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Psyc 2314 Lifespan Development

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1 Psyc 2314 Lifespan Development
Chapter 1 Introduction

2 Human Development Scientific study of human development is the science that seeks to understand how and why people change with increasing age, and how and why they remain the same. Human development examine whatever kind of change—simple growth, radical transformation, improvement and decline or constant. Factors include genetic codes, particular experiences that shape and refine development, impact of prenatal life, influences of family, school, peer groups, and community.

3 Lifespan Perspective Recognizes the sources of continuity and discontinuity from the beginning of life to the end Multidirectional Multicontextual Multicultural Multidisciplinary Plastic Multidirectional: change is not always linear. Could be gains and losses, compensations and deficits. Multicontextual: each human life must be understood as embedded in many contexts (historical, SES, cultural) Multicultural – many cultural settings – each with a distinct set of values, traditions, and tools for living. Multidisciplinary – many academic fields—esp. psychology, biology, education, and sociology; but also neuroscience, economics, medicine, anthropology, history, and more—contribute data and insight to the science of development. Plastic – every individual, and every trait within each individual, can be altered at any point in the life span

4 Domains of Human Development
Biosocial – brain and body as well as changes in them and the social influences that guide them Cognitive – thought processes, perceptual abilities, and language mastery, as well as the educational institutions that encourage them Biosocial—includes all the growth and change that occur in a person’s body, and the genetic, nutritional, and health factors that affect that growth and change. Motor skills—everything from grasping a rattle to driving a car—are also part of the biosocial domain. Social and cultural factors that affect these areas, such as duration of breastfeeding, education of children with special needs, and attitudes about ideal body shape, are also part of biosocial development. Cognitive—includes all the mental processes that are used to obtain knowledge or to become aware of the environment. Cognition encompasses perception, imagination, judgment, memory, and language—the processes people use to think, decide, and learn. Education, including the formal curriculum within schools, informal tutoring family and friends, and the results of individual curiosity and creativity, is also part of this domain.

5 Domains of Human Development
Psychosocial – Emotions, personality, and interpersonal relationship with family, friends, and wider community. Psychosocial—includes development of emotions, temperament, and social skills. The influences of family, friends, the community, the culture, and the larger society are particularly central to the psychosocial domain. Thus cultural differences in the value accorded children, or in ideas about “appropriate” sex roles, or in what is regarded as the ideal family structure are considered part of the domain. All three are important at every age, and each is affected by other two.

6 Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model
Four nested levels Microsystems – immediate social setting Mesosystem – connections among various Microsystems Exosystem – community structures and local educational, medical, employment, and communications systems that directly affect the various Microsystems and indirectly affect everyone in those Microsystems Microsystems are the systems that intimately and immediately shape human development. The primary micro for children include the family, peer group, classroom, neighborhood, and sometimes a church, temple, or mosque as well. Interactions among the Microsystems, as when parents and teachers coordinate their efforts to educate the child, take place through the mesosystem. Surrounding the micro is the exosystem, which includes all the external networks, such as community structures and local educational, medical, employment, and communications systems, that influence the Microsystems. Influencing all other systems is the macrosystem, which includes cultural values, political philosophies, economic patterns, and social conditions.

7 Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model
Four nested levels (continued) Macrosystem – cultural values, political philosophies, economic patterns, and social conditions Chronosystem – important of historical time on development Influences within and between these systems are multidirectional and interactive. Butterfly effect – ecosystems do not act in isolation; even a tiny change in one system can have a profound effect on the other systems of development.

8 Contextual Effects Historical – ideas about development continue to change – social construction SES – income, education, place of residence, and occupation Culture – values, assumptions, and customs, as well as physical objects (clothing, technologies, cuisine, etc.) Cohort – a group of people who shared age means that they travel through life together. They are subject to the same history – the same prevailing assumptions, important public events, technologies, and popular trends. SES – “social class” influences many of the social interactions and opportunities a person might have. It is just financial: it entails all the advantages and disadvantages, and all the opportunities and limitations, that may be associated with status.

9 Scientific Method Formulate a research question Develop a hypothesis
Test the hypothesis Draw conclusions Make the findings available Hypothesis-a specific prediction that can be tested. Make the findings available—replicate, which is to repeat and verify results

10 Controversies Nature/nurture Continuity/discontinuity
Difference/deficit Nature/nurture: how much and which aspects of development are affected by genes and how much by environment? Continuity/discontinuity—how much of human growth builds gradually on previous development, and how much transformation occurs suddenly? Difference/deficit—when a person develops differently from most other people, when is that difference considered diversity to be celebrated and when is it considered a problem to be corrected?

11 Research Methods How research is designed affects Validity Accuracy
Generalizability Usefulness Validity-does it measure what it purports to measure? Accuracy—are the measurements correct? Generalizability—does it apply to other populations and situations? Usefulness—can it solve real-life problems?

12 Research Methods Scientific observation Correlation Experimental
Survey Case study

13 Research Methods Cross sectional—groups of people who are different in age but share other important characteristics (education level, SES, ethnic, etc.) are compared on the characteristics that is of interest to the researcher(s). Even if two cross-sectional groups are identical except for age, they would still reflect cohort differences bcs of the particular historical experiences that affected each age group. Changes in medical care (today’s children almost never get “childhood” diseases), in diet (less meat for today’s toddlers), in housing conditions (play space is scarcer in today’s homes), and in other historical factors might skew cross-sectional results even for a biological variable such as height. Limitation: always possible that some variable other than age differentiates the groups.

14 Research Methods Longitudinal research—the same people are studied over a period of time. Longitudinal research is particularly useful in studying developmental trends that occur over a long age span. Children’s adjustment to divorce (the negative effects linger, esp for school-age and older boys). The role of fathers in child development The consequences of an early delay in motor or language abilities (motor delays often disappear; language delays usu. persist). Limitations: subjects may w/draw, move far away, or die. Those who remain may change bcs of their involvement in the research study (improving score bcs of increasingly familiar with the tests). Time consuming and expensive.

15 Research Methods Cross-sequential research—several groups of people at different ages (cross-sectional component) are followed over time (longitudinal component). Also referred to as cohort-sequential or time-sequential research.

16 Ethics and Science When studying people, scientists take special care to ensure that participation is voluntary and harmless, and that the study’s benefits outweigh its cost.

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