Life Span Theory in Developmental Psychology
Paul Baltes, et.al
I found the chapter on life span theory very insightful since almost everything I have read is new to me. Admittedly, as I began reading, I found the chapter somehow hard to understand there are terms that appear unfamiliar and technical. However, as I went on, I found myself gaining new concepts and understanding about a person’s development. Prior to reading the chapter, I used to view human development in a very traditional way wherein the extensive change takes place only from infancy to adolescence, with a little to no change in adulthood and then decline in old age. The life span theory emphasizes change not only in childhood but as well as in adulthood. It is also very interesting to know how the lifespan theory views development as lifelong, multidimensional, multidirectional, plastic, multidisciplinary and contextual and how it is considered as a process that involves growth, maintenance and regulation of loss. All along, I realized how shallow and narrow my idea of development is. I used to view development as linear, but thanks to this reading, I got to understand and see development in a different and more positive light. There are two main ideas that caught my attention in the chapter, the gain-loss dynamic and the model of development called SOC (selective optimization with compensation). For the gain-loss dynamic, it is very interesting to know that life span researchers were able to view that life development consists of the joint occurrence of gains and losses across domains of functioning. As the chapter put it, there was no gain in development without loss, and no loss without gain. Having this mind, we can then easily
This theory opened my mind to a broader approach in child and human development. It is very enlightening to learn how life span development aspires to determine the possible range of development of individuals in order to empower them to live...