Lifespan Development: Telling the Human Story

Lifespan Development: Telling the Human Story


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Writing a textbook that covers the events of the entire span of human life is a daunting task, believe me; in the nine months that it has taken me to research, write, edit, and re-write this text a human baby could have been born, learned to crawl, and would be eating solid foods by now! However, the real task is now ahead of you, the student, who has chosen to take a lifespan development course, and is expected to read and learn about lifespan development theories that describe the transitions, growth, and changes that human's experience in a lifetime, and apply those theories to your future career. Ideally the structure of the text will allow students to make more efficient connections between one’s lived or observed experiences with children or adults and the classical and contemporary theories of human development. I have taught a Lifespan Development course for 10 years, and while the task has become more routine with each year, I have found that results of new research studies are calling into question once undisputable theories. These theories must now must evolve and change to more fully describe the process of human development. The purpose of this book is to explore the lifespan development by examining humans’ physical, social, emotional, and physical development. This text is focused on the ways in which individuals’ environments, biology, and the interaction between the two effect developmental outcomes. Throughout the text, students will see common topics or threads such as learning through play, the important role of attachment figures, the role that relationships have on providing optimal outcomes for individuals, and how theories of development are ever-changing.



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Great River Learning


Dubuque, IA


human development, lifespan development, environment, biology, development


Development Studies

Lifespan Development: Telling the Human Story