The prompt asks the question if development is continuous or discontinuous? How can it be applied to different domains of physical, cognitive, and social development? The most obvious statement is physical development is continuous from birth to roughly age 27. “World-class sprinters and swimmers peak by their early twenties. Baseball players peak at about age 27—with 60 percent of Most Valuable Player awardees since 1985 coming ±2 years of that (Silver, 2012)” (Myers & Dewall, 2017) After our late twenties is when peak physical development ends. It does not mean that staying active and healthy must end. An older person who runs two miles a day will be able to run two miles better than a younger person who is sedentary.
Cognitive abilities have been debated if they continue to develop with age. My opinion is I do not see why cognitive abilities would fade if the person uses their brain the same way as they were when they were younger. It is understandable if cognitive abilities fade when someone retires and fails to utilize their brain like they had before. “As we age, we remember some things well. Looking back in later life, adults asked to recall the one or two most important events over the last half-century tend to name events from their teens or twenties (Conway et al., 2005; Rubin et al., 1998).“ (Myers & Dewall, 2017) To further prove my point “Evidence suggests that age-related memory loss arises partly because the frontal lobes deteriorate relatively early. Prospective memory (remembering to do something in the future) has been linked to the frontal brain functions.” (Dwyer, 2010) The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional expression, problem solving, memory and language. Once a human stops utilizing their frontal lobe as much, then it is inevitable it will deteriorate.
Social development is created by significant life events. Children are extremely sociable due to schooling. Schooling leads to jobs which create new friendships and possibly love. “Prior to the very end, however, Gallup researchers have discovered that the over-65 years are not notably unhappy. Self-esteem remains stable (Wagner et al., 2013).” (Myers & Dewall, 2017) In the end, social development can be continuous when significant life events happen.
Dwyer, H. (2010). Intellectual development. Tucson, AZ: Brown Bear Books.
Myers, D. G., & DeWall, C. N. (2017). Psychology (5th ed.). Asheville, NC: Soomo Learning. Available from http://www.webtexts.com
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