For this assessment, write a 3–5-page paper examining various approaches to understanding lifespan development. Assess the credibility of scholarly research and analyze the contributions of theory to practice. Complete all steps of both Part 1 and Part 2, as outlined below.

Part 1: Approaches Lifespan Development
Step 1: Research
Major theoretical lifespan development issues are often identified according to the two contrasting approaches that are used to understand them. Briefly explore the literature related to each of the major lifespan development issues identified in the following list:

Nature and nurture.
Critical periods and plasticity.
Continuity and discontinuity.
Universality and specificity.
Qualitative and quantitative change.
Activity and passivity.
Select one of these lifespan development issues to examine for this assessment. Locate 6–8 recently published, scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles that address the two contrasting approaches of your chosen issue. Note: To help you start your research, refer to the Resources, where you will find links to Capella library search options corresponding to these terms.

Step 2: Article Evaluation
Evaluate the credibility of one of the journal articles you selected, using an appropriate combination of at least three of the following methods:

Credibility of author or publisher.
Relevancy to the field.
Accuracy of information.
Support of conclusions.
Assessment for researcher bias.
Timeliness or current relevancy.
Use of scholarly references.
Detailed and clear information.
Correct description of data analysis.
Other methods (explain).
Step 3: Analysis of Contrasting Approaches
Present an overview of the issue, and clearly describe both sides of the controversy.

What are the similarities and differences in the two contrasting approaches to understanding lifespan development, with respect to how major developmental issues are addressed within a particular theoretical framework?
Is either approach better suited to understanding or predicting lifespan development processes? Why or why not?
Part 2: Contributions of Theory to Practice
Step 1: Scenario Analysis
Read the following scenario: Mrs. Washington is conducting her weekly group counseling session for single young adults. Karen, a lonely young professional woman, talks about feeling abandoned by her boyfriend. The other group members listen patiently and respond empathetically. The counselor allows Karen to talk at length, sensing Karen’s need to express herself and noting the group’s willingness to support her. Mrs. Washington reflects Karen’s feeling with concern and sensitivity.

Using recent textbooks, seminal articles, and published literature, research the lifespan development theories identified within the four questions that follow below. Then, apply each theoretical perspective to the scenario by writing a brief summary addressing each of these four questions.

What would operant learning theory predict about Karen’s behavior in the next group session?
Considering the need for successful resolution of a crisis at any stage of psychosocial development, how would Erikson’s developmental theory be applicable to the understanding of positive and negative outcomes for Karen at the stage of intimacy verses isolation?
What would social learning theorists predict about group behavior in the next session?
How could multidimensional or systems views be applied to solutions for Karen’s developmental concerns?
Step 2: Evaluation of Theoretical Contribution
Evaluate the contribution of theory to our understanding of lifespan development. Apply your thinking to your specialization and the professional direction you are presently pursuing or expect to pursue in the future (for example, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, child and adolescent development, or leadership coaching).

Additional Requirements
Written communication: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for members of the psychological professions. Your writing should be:
Concise, balanced, and logically organized.
Free of errors in grammar and mechanics.
APA formatting: Comply with APA (sixth edition) style and formatting guidelines.
Validation and support: Provide relevant examples and supporting evidence. Use a minimum of 6–8 recent articles from scholarly, peer-reviewed journals to support your main ideas.
Length of paper: Your paper should be 3–5 pages in length (double-spaced), not including references.

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