Lifespan Development and Personality Paper
Introduction - Lifespan Development
Development involves movement from one state to another with the element being change. From the moment we are first conceived, to the day we die, we are constantly changing and developing. Until recently psychologists associated adulthood as a long period of stability followed by a short span of unstable year’s immediately preceding death (Boyd & Bee, 2006). The new view is that there are 7 stages: infancy (birth - 1), early childhood (2 - 6), middle childhood (6 - 12), adolescence (12 - 18), early adulthood (18 - 40); middle adulthood (40 - 60); and late adulthood (60 plus). Each era has a distinct and underlying character of living and each transition causes a basic change in character of an individual’s life, such as career shifts, family. Important changes in development occur in each of these stages which are interpreted to allow an understanding of why a change is occurring. There are three domains of development which are studied in order to understand the age related changes across the lifespan: cognitive, physical and social (Carpenter & Huffman, 2010). While some of the changes we undergo are as a result of chance incidents and personal choices, the majority of life changes and stages individual’s pass through are due to biological and psychological heritage. This paper will focus on the infancy stage. Physical Development
The speed of physical growth is rapid in the months after birth. In the first few months after birth, infants grow rapidly, gaining nearly one ounce of weight a day and an inch in length each month. Within the space of 2 years, an infant’s body will double in height and quadruple in weight. During infancy bones and muscle also develop quickly. At birth, most bones are soft, pliable and difficult to break. The bones are too small and too flexible to allow newborns to sit up or balance themselves. Calcium and other minerals are deposited into the soft cartilage-like tissues of the young infant causing the bones to harden gradually. In addition to the hardening of bones, the number of bones increases as more develop which become closely interconnected. Muscle fibers become larger and contain less water whilst stamina improves as the heart gets stronger and the lungs grow. Motor skills advance from simple reflexes to coordinated motor abilities, as the infant progresses from creeping to crawling to walking to running and become able to grasp objects. Neurons grow in increasingly dense connections, becoming coated with layers of myelin, and enabling faster and more efficient message transmission (Feist, 2006). These are many methods and techniques that parents or caregivers can do to stimulate the development of motor, sensory, and perceptual skills in infants. During infancy, motor skills can be developed by incorporate toys into an infant’s daily routine. Toys such as rattles, balls and blocks; anything that they can pick-up, roll, push, allow the infant to explore and figure out what he or she can do. Anything that causes the infant to move, use their hands, feet, arms or legs will aid in the infant learning how to crawl then walk. Infants develop sensory skills by focusing attention on the senses. Taste and smell improve when infants place things in their mouths or by putting things up to their nose. Touch can be developed by allowing the infant to touch an object with different textures, or varying degrees of softness or hardness. Brightly colored toys and lights can aid in visual development. Communication between the caregiver and infant help develop hearing skills as well as playing music. Interaction between a caregiver and an infant aids in the development of the infant’s perceptual skills by playing one-on-one games such as peek-a-boo or moving toys towards and away from them, making them reach for the toy. Cognitive Development
Infants take an active...
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