The Life Span Theory of Development

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Lifespan Development Development happens to people which, of course, goes without saying, but does development stop at a certain stage or does it continue throughout one's lifetime. The development of the person does not happen overnight, and it has been the purpose of many researchers to determine exactly how far development extends. The theories of lifespan development are among the most complete at attempting to codify development, but even they are not complete in and of themselves. That is why many different theories exist. This paper examines the lifespan theory of development, summarizes two of the theories, and looks at the influences of heredity and environment. The Lifespan Theory of Development One of the first statements that Berger (2011, 4) makes in her book is that "The science of human development seeks to understand how and why people all kinds of people, everywhere, of every age change over time. Growth is multidirectional, multi-contextual, multicultural, and plastic." This definition of development is useful in trying to determine what development is, but adding lifespan into the phrase adds more to it. A person, the argument goes, does all this changing in multi-ways throughout life. People do not stop growing and changing just because they have reached a certain plateau or a specific age. The individual continues to mature throughout life, so the definition has the concept of lifespan added to it as another variable. Two Theories Many theories
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