My Developmental Progression






My Developmental Progression

Section 1

Humans pass through many stages between the time conception takes place and the time they become old age. This period between the conception and the time one is in his/her old age is known as lifespan development. The study of intra-individual, methodical changes relating with the progressions contacting old age is known as lifespan psychology. In this study, psychologists engage in the observation of the lifespan perspective. This perspective supports that significant changes take place during ones development. In this lifespan perspective, there are lifelong, multidimensional, multidirectional, plastic, multidisciplinary and contextual developments taking place until ones death (Santrock, 2010).

In the lifespan perspective, the term lifelong means that these changes take place through ones life. It means that they take place from the time conception takes place from a single cell, up to ones death. Contrary to popular perspectives, the development of early adulthood does not mark the endpoint of development (Santrock, 2009). In addition, there is no age period that is more dominant that the rest. Each age period is significant in its discipline. This term is incorporated in reference to development as a lifetime process. In other words, development is constantly taking place, whether rapidly or gradually.

The term multidimensional refers to the socio-emotional, cognitive and biological dimensions of development (Santrock, 2010). The biological dimension refers to the physical development of individuals from the time they are infants, children, adolescents, young adults, middle adults and then end up being old adults. The cognitive dimension recognizes the development of mental processes of reasoning, judgment, memory and perception on the face of volitional and emotional processes (Friedman et al., 2008). The socio-emotional dimension depicts the variations occurring in individuals’ relationships, emotions and personality in their lifetime (Willis & Martin, 2005). In the lifespan perspective, the multidimensional development categorizes the various developments that take place within an individual. This is significant as it allows psychologists to understand human beings from different dimensions as compared to understanding them from one angle. It also helps them to understand the relation of one dimension with the other as far as development is concerned.

Plasticity of development depicts that development has the capacity for change (Santrock, 2010). Development is not permanent. By understanding this, the professionals are always open-minded as there they give room for discovery. There are revelations made concerning, the socio-emotional, biological or the cognitive dimensions of development. These changes are studied so that they can guide the professionals in finding out the right approaches to address them (Brown, 2008).

Lifespan perspective refers to development as being multidisciplinary. This shows that development attracts interests from various professional disciplines. These include sociologists, medical researchers, neurologists, anthropologists and psychologists, amongst other disciplines (Santrock, 2010). The significance of this perspective is that it allows all these professionals to work both in their own disciplines and in coordination with other disciplines in order to understand these developments, making the necessary positive changes needed.

Development occurs within a given setting. This is why development is referred to as contextual. The cultural, social, economic and historical factors are very influential in each setting (Santrock, 2010). There are three types of influences exerted by these contexts. The influences, which are similar for persons in a given group, are known as normative age-graded influences. There are also influences, which are common to persons who are of a given generation due to historical conditions. These are known as normative history-graded influences. The non-normative life events are unusual occurrences, which have a significant effect on a person’s life (Santrock, 2010). The contextual development allows the professionals to look at development from a critical angle. They analyze other influences that may contribute to the past current or future state of an individual.

Section 2:

My Developmental Changes

Physical developmental changes: When I was growing up, I was considered shorter than most children in my age group were. Currently, I am 5’4” tall. I was also quite thinner than most of my peers until I reached eight years old. My hair color is red; a color that is not so dominant in many people. As I grew up, I started becoming the same height and weight as most of my peers. These physical changes in me represent the biological dimension of development in the multidimensional aspect. Due to the similarity in genes and other hereditary factors, I have a physical resemblance to my siblings and my parents.

I had and still have little control over my physical development. For example, I could not control my height and the color of my hair unless I dyed it. The only part I had control over, to some extent, was my weight. This is because our lifestyles can influence our weight gain, loss or maintenance. Weight is highly influenced by our lifestyles and our environment. During the biological/physical dimension, the developments/changes taking place in us may also be both interesting and frightening, as we have never experienced them before. After all, nobody experiences childhood or adolescence twice.

The first time I heard a difference/change on my chest, during my adolescent days, was very interesting. This is because my bust started growing bigger a little earlier than that of my classmates. Since it was very itchy, I thought there was something wrong with me. This change came with a surprise since I was not very familiar with these changes. I had learnt little about adolescence and puberty changes and so I knew little about the changes going on. Although the teacher tried to explain these changes to us at some point in my eighth or ninth grade, I still found myself shying away and I almost spoilt my back as I tried to walk with a bend so that I could hide my chest. As I became an adult, I noticed that I had a major role to play in my physical development. This was through the way I eat and my general lifestyle. As I am in my middle adulthood, I frequently visit the doctor and watch my lifestyle so that I would be in a better shape during my old age.

Cognitive development: My learning skills were better as compared with most of my peers. Despite my short height, my grades were very impressive and I was disciplined although I still had some naughty characters, which is normal in the boys and girls of my age. However, I was not particularly proficient with my mathematical tables as it took me quite a long time to learn them. I also did not like reading during my first few years in school. However, this attitude changed as I progressed in school. I started to enjoy reading until I could not have enough of reading. During the days I was at home, I would climb a tree and read until it was dark.

Some of these mental processes could be influenced while others could not (Valsiner & Connoly, 2003). For example, I learnt my multiplication tables when I reached the third and the fourth grades. I used to cry when it was time to read, despite my mother’s effort to make the exercise easier, until I reached my middle years. The delay in learning multiplications may have been caused by the strengths in some learning abilities in relation to others. Although I am not poor in mathematics, I am not as competent in this area as I am in the sciences and the languages. This is despite my efforts of trying to master these areas all my life. This development is beyond my influence. However, I like sports a lot. I used to participate in every new sporting event dominating during the summer holidays. The male figures in my family also like sports. This development may be hereditary or it may have been influenced by the environment I grew up in.

Socioemotional. As earlier mentioned, my hair is red in color. Due to this appearance, my peers nicknamed me “red, red tomato head”. Although this nickname did not bother me, I did not like it. When I think of it now, I wished that they would stop calling me this nickname. However, I allowed them to call me so because I did not want to lose their friendship, a behavior or character that is seen in people, whether children, adolescents or adults. I also tried to behave like the way my peers did, just as it is common with most teenagers. In the process, I would get into trouble with the school’s administration or with my parents. As I grew older, I learnt to make my own decisions, to think before acting and to stand my grounds if I wanted to be respected.  

Like in any other family, we were always fighting with my siblings. This is because we were in constant competition with each other. However, we would back each other up when it came to our parents. As much as we liked fighting, none of us was happy when they saw the other unhappy. This was caused by the emotional and family bond that was present among us. Our individual developments led us to have different behaviors. There are those who are talkative while others are excellent listeners. Due to the different environments and the circumstances that we all ended up in as adults, some of my family members are positive about life while others are bitter towards life. Consequently, some members drink smoke and engage in other unattractive behaviors even in their adult age. Unfortunately, most of these people got in these behaviors as an outcome of peer pressure, and they have never been strong enough to make a decision to stop (“Special Issue”, 2004).

Obituary: We are sad to announce the death of Mrs. McMillen, which took place on 31 December 2065. She was born on July 23, 1966 in Clremore, Oklahoma. Her parents are the late Mr. Y and Mrs. Z. and he is a sister to many siblings. At the time of her death, she was 99 years old, being a wife to Jerry McMillen and a mother of three daughters and one son whom are Sidney, Jennifer, Kelsey and Dakota. Shee was also a mother-in law to Mr. C., Mr. D., Mr C and Mrs. McMillen. She had many grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.

Mrs. McMillen will be remembered by many due to her love for children. She dealt with children professionally as she was a school psychologist before her retirement, and she engaged in activities, which encouraged positive child development. As a woman of action, she founded a program that encourages teenagers to take part in sporting activities as an alternative to taking drugs or engaging in alcohol. These activities also include hiking, camping, diving, football, tennis, soccer, amongst other activities. She has also been greatly influential in the past thirty years, when it comes to the decisions made by the American Psychology Association board on children/teenagers issues.

She has played a crucial role in shaping her very talented children and their children. Most of us if not all, can attest to one generosity or another, either directly or indirectly, that has reached us through Mrs. McMillen. Since she has traveled both in the United States and outside the nation, she has tried the most she can to bring the social perspective of the children. This includes understanding their behaviors, their circumstances and their environment so that she could work with what was present in order to bring change. Her burial arrangements and burial dates will be announced to you as soon as possible.

You Will Always Be Remembered in our Hearts McMillen.



Brown, C. (2008). Developmental psychology. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Friedman, H., Martin, L., Tucker, J., Criqui, M., Kern, M., & Reynolds, C. (January 01, 2008). Stability of Physical Activity across the Lifespan. Journal of Health Psychology, 13, 8, 1092-1104.

Santrock, J. W. (2010, October 19). Lifespan development. 13th Ed. New York, NY: McGrawHill Companies.

Special Issue Lifespan Development Issues and Aging. (March 01, 2004). Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 29, 1, 94.

Valsiner, J., & Connolly, K. J. (2003). Handbook of developmental psychology. London: SAGE Publications.

Willis, S. L., & Martin, M. (2005). Middle adulthood: A lifespan perspective. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.

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