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Flashcards in Psychological Development Deck (39)

What does development encompass?

Change at the cellular and neurobiological level

Physical skills - “milestones”

Cognitive and language functions

Social and emotional processes

Personality and attitudes

Behavioural repertoire


In what context does all development take place?

Cultural context


What is culture?

A general way of life or behaviours of a group of people which reflect their shared social experiences, values, attitudes, norms and beliefs; it is transmitted from generation to generation and changes over time.


What does Erikson's theory describe?


Step by step growth

Critical time periods

Importance of psychosocial crises (challenge or turning point) as a driving force


What happens at each of Erikson's stages of development?

The individual has a key developmental task, e.g. infancy – infant must learn the world is a reliable place. If this isn’t mastered, it’s going to be much more difficult to move on to the next stage.


What are Erikson's stages of development?

Infancy: trust vs mistrust → hope and faith

Toddler: autonomy vs shame, doubt → wilfulness, independence and control

Play age: initiative vs guilt → purposefulness, pleasure and imagination

School age - middle childhood: industry vs inferiority → competence and hard work

Adolescence: identity vs identity confusion → values and sense of self

Young adult: intimacy vs isolation → love and friendship

Middle adulthood: generativity vs stagnation → care and productivity

Old age: ego integrity → wisdom and perspective


What are the strengths of Erikson's theory?

Groundbreaking and creative

Makes intuitive sense

High level of abstraction leads to broad ways for further study and application

Enduring interest in his ideas


What are the problems with Erikson's stages?

Hard to test empirically

Terms are broad and very abstract

Reflects norms of the 1950s

Lack of clarity with regard to time limits for stages

Insufficient attention to negative or maladaptive development


What did Havighurst propose?

That human development moves through stages but each stage is associated with tasks.


What is a developmental task?

One which arises at or about a certain period in the life of an individual, successful achievement of which leads to happiness and success with later tasks, while failure leads to unhappiness in the individual and difficulty with later tasks.


What are some tasks in adolescence (12-18)?

Accept one's body

Adopt a male or female social role

Achieve independence from parents

Develop close relations with members of the same and opposite gender

Prepare for an occupation

Prepare for marriage and family life


What are some tasks in young adulthood (19-30)?

Develop a stable partnership

Learn to live with a partner

Establish an independent household

Establish a family

Care for a family

Start an occupation or career


What are some strengths and weaknesses of the "tasks" approach?

Integrates challenges from different domains

Stresses the individual's active role in negotiating tasks

But timeframes no longer appropriate

Huge sociocultural changes have transformed expectations of what is normative


What is a trajectory?

The continuation of a direction, the sum of the forces that propel us towards a destination


What is a turning point?

A disruption to a trajectory that has the long-term impact of altering the probability of life destinations, giving rise to questions such as:

What intervenes to disrupt a trajector?

What pushes people of their path?

What propels them back onto a former path?


How can childhood abuse influence the life trajectory?

Leads to poorer self esteem leading to poorer school achievement


How can low educational attainment influence the life trajectory?

Leads to poorer career opportunities, leading to poverty


How can exposure to a less favourable physical environment influence the life trajectory?

Leads to high levels of stressors, leading to physical and mental health issues


What is an example of the potential for change through turning points?

Experience a close friend dying from drug overdose

Fear and new realisation about dangers of own drug addiction

Decision to seek help and undergo rehab program


What is the transactional model?

States that development takes place through transacting factors: Genetic, Constitutional, Biological/biochemical, Psychological, Envionmental.

Multiple factors operate together dynamically and bi-directionally



What do parents of children with disruptive behaviour disorders (DBDs) have higher than average rates of?

Domestic violence

Substance abuse

Depressive disorder

Social deprivation

Tend to use harsh physical punishments


Nature or nurture?

Genetic contribution to behavioural traits and psychiatric disorder variable in the range from 30-80%

Expression of genes always occurs in an environment

Gene-environment interactions, e.g. development of PKU: a single gene leading to impaired metabolism of phenylalanine that when removed from dietary environment prevents mental retardation.


What do non-human primates deprived of early maternal care sustain?

Life-long derangements of monoamine neurotransmitter systems.


How can genotype interacting with adverse parenting affect development?

Genotype interacts with adverse parenting to increas risk of antisocial behaviour


What are risk factors?

Those factors that may contribute to development along with other events in a dynamic process.


What is multifinality?

One risk factor can be associated with a number of different outcomes.

E.g. disrupted early attachment is linked to separation anxiety, some personality disorders


What is equifinality?

Multiple possible pathways to the same outcome, e.g. depression


What are protective factors?

Many facotors can protect an individual from adverse outcomes

Can be thought of as moderators of trajectories

Example from an older age group: self-perceptions of ageing predict better practice of preventative health behaviours after controlling for age, gender, functional health, etc.


What is temperament?

The automatic associative responses to basic emotional stimuli that determine habits and skills.

Moderately heritable.

Basic styles of interpersonal behaviour strongly influence the expression of thoughts and feelings


What are the 4 dimensions of temperament?

Harm avoidance

Reward dependence

Novelty seeking



What resources promote successful development?

Family factors

Community factors

Psychological traits

Positive self-beliefs

Coping skills


What is resilience?

A broad umbrella covering many concepts related to positive adaptation in the context of adversity.


What does resilience theory emphasise?

Capabilities and strengths

Emerged as a reaction against deficit models of development


What is resilience theory?

If basic adaptive and support systems are in place, development is robust and developmental tasks can be achieved.

And people can cope with trauma

Trajectories need not be disrupted


What is the model for response to an adverse event using resilience?

See image


What did Rutter define resilience as?

Building a positive self-image, reducing the effect of the risk factors and breaking a negative cycle so as to open up new opportunities for the individual.


What does resilience not mean?

Avoidance of all stressors or adversity.

Immunisation does not involve direct promotion of positive physical health; rather it comprises being exposed to and successfully coping with a small dose of the toxic agent.

Protection in this case resides not in evasion of the risk but in successful engagement with it.


Why is resilience important in later life?

Older adults face numerous changes to which they must adapt

Most do so successfully through processes of assimilation (adjusting the environment to fit with changes) and accommodation (adjusting self and attitudes)