The Nature of Developmental Processes

Topics: Nature versus nurture, Elf, Life Pages: 7 (1001 words) Published: September 16, 2014


The Nature of Developmental Processes
Angela M. Pintos
PSYC C211 - ONLINE
8/31/2014
Cerro Coso Community College

Abstract
The purpose of this work is to explain and describe the developmental processes of individuals. Define important phases in a person’s lifespan such as the biological, cognitive and socioemotional processes. Also, explore the different periods of development from conception through adulthood, as well as the importance and significance of age. Last, it identifies the issues that may occur during the development of these processes as a result of the many different changes and individual faces throughout a lifespan.

Keywords: developmental processes, lifespan, biological, cognitive, socioemotional, significance of age and issues

The Nature of Developmental Processes
The term “developmental processes” explores the different stages and changes an individual experiences from conception to late adulthood. There are two particular concepts that provide a platform to better understand and describe an individual’s development. Additionally, certain issues arise during these processes of life which make it a very complex subject.

I. Developmental Processes
a. Definition
b. Biological, Cognitive and Socioemotional Processes

II. Periods of Development
a. The periods or age of lifespan
i. Social Construction

III. Developmental Issues
a. Nature vs. Nurture
b. Stability and Change
c. Continuity and Discontinuity

The Nature of Developmental Processes
Developmental processes can be described as a pattern of changes that begin at conception and continue through adulthood. The nature of development involves different biological, cognitive and socioemotional processes. At the same time age periods serve as chronological descriptions as to when certain events are expected to take place in an individual’s life. On the other hand, developmental issues explain how the nature vs. nurture issue can impact a person’s life. Also the stability and change issue explains how early experiences persist throughout life. And last, the continuity and discontinuity issue gives details and describes the degree to which development involves gradual, cumulative or distinct stages. The processes used to describe these changes and the evolution in an individual’s lifespan can be quite complex according to Santrock (2012), “The pattern is complex because it is the product of biological, cognitive, and socioemotional processes” (p. 15). The biological changes that take place in a person’s life are all of physical nature; genes inherited from parents and the development of the brain are just some of the examples that occur during the biological process. Another important phase is the cognitive process which refers to the changes an individual experiences in thought, intelligence and language. Last, the socioemotional process which is an individual’s interaction with others which also involves changes in emotion and personality. A good example is the smile of an infant in response to the gesture of love from her/his parents or a family relative. Although these are all independent processes they are correlated and connected with each other. As a result, they serve as a platform, provide explanation or simply respond to the processes of each stage. In addition to the biological, cognitive and socioemotional processes, the developmental or age periods also play a part; this refers to a time frame in an individual’s life characterized by specific features or events. The prenatal period begins from (conception to birth); infancy (birth to age 3); the preschool period (ages 3 to 6); middle childhood (ages 6 to 12) adolescence (ages 12 to 20); young adulthood (ages 20 to 40); middle adulthood (ages 40 to 65); and late adulthood (age 65 to death). It’s important to mention that these time periods are only social constructions Berk...
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