Foundations of lifespan development

Lifespan development involves all the development that human beings undergo from conception, birth until when they become  fully developed adults. According to some psychologists, lifespan development continues up to death (Sigelman, & Rider, 2011).  Generally, lifespan development involves the genetic development before an individual is born all through to birth time and life afterwards in the world. The world around an individual plays a very important role in determining growth and development that takes place . There are several schools of thought trying to explain the foundations of lifespan development and this had led to  several researches on human development (Cavanaugh & Robert, 2012).

Some of the major theoretical perspectives that influenced human development research include psychosexual theory, psychosocial theory, behaviorism, psychoanalytic theory and social learning theory (Lerner, 2001). All these theories can be true or false depending on how they are argued and your school of thought. They both have contributions and limitations. Any developmentalist can look at all the theories and choose the one that fits their purpose at specific times. The general contributions of these theories are that they led to a systematic research on human development due to their contradicting conclusions (Lerner, 2001).  All the theoretical perspectives that led to human development research required some evidence and they consequently served as research questions. On the other hand these theories do  not give holistic conclusions and none of them can be used to explain human development alone (Lerner, 2001).  

There are several research methods that are used to study human development. It is important that  human development researchers ensure that they have collected the appropriate data so that their results can be correct and reliable. Consequently, it is import to apply the appropriate research methods. Some of the commonly used methods include observation, use of questionnaires, experimentations and use of case study. All methods give good results but some of them are believed to be more accurate than others.  Use of case studies and observation is normally difficult to implement in human beings. This is because it sensitive to put human beings into experimentation or to observe human development step by step (Creasey, 2006).

When carrying out a lifespan study, there are several ethical issues that should be taken into place. This is because it is not good to invade someone’s privacy without their knowledge. One of the most important ethical issues to consider while carrying out a lifespan research is the consent of the participants (Creasey, 2006). It is recommended to ensure that all those involved in the study have consented to do so. Another ethical issue to consider is honesty. It is important that you inform your respondents the purpose of the study and they should also give honest responses (Creasey, 2006). Permission from parents and guardians should be obtained if the respondents are minors. Abused language should also  not be used during the study. It is also important to ensure that the study does not harm the participants in anyway.

According to some of the researches carried out to evaluate human development,  heredity and environment interactions play a very important role in human development. Genetic traits obtained from the parents of an individual determine their growth and behavior. Some of the development seen in human beings is similar to that of their parents or some of the family members (Sigelman, & Rider, 2011). On the other hand, the type of the environment that an individual is raised shapes the development of that person. People grow and develop to fit into their current environments.

Other factors that affect human development include social cultural factors and multicultural factors (Sigelman, & Rider, 2011).  Our cultures and social groups influence our development. When a child is born, he/she grows to ape the social economic practices that surround him/her. On the other hand, individuals born in multicultural societies try to mimic all the practices from the cultures around them. Their growth and development is shaped by practices from all cultures surrounding them. Generally, human development is greatly influenced by the environment that surrounds them.