The story of human development is one of remarkable change and growth from birth through the end of life. While the rapid development of early childhood is the subject of a great deal of attention, it is important to remember that growth and change continue throughout the entire lifespan.
This study guide focuses on important theories, concepts, and terms in the study of developmental psychology. Read each article to learn more about important topics in the field of developmental psychology.
What Is Developmental Psychology?: Learn more about developmental psychology, the branch of psychology that focuses on how people change throughout life. It focuses not just on the physical growth through life, but on the cognitive, emotional, and social changes that happen in childhood and adulthood.
Nature vs. Nurture: Learn more about the relative contributions of genetics vs. environmental influences on human development.
Overview of Early Childhood Development: Learn more about the important events that occur during the early years of a child’s life, including motor, physical, cognitive, and language development.
7 Major Theories of Development: Researchers have proposed a number of different theories to explain how human development works. Learn more about seven of the most prominent theories of child development.
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development: One of the most prominent theories is Piaget’s theory which explains cognitive development in children. Learn more about how Piaget’s theory works.
Erikson’s Stages of Development: Unlike many other theories, Erikson’s psychosocial theory focused on human development throughout every stage of life. Explore Erikson’s eight stages of development to learn more.
Behavioral Psychology: According to the behavioral perspective, all learning and development are driven by associations. Some associations are made unconsciously, while others involve reinforcement and punishment.
Attachment Styles: Attachment is an important emotional bond that supports healthy child development. Learn more about how attachment styles form and how they can impact development and healthy attachments.
Social Learning Theory: This theory suggests that social influences and processes of observation, modeling, and imitation play an important role in learning and development.
Parenting Styles: How parents interact with their children can also play an important role in child development. Learn more about the four primary parenting styles and how they impact child outcomes.