Developmental psychology is the scientific study of age associated behavioral changes which occur as a child grows up. This field examines modify across a broad range of topics including: motor skills, problem solving abilities, theoretical understanding, acquisition of language, moral understanding, and identity formation.
Mechanisms of development
Developmental psychology is concerned not only with relating the characteristics of psychological change over time, but also seeks to explain the principles and internal workings fundamental these changes. Psychologists have attempted to better understand these factors by using models. Developmental models are sometimes computational, but they do not need to be. A model must simply account for the means by which a process takes place. This is sometimes done in position to changes in the brain that may write to changes in behavior over the course of the development.
Ecological Systems Theory
This is also called "Development in Context" or "Human Ecology" theory, Ecological Systems Theory, originally invented by Urie Bronfenbrenner specifies four types of nested environmental systems, with bi-directional influences within and between the systems. The four systems are micro system, mesosystem, ecosystem, and macro system. Each system contains roles, norms and rules that can strongly shape development. As a result of this conceptualization of development, these environments from the family to economic and political structures have come to be viewed as part of the life course from childhood through adulthood.
Attachment theory, originally developed by John Bowlby, focuses on open, close, emotionally meaningful relationships. Attachment is described as a biological system or powerful survival impulse that evolved to ensure the survival of the infant. A child who is threatened or stressed will move toward caregivers who create a sense of physical, emotional and psychological safety for the person. Attachment feeds on body contact and familiarity. Later Mary Ainsworth developed the Strange Situation Protocol and the concept of the secure base.
Many theoretical perspectives attempt to explain development; among the most prominent are: Jean Piaget's Stage Theory, Lev Vygotsky's Social constructivism, Albert Bandura's Social learning theory, and the information processing framework employed by cognitive psychology.
Many other theories are famous for their contributions to particular aspects of development. For example, attachment theory describes kinds of interpersonal relationships and Lawrence Kohlberg describes stages in moral reasoning.
• Theories of Development
• Developmental Research Methods
• Prenatal Development & Birth
• Social & Emotional Development
• Cognitive Development & Intelligence
• Language Development
• Physical Development
• Moral Development
• Parenting & the Family
• Children with Special Needs
• Adult Development & Aging
• Death & Dying
• Applied Issues
• General Development Resources
• Student Resources
All About Development Psychology And Its Types