Development refers to the progressive changes an individual sees throughout their lifespan. It begins at conception and continues till death. While discussing development, we must break it down in order to grasp a better understanding of how it works through every stage of life, right from infancy to adulthood.
This project aims to address the milestones and barriers often observed during development across the lifespan. It focuses on recognising the potential problems one may come across within the domains. Development occurs in various domains such as biological, psychological and social. Changes in these domains keep occurring as the individual grows. The most obvious change would be physical as we can observe the individual's growth with respect to physical form and physical capabilities. With time, cognitive abilities, personality, societal expectations, roles and responsibilities change as well.
Life is a journey, and each developmental stage brings in a new set of opportunities and challenges. This is why it is essential to understand that development is not only lifelong but also multidimensional, multidirectional and contextual. The stages are interlinked, and they are adaptive processes of growth and maintenance with a certain degree of loss.
Looking at these stages a little closely, the project divides them into seven stages based on age. They range from the prenatal stage to childhood to early adulthood to late adulthood. Each stage brings in new sets of emotions, feelings, changes and perspectives. There are some issues that question our understanding of development. The famous debate of nature versus nurture comes into play in all of these stages. To what degree does genetic inheritance or experiences that we receive play a role in our behaviour. Another vital question is to understand whether development is a gradual, continuous process or a sequence of separate stages? Lastly, the question of stability and change arises, seeking answers to whether personality traits persist through life or change as individuals age.
The development process first occurs in the infancy stage, as the child begins to develop their motor, language, cognition and senses. They form an attachment to their family. Later as the child grows and enters into the social setting, they develop socially and understand the role of morality. They start gathering a sense of who they are, and their identity, commonly known as self-concept, begins to form. With the onset of adolescence, the child now hits puberty, and the development of primary and secondary sexual characteristics begins. The brain also begins to develop at a rapid pace. Concepts like self-esteem and social awareness become more clear. This is the time they spend forming an identity and figuring out who they truly are. This time period may also be quite confusing and overwhelming. Lastly comes adulthood, the largest portion of an individual's life. The body reaches its peak physical development and now may note a decline with time. The sensory abilities, motor abilities and cognitive abilities begin to slow down. This is a time of increased commitments as love and work become the defining aspects of adulthood. Social development is significantly impacted by life events associated with family, relationships and career choices. This is also the time, the individual often reflects and wonders if they have aged successfully or not. This makes it clear that lifelong development requires both stability and change.