Individual Life Span Perspective

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Introduction The process of development begins with conception and ends with death. The development process includes biological, cognitive, and social processes. Each process can be accessed individual but are always working together in the development process. Life Span Perspective The lifespan perspective focuses on the changes that occur during development. Growth is multidirectional, multidimensional, and occurs throughout our life. There are several periods of development that we go through during the lifespan. We have the prenatal period, infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, middle adulthood, and late adulthood. Development is no less valuable at any one stage. As we grow we change and the lifespan perspective is used to understand the changes that occur whether they are biological, cognitive, or social. Biological development occurs in relationship to our predetermined characteristics or traits including height, eye color, genetic disorders, and puberty; the factors are predetermined by our genetic makeup. We inherit our parents DNA and from that we develop specific traits and characteristics. Cognitive development is how we process information, our perception, conceptual resources, language acquisition, and specific aspects of brain development. It is the process of learning and understanding information. Social development focuses on how change occur in relationship to our interactions with our environment; our environment can include family, friends, and other interactions with society. The combination of each of these can be studied and examine using many different theories. Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development is broken down into eight stages; these stages include infancy (0-2), early childhood (2-4), middle (4-5), late childhood (5-12), adolescence (13-19), early

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