Psychology: Nature and Determinants of Development: Domains of Development

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Nature of Development

  • The concept of development: The term “development” is generally used to refer to the dynamic process by which an individual grows and changes throughout its lifespan.

  • Key development concepts: The term development is often interchangeably with growth and maturation; but there concepts are quite distinct. Growth generally develops to the quantitative addition or changes in the organic structures. Maturation is the term that refers to the natural unfolding of the changes with increasing age.

  • Characteristics of development: Development is lifelong process, systematic, progressive and orderly and multidirectional in nature. Development is not always constant, can be of quantitative and qualitative in nature, is continuous or discontinuous process and is relatively stable process. It is multidimensional in nature and it is highly plastic and flexible. It is contextual and there are quite individual differences in development.

Domains of Development

There are three areas or domains of development

  • Physical and motor development: It refers to changes in body- size and structure functioning of body.

  • Cognitive development: It refers to the development of cognitive and intellectual process including memory and intelligence

  • Socio-emotional development: It refers to how we develop relationships with other people and how our emotions emerge and change as person grows older.

Stages of Development

Stages of development

Stages of Development

Developmental Stages

A life span perspective

The stages of development are

  • Prenatal development- From conception to birth.

  • Infancy and toddlerhood – Birth to 2 years

  • Early Childhood- 2 to 6years

  • Middle childhood- 6 to 11 years

  • Adolescence- 11 to 20 years

  • Early adulthood- 20-40years

  • Middle adulthood- 40-60 years

  • Late adulthood- 60years till death

Life Stages

An indigenous way Ancient texts have mentioned four stages known as Ashramas. The ashramas are Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa.

Developmental Task

Each stage is characterized by certain developmental tasks which are social expectations for a given age group.

Influences on Development

  • Genetic influence- Hereditary factors are determined at the time of conception and genetic information is carried by genes and chromosomes.

  • Genotype and phenotype- Genotypes refer to the characteristics which are carried genetically but not displayed. Phenotypes refer to those characteristics which are displayed.

  • Environmental influence- Environmental influences are important both at the prenatal and postnatal stages of human development. The ecological systems theory of development views development as concentric circles of systems. The micro-system include immediate environment at home and interaction between them. The meso-system consists of relationship between family members and school and neighborhood. The exo-system refers to the influence of indirect agencies such workplace of the parents. The chrono-system refers to time dimension.

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