Theory of Grieving

Chapter 08

Human Development

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This chapter covers a lot of ground. This study guide will help focus your reading on the specific domains that will be tested on your next exam. As always, this study guide is not exhaustive; you should take this as a starting point, and read the material in the text for greater depth that will be addressed in the quizzes and exams.

What is Development?

· Pattern of continuity and change in human capabilities; different dimensions of personhood will progress in different ways over the lifespan

· Psychologists explore the roles of nature and nurture in human development

· Nature

· A person’s biological inheritance, especially from genes

· Nurture

· Individual’s environmental and social experiences

· People can develop beyond what our genetic inheritance and our environment give us

Exploring Human Development

· Different people show different levels of resilience

· Person’s ability to recover from or adapt to difficult times

· Despite encountering adversity, a person shows signs of positive functioning

Domains of Development

· Physical processes

· Involve changes in an individual’s biological nature

· Cognitive processes

· Involve changes in an individual’s thought, intelligence, and language

· Socioemotional processes

· Involve changes in an individual’s relationships with other people, changes in emotions, and changes in personality

Prenatal Physical Development

· Course of prenatal development

· Development from zygote to fetus is divided into three periods

· Germinal period (weeks 1 & 2)
· Embryonic period (weeks 3 through 8)
· Fetal period (months 2 through 9)

· Be sure to read your textbook’s details of these stages

Prenatal Physical Development

· Threats to fetus

· Teratogen

· Agent that can penetrate the protections of the mother and cause birth defects
· Can include chemical substances, such as nicotine, heroin, alcohol
· Also include certain illnesses: Rubella, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV

· Preterm infant – born before full term of pregnancy

· Risk for developmental difficulties

Physical Development

· Newborns come with genetically wired reflexes

· Sucking, swallowing, coughing, blinking, yawning

· Motor and perceptual skills depend on each other

· Environmental experiences play a role in motor development

· Preferential looking technique helps assess abilities of infants before they can communicate with language

· Giving an infant a choice of what object to look at

Physical Development

· Brain development is at its most accelerated early in life

· Infancy

· Branching of dendrites (see next slide)

· Myelination

· Childhood

· Increase in synaptic connections
· Pruning of unused neural connections
· Rapid growth in frontal lobe areas

Dendritic Spreading

Physical Development in Adolescence

· Adolescence

· Developmental period spanning the transition from childhood to adulthood

· Begins around 10 to 12 years of age and ends at 18 to 21 years of age

· Characterized by dramatic physical changes

· Puberty

· Period of rapid skeletal and sexual maturation that occurs mainly in early adolescence

Pubertal Growth Spurt

Physical Development in Adolescence

· Adolescent brain changes:

· Development of the amygdala

· Involves emotion

· Development of the prefrontal cortex

· Concerned with reasoning and decision making

Physical Development in Adulthood

· Physical changes in early adulthood

· Peak physical development during 20s

· Physical changes in middle and late adulthood

· Many physical changes in the 40s or 50s, involve changes in appearance

Biological Theories of Aging

· Cellular-clock theory

· View that cells can divide a maximum of about 100 times

· As we age, our cells become less capable of dividing

· Free-radical theory

· People age because unstable oxygen molecules known as free radicals are produced inside their cells

· Damage done by free radicals may lead to a range of disorders

· Hormonal stress theory

· Aging in the body’s hormonal system can lower resistance to stress and increase the likelihood of disease

Aging and the Brain

· Adults can grow new brain cells throughout life

· Evidence is limited to two areas of the brain

· Hippocampus and the olfactory bulb

· Brain has remarkable repair capability even in late childhood

Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development

· Human beings use schemas to make sense of their experience

· Schema

· Mental concept framework to organize/interpret information

· Two processes responsible for how people use schemas

· Assimilation

· Occurs when individuals incorporate new information into existing knowledge

· Accommodation

· Occurs when individuals adjust their schemas to new information

Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development

· Sensorimotor stage

· Lasts from birth to about 2 years of age

· Infants construct an understanding of the world by coordinating sensory experience

· Development of object permanence

· Crucial accomplishment of understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot directly be seen, heard, or touched

Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development

· Preoperational stage

· Lasts from approximately 2 to 7 years of age

· Beginning of limited symbolic thinking
· Inability to perform operations, or reversible mental representations
· Egocentric and intuitive thinking

Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development

· Concrete operational stage

· Lasts from 7 to 11 years of age

· Involves using operations

· Involves replacing intuitive reasoning

· Children better able to reason in multiple dimensions

Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development

· Formal operational stage

· Last from 11 to 15 years of age

· Continues through the adult years

· Thinking is more abstract and logical

· Idealistic

· Involves comparing how things are to how they might be

· Hypothetical-deductive reasoning

· Developing hypotheses about ways to solve a problem

Evaluating and Expanding on Piaget’s Theory

· Baillargeon’s alternative view of object permanence

· Documented that infants as young as 3 months of age know that objects continue to exist when hidden

· Infants have expectations about objects in the world that seem quite a bit more sophisticated than Piaget imagined

Evaluating and Expanding on Piaget’s Theory

· Vygotsky’s cognitive development in cultural context

· Recognized that cognitive development is an interpersonal process that happens in a cultural context

· Interactions with others provide scaffolding

Evaluating and Expanding on Piaget’s Theory

· Revisionist views of adolescent and adult cognition

· Characteristic of adolescent thinking is egocentrism

· Involves the belief that:

· Others are as preoccupied with the adolescent as he or she is
· One is unique
· One is invincible

Cognitive Processes in Adulthood

· Thinking more reflectively

· Becoming more skeptical

· Being more realistic

· Recognizing that thinking is influenced by emotion

Cognitive Processes in Adulthood

· Cognition in middle adulthood

· Crystallized intelligence

· Individual’s accumulated information and verbal skills

· Fluid intelligence

· Ability to reason abstractly

· Cognition in late adulthood

· Number of dimensions of intelligence decline in late adulthood

· Some are maintained or may even increase, such as wisdom

Socioemotional Development

· Socioemotional processes

· Involve changes in an individual’s social relationships, emotional life, and personal qualities

Socioemotional Development in Infancy

· Elements of emotional and social processes that are present very early in life

· Temperament

· Refers to an individual’s behavioral style and characteristic ways of responding
· The easy child generally is in a positive mood
· The difficult child tends to be fussy and to cry frequently
· The slow-to-warm-up child has a low activity level

· Attachment

· Close emotional bond between an infant and his or her caregiver

Socioeomotional Development in Adolescence: The Emergence of Identity

· Socioemotional Development in Infancy and Childhood

· Diana Baumrind studied parenting styles associated with positive and negative developmental outcomes

· Read your textbook descriptions of the following:

· Authoritarian

· Authoritative

· Permissive

· Neglectful

Gender Development

· Gender

· Refers to the broad set of characteristics of people as males and females

· Biology and gender development

· Humans normally have 46 chromosomes arranged in pairs

· 23rd pair may have:

· Two X-shaped chromosomes, which produces a female
· Both an X-shaped and a Y-shaped chromosome, which produces a male

Cognitive Aspects of Gender Development

· Gender schema

· Mental framework for understanding what it means to be male or female in one’s culture

· Children acquire schemas through learning in the social world

Socioemotional Experience and Gender Development

· Social experience influences gender development

· Gender roles

· Involve expectations for how females and males should think, act, and feel
· Represent beliefs about appropriate behavior for the sexes

· Gender similarities hypothesis

· Idea that men and women are much more similar than they are different

Moral Development

· Changes that occur with age in people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors regarding the principles and values that guide them

Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development

· Kohlberg used moral dilemma tasks to assess people’s level of reasoning used to make moral judgments

· Note, this doesn’t judge their moral behavior

· Preconventional level

· Based on consequences of a behavior and on punishments or rewards from external world

· Conventional level

· Abiding by parental or societal standards

· Postconventional level

· Recognizes alternative moral courses, explores the options, and then develops an increasingly personal moral code

Critics of Kohlberg

· View does not adequately reflect concern for other people and social bonds

· Justice perspective theory of Kohlberg

· Focuses on rights of individual
· Independent moral decisions

· Care perspective theory by Gilligan

· Views people in terms of connectedness to others
· Interpersonal communication

Death, Dying, and Grieving

· Our attitudes toward death and dying are driven by our own ability to look to the future and imagine our own eventual demise

· Terror management theory says this awareness creates the potential for overwhelming terror

· Research supports the idea that cultural beliefs act as a buffer

Kubler-Ross’s Stages of Dying

· Focuses on terminally ill individuals

· Denial

· Anger

· Bargaining

· Depression

· Acceptance

Bonanno’s Theory of Grieving

· Tracked individuals who have experienced bereavement, such as the loss of a spouse, over time

· Patterns of grief

· Resilience

· Recovery

· Chronic dysfunction

· Delayed grief or trauma

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