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| Words: 1142 | Submitted: 09-Sep-2012
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There are many characteristics that identify what lifespan perspective is in relation to human development. To start with, lifespan perspective is life-long. In other words, the lifespan perspective is constant and is not dominated by any one age period. The lifespan perspective consists of physical, cognitive, and social domains.
The typical stages of development that humans go through include: childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood. As individuals go from one stage of life to the next there are a range of factors that influence the development from one person to the next. Factors such as culture, genetics, and environmental influences all play significant roles in life span development.
Each span of an individualís life is characterized by different stages of development. The life span perspective of development is not limited to one specific age or stage of life, which is one of the main aspects of the life span perspective. This perspective is also varied in the fact that changes can occur on a social, cognitive, or physical level (Smith, 2009). According to Berger (2008) there are five principles that can be useful when examining the various stages of an individualís life span. These principles include: multidirectional, multi-contextual, multicultural, multidisciplinary, and plasticity.
Several aspects distinguish life span development. It is multidirectional in its embrace and acceptance of change as it evolves naturally in many directions, rather than from a mechanistic and linear perspective (Berger, 2008). It encompasses gains and losses, natural predictable growth and unexpected transformations (Berger, 2008). As it accommodates life in its many situations, events, and contexts, it is multi-contextual. Its multicultural nature applies the same fundamental parameters cross culturally, and accepts that many cultures affect how people develop (Berger, 2008). The lifespan perspective is a composite of revealing contributions and insights from many fields other than psychology and as such, considered multidisciplinary. Human development is plastic and its primary characteristic is change and development, as individual traits may be changed or modified at any stage in the life span. According to Berger (2008), "Change is ongoing, although neither random nor easy" (p. 7). The lifespan perspective must provide accommodation these distinctive characterizations of the human mind in its observation, practice, and study.
Three main theories are Freud's psychoanalytic theory, Piagetís cognitive development theory, and Erikson's theory of psychosocial development and. These theories look inward at internal conflicts and the management of crisis and internal drives. Freud's perspective maintains human behavior begins with unconscious conflicts and drives. He developed the three stages in child development that include oral, anal, and phallic, and concluded that parental reaction to the child's erotic ...
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