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Mikaela Ingraham

Life Span Human Development Signature Assignment

The lifespan human development perspective is interpreted as a

constantly changing view of what humans are, how they live, and what they

will become. It is described with words such as multicontextual, multicultural,

multidisciplinary, multidirectional, and plastic, which capture the complexity

of the human lifespan. Put simply, a human life can develop in a majority of

ways depending on contexts, cultures and scientific insights. A life can head

in many directions and is not linear. Finally, development is described as

plastic because an individual possesses traits that are not easily subject to


One of the most fascinating conclusions I drew from my study of

human development was how strongly an individuals years of childhood

affect their social development. We may often hear about other adults

overcoming shyness that they had as children, or perhaps a bad habit they

had acquired in adolescence. I think this is why many of us rarely consider

how childhood development can deeply affect us for the rest of our lives.

Attachment security, moral development, gender identity, and the style of

parenting with which we were raised are but a few examples of how the way

with which we are raised may affect us through the rest of our lives.1

1 Santrock, J. W. (2014). Essentials of Life Span Development 4e. Chapter 6. McGraw-Hill

This chapter of study was most interesting to me because personally I have

had little experience with children, so I could never witness firsthand how the

way a child is raised can affect an individual into adolescence or even

adulthood. Looking back, it is fitting that a childs security, safety, and

dependence towards their own attachment with their parents would highly

affect their development. However, I found this chapter the most intriguing

because children are also affected by smaller consequences that seem to

be less noticed by society, such as how often children play. Playtime is

essential towards a childs peer relations and is necessary for a child to

master anxiety and conflicts.2

Throughout my study of this chapter I found myself reflecting on my own

childhood development and how it might have affected my own

development. I enjoyed this chapter because it gave me a chance to ponder

my own, and occasionally others, development into adults. During the time I

studied this chapter was perhaps the most conscious I felt of the

multicontextual and multidirectional aspects of the human lifespan.

2 Santrock, J. W. (2014). Essentials of Life Span Development 4e. Chapter 6, p. 183-4.

McGraw-Hill Education.