Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 1 Human Growth and Development: An Analysis by Age Group Sharla Carpenter, Erin Colby, Mary Kramer, Sara Linden, Michelle Mehlhaff, Lavinia Roberts, and Robyn Tiemeyer Emporia State University
Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 2 The field of Human Development is the study of how an individual grows and changesthroughout his or her lifespan. Most often divided into chronological categories based on age, the differences between the life stages relate biology and psychology within social, environmental, and even economic context. This collaboration focuses particularly on theories of Jean Piaget (1896-1980), Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934), and Erik Ericson (1902-1994), all of whom are considered to be the most significant experts on human learning style, cognitive growth, and physical advancement.Ages 0-5 It is without doubt that the period from birth to age five is a period of intense growth anddevelopment for humans. According to Caviness, Kennedy, Bates and Makris, a baby’s brain atbirth is about 25% of adult size. By age one, the infant brain has increased in weight by morethan twofold, and by age three, the weight of the young child’s brain is about 80% of its finalweight (as cited in Schön and Silvén, 2007, p. 141). Myelination of axons (required for thesuccessful development of cognitive, motor, and sensory functions) contributes directly tomaturation of individual brain regions and their connecting pathways (Steen, 2000). This processpeaks during the first eight months of life, but chronic stress has been shown to lead to theregression of brain development and cell death. Research continues to show that ―affectionateand responsive caregiving during infancy is an important prerequisite for healthy braindevelopment and later emotional wellbeing‖ (Schön and Silvén, 2007, p. 142). Infants need theirbasic needs met repeatedly to ensure proper physical and emotional development. Manyresearchers believe that sensitive parenting (including cosleeping, breastfeeding and quickresponse to crying) are key to raising a healthy child, because these ―practices prevailed during
Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 3the evolutionary history of the human species, to which the human infant has biologicallyadapted over the course of evolution‖ (Schön and Silvén, 2007, p. 102). Constructivists such as Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky theorized that ―young childreninitiate most of the activities required for learning and development.‖ Aside from meeting thebasic needs of infants, they, too, theorized that ―view young children as active participants in thelearning process.‖ Constructivists believe that when a young child encounters difficulties in thelearning process, the appropriate response is not to label or to retain the child, but to give thechild individualized attention and customize the learning situation to help the child address his orher difficulties. (NCREL, 2004).Ages 6-10 From around ages six to ten, children are continuing to radically develop both mentallyand physically, however they are beginning to head in a new cognitive direction. This is a timethat children are establishing a sense of identity and how they function in the world around them.They seek opportunities to master and demonstrate new skills, make independent decisions,control their behavior and form good social relationships with peers and adults outside the family(Eccles, 1999). According to Dr. Jacquelynne Eccles, a professor of psychology at theUniversity of Michigan, during this time ―children are learning about the world outside theirfamily and matching themselves against the expectations of others. (1999)‖ She attributes this tochildren being in school settings where they are around children their age, which stronglyinfluences their development. She also states that Erik Erikson, who proposed the ―Eight Stagesof Man,‖ stressed that middle childhood is a time where children move from home into a broadersocial context that greatly influences their development. During this time children are learning to
Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 4cooperate with peers and adults and are more involved in schooling and social activities (Eccles,1999). Piaget believed that cognitive development is dependent upon maturation and interactionwith the environment and processes according to an orderly succession of learning styles(Thomas 2004). Piaget’s study of human development has four stages of development; this agegroup is in the latter ends of the preoperational stage (2-6) but mainly in the concrete operationalstage (7-11). In the concrete operational stage, increased cognitive growth shows that the childhas a more objective view of the world and is beginning to understand how others see things(Thomas 1979). For example, a child in the preoperational stage would think that there is moreclay in five balls than in three, even when it is combined into one. A child in the concreteoperational stage would be able to comprehend that the amount of clay would stay the same nomatter how many balls the piece of clay was made into. Though Piaget regarded thesedevelopmental stages as invariant, children do pass through all stages of cognitive developmentat different rates (Thomas 2004).Ages 11-18 Adolescence, ranging from ages 11-18, is also a time of cognitive change and growth.Puberty not only affects adolescents physically, but also cognitively. Adolescents seek todiscover their sexual identity as well as their identity as individuals away from parents andfamily structures (Manheim 2009). Adolescents may have increased independence, firmer senseof self, greater emotional stability, increasing self reliance, and rely more on peer groups then inprevious stages (AACAP 2001). According to psychiatrist Eric Erickson adolescents will likely go through stages 5 and 6of his 8 stages of development referred to as the ―8 Stages of Man.‖ Developed by Erickson in
Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 51956, each stage of development is marked by crisis and brings the individual closer toadulthood (Child Development Institute 2009). Stage five of Ericson’s ―8 Stages of Man,‖ istitled Learning Identity Versus Identity Diffusion and is the stage where individuals developtheir identity through experimentation and by playing different constructed roles. Stage five istitled Learning Intimacy Versus Isolation and is a time where adolescents develop intimateromantic relationships. Age 11 to adulthood according Piaget is the final stage of cognitive development, calledby Piaget ―Formal Operations.‖ Adolescents, as formal operational thinkers, are able to thinkabout abstract ideas and develop propositional, inductive, and deductive logical as well ascombinatorial reasoning. Adolescents as formal operational thinkers are additionally capable ofreflecting on their own thought processes critically (Meece 2002).Ages 19-24 The ages of 19 through 24 reflect the maturation in human development from lateadolescence to early adulthood. Research in this age demographic shows ―dramatic shifts inromantic relationships, risk taking behavior, insight, and worldviews‖ (Bennett, 2006). It is alsothe period during which most individuals change from being a member of a family toestablishing their own family and adult relationships, learning how to relate to others in moredeeply intimate ways. Essentially, the young adult distances from the support, both emotionallyand financially, of his or her parents, becomes responsible for their own needs, and then is ableto take on the responsibility of others. Erik Ericson’s theories originally put the age of maturity around 21, but more recentresearch has now estimated it to be somewhere more in the mid-twenties. A 2006 study atDartmouth College concluded significant change occurs in the brain of college freshman in their
Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 6first year away from home, an environment of social uncertainty that fosters further developmentof self-knowledge and independence (Bennett, 2006). This shows that the biology ofdevelopment is still changing at least through age 25, while previous data documented the agearound 18. At this point, too, is a shift from developing the self-identity to establishing therelationship of that identity to parents, spouses, children, and work colleagues. This also leads toa growing ability to nurture the physical and emotional needs of others. Socially, there stillremains a gap between genders as in previous stages of development. ―[L]eisure time is stillspent largely with others of the same sex even after marriage‖ (Carter, 1999). Men tend to havemore influence in groups while women seem to have closer relationships with their children thantheir male partners.Ages 25-50 When a person reaches the age of 25 they are continuing their transition into the adultworld. According to Levinson (1986) this age group spans several life transitions: Age 30Transition, the Culminating Life Structure for Early Adulthood, and the Midlife Transition. Today it takes longer to make the transition into adulthood than in earlier decades,according to Furstenberg (2004) this is because of the increase of those who are receiving ahigher education and also the postponement of marriage and childbirth. Johnson and Dye (2005)found the median age at first marriage in the United States is 26.7 for men and 25.1 for women,which is an all time high for the United States. When a person reaches the 28-33 age range they are moving into the Age 30 Transition,in this stage they make new life choices and reaffirm the old. According to Levinson (1986) it is
Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 7in this stage that one works to establish a niche in society. Where they anchor their life, developcompetence in a craft, and become a valued member of society. In the Culminating Life Structure for Early Adulthood (33 to 40), one begins to reflect ontheir life and determine if they have built a satisfactory life structure. This stage can producerebellion or crisis if the person determines their life is unsatisfactory. Ages 40 to 50 begin theMidlife Transition and the termination of Early Adulthood. According to Sheehy (1995) in thisstage psychologically something must die to end Early Adulthood and move into SecondAdulthood or Middle Adulthood. Levinson (1986) found that this is also where one prepares tobecome a ―senior member‖ in society who is responsible not only for themselves but also thedevelopment of the current generation.Ages 50-75 The ages of 50-75 are a time of change in the life of an adult. During this time,individuals begin to deal with retirement, the birth of grandchildren, and increasing health issues.Also during this time of life, individuals are more prone to begin to think about their worth asindividuals, which can be complicated by no longer working, limited family interaction or theidea that because they are aging, their ability to help within their families is limited. This canconflict with wanting to make sure connections are made with younger generations. It is also atime in life when people begin seeking to engage in other interests in their lives. According to Carter and McGoldrick, this is the eighth stage of the life cycle (1999).This is a time when individuals become concerned with more physical problems and begin thetransition to retirement. Individuals become worried about their retirement finances and makingsure they have enough money to live on and are able to take care of their medical needs. This isalso a time in life when individuals begin dealing with the deaths of their parents or other
Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 8members of an older generation; it is also a time of connecting to younger generations,maintaining emotional connections, and ensuring information about older family members ispassed on to younger generations as a way to maintain a familial connection. Because this transitional phase is, traditionally, a time when individuals are no longercaring for their children, this opens up time for new interests and activities. This allowsindividuals to have more time researching interests or becoming involved in groups or activitiesthey were unable to participate in during their working years. It is important to understand that not all individuals within this age range are going to beinterested in the same things, and diversity is important when considering the needs ofindividuals in this stage of life (Mates, 2003). Crosnoe and Elder (2002) point out that ―…agingis not a uniform process and the aged are not a uniform group: individual coping and adaptationare highly variable.‖(311). This can be a time of growth and learning for individuals who nolonger have the responsibilities of raising children or working and are looking for a way to havemeaning in their lives.Ages 75+ Before addressing the growth and development of the elderly, it is necessary to determinewhich adults actually comprise this group. In the past, persons 65 and older were commonlyconsidered to be our senior citizens. Likewise, according to Erikson’sDevelopmental Stages, the eighth stage – or old age – was typically from age 65 onward.However, as the number of older adults increases in the world, it seems appropriate to redefinethe term elderly. The older elderly in this report are adults aged 75 and older.
Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 9 In general, most older elderly have markedly begun to weaken – physically, mentally, orboth. In terms of mental decline, the elderly may have particular difficulty with short-termmemory recall. Many elderly also tend to suffer other cognitive losses, including a diminishedability to think clearly. Disease and brain disorders associated with old age can further affectthe elderly’s ability to process information. Thornbury (1989) discusses a study that correlated Piaget’s developmental model tocognitive losses in persons afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. Findings showed that well elderlyadults performed at the Piagetian concrete/formal operational stage (school-age or adolescent).However, the Alzheimer sample was divided equally between the concrete/formal stage and thePiagetian sensorimotor/preoperational stage (infant or preschool). Furthermore, another recent study examined new concept formation from early childhoodto adulthood. Verifying Vygotsky’s claim that most conceptual learning takes place duringadolescence, the study showed a rise consistent with age that peaked among11 to 15-year olds and then steadily declined thereafter (Towsey & Macdonald, 2009). In terms of psychosocial changes, Erikson purported that each of the seven stagespreceding the last helps to ripen the fruit of old age – that being wisdom. He viewed old age as atime when integrity, or certainty in the completeness of one’s life, could offset feelings ofdespair that often accompany physical decline and deterioration. Despair, which can furtherlead to depression and feelings of hopelessness, can also result if the elderly adult perceives hislife as unsuccessful – a failure to have met personal goals. Moreover, Erikson believed that psychosocial behaviors of life’s earlier stages willreoccur in the final years. The sense of trust that began in the loving and supportive environmentof infancy will reemerge as an appreciation for the need for interdependence as one reaches old
Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 10age. Additionally, the second stage of life (years 2 - 3), when control over one’s body isacquired, will repeat itself in old age as one learns to accept inevitable physical change anddisintegration. Furthermore, a sense of purpose in life, first learned in ―play age‖ (years 3 - 5),will be mirrored again in old age through retrospection and close consideration of one’saccomplishments thus far (Goleman, 1988). While old age can be a time of struggle between integrity and despair, it is also a time torecognize both the certainty and the challenges of physical degeneration. Despite the adverseeffects of aging, many elderly indeed still strive to be active and engaged. Elfreda Chatman (1991) examined older elderly populations and the relationship betweenhealth, health care, and their desire/need for information. Most of Chatman’s subjects werewomen with relatively low income and limited means of transportation.They tended to have a short-term view of life but thrived on staying in touch with the world.Mass media, especially television, was used as a way to gather information as well as a mediumfor keeping up to date. Liroff and VanFleet (1992) further observed the benefits of mentalstimulation on the very old and noted how highly important mind-challenging activities were toelderly adults and their overall well-being (Tolbert, 1993). Although growing old is a common topic of conversation among the elderly, it seems thatmost elderly do not hold positive feelings about the aging process. In fact,Chatman (1992) closely associated aging with increased loss of self-reliance and independence.Subjects worried about disabilities and having to leave the retirement center for nursing care orother health services, they experienced greater loneliness during holiday periods when theyespecially missed being with family. Many of the elderly were so depressed at the idea ofgetting old; they refused to even talk about it.
Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 11 Nevertheless, Chatman (1992) also observed certain elderly who were still fully engagedin life and living. Those who best handled aging were friendly, upbeat, and displayed a goodsense of humor. Therefore, it appears that a positive attitude and good health are closelyassociated and are important factors contributing to successful aging. Human development continues across all ages. From the moment of conception andindividual begins to develop. The brain development of infants’ is crucial to emotionaldevelopment in later life. Children’s development focuses on developing an identity of theirown and learning how they function in the world around them. Adolescence is about discoveringa sexual identity and separating from their birth family. In late adolescence, individuals movefrom being a part of a family to developing their own family. They begin to be responsible fortheir own needs both emotionally and financially. Adulthood includes developing a niche andbeing a valued member of society. In mid to late adulthood, individuals begin to evaluate whatthey have done in life. They begin to question if their contributions have been valued in lateadulthood and move from being employed to retirement. They deal with the loss of oldermembers of their families and maintain connections with younger members. Finally, the elderlyare continuing the process of late adulthood and trying to stay connected to the world at large. All of these stages of development are important in the human life cycle. It is importantfor individuals to know where they are developmentally, as well as those around them. Stages ofdevelopment affect how and individual understands what is happening to them personally andwithin the world at large. Understanding where an individual is within the stages ofdevelopment affects how they take in and process information.
Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 12 ReferencesAmerican Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (2001). Normal Adolescent Development Part I. Retrieved from http://www.aacap.org.Bennett, C. M. (2006). Anatomical Changes in the Emerging Adult Brain. Human Brain Mapping , 266-277.Bennett, C. M. (2006). Anatomical Changes in the Emerging Adult Brain: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study. Human Brain Mapping , 766-777.Carter, B. & McGoldrick, M.(Eds.) (1999). The Expanded Family Life Cycle. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.Chatman, E.A. (1992). Introduction: research and conduct of the study. The information world of retired women. (pp. 1-12). Retrieved from http://books.google.com/Child Development Institute. (2009) Stages of Social-Emotional Development in children and teenagers. Child Development Institute Social/Emotional. Retrieved from http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/development/erickson.shtmlCrosnoe, R., & Elder, G.H. (2002). Successful adaptation in the later years: a life course approach to aging. Social Psychology Quarterly, 65(4), 309-328.Eccles, J. ( Fall 1999) The Development if Children Ages 6 to 14. The Future of Children, 9(2)), 30-44.Erikson, Erik (1902-1979). (2001). In Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology: Retrieved from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g2699/is_0001/ai_2699000120/Frase, R. (2004). The information world of senior citizens. Retrieved from http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~rmf29/InformationWorldSeniors.doc.
Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 13Furstenberg, F. F., Kennedy, S., McLoyd, V. C., Rumbaut, R. G., & Settersten, R. A. (2004). Growing up is harder to do. Contexts, 3(3). 33-41.Goleman, D. (1988, June 14). Erikson, in own old age, expands his view of life. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/1988/06/14/science/erikson-in-his-own-old- age-expands-his- view-of- life.htmlHuitt, W. (2004). Maslows hierarchy of needs. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved from http://chiron.valdosta.edu/whuitt/col/regsys/maslow.htmlJohnson, T., & Dye, J. (May 2005). Indicators of Marriage and Fertility in the United States from the American Community Survey: 2000 to 2003. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/fertility/mar-fert-slides.htmlLevinson, D. J. (1978). The seasons of a mans life. New York: Knopf.Levinson, D. J. (1986). A conception of adult development. American Psychologist, 41(1), 3-13.Mannheim, J. (2009). Adolescent development. Medline Plus Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/encyMates, B. (2003). 5-star programming and services for your 55+ library customers. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.Meece, J. (2002) Cognitive Development: Piagets and Vygotskys Theories. McGraw Hill Online Learning Center. Retrieved from http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com
Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 14North Central Regional Educational Laboratory. (2004). Theories of child development and learning. Retrieved from http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/students/earlycld/ea7lk18.htmSchön, R. A., and Silvén, M. (2007). Natural Parenting—Back to Basics in Infant Care. Evolutionary Psychology, 5(1), 102-183.Sheehy, G. (1995). New passages: Mapping your life across time. New York: Random House.Steen, F. F. (2000) Myelination in Development. Retrieved from http://cogweb.ucla.edu/CogSci/Myelinate.htmlThomas, M. (1979). Comparing Theories of Child Development. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing Company.Thomas, N. (2004). Information Literacy and Information Skills Instruction. Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited, Inc.Thornbury, J. M. (1989). Piaget’s model related to cognitive loss in Alzheimer’s disease. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Rochester). Retrieved from http://openlibrary.org/b/OL17872111M.Tolbert, S. L. (1993). Use of public libraries by the elderly. Retrieved from http://www.philandsusantolbert.com/research/elderly.html#topTowsey, P. M., & Macdonald, C. A. (2009). Wolves in sheep’s clothing and other Vygotskian constructs. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 16(3), 234-262. doi: 10. 1080/10749030802596306
Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 15 Suggested ReadingsAuslander, B. A., & Rosenthal, S. (2010). Intimate romantic relationships in young adulthood: A biodevelopmental perspective. In J. E. Grant, & M. N. Potenza, Young adult mental health (pp. 155-168). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Chatman, E. (1991). Channels to a larger social world: Older women staying in contact with the Great Society. Library & Information Science Research, 13(3), 281-300.Erikson, E., & Erikson, J. (1997). The life cycle completed (extended version). New York: W. W. Norton & Co.Erikson, E., Erikson, J., & Kivnick, H. (1987). Vital involvement in old age. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.Hoare, C. H. (2001). Erikson on development in adulthood: New insights from the unpublished papers. New York: Oxford University Press.Huston, A. C. (2010). Human Development in Societal Context. Annual Review of Psychology, 61.Knowles, M.S., Holton, E.F., & Swanson, R.A. (2005). The adult learner, sixth edition: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. Burlington, MA: Elsevier.Mooney, C.G. (2000). Theories of childhood: An introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.Rowe, J.W.,Kahn, R.L. (1998). Successful aging. Dell Publishing: New York.Rutter, M. (2008). Implications of Attachment Theory and Research for Child Care Policies. In Cassidy J and Shaver PR. Handbook of Attachment: Theory, Research and Clinical Applications (2nd ed.). New York and London: Guilford Press. pp. 958–974.
Running head: HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT 16Sell, C.M. (1991). Transitions through adult life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.Vaughn, B.E., Bost K.K., Van Ijzendoorn, M.H. (2008). Attachment and Temperament. In Cassidy J, Shaver PR. Handbook of Attachment: Theory, Research and Clinical Applications. New York and London: Guilford Press. pp. 192–216.