Normative Development Essay

3145 Words 13 Pages
In the latter part of the 19th century, psychology began to separate from its previous philosophical standing, emerging more as a scientific discipline. Abstract laws were devised, and objective and quantitative measurements of isolated variables analysed. Theories of development emerged and have continued throughout history, providing organization, and “a lens through which researchers can interpret and explain any number of specific facts or observations” (Sigelman & Rider, 2012, p. 32). In postulating what is seen as ‘normative’ development, these theories provide a model or map from which science and society are largely influenced.
Normative development implies an individual will grow, experience and behave in a similar manner
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Possibly the two things that are constantly normal in human existence are birth and death. What happens in between is very much a complicated affair. Sigelman & Rider (2012) identify three broad domains of development: physical, cognitive and psychosocial. Of these three domains, parameters for physical growth are the most accurate predictor of normative data. All humans have endocrine and neural systems, which are essentially involved in growth, maturation, ageing and functioning over the lifespan (Sigelman & Rider 2012). These systems typically identify that an individual will progress from infancy to adulthood through a number of maturational stages. Whilst genetic endowment and environmental factors do influence physical growth, it remains possible to forecast with relative accuracy that certain physical milestones will be achieved at a certain age. Purely through knowledge that the gross, or large muscle group motor development precedes fine motor development for instance, it is possible to predict when a child may be expected to roll over, crawl or walk; similarly when it is realistic to be able to expect a child to manage finer skills such as those involved with holding a pencil or doing up buttons (Brotherson, 2006). The interaction that occurs between physical, social and cognitive development determines that a normative model

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