Lifespan Development Psychology


Lifespan Development Psychology:

DANTES Final Exam Outline 

Each topic will be covered in class. 



The Study of Lifespan Development (11% - 13%)


  • Models and theories: Lifespan Approach is the study of behaviors, dispositions, skills and traits over substantial period of the life span.

  • Methods of studies: Research design, data collection methods, measurement issues, and drawing samples are all considerations.

  • Ethical issues: The Society for Research in Child Development and the American Psychological Association created ethical guidelines for researchers.


Biological Development (17% - 19%)


  • Genetic factors (including counseling): Genetics represents one of nature’s key control mechanisms for directing the kinds and amounts of cells needed for effective adaptation.

  • Prenatal Development and Birth: Whatever the mother eats, drinks, sniffs, or inhales is passed on to the developing fetus.

  • Physical Development (nutrition, health): Diet during this period of rapid brain growth is important and takes a substantial amount of high-quality protein to sustain a rate of growth of 1.7 grams per day.

  • Motor Development: As the brain develops, motor development follows through myelinization.

  • Sexual Development: Children are curious about their own bodies and may quickly discover that touching certain body parts feel nice.

  • Neurological Development: At birth, neurons and synapses are formed. As the neurons mature, more synapses are made.

  • Sensory Development: Experiences evoke consistent auditory, visual and kinesthetic responses, stimulate cortical and brain stem electrical activity and fine-tune brain circuitry.

  • Aging Process: Aging means physical decline, some of which may be a result of lifestyle (poor diet and lack of exercise) and illness.

  • Dying and Death: The process people experience and how they come to terms with it.


Perception. Learning, and Memory (14% - 16%)


  • Perceptual Development: Sensory Stimuli is the medium that babies learn about the world and its operation.

  • Learning, Conditioning, and Modeling: Learning is a change in behavior or in potential behavior that occurs as a result of experience and continuous reinforcement.

  • Memory Development: The retention of information over a period of time.

  • Defining Executive Functioning: Skills developed to organize and act on information.

  • Attention and information processing: This process enables the brain to attend to, and process information.


Cognition and Language (19% - 21%)


  • Cognitive-developmental theory: Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development is characterized by 4 stages.

  • Problem solving: The active attempt that individuals make to achieve goals that cannot be easily attained.

  • Mental abilities: A person’s intelligence.

  • Intelligence and Intelligence Testing: The ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt to environment and to learn from experience

  • Language Development and Theories: Theorist B.F. Skinner proposed that the emergence of language is the result of imitation and reinforcement.

  • Social Cognition: Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory is base on three core concepts.


Social, Emotional, and Personality Development (34% - 36%)


  • Personality Development: Development task and life stage theories, attachment and emotional development, gender role development, and stability and change in personality.

  • Social behaviors: Peer relationships, aggressive behavior, pro-social behavior, moral development, and sexual attitudes and behavior.

  • Family Life Cycle: Courtship and marriage, parenting, siblings, abuse, etc.

  • Extra-familial settings (e.g., day-care, school, nursing home, hospice, college): Quality and extent of childcare is dependent on how long a child spends at a facility.

  • Singlehood, Cohabitation, and Marriage: Living alone and the adjustment made to live with another person.

  • Occupational Development and Retirement: Stages and phases one goes through finding a career path leading to the eventual stage of retirement.

  • Adjustment and life stresses: Stress is the internal or external force that causes a person to become tense, upset or anxious.

  • Bereavement and loss: Coping with the loss of a loved one.