Lifespan Perspective

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Life Span Perspective Paper

Heather Thurman
Psy 375
Dr. Joycelynn Flowers-Ashton
University of Phoenix
October 18, 2010

Life Span Perspectives Paper

Life span development is an important process in psychology. Not only are there physical changes over a lifetime but also cognitive and social changes. Development continues throughout a person’s life so it is important to know all aspects of the life span development. In this paper I will define life span development and explain the characteristics of the life span perspective. I will also be discussing the development domains and periods. Lastly, I will look at two contemporary concerns related to life span development.

Life span human development seeks to describe, explain, predict, and influence the changes that take place from conception through adulthood (Rice, 1995). People of all ages may have important changes throughout their life. These changes of development can range from growing in the womb, learning to walk, sexual maturation, marriage, divorce, life satisfaction, and death. Life span development can be influenced by both heredity (nature) and the environment (nurture). Life span development can also be influenced by the culture of the person. In some countries development may come faster due to the life span expectancy being shorter. Life span development can also be influenced by individual differences and past experiences.

The life span perspective is a current view that understanding changes in adulthood are just as important as understanding changes in childhood. This view has been created due to the longer life expectancy of adults in the United States making this age group grow rapidly. The new perspective on life span development emphasized these key elements: • Plasticity: Individuals of all ages posses the capacity for positive change in response to environmental demands. • Interdisciplinary research: Research from different kinds of disciplinary...
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