Influence of Nature and Nurture Developmental Research Techniques Prenatal Development: Conception to Birth

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Nature, Nurture, and Prenatal Development
Determining the Relative Influence of Nature and Nurture Developmental Research Techniques Prenatal Development: Conception to Birth

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module 28
Adulthood
Physical Development: The Peak of Health Social Development: Working at Life Marriage, Children, and Divorce: Family Ties The Later Years of Life: Growing Old Physical Changes in Late Adulthood: The Aging Body Cognitive Changes: Thinking About—and During—Late Adulthood The Social World of Late Adulthood: Old but Not Alone Becoming an Informed Consumer of Psychology: Adjusting to Death Try It! How Do You Feel About Death? Psychology on the Web The Case of . . . Jean Sweetland, the Woman with Too Many Hats Full Circle: Development

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Infancy and Childhood
The Extraordinary Newborn The Growing Child: Infancy through Middle Childhood

Adolescence: Becoming an Adult
Physical Development: The Changing Adolescent Moral and Cognitive Development: Distinguishing Right from Wrong Social Development: Finding Oneself in a Social World Exploring Diversity: Rites of Passage: Coming of Age around the World

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They Met in Day Care
Danielle Link and Glen Zilly felt like their fi rst date really didn’t go so well. “We didn’t think we had any chemistry,” says Link. What they didn’t know was that they’d actually been on numerous very successful “dates” before as toddlers, under the care of the same Hampton, Virginia, babysitter, Louise Hughes. “I started looking after Glen as a newborn, and I got Danielle when she was about 8 months old,” recalls Hughes. “They were together five days a week for years.” Link, 29, and Zilly, 28, who both ended up living in Phoenix and randomly met on an Internet dating site, didn’t piece things together until almost six months into their relationship. “I was shocked,” says Zilly, whose mother made the connection during a phone chat with Hughes. Adds Link: “I was in love before this happened, but after finding this out, I realized our relationship was meant to be.” (People, 2007, p. 18)

Although it’s far from clear that Link’s and Zilly’s relationship was “meant to be,” it does raise questions of whether and how their early experiences affected their relationship decades later. Their story also serves as an introduction to one of the broadest and most important areas of psychology, developmental psychology. Developmental psychology is the branch of psychology that studies the patterns of growth and change that occur throughout life. It deals with issues ranging from new ways of conceiving children, to learning how to raise children most sensibly, to understanding the milestones of life that we all face. Developmental psychologists study the interaction between the unfolding of biologically predetermined patterns of behavior and a constantly changing, dynamic environment. They ask how our genetic background affects our behavior throughout our lives and whether our potential is limited by heredity. Similarly, they seek to understand the way in which the environment works with—or against—our genetic capabilities, how the world we live in affects our development, and how we can be encouraged to reach our full potential. We begin by examining the approaches developmental psychologists use to study the environmental and genetic factors: the nature–nurture issue. Then we consider the very start of development, beginning with conception and the nine months of life before birth. We look at both genetic and environmental influences on the unborn individual and the way they can affect behavior throughout the remainder of the life cycle. Next, we examine development that occurs after birth, witnessing the enormous and rapid growth that takes place during the early stages of life, and focusing on physical, social, and cognitive change throughout infancy, toddlerhood, and middle childhood. We then move on to development from...
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