Life History Essay

Topics: Developmental psychology, Jean Piaget, Theory of cognitive development Pages: 9 (3161 words) Published: April 12, 2011
Life History of Joanne
Joanne was born in National Women’s Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand in October 1964. Joanne’s father worked full time as a plumber, her mother worked part time as a factory worker while also bringing up Joanne and her older brother. Joanne has spent all her life, from birth to present day, living in West Auckland. Joanne has never married and does not have any children. At the time of this interview Joanne is at the middle adulthood stage of her life. This life history follows Joanne’s life stages and identifies her major normative age graded events, normative history graded events and also non normative events, and reflects on the impact of these events on her development. Normative age graded influence included biological processes such as puberty and menopause, also included are sociocultural, environmental processes such as beginning formal education and retirement (Santrock, 2008). Normative history graded influences are common to people of a particular generation because of historical circumstances. Other normative history graded influences include economic, political, and social upheavals (Santrock, 2008). Non normative life events are unusual occurrences that have a major impact on the individual’s life (Santrock, 2008). During this essay Joanne’s development stages will be discussed using theories on life span development by theorists such as Erikson, Piaget, Bowbly and others. The First Three Years (0-3)

Physical Development
Joanne was born in 1964, she was carried to full term, her mother states that it was a normal pregnancy and delivery, Joanne weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces. Joanne was bottled fed from birth this was due to her mother having had a bad experience when breast feeding her first child. Joanne’s first tooth broke through at 7 months of age. Joanne took her first steps at 11 months and by 18 months Joanne could speak several words. Joanne states her mother says her development was normal (age graded normative events), her Plunket record shows that she reached all of her major physical milestones at the expected times. Cognitive Development

Between the ages of 0-3 years Joanne would have developed through Piaget’s sensorimotor stage (normative age graded event) as her crawling, walking and hand-eye coordination were all documented as normal. Joanne would have progressed through this stage as she was a physically healthy infant. Psychosocial Development

Joanne was raised in a nuclear family of two parents and one older male sibling. Her parents were both in their late twenties when Joanne was born. Joanne’s mother stayed home to look after the children whilst her father worked long hours as a Plumber (normative event). Joanne does not recall events from before the age of four (age graded normative event), but does recall a strong bond with her father. During this time her mother reported that if Joanne was left with another person for a period of time when she returned Joanne would be angry with her mother yet also want to be close to her (age graded normative event). This is consistent with Ainsworth (1991) study on Attachment Theory (as cited in Burton, Western & Kowalski, 2008), infants who are angry and rejecting while simultaneously indicating a clear desire to be close to the mother have an ambivalent attachment style. Young Childhood (3 to 5 years)

Physical Development
At age 4 Joanne gained around 10 pounds in one year (age graded non normative event) which caused some problems with children teasing her at kindergarten about her weight, according to Santrock (2008) the average child grows between 2½” in height gains between 2 and 7 pounds a year. Her height gains during this time where within the normal range. Cognitive Development

Joanne struggled with remembering this stage of her life however she disclosed that from what she has been told by her mother that Joanne would spend many hours in her father’s car talking and having conversations with herself (age...

References: Berk, L.E. (2007) Development through the lifespan. Boston, MA:
Pearson Education.
Bowlby. J. (1999) Attachment, (2nd ed.), New York, NY: Basic Books.
Burton, L., Western, D., & Kowalski, R
Erikson, E. H. (1965) Childhood and society. Middlesex, England:
Penguin Books.
Kurtz, P. D., Gaudin, J. M., Wodarski, J. S., & Howing, R T (1993). Maltreatment
and the school-aged child: School performance consequences.
Newman, B. M., & Newman, P. R. (2009) Development through life: A psychosocial
Santrock, J. W. (2008) Essentials of life-span development. New York,
NY: McGraw-Hill.
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