Thesis: Lifespan Development Between the Events of Birth

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Lifespan Development

Between the events of birth and dying, a human being experiences a myriad of changes, often because of the results "of chance incidents and personal choices," but the "vast majority of life changes and stages. . . are due to our common biological and psychological heritage" as human beings which one shares with every other human being, both living and dead (2009, "Introduction to Life Span Development," Internet). This is commonly known as life span development or the phases and/or stages that humans proceed through, being birth, infancy, adolescence, adulthood, old age and lastly death. During these stages, all human beings also experience domains, such as biological, cognitive and psychosocial which often overlap one another, often referred to as biopsychosocial development (2009, "Introduction to Life Span Development," Internet).

DEFINITION:

According to Mark K. Smith, life span development can be defined as change which involves "movement from one state to another" or a type of transition (1999, "Life Span Development," Internet), much like passing from an adolescent or teenager into a legal adult at the age of twenty-one when a person takes on added responsibility for his/her own life and existence. A second aspect of this development is that the change which occurs is permanent and lasting, meaning that once a person matures into an adult, there is no going back, thus creating a "carry forward" state of mind and body (Smith, 1999, Internet). A third aspect of this development is growth, "a progression through certain stages" that is often unfolding or a type of movement "toward a fixed point" in time. One prime example of this unfoldment is maturity or passing from an inexperienced teenager and into an adult with a mature mind and a responsible outlook on life (Smith, 1999, Internet).

CHARACTERISTICS:

As Christina Hernandez points out, "There are many characteristics that define what life span perspective is in relation to human development." First of all, life span perspective lasts as long as a person lives; "it is continuous and is not dominated by any one age period" (2008, "Life Span Perspective," Internet). This perspective is also multi-dimensional and is made up of physical, cognitive and social domains or areas of domination. Some aspects increase while other decrease, and as Paul Bates declares, "the capacity for positive change or plasticity in response to environmental demands" is often continuous throughout the entire life of an individual. In addition, this perspective is also influenced by the past, i.e., it is "historically embedded" and contains contextual meaning, whereby the person "responds to and acts on contexts," such as biological makeup, physical environment and social… [END OF PREVIEW]

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