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GERON/HLTH220: Textbook Notes for Lectures 1 and 2

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HLTH 220
Linda Jessup

Lecture 1 –Introduction and Orientation to Lifespan Developmndt Textbook: Lifespan Development: A Topical Approach 2 Edition Modules: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and 2.2 Objectives: - Understanding the growth and change that occur during life - Look at the interaction of heredity and environment underlying human behaviour Module 1.1. Determining the Nature –and Nurture– of Lifespan Development - What is lifespan development? - What are some of the basic influences on human development? Lifespan development is the field of study that examines patterns of growth, change, and stability in behaviour that occur throughout the lifespan  Focus on human development seeking to understand how cultural, racial, and ethnic differences affect development as it persists from the moment of conception to the day of death  Physical Development –examining the body’s make up (i.e. the need for food, drink, and sleep)  Cognitive Development –change in intellectual capabilities influence a person’s behaviour (i.e. learning, memory, problem-solving and intelligence)  Personality Development –stability and change in the characteristics that differentiate one person from another over the lifespan  Social Development –individual’s interactions and relationships with others grow, change, and remain the same *development is often looked at a particular age range: infancy and toddlerhood, preschool period, middle childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood **these periods are social constructions (shared notion of reality) Influences on Lifespan Development No one develops alone and the universal truth leads not to unity but to great diversity in cultures and societies. With better understand, we find precise applications for improving the human social condition.  Culture (i.e. orientation to indvidiualism or collectivism  Ethnic group/Ethnicity (i.e. cultural background, nationality, religion and language)  Racial (exceedingly imprecise; no race is genetically distinct)  Socioeconomic, and gender differences Other Influences: Developing with Others in a Social World  Cohort Effects provide an example of history-graded influences (biological, environmental influences in a particular historical moment) o Cohort, a group of people born at around the same time in the same place  Age-graded influences (biological + environmental influences in a particular age group, not necessarily the same cohort)  Sociocultural-graded influences, the social and cultural factors present at a particular time  Non-normative events are specific (i.e. car accident) Key Debates in Lifespan Development  Continuous Change vs Discontinuous Change  Continuous change, development is gradual (one level building on previous levels)  Discontinuous change, occurring at distinct stages (qualitatively different from behaviour at earlier stages)  Critical and Sensitive Periods: Gauging the Impact of Environmental Events  Critical Period is a specific time during development when a particular event has its greatest consequence (i.e. environmental stimuli is necessary for development to proceed normally)  to produce permanent, irreversible consequences  Sensitive Period organisms are particular susceptible to certain kinds of stimuli in their environment  may hinder development  Lifespan Approaches vs Focus on Particular Periods  Should one focus their attention to one particular period? The entire lifespan is important! People shift in how they invest their resources at different points during the life span. (i.e. studying and learning new skills early life and dealing with losses during adulthood)  The Relative Influence of Nature and Nurture on Development  How much of a person’s behaviour is influenced by nature or by nurture?  Nature refers to traits, abilities, and capacities that are inherited from one’s parents (predetermined unfolding of genetic information  Nurture refers to the environmental influences that shape behaviour  Neither nature nor nurture stands alone in most developmental matters Module 1.2. Theoretical Perspectives on Lifespan Development - What are the key issues in the field of development? - Which theoretical perspectives have guided lifespan development? - What role do theories and hypotheses play in the study of development? Theories Explaining Developmental Change - Theories, explanations and predications concerning phenomena of interest, providing a framework for understanding the relationships among an organized set of facts or principles  Psychodynamic, behaviour throughout life is motivated by inner, unconscious forces, stemming from childhood, over which we have little control
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