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Lifespan Development - Essay Example

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Leonie Sugarman (1986) adopts the term life-span development as she tackles life-span development psychology, contributing to the field of the life-span process. Prior to the onset of the fields of social sciences, particularly psychology and sociology, understanding the development of the life course was not a popular undertaking.
Now that lifespan theorists have explained systematically that a person goes through an organized process of lifespan development, studies began emphasizing its importance. Perhaps, this importance is geared towards understanding the process of change and development that occur within the course of life, alongside understanding the whys and hows of this development.
A common problem with the social sciences is the idea that since they deal with aspects of human life, they tackle what is supposed to be the obvious and the already known, and their tasks are simply an elaboration of these. They use different ways on how to present the stages of growth and decline, which is but a mere rehash of the obvious facts of life. This assertion may sound true, but upon studying the lifespan development concept, it will link us to the greater truth that alters our perception of the life course. The central thinking to this assertion is that through the lifespan studies, man's thinking is influenced by lifespan development, reflecting on his own life after looking at the lives of others and being knowledgeable of the processes that he or she goes through in his or her own life course. Lifespan development models were able to develop knowledge and ideas on different ages, gender, levels of ability, race, ethnic and cultural background. In understanding the impact of human growth and development, it is necessary that one looks at his own life course development and appreciate the importance of the key events that shape him/her as a person.

Critical Assessment of Life-Span Development Models
A common problem in the social sciences is the idea that since they deal with aspects of human life they deal with what in a sense is 'already' known and that as a result they are simply the elaboration of the obvious. They may use fancy words and difficult concepts but basically, everyone knows that every individual is born, then develops in a variety of ways and then experiences a period of gradual but inevitable decline. There is some truth in this assertion but truth also in the opposite view that studying life span development does actually alter our perception of how humans and thus, our individual selves develop. The central argument then is that although it is difficult if not impossible to measure the precise extent to which our thinking may have been influenced by LSD studies it is not unreasonable to suggest that it has. In addition, it is suggested that the main way in which this influence works is by individuals reflecting on their own lives after looking at the lives of others.
Due to the onset of life-span development models, a significant importance is now given to the concept of self-esteem, needs, achievement, growth, change, development, and the like, which play a significant role in the life course. It must be noted however, that unlike Freudianism, whose emphasis is only on the issues of 'growth' period associated to childhood and ...Show more


Lifespan development is an exploration of the biological, cognitive, and psychosocial changes occurring across different stages of life. Taking a life course perspective means adopting an approach in which the whole of a person's life is considered as offering opportunities for growth, change, and development…
Author : hoconnell
Lifespan Development
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