Issues in Developmental Psychology Essay

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.....theoretical perspectives to understand human development is stage theories, which postulate that human development takes place in different stages and change throughout the life span (Lerner et al., 2013, p.466). Erikson's Psychosocial Theory is an example of a theory under this perspective, which state that there are eight stages of psychosocial development that are biologically developed to manifest in a pre-determined, sequential way. Through this theory, Erikson effectively demonstrates that lifelong development involves integration of internal forces and external situations that influence development of ego.

Borzumato-Gainey et al. (2009) conducted a study on life satisfaction, self-esteem and subjective age throughout the life span of women (p.29). The study was conducted on a group of 320 women between 21 and 69 years to examine factors that affect women's life satisfaction, self-esteem, and views of appearance. A demographic questionnaire and three paper-and-pencil assessment instruments were utilized for data collection, which was analyzed statistically. The study showed that external circumstances affect psychosocial development since women's well-being is affected by relationship status, life satisfaction, and perceptions regarding aging. Despite these findings, the study is limited on the basis that its conclusions cannot be generalized beyond the study population because of the demographic balance of its sample.

Week 2 Discussion

There are several issues that may influence long- and short-term physical, cognitive or psychosocial development in a child including prenatal development issues. The impact of prenatal development issues like antenatal stress has been the subject of extensive research in recent years. Talge, Neal & Glover (2007) found that antenatal maternal stress has long-term effects on the neurodevelopment of a child since they increase vulnerability to neurodevelopmental disorders (p.245). O'Donnell, O'Connor & Glover (2009) found that prenatal stressors like partner relationship issues, anxiety, and natural disasters enhances the likelihood of neurodevelopmental disorders, cognitive development issues, and behavioral issues (p.285). In an earlier study, Dipietro (2004) found that prenatal maternal stress has negative effects on long-term motor development, learning, and behavior of an infant (71). Based on existing literature, prenatal development issues, particularly stress and anxiety, affect the long- and short-term physical, cognitive or psychosocial development of an infant. The findings in these studies support the long-held belief across the globe that a woman's psychological well-being has considerable impacts on an infant.

Week 3 - Discussion 1

Technology has positive and negative impacts on human development across different age groups including children and adolescents. For children, the positive impacts of technology include improved social development through better collaboration and interactions with their peers, development of multiculturalism, and better family relationships and adult-child interaction (Hsin, Li & Tsai, 2014).
In addition, technology helps in learning through preparing children for schooling, improved physical and motor skills development, and language development (Kirkorian, Wartella & Anderson, 2008). However, the negative effects of technology on human development during childhood include health related issues because of less physical activity, behavioral problems, and changing social norms. Hatch (2011) conducted a study to examine the effects of technology on children in relation to physical, cognitive or psychosocial development. This study found that technology has positive impacts on a child's cognitive development, particularly in relation to learning. In addition to providing educational products on learning, technology enhances a child's cognitive development through enhancing visual reasoning. This visual reasoning contributes to improved learning through stimulating a child's emotional, social, and visual abilities (Hatch, 2011).

Week 3 -- Discussion 2

The government has always attempted to deal with behaviors that are regarded detrimental to health such as smoking through enacting public policy to regulate behaviors. These initiatives have helped in dealing with such behaviors through generating desired behavior change and effectively regulating private behavior. While public policy measures have been relatively effective in this regard, more effective measures/policies are still needed to regulate potential harmful behavior. One of the issues that have attracted significant public policy initiatives in the recent past is second hand smoking. For instance, recent studies have indicated that parental smoking has negative effects on children and adolescent. Pattenden et al. (2006) found that parental smoking affects children's respiratory health (p.294). Similarly, Moshammer et al. (2006) found that parental smoking generates respiratory problems among children and contribute to reduced lung function growth.

Public policies have been developed and enacted to help deal with parental smoking given its effect on children. The main public policy to address this issue is tobacco control policies to regulate smoking behavior. Despite being beneficial in dealing with the problem, additional policies should be enacted such as Strict Smoke-free home policies for smoking parents in pediatric environments (Ossip, 2013, p.517). Given the health effects of parental smoking on children, public policy is necessary in this area and ethical. Based on the ethical principle of utilitarianism, public policies should be enacted to help protect the health of children while ensuring parents maintain their right to smoke i.e. the greater good for all. Policies in this area enhance the physical, cognitive and psychosocial development of affected children through safeguarding their health and well-being. The efficacy of public policy in comparison to self-enforced restrictions is determined on the basis of the extent of enforcement and the subsequent outcomes with regards to enhancing the health and well-being of affected individuals.

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American Psychological Association. (2014). Fact Sheet on End-of-Life Care. Retrieved November 9, 2016, from

Bhuvaneswar et al. (2007). Alcohol Use During Pregnancy: Prevalence and Impact. The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 9(6), 455-460.

Borzumato-Gainey et al. (2009, March 1). Life Satisfaction, Self-Esteem and Subjective Age in Women Across the Life Span. Adultspan Journal, 8(1), 29-42.

DiPietro, J.A. (2004). The Role of Prenatal Maternal Stress in Child Development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(2), 71-74.

Hatch, K.E. (2011). Determining the Effects of Technology on Children. Retrieved from University of Rhode Island website:

Hsin, C., Li, M. & Tsai, C. (2014). The Influence of Young Children's Use of Technology on Their Learning: A Review. Educational Technology & Society, 17(4), 85-99.

Kirkorian, H.L., Wartella, E.A. & Anderson, D.R. (2008). Media and Young Children's Learning. Future Children, 18(1), 39-61.

Lerner et al. (2013). Handbook of psychology: volume 6 - developmental psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Moshammer et al. (2016, February 16). Parental Smoking and Lung Function in Children -- An International Study. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 173(11).

O'Donnell, K., O'Connor, T.G. & Glover, V. (2009, June). Prenatal Stress and Neurodevelopment of the Child: Focus on the HPA Axis and Role of the Placenta. Developmental Neuroscience, 31(4), 285-292.

Ossip et al. (2013, December). Strict Smoke-free Home Policies Among Smoking Parents in Pediatric Settings. Academic Pediatrics, 13(6), 517-523.

Pattenden et al. (2006). Parental Smoking and Children's Respiratory Health: Independent Effects of Prenatal and Postnatal Exposure. Tobacco Control, 15(4), 294-301.

Roberto, K.A. (2016, June). The Complexities of Elder Abuse. American Psychologist, 71(4), 302-311.

Sengstock, M.C. (1996). Elder Abuse: Identifying and Assisting the Victim. Michigan Family Review, 2(1), 77-92.

Talge, N.M., Neal, C. & Glover, V. (2007, March 7). Antenatal Maternal Stress and Long-term Effects on Child Neurodevelopment: How and Why? The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48(3), 245-261.

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