Developmental Psychology BPS210
DescriptionUnderstand the relationship between age and behaviour. This course is aimed at people working with people of any age in a counselling, supporting, or teaching capacity. Understand how physiological and psychological changes over the lifespan affect human behaviour. Parents and carers will gain greater insight into issues that present particular challenges at different stages of the life span, especially from adolescence to old age. This course also sets the theoretical framework complementing the Child Psychology course.
This is also the study of progressive psychological changes that occur in human beings as they age. Originally concerned with infants and children, and later other periods of…
Frequently asked questions
This is also the study of progressive psychological changes that occur in human beings as they age. Originally concerned with infants and children, and later other periods of great change such as adolescence and early life aging, it now encompasses the entire life span of an individual. This ever growing field examines change across a broad range of topics including: motor skills and other psycho-physiological processes, problem solving abilities, conceptual understanding, acquisition of language, moral understanding, and identify formation.Course Structure There are 10 lessons in this course:
- Theoretical approaches and key concepts
- Lifelong growth, nature/nurture theories ...psychodynamic, behavioural, social cognitive, cognitive, lifespan
- Early childhood
- Cognitive & social development in the first 6 years
- Genetics, personality, cognition, recognition, memory, social relationships;
- Middle childhood
- Cognitive, moral & social development in the school years
- Motor skills, cognitive and language development, relationships with family and peers, moral development
- Challenges of middle childhood
- School and learning, sense of self, achievement, peer pressure, family breakup, grief and trauma
- Cognitive, moral and social development
- Cognitive development, moral development, identity, relationships with family and peers;
- Challenges of adolescence
- Sexuality, peer groups, identity vs role confusion, trauma, depression, values and meaning
- Cognitive and psychosocial development in early and middle adulthood
- Sexuality, parenthood. work and achievement, moral reasoning, gender roles, cultural perspectives, adult thinking
- Challenges of adulthood
- Marriage and divorce, grief, depression, parenting, dealing with change
- Late adulthood
- Cognitive and psychosocial changes in the elderly
- Intelligence, learning and age, physiological influences, cognitive abilities, personality changes, relationships
- Challenges of late adulthood
- Loss, mourning, depression and elderly suicide, aging brain ... dementia etc, integrity vs despair, loss of independence.
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school\'s tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.What You Will Do
- Learn key theories and concepts in the study of developmental psychology;
- List major ethical concerns when studying development, and one step a researcher can take to reduce each;
- Identify cognitive and social aspects of a small child¢‚¨‚s development and some key inherent and external influences;
- Describe the phases of language acquisition in infants, and what can adversely affect it;
- Describe major cognitive, moral and social developments in middle childhood and how they influence behaviour
- Compare short term memory with long term memory in middle childhood, and discuss how this affects the child\'s ability to learn;
- Identify common psychological challenges faced by children from ages 6 to puberty;
- Reflect on your own success and failure experiences, and your own sense of competence in middle childhood. Consider how they affected your perceptions of yourself as you matured;
- Identify areas of change that will affect adolescent behaviour and thinking;
- Explain post formal thought, and consider how it can contribute to an adolescent\'s ability or willingness to make moral choices;
- Identify challenges common to adolescence, and ways to deal with them;
- Explain individuation. Discuss its importance, and how it can both challenge and complement group identity;
- Identify changes that can occur in early and middle adulthood and influence behaviour;
- Explain K. Warner Schaie\'s stages of adult thinking and explain why Schaie\'s model might be more relevant to understanding adult cognition than Piaget\'s cognitive model;
- Identify some key challenges faced in adulthood and ways of coping with them;
- List some changes that are typically associated with midlife crisis. Discuss both negative and positive aspects of midlife crisis.
- Identify effects of physiological changes and life experience on the aged person\'s cognitive and psychosocial experiences;
- Explain how \'cognitive plasticity\' can affect an older person\'s ability to learn despite brain cell loss;
- Research depression and suicide among the elderly;
- Research ways that an older person can be made to feel more
independent and automonous.
- Consider in your response what family members can do to respect the older person\'s need for autonomy.
Some Sample Course Notes
THE DEVELOPMENT OF HUMANS AND CHILDREN
The human being is also a natural being and, as such, is endowed with natural vital forces, which take the form of inherited qualities. Birth gives man existence as a natural individual. Although he comes into the world with insufficiently formed anatomical and physiological systems, they are genetically programmed as uniquely human. The newborn child is not a tabula rasa (clean slate) on which the environment draws its fanciful spiritual patterns. Heredity equips the child not only with instincts. He is from the very beginning the possessor of a special ability, the ability to imitate adults, their actions, the noises they make. He has an inherent curiosity, an ability to enjoy bright objects. He is capable of being upset, disappointed, experiencing fear and joy. His smile is innate and it can be observed even in prematurely born babies. Smiling is the privilege of man. And these purely human innate potentials are developed in the course of his whole subsequent life in society. Many specific features even of the human being\'s physiological make-up (the round shape of the head, the sophisticated structure of the hands, the shape of the lips and the whole facial structure, the erect posture, etc.) are products of the social way of life, the result of interaction with other people.
Influences of prenatal development
There are many influences that can affect the health and physiology of the child. This can start as early as preconception with the health of the parents and whether or not they have come in contact with any chemicals or the environment that may affect the reproductive health of the parents. There are other risk factors when the child is growing in the womb that may also affect the anatomy and physiology of the child. Risks such as nutrition of the mother, stress, as well as the mothers age. Of course it is also imperative that the mother stays away from tetratogens (these are any agent that can affect the baby). These can be drugs, diseases or environmental hazards. A mother should also look into genetic counselling if there are known genetic diseases which run in the family and that a child may be at risk of having. Some examples of the above are:
- Genetic disorders due to abnormal chromosomes - Down syndrome
- Medicinal drugs taken by the mother - Thalidomide
- Foetal alcohol syndrome - FAS
- Maternal diseases - Rubella or German measles
- Environmental hazards- Radiation
Genetics is the study of our genes (our molecular structure containing DNA). Genotype is the set of genetic traits we inherit from our parents. The phenotype is the set of traits an individual actually displays during development: reflects the evolving products of genotype (nature) and experience (nurture).
These traits that we inherit can be recessive or dominant. Dominant traits have a greater influence and what trait manifests, whereas recessive traits will only have an influence if no dominant trait is present. Some examples are hair colour brown/black is dominant and blond is recessive. These traits are found on the chromosomes which are rod like structures that contain genetic material (DNA - deoxyribonucleic acid) from both parents which determine our characteristics.