidimensional  Consists of biological, cognitive, and socioemotional dimensions Multiple components within each dimension

6 The Life-Span Perspective ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Development is Multidirectional  Some dimensions (or components of a dimension) expand, and others shrink  Development is Plastic  Plasticity: capacity for change  Development is Multidisciplinary  Development is of interest to psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, neuroscientists, and medical researchers

7 The Life-Span Perspective ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Development is Contextual  All development occurs within a context (setting) Each setting is influenced by historical, economic, social, and cultural factors  Contexts exert three types of influences: Normative age-graded influences: similar for individuals in a particular age group Normative history-graded influences: common to people of a particular generation because of historical circumstances Non-normative life events: unusual occurrences that have a major impact on the individual’s life

8 The Life-Span Perspective ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Development Involves Growth, Maintenance, and Regulation of Loss  Development is a Co-Construction of Biology, Culture, and the Individual

9 Some Contemporary Concerns ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Health and Well-Being  Parenting and Education  Sociocultural Contexts and Diversity  Culture: behavior patterns, beliefs, and all other products of a particular group of people that are passed on from generation to generation  Ethnicity: cultural heritage, nationality, race, religion, and language  Socioeconomic Status: a person’s position within society based on occupational, educational, and economic characteristics  Gender: characteristics of people as males and females

10 Social Policy Issues ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Social Policy: a government’s course of action designed to promote the welfare of its citizens  Children’s Issues  Benchmarks demonstrate that the U.S. is at or near the lowest rank for industrialized nations in the treatment of children (Edelman, 1997)  As of 2006, approximately 17.4% of U.S. children are living in poverty

11 ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Children Exposed to Six Stressors Percentage Middle-income children Poor children Exposure to violence Crowding Family turmoil Child separation Excessive noise Poor housing quality

12 Social Policy Issues ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Older Adults  Number of older adults in the U.S. is growing dramatically A significant increase will occur in the number of individuals in the 85-and-older group  Access to affordable, adequate health care is a significant issue  Many will need society’s help, as more older adults will be unmarried, childless, and living alone

13 The Aging of America ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

14 The Nature of Development ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Development is the product of biological, cognitive, and socioemotional processes  Biological: changes in an individual’s physical nature  Cognitive: changes in thought, intelligence, and language  Socioemotional: changes in relationships with other people, changes in emotions, and changes in personality

15 ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Developmental Changes Are a Result of Biological, Cognitive, and Socioemotional Processes

16 The Nature of Development ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Developmental Period: a time frame in a person’s life that is characterized by certain features  Prenatal period: conception to birth (9 months) Tremendous growth  Infancy: birth to months Dependence upon adults Development of many psychological activities  Early childhood: end of infancy to 5-6 years Preschool years Self-sufficiency and increased play

17 The Nature of Development ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Developmental Period (continued)  Middle and late childhood: 6-11 years Reading, writing, and arithmetic Focus on achievement and self-control  Adolescence: varying endpoints; from to years Rapid physical changes Pursuit of independence and identity  Early adulthood: late teens to early 30’s Personal and economic independence Selecting a mate

18 The Nature of Development ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Developmental Period (continued)  Middle adulthood: years Social involvement and responsibility Assisting the next generation  Late adulthood: 60’s-70’s to death Life review Adjustment to new social roles Longest developmental span “youngest old” vs. “oldest old”

19 The Nature of Development ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Four “Ages” of Development  First Age: Childhood and adolescence  Second Age: Prime adulthood (20’s through 50’s)  Third Age: Approximately 60 to 79 years of age  Fourth Age: Approximately 80 years and older  The Significance of Age  Age and Happiness: No specific age group reports more happiness or satisfaction than another Each age period has its own stresses, advantages, and disadvantages

20 ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Happy people (%) Age range (years) Age and Happiness

21 The Nature of Development ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Conceptions of Age  How relevant is chronological age to understanding a person’s psychological development?  How should age be conceptualized? Chronological age: number of years that have elapsed since birth Biological age: a person’s age in terms of biological health Psychological age: an individual’s adaptive capacities compared with those of other individuals of the same chronological age Social age: social roles and expectations related to a person’s age

22 Developmental Issues ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Nature and Nurture: the extent to which development is influenced by biological inheritance and/or environmental experiences  Nature proponents argue that an evolutionary and genetic foundation produces commonalities in growth and development  Nurture proponents emphasize the importance of both the biological and social environment

23 Developmental Issues ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Stability and Change: the degree to which early traits and characteristics persist through life or change  Stability: traits and characteristics are seen as the result of heredity and early life experiences  Change: traits and characteristics can be altered by later experiences  Role of early and later experiences is hotly debated

24 Developmental Issues ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Continuity and Discontinuity: focuses on whether development is either:  A process of gradual, cumulative change (continuous)  A set of distinct stages (discontinuous)  Evaluating Developmental Issues:  Most developmentalists acknowledge that development is not all-or-nothing  There is debate regarding how strongly each of these issues influences development

25 Theories of Development ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Scientific Method: A four-step process: 1. Conceptualize a process or problem to be studied 2. Collect research information (data) 3. Analyze data 4. Draw conclusions  Theory: an interrelated, coherent set of ideas that helps to explain phenomena and make predictions  Hypotheses: specific assertions and predictions that can be tested

26 Theories of Development ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Diverse but complementary theories are used for explaining life-span development:  Psychoanalytic theories  Cognitive theories  Behavioral and social cognitive theories  Ethological theory  Ecological theory

27 Psychoanalytic Theories ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Psychoanalytic Theories: describe development as primarily unconscious  True understanding requires analyzing the symbolic meanings of behavior  Early experiences with parents extensively shape development

28 Psychoanalytic Theories ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Freud’s Theory:  Focus of sexual impulses changes throughout development  Five stages of psychosexual development (oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital) Adult personality is determined by the way we resolve conflict within each stage  Modern theorists place less emphasis on sexual instincts and more on cultural experiences

29 Psychoanalytic Theories ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

30 Psychoanalytic Theories ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory:  Focused on our desire to affiliate with other people  Believed that developmental change occurs throughout the life span  Proposed eight stages of development Each stage comprises a crisis that must be resolved

31 Psychoanalytic Theories ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

32 Psychoanalytic Theories ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Evaluating Psychoanalytic Theories:  Contributions: Emphasis on a developmental framework, family relationships, and unconscious aspects of the mind  Criticisms: Lack of scientific support Too much emphasis on sexual underpinnings Negative image of people

33 Cognitive Theories ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory:  Stresses conscious thoughts  Emphasizes the processes of organization and adaptation  Four stages of cognitive development in children Each stage represents a qualitatively different way of understanding the world

34 Cognitive Theories ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

35 Cognitive Theories ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Cognitive Theory:  Children actively construct their knowledge  Emphasizes how social interaction and culture guide cognitive development  Learning is based upon the inventions of society  Less-skilled persons learn from those who are more skilled

36 Cognitive Theories ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Information-Processing Theory:  Emphasizes that individuals manipulate information, monitor it, and strategize about it  Individuals develop a gradually increasing capacity for processing information  Thinking is information processing  Individuals learn strategies for better information processing

37 Cognitive Theories ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Evaluating Cognitive Theories:  Contributions: Positive view on development Emphasis on the active construction of understanding  Criticisms: Skepticism about the pureness of Piaget’s stages Too little attention to individual variations

38 Behavioral & Social Cognitive Theories ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Behavioral and Social Cognitive Theories:  Behaviorism: we can study scientifically only what can be directly observed and measured Development is observable behavior that can be learned through experience  Skinner’s Operant Conditioning:  Consequences of a behavior produce changes in the probability of the behavior’s occurrence A reward increases likelihood of behavior A punishment decreases likelihood of behavior

39 Behavioral & Social Cognitive Theories  Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory:  Behavior, environment, and cognition are key factors in development  Observational learning: learning through observation People cognitively represent the behavior of others ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

40 Behavioral & Social Cognitive Theories ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Evaluating Behavioral and Social Cognitive Theories:  Contributions: Emphasis on scientific research and environmental determinants of behavior  Criticisms: Little emphasis on cognition (Skinner) Inadequate attention given to developmental changes

41 Ethological Theory ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Ethology: stresses that behavior is strongly influenced by biology and evolution  Characterized by critical or sensitive periods  Brought to prominence by Konrad Lorenz Studied imprinting in geese  Bowlby stressed the importance of human attachment during the first year of life

42 Ethological Theory ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Evaluating Ethological Theory:  Contributions: A focus on the biological and evolutionary basis of development Use of careful observations in naturalistic settings  Criticisms: Too much emphasis on biological foundations Critical and sensitive period concepts may be too rigid

43 Ecological Theory ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory: development reflects the influence of five environmental systems:  Microsystem: setting in which the individual lives  Mesosystem: relations between microsystems  Exosystem: links between a social setting in which the individual does not have an active role and the individual’s immediate context  Macrosystem: culture in which individuals live  Chronosystem: patterning of environmental events and transitions; sociohistorical circumstances

44 Ecological Theory ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

45 Ecological Theory ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Evaluating Ecological Theory:  Contributions: Systematic examination of macro and micro dimensions of environmental systems Attention to connections between environmental systems  Criticisms: Giving inadequate attention to biological factors Too little emphasis on cognitive factors

46 Eclectic Theoretical Orientation ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Eclectic Theoretical Orientation:  No single theory can explain all of development  Every theory has contributed to our understanding  Eclectic orientation does not follow any one theoretical approach Instead, it selects from each theory whatever is considered its best features

47 Comparison of Theories ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

48 Research Methods ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Methods for Collecting Data:  Observation: Laboratory: controlled setting that eliminates many complex “real-world” variables Participants typically know they are being studied Setting is unnatural May not represent general population Some individuals may be intimidated by laboratory setting Naturalistic: observing behavior in real-world settings Researcher makes no effort to manipulate or control the situation

49 Research Methods ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Methods for Collecting Data:  Survey and Interviews: Standard sets of questions are used to obtain people’s attitudes or beliefs about a particular topic Can be used to study a wide variety of topics Participants may answer in a way that is considered socially desirable and acceptable

50 Research Methods ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Methods for Collecting Data:  Standardized Test: Uniform procedures for administration and scoring Most allow a person’s performance to be compared with that of others Assumes consistency and stability across time and situations  Case Study: In-depth look at a single individual Difficult to generalize to others May not be reliable

51 Research Methods  Methods for Collecting Data:  Physiological Measures: Many uses; technology is constantly improving Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI): uses electromagnetic waves to construct images of brain tissue and biochemical activity ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

52 Research Designs ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Three main types: descriptive, correlational, and experimental  Descriptive: aims to observe and record behavior  Methods discussed so far are descriptive  Cannot prove causation, but can reveal important information

53 Research Designs ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Correlational: describes the strength of the relationship between two or more events or characteristics  Correlation Coefficient: a number based on a statistical analysis that is used to describe the degree of association between two variables Ranges from to means a positive association; - means a negative association Higher number indicates a stronger association  Correlation does not equal causation

54 Research Designs ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

55 Research Designs ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Experimental Research:  Experiment: carefully regulated procedure in which one or more factors believed to influence the behavior being studied are manipulated while all other factors are held constant Can demonstrate cause and effect  Independent Variable: manipulated, influential, experimental factor  Dependent Variable: a factor that can change in an experiment, in response to changes in the independent variable

56 Research Designs ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Experimental Research:  Experimental Group: a group whose experience is manipulated  Control Group: a comparison group whose experience is not manipulated  Random Assignment: researchers assign participants to experimental and control groups by chance Reduces the likelihood of preexisting differences between groups

57 Research Designs ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

58 Research Designs ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Time Span Research:  Cross-Sectional: simultaneously compares individuals of different ages Advantage: researcher does not have to wait for individuals to grow older Disadvantage: does not give information about the aging process  Longitudinal Approach: studies the same individuals over a period of time, usually several years or more Advantage: provides information about the aging process Disadvantage: expensive and time-consuming

59 Research Designs ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Time Span Research:  Cohort Effects: Cohort: a group of people who are born at a similar point in history and share similar experiences Cohort effects: differences due to a person’s time of birth, era, or generation, but not to actual age Cross-sectional studies can show how different cohorts respond, but they may confuse age effects and cohort effects Longitudinal research can study age changes, but only within one cohort

60 Conducting Ethical Research ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Informed Consent: all participants must know what their research participation will involve and what risks might develop  Confidentiality: researchers are responsible for keeping the data completely confidential and, if possible, anonymous

61 Conducting Ethical Research ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Debriefing: after the study, participants should be informed of the study’s purpose and methods that were used  Deception: researchers must ensure that deception will not harm participants, and that participants are fully debriefed

62 Conducting Ethical Research ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.  Minimizing Bias:  Gender Bias: preconceived notions about the abilities of women and men Research can affect how people think about gender differences  Cultural and Ethnic Bias: Life-span research needs to include more people from diverse ethnic groups Ethnic gloss: using an ethnic label in a superficial way that portrays an ethnic group as being more homogenous than it really is


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