It may seem that all human development takes place during the first twenty years of a person's life, but this isn't true. In fact, each and every person develops throughout their entire lifetime. Development is an ongoing process with a great deal of depth to it. The life-span perspective is a set of clear characteristics revolving around human development.
Development is Lifelong
Although infants, children and teenagers may develop at a more rapid rate than someone who is middle-aged or elderly, everyone is developing. Each and every person is at one stage of development or another and this development never ends, but takes on different forms at different stages of life.
Development is Multidimensional
Development is influenced by a large number of biological, cognitive and socio-emotional causes. These causes all directly affect the development of the individual, as well as influence each other. Each of these factors may contain their own unique causes and dimensions, creating an even more complex situation.
Development is Multidirectional
Development happens in multiple directions. Some areas of development may grow, while others shrink. There are gains and losses at every age, however there are relatively more gains earlier in life.
Development is Plastic
Development plasticity refers to the ability of an individual to change. There are arguments that plasticity decreases as a person ages or that plasticity depends entirely upon the persons and their desire to change. Development is plastic and even older adults can change.
Development is Multidisciplinary
Many factors affecting the development of humans cannot all be studied together as a single subject, by a single specialist. Psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, neuroscientists and medical researchers all study human development and share a concern for unlocking the mysteries of development throughout the lifespan.
Development is Contextual
Development of an individual occurs within a...