LIFE SPAN DEVELOPMENT PSYCHOLOGY

Lifespan developmental psychology or lifespan psychology (LP) deals with the study of individual development (ontogenesis) from conception into old age (PB Baltes et al 1980, Dixon & Lerner 1988, Neugarten 1996, Thomae 1979). A core assumption of LP is that development is not completed at adulthood but that it extends across the entire life course and that from conception onward lifelong adaptive processes of acquisition, maintenance, transformation, and attrition in psychological structures and functions are involved. The simultaneous concern for acquisition, maintenance, transformation, and attrition exemplifies the view of lifespan psychologists that the overall ontogenesis of mind and behavior is dynamic, multidimensional, multifunctional, and nonlinear (PB Baltes 1997).

Developmental psychology uses the term lifespan development to encompass all of the development that occurs from birth throughout life. Lifespan development covers all stages of development and progress from the birth of a person to his death and is studied in a variety of ways. However, it can be broken down for better understanding and study.
Development can be broken down into three major components that can overlap at times: biological, cognitive and psychosocial. Biological development is the development of the body, the processes and changes that occur. Cognitive development consists of all the mental processes and developments that occur, including problem solving, logic, reason and imagination/creativity. Psychosocial development is the development and changes in emotions, personality and social interactions.

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