Humanistic Approaches to Positive Growth and Self-Acceptance

Human Growth and Development


Defining Developmentgrowth

The science of human development…Seeks to understand how and why people — all kinds of people, everywhere, of every age — change over time.

Life Stages:

  • Begins at birth and ends at death
  • During the entire lifespan, individuals have needs that must be met
  • Infancy: Birth to 1 year
  • Early Childhood: 1 – 6 years
  • Late Childhood: 6 – 12 years
  • Adolescence: 12 – 20 years
  • Early Adulthood: 20 – 40 years
  • Middle Adulthood: 40 – 65 years
  • Late Adulthood: 65 years and up

Growth and Development Types:

  • Physical: Body Growth
  • Mental: Mind Development
  • Emotional: Feelingsgrowth
  • Social: Interactions and relationships

All four growth types occur in each stage of development

All Stages of Development

  • Physical Development
  • Mental Development
  • Emotional Development
  • Social Development
  • Needs
  • (During Infancy, dramatic and rapid changes, infants are dependent for all needs)

The Life-Span Perspective:

Development is multidirectional

  • Over time, human characteristics change in every direction
  • Several major theorists describe stages of development: Freud, Erickson, Piaget
  • Others view development as a continuous process

Socioeconomic Context – Socioeconomic Status (SES)

A person’s position in society as determined by income, wealth, occupation, education, and place of residence.

Development Is MulticulturalPicture1

  • Culture – patterns of behavior that are passed from one generation to the next.
  • Vygotsky described the interaction between culture and education.
  • Ethnic group – People whose ancestors were born in the same region and who often share a language, culture, and religion

Development Is Multidisciplinary

  • Genetics and neuroscience are two of the newer disciplines in lifespan research.
  • Every trait—psychological as well as physical—is influenced by genes.

Theories of Human Development:

A developmental theory is a systematic statement of principles and generalizations that provides a framework for understanding how and why people change as they grow older.

Psychoanalytic Theory

  • A theory of human development that holds that irrational, unconscious drives and motives, often originating in childhood, underlie human behavior.
  • Psychoanalytic theory originated with Sigmund Freud (1856– 1939)

Erickson’s Stages

  • Erik Erikson (1902–1994)
  • Described eight developmental stages, each characterized by a challenging developmental crisis.
  • His first five stages build on Freud’s theory; but, he also described three adult stages.



  • A theory of human development that studies observable behavior. Behaviorism is also called learning theory, because it describes the laws and processes by which behavior is learned.
  • ConditioningAccording to behaviorism, the processes by which responses become linked to particular stimuli and learning takes place.

Classical Conditioning – Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936)

  • (also called respondent conditioning), a process in which a person or animal learns to associate a neutral stimulus with a meaningful stimulus, gradually reacting to the neutral stimulus with the same response as to the meaningful one.

Operant Conditioning – B.F. Skinner (1904–1990)

  • (also called instrumental conditioning) a learning process in which a particular action is followed either by something desired (which makes the person or animal more likely to repeat the action) or by something unwanted (which makes the action less likely to be repeated).

psycho devel.jpg

Social Learning Theory – Albert Bandura 

  • An extension of behaviorism that emphasizes the influence that other people have over a person’s behavior.
  • Modeling– people learn by observing other people and then copying them.
  • Self-efficacy– (how effective people think they are when it comes to changing themselves or altering their social context.

Cognitive Theory

  • Thoughts and expectations profoundly affect action.
  • Focuses on changes in how people think over time.
  • Jean Piaget (1896–1980)


Death and Dying:

  • Death is the final stage of growth
  • Experienced by everyone and no one escapes
  • Young people tend to ignore death
  • Elderly begin to think about death

Terminal Illness

  • Disease that cannot be cured and will result in death
  • People react in different ways
  • Some believe death as a final peace

Stages of Death and Dying:

  • Anger, can no longer deny death
  • Bargaining – accepts death but wants more time
  • Depression, realizes death will be soon
  • Acceptance, understands and accepts death
  • Dignity and Respect in Death
  • Death is a part of life


Bernstein, D.A. & Nash, P.W. (2008). Essentials of psychology (4th ed.) Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Feldman, R. (2013). Essentials of understanding psychology (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Friedman, H.S. & Schustack, M.W. (2012), Personality: classic theories and modern research (5th ed). Boston: Pearson Allyn & Bacon.

McGraw-Hill.McGraw Hill Higher Education (2013), The McGraw Hill Companies, Inc.

Ryckman, R. M. (2013). Theories of personality (10th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

50 thoughts on “Human Growth and Development

  1. Read and Understood because I am currently taking a child growth and development class and we learned similar information.


  2. i read the beginning and understood it however towards the middle i began to struggle with the different things such as how development Is multidisciplinary


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