The Importance of Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychology is one of the most taught subjects while learning psychology online or on campus.

It studies human’s psychological changes from conception to death and is divided into four components:

  1. Pediatric Psychology
  2. Psychology of adolescence
  3. Psychology of adulthood and Gerontopsychology

School childhood development is very complex, comprehensive and  unique process, which can be divided into three broad aspects:

  • Physical development
  • Cognitive development and Psychosocial development

Any change that occurs in one of these three aspects, will affect the other two. Evolutionary psychology examines not only the mental intro individual changes but also inter individual differences and similarities. The term development does not only imply changes, but includes the relative unchanged stability of mental processes and characteristics.

Physical development

Children from different countries were compared with reference to specific age periods. The results followed the expected “ideal” physical appearance of the child. In some developed countries, individual differences in weight and height are often caused by hereditary aspects. In these developed countries, obesity is a more serious problem than malnutrition.

These external differences have a very adverse effect on psychosocial, physical and mental aspects of personality.

Motor development

Motor development explains the importance of school for the development of motor skills. Of course muscle development will be stronger in boys than girls, while flexibility and suppleness of the body are more prominent characteristics of girls.

Cognitive development

During adolescent childhood, significant changes occur in regards to the cognitive functioning of the child. Thinking becomes more organized, flexible, systematic and logical than of the preschool child.

According to the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget, a child between the ages of 7-12 is in a period of “finishing concrete operations”. The child at this age is able to pay attention to several aspects of a problem by taking into account detailed information about a given situation. Piaget’s theory underestimates children’s competence, which brought about criticism and new studies in the development of memory.

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