Introduction to Human Growth and Development

A pattern of movement or change that begins at conception and continues through the life span.  Most development involves growth although it also consists of decay as death.

Types of Development

1.   Biological Processes  - Involves changes in an individuals physical nature.  The development of the brain, height and weight gains, motor skills, and hormonal changes of puberty.

2.   Cognitive Processes - Involves changes in an individuals thoughts, intellegences, and language.  Memorizing, problem solving, and imagining.

3.   Social Emotional Processes - Involves changes in individuals relationships with other people, changes in emotion, and changes in personallity.

Periods of Development

Prenatal Period - A time from conception to birth.  Produced in approximately a ninth month period.

2.   Infancy - Development period that extends from birth to 18 or 24 months.  Many psychological activities are just beginning.  Language, symbolic thought, sensory motor cordination, and social learning.

3.   Early Childhood - Development period that extends from the end of infancy to about 5 or 6 years.  Also called the preschool years.  Children become more self sufficient, develop school readiness skills, and spend many hours at play with their peers.

4.   Middle and Late Childhood - Development period that extends from 6 to 11 years.  Approximately cooresponding to the elementary school years.  Children master the fundamental skills of reading, writing, and arithimatic and are exposed to the larger world and its culture.

5.  Adolescence - Developmental period of transition from childhood to adulthood.  Beginning at approximately at 10 to 12 years of age and ending at 18 to 21 years of age.

6.   Rapid physical changes, dramatic gains in height and weight, and development of sexual characteristics.

7.   Early Adulthood - Developmental period that begins in the late teens or early twenties and last through the thirities.  A time of extablishing personal and economic independance, career development, and for many a time for selecting a mate.

8.   Middle Adulthood - The developmental period that begins at 35 to 45 years of age and extends into the sixties.  Expanding personal and social involvement and responsibility.

9.   Late Adulthood - Development period that begins in the sixties or seventies and lasts until death.  A time for adjustment, decreasing strength and health, life review, and retirement.

Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

 When children construct their cognitive world they use schemas.  Schemas are a concept of framework that already exists in a persons mind which organizes and interprets information.  Piaget said that the two processes are responsible for how people use and adapt their schemas:  Assismilation and Accomadation.  Assismilation occurs when individuals incorporate new information into existing knowledge. Accomation occurs when individuals adjust to new information.

Piaget's Four Stages of Cognitive Development

1.   Sensory Motor Stage - Birth to 2 years of age.  The infant constructs an understanding of the world by coordinating sensory expierences with physical actions.  An infant progesses from reflexive instinctual action at birth to the beginning of symbolic thought towards the end of the stage.  Objective permanence is a term for one of the infants most important accomplisments:  Understanding that objects and events continue to exist even when they cannot directly be seen, heard, or touched.

2.   Preoperational Stage - From 2 to 7 years of age.  The child begins to represent the world with words and images.  These words and images reflect increased symbolic thinking and go beyond the connection of sensory information and physical action.  Operations are mental representations that are reversible.

     Conservation  - a belief of the permanance of certain attributes of objects or situations in spite of superficial changes.

     Egocentrism - Piaget meant the ability to distinguish between one owns prespective and someone elses prespective.

3.   Concrete Operational Stage - From 7 to 11 years of age.  The child can reason logically about concrete events and classify objects into sets.

4.   Formal Operation Stage - From 11 years of age through adulthood.  The adolescent reasons in more abstract, idealistic, and logical ways. Hypothetical deductive reasoning - adolescent's ability to develope hypotheses about ways to solve problems such as an algebraic equation.

Erikson's Eight Lifespan Stages
1.   Trust vrs Mistrust - Occurs during the first year of life.  Trust is built when a baby's basic needs such as comfort, food, and warmth are met.  If the infants needs are not met by responsive sensative caregivers, the result is mistrust.

2.   Autonomy vrs Shame and Doubt - Occurs from 1 to 3 years of age.  The positive side of the stage involves developing a sense of independance and autonomy.  The negitive side is a sense of shame and doubt.

3.   Initiative vrs Guilt - Occuring from 3 to 5 years of age.  Asked to assume more responsibility for themselves.  Children develop initiative.  If they are irresponsible, they develop guilt.

4.   Industry vrs Inferiority - Occurs from 6 until puberty.  Industry is achieved by mastering knowledge and intellectual skills.  If they don't they can feel inferior.

5.   Identity vrs Identity Confusion - Occurs during the adolescent years.  A time when individuals find out who they are, what they are all about, and where they are going in life.

6.   Intimacy vrs Isolation - Experienced in the twenties and thirties ( early adulthood).  Individuals face developmental task of forming intimate relationships with others. If not they can development a sense of social isolation.

7.   Generativity vrs Stagnation - Occurs in the forties and fifties (middle adulthood).  Assising younger generation in developing usefull lives, which is generativity.  Not doing this brings a feeling of stagnation.

8.   Integrity vrs Despair - Individuals expierence from the sixties on (late adulthood).  People review their lives.  If the glances reveal a life well spent the person feels a sense of satisfation and integrity is achieved.  If not despair may occur.


Kohlberg's 3 Levels and 6 Stages of Development


Stage 1. Punishment and obedience. Rules are obeyed to avoid punishment.

Stage 2. Naive instrumental hedonism. Rules are obeyed to obtain rewards and to have favors returned.


Stage 3. "Good-boy Good-girl" morality of maintaining good relations and the approval of others. Rules are obeyed to avoid disapproval or dislike by others.

Stage 4. Authority-maintaining morality. Rules are obeyed to avoid censure by legitimate authorities and to avoid guilt.


Stage 5. Social contract orientation..., of individual rights, and of democratically accepted law. Rules are obeyed for social or community welfare.

Stage 6. Universal Ethical Pricniple. Rules are obeyed in order to abide by universal ethical principles.

Jung's Analytical Psychology
Freud's contempory Carl Jung 1875 to 1961, shared an interest in the unconcious.  He believed that Freud underplayed the unconcious mind's role in our personality.  Jung believed that the roots of personality go back to the dawn of human existance.  The collective unconscious is the impersonal deepest layer of unconscious mind shared by all human beings because of their common ancestrial past.  The common expieriences have made a deep permanent impression on the human mind.  Archetype is the name Jung gave to the emotionally laden ideas and images in a collective unconscious that have rich and symbolic meaning.  Jung believed that these archetypes emerge in art, religion, and dreams.  He used archetypes to help people to understand themselves.