When one talks of developmental psychology, he is referring to the systematic study of the psychological changes that occur in humans as they grow and throughout their entire life span. At its inception, the field of developmental psychology targeted mainly infants and children. However, with time, the field has evolved to embrace the adolescents, adults, aging and the entire life span to be precise. The changes studied under developmental psychology range from motor skills to psycho-physiological concerns. Similarly, cognitive changes especially skills such as problem solving, ethical and moral perceptions are also considered (Louw, 2003). Other developmental areas considered include but are not limited to emotional development, conceptual understanding, self-image formation (basically called self-concept) and identity formation. It is important to note that developmental psychology is concerned with growth as per the gradual accumulation of knowledge and mostly considers individual stages of development such as infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, late adulthood and aging. Each developmental stage has its psychological developments analyzed, compared to the general norm and hence identify anomalies in development. This paper seeks to explain how the development of children's theory of mind contributes to their ability to manage emotions (Richardson, 2000).
Developmental Psychology; a Sociological and Cultural Issue
The distinction of the age range within each stage of development or within a single stage say childhood or adolescence varies from one community to another. These distinctions are not fixed and they vary greatly depending on the culture and the social orientation of the society doing the distinction. For instance, the age at which an individual is seen as a juvenile varies from one state to another and therefore it is automatic that the age of at which one converts to an adult from adolescence will also vary. Therefore, the distinction between childhood and adulthood will also vary between these states and generally vary from one cultural and social group to another all along history. It is important to note that the passage year into adulthood or passage years within adulthood itself as a stage of development is socially and culturally fixed. All cultures divide the entire life of human beings into more all less the same but what differ are the transition ages from one stage to another or from one sub stage (within one development stage say adulthood) to another. Of great importance are the roles that come with the attainment of each development stage (Barber, 1957).
Child development may be construed to refer to both biological and psychological changes that take place in human beings between birth and entry into adulthood. It can also be seen to represent the transition from dependency seen in infants and children to greater autonomy at the start and toward the end of adolescence. It is imperative to note that child development is only a subset of developmental psychology which concerns the biological and psychological development of an individual throughout the entire lifespan. The commonly asked question is what is the concern of child development Actually, as mentioned above, child development concerns itself with the biological an