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Chapter 5

PSY399 - life span psychology chapter 5

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY399H5
Professor
Adams
Semester
Summer

Description
Unit
5:

Life
Span
Psychology
 
 Definition
of
Development
 • Development‐‐a
definite
pattern
of
movement
or
change
that
begins
at
conception
and
continues
 through
one’s
life
span
 
 Developmental
Processes
 • Development
is
a
series
of
process
that
occur
simultaneously
 • Major
areas
include:
 – Biological
 – Cognitive
 – Social
and
emotional
development
 
 Biological
Processes
 • Refers
to
changes
in
an
individual’s
physical
nature
 • Much
of
this
is
genetically
determined
 
 Cognitive
Processes
 • Refers
to
changes
in
an
individual’s
thought,
intelligence
and
language
abilities
 • Includes
such
skills
as
 – putting
words
together
to
make
sentences
 – memorization
 – soling
mathematical
problems
 – using
the
imagination
 Physical
Processes
 • Physical
development
includes
 – Brain
development
 – Motor
skills
 – Hormonal
change
 
 Social
and
Emotional
Processes
 • Reflects
changes
in
an
individual’s
relationships
with
other
people
 • Examples
include
 – An
infant’s
smile
in
response
to
his/her
mother’s
touch
 – An
aggressive
attack
on
a
playmate
 – The
development
of
assertiveness
 – Joy
at
attending
a
prom
 
 Critical
Periods
 • Throughout
development,
we
encounter
critical
or
sensitive
periods
 • Critical
periods
are
times
when
certain
internal
and
external
influences
have
a
major
effect
on
 development
 – at
other
periods
the
same
influences
will
have
little
to
no
effect
 – if
a
woman
contracts
rubella
during
the
first
3
months
of
pregnancy,
the
effects
range
from
 death
of
the
fetus
to
deafness
 • rubella
contracted
in
the
last
3
months
of
pregnancy
will
have
little
to
no
effect
because
 the
critical
period
for
body
part
formation
has
passed
 
 Prenatal
Influences
 • Fetuses
are
susceptible
to
environmental
influences
even
within
the
mother’s
womb
 • Teratogens‐‐environmental
agents
that
can
cause
abnormalities
 • These
teratogens
affect
cell
division
 • The
danger
to
the
embryo
is
greatest
during
the
first
2‐8
weeks
of
pregnancy
 – This
is
the
embryonic
stage
 – Major
organs
and
body
parts
are
forming
at
this
stage
 
 Common
Teratogens
 • Alcohol‐‐can
cause
mental
retardation,
linked
to
Fetal
Alcohol
Syndrome
(FAS0
which
is
 characterized
by
unusual
facial
features
and
low
body
weight
 • Nicotine‐‐can
cause
low
birth
weight,
poor
respiratory
functioning
and
miscarriages
 • Drugs‐‐can
cause
low
birth
weight,
premature
births,
neurological
problems,
birth
defects,
 learning
disabilities
and
slow
motor
development
 
 Teratogens:
Alcohol
 • Alcohol
can
have
a
profound
effect
on
the
developing
fetus
 • Mothers
who
use
alcohol
during
pregnancy
can
give
birth
to
a
child
with
fetal
alcohol
syndrome
 (facial
deformities,
heart
defects,
stunted
growth
and
cognitive
impairments)
 • Small
amounts
of
alcohol
can
cause
neurological
problems.
 
 Teratogens:
Smoking
 • Smoking
during
pregnancy:
 – restricts
oxygen
to
the
fetus
 – slows
breathing
 – increased
heartbeat
 – an
increased
risk
of
miscarriages
 • Babies
can
have
a
low
birth
weight
which
can
cause
other
developmental
problems
 
 Other
Prenatal
Issues
 • Differences
in
good
nutrition
and
health
explain
why
the
infant
death
rate
is
twice
that
for
African
 Americans
than
whites
 – a
higher
percentage
of
African
Americans
live
in
poverty
and
it
is
harder
to
eat
a
healthy
diet
 and
see
a
physician
 • A
mother’s
age
can
have
an
impact
on
birth
complications
 • Nutritional
care
during
pregnancy
can
affect
the
developing
fetus
 
 Nutrition
and
Obesity
 • Only
about
1%
of
children
and
adults
following
the
recommended
dietary
guidelines
 • Fat
and
sugar
are
consumed
in
excess
amounts
in
the
US
 • What
the
child
eats
is
determined
largely
by
his
or
her
home
environment
 • Minorities
and
socioeconomically‐deprived
children
are
especially
problematic
 • Body
fat
can
be
determined
by
a
child’s
body
mass
index
(BMI)
 
 • Cardiac‐respiratory
problems
and
obesity
at
all‐time
highs
 • Obese
children
frequently
become
obese
adults,
bringing
about
increased
medical
issues
 • The
main
causes
of
obesity
are:
 – Environmental
 – Lack
of
exercise
 – Genetics
 – Emotional
eating
 
 Perspectives
on
Gender
Roles
 • Gender
plays
different
roles
within
each
developmental
dimension
 • These
gender
roles
vary
greatly
from
culture
to
culture
 • These
roles
can
be
seen
in
the
different
perspectives
on
psychology:
 – biopsychological
(neuropsychological)
theory
 • children
learn
biological
differences
between
the
sexes
 • women
have
larger
corpus
collosums
than
men
 – may
affect
how
the
right
and
left
hemispheres
communicate
and
coordinate
tasks
 – psychodynamic
theory
 • Freud
considered
general
development
as
a
competition
 • young
boys
complete
with
the
fathers
for
their
mother’s
attention
(same
with
girls
and
 their
mothers)
 • children
they
cannot
compete
with
the
same‐sexed
parent
and
comes
to
identify
with
 them
instead
 • this
cannot
be
empirically
tested
 – social­cognitive
theory
 • boys
are
encouraged
to
play
rough,
girls
are
not
 • gender‐schema
theory
states
we
internalize
messages
about
gender
into
cognitive
rules
 about
how
each
gender
should
behave
(e.g.
boys
can
play
cops
and
robbers
but
it’s
not
 something
girls
do)

 
 Continuity
v.
Discontinuity
 • There
is
great
debate
on
whether
development
is
continuous
or
discontinuous.

 – Continuity
is
the
idea
that
we
develop
continually
at
a
steady
rate
from
birth
to
death
 • this
is
asserted
by
stage
theorists
such
a
Freud,
Erikson,
Kohlberg
and
Piaget

 – Discontinuity
is
the
idea
that
we
develop
in
fits
and
starts,
with
some
periods
of
rapid
 development
and
some
of
relatively
little
change
 • this
is
asserted
by
biologists
and
supported
by
rapid
growth
in
infancy
and
a
growth
spurt
 in
adolescence
 
 Kohlberg’s
Moral
Development
 • Lawrence
Kohlberg
is
most
known
for
his
six
stages
of
moral
development.
These
stages
are
 divided
into
three
levels
of
morality.
 
 • Level
1:
Preconventional
Level
 • This
level
involves
the
individual
responding
to
the
world
around
them
and
understanding
right
 and
wrong;
intent
in
moral
decisions
is
not
yet
based
on
convention
 – Stage
1:
Punishment
and
Obedience
(infancy
and
early
childhood
 • this
stage
involves
the
individual
performing
certain
behaviors
simply
to
avoid
being
 punished
 – Stage
2:
Reciprocity
(early
to
middle
childhood)
 • this
is
the
"what's
in
it
for
me"
stage;
children
will
perform
certain
behaviors
if
there
is
a
 payoff
for
them
 
 • Level
2:
Conventional
Level
 • This
level
is
where
the
individual
starts
to
define
parameters
to
their
morality
 – Stage
3:
Good
Child
(middle
to
later
childhood)
 • during
this
stage,
children
will
behavior
based
on
what
they
think
will
please
others;
intent
 is
important;
children
can
actually
do
the
wrong
thing
for
the
right
reasons
(e.g.
to
please
 their
parents)
 – Stage
4:
Law
and
Order
(adolescence)
 • individuals
understand
the
parameters
of
the
law
and
rules,
and
know
that
operating
 within
them
is
the
correct
thing
to
do
 
 • Level
3:
Postconventional
Level
 • This
level
sees
the
individual
consistently
applying
moral
guidelines
and
dealing
them
with
more
 abstract
and
higher‐level
reasoning
 – Stage
5:
Social
Contract
(young
to
middle
adulthood)
 • individuals
behave
the
way
they
would
like
others
to
behavior
toward
them;
individuals
 are
willing
to
give
up
certain
behaviors
to
preserve
the
rights
of
others
with
the
 expectation
that
others
will
do
the
same
 – Stage
6:
Universal
Ethical
Principles
(middle
to
late
adulthood)
 • this
stage
involves
a
universal
application
of
moral
principles
that
are
not
dependent
on
 situational
factors.
 
 Kohlberg
v.
Gilligan
 • Carol
Gilligan
explains
that:
 – boys
score
higher
than
girls
on
tests
of
moral
development
because
boys
base
their
judgments
 on
abstract
concepts
of
justice
 – girls
base
their
judgments
on
criteria
about
other
people
and
the
importance
of
maintaining
 personal
relationship
 • This
is
supported
by
research
on
rescuers
of
Jews
during
the
holocaust
in
that
two
groups
 emerged:
 – those
that
helped
because
of
deeply
rooted
moral
values
 – those
who
identified
with
the
emotionally
 • Research
also
suggests
that
women
are
more
prone
to
suffer
from
depression
because
they
are
 more
relationship‐oriented
than
men
 
 Jean
Piaget
 • Jean
Piaget’s
theories
are
central
to
understanding
cognitive
development
 • He
believed
a
child’s
cognitive
development
is
a
result
of
an
individual’s
interface
with
the
 physical
maturity,
the
world
around
him
or
her
and
social
experiences
 • Children
actively
move
through
orderly
and
predictable
stages
of
cognitive
development
 • Piaget
believed
that
all
children
naturally
are
inspired
to
learn,
think
and
comprehend
 • Children
see
the
world
quite
differently
than
adults
do
 • Children
order
their
thinking
into
schemas
 • All
learning
entails
either
assimilation
or
accommodation
 
 • All
children
will
systematically
experience
each
state
of
cognitive
development
 • Children
will
progress
through
these
states
in
order,
although
some
may
overlap
 • Piaget
believed
that
cognitive
development
could
not
be
accelerated
 • Piaget
organized
cognitive
development
into
four
distinct
stages:
 – Sensorimotor
 – Preoperational
 – Concrete
operations
 – Formal
operations
 
 Stage
1:
Sensorimotor
 • This
occurs
from
birth
to
age
2
 • Infants
take
in
the
world
through
their
sensory
systems
 • Behavior
is
based
on
their
physical
responses
to
the
environment
 • They
learn
their
reflexes
have
an
impact
on
the
world
around
them
 • The
inf
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