Life Span Development Reflective Paper

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Life Span Development Reflective Paper Introduction

Brenda Watson
Leadership Coaching
September 19, 2010

This has been a very fascinating journey from prenatal, birth to old age. The goal of this paper is to show how my knowledge and understanding of life span development has increased, as well as demonstrate how this knowledge and understanding will apply to and can be used within my area of specialization, Leadership Coaching.

As a Social Worker, I have had the opportunity to work with children and families from diverse socioeconomic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. My experience and training includes extensive work with prenatal, infant and early childhood education and development. Through this course I have been able to
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The premise that individuals must successfully complete each stage before moving to the next as described by Freud’s Psychosexual Stages of Development; Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development and Piaget’s Cognitive Stages of Development), through research, has shown that it is not a true reflection of how individuals developmentally progress through life. Although not a strong proponent of the stages theories, I understand their importance with regards to working in specialty areas such as education and psychotherapy.

I do believe, as supported by research, that incremental theory, also referred to as continuity and multidimensional theory, also known as systems theory, is more a true reflection of individual development. Development is a continuous process throughout the lifespan where knowledge and skills accumulate as a result of individual experiences and the environment leaves imprints on the behavior and mind of the individual (i.e. Learning and information processing theories by theorists such as John B. Watson, B. F. Skinner, and Albert Bandura). Also important to remember is that there or other important factors or influences (i.e. socioeconomic status, ethnicity, culture, education and health) that affect individual development throughout the lifespan. Theories that encompass both stage and incremental variations can also be

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