AP Psychology

Unit 9: Development

Developmental psychology deals with the behavior of organisms from conception to death and examines the processes that contribute to behavioral change throughout the life span The major areas of emphasis in the course are prenatal development, motor development, socialization, cognitive development, adolescence, and adulthood.

AP students in psychology should be able to do the following:

Life is a journey, from womb to tomb. So it is for me, and so it will be for you. My story, and yours, began when a man and a woman together contributed 20,000+ genes to an egg that became a unique person. Those genes coded the protein building blocks that, with astonishing precision, formed our bodies and predisposed our traits. My grandmother bequeathed to my mother a rare hearing loss pattern, which she, in turn, gave to me (the least of her gifts). My father was an amiable extravert, and sometimes I forget to stop talking. As a child, my talking was impeded by painful stuttering, for which Seattle Public Schools gave me speech therapy.

Along with my parents' nature, I also received their nurture. Like you, I was born into a particular family and culture, with its own way of viewing the world. My values have been shaped by a family culture filled with talking and laughter, by a religious culture that speaks of love and justice, and by an academic culture that encourages critical thinking (asking, What do you mean? How do you know?).

We are formed by our genes, and by our contexts, so our stories will differ. But in many ways we are each like nearly everyone else on Earth. Being human, you and I have a need to belong. My mental video library, which began after age 4, is filled with scenes of social attachment. Over time, my attachments to parents loosened as peer friendships grew. After lacking confidence to date in high school, I fell in love with a college classmate and married at age 20. Natural selection disposes us to survive and perpetuate our genes. Sure enough, two years later a child entered our lives, and I experienced a new form of love that surprised me with its intensity. But life is marked by change. That child now lives 2000 miles away, and one of his two siblings has found her calling in South Africa. The tight rubber bands linking parent and child have loosened, as yours likely have as well.

Change also marks most vocational lives, which for me transitioned from a teen working in the family insurance agency, to a premed chemistry major and hospital aide, to (after discarding my half-completed medical school applications) a psychology professor and author. I predict that in 10 years you, too, will be doing things you do not currently anticipate.

Stability also marks our development: We experience a continuous self. When I look in the mirror, I do not see the person I once was, but I feel like the person I've always been. I am the same person who, as a late teen, played basketball and discovered love. A half-century later, I still play basketball and still love (with less passion but more security) the life partner with whom I have shared life's griefs and joys.

Continuity morphs through stages-growing up, raising children, enjoying a career, and, eventually, life's final stage, which will demand my presence. As I wend my way through this cycle of life and death, I am mindful that life is a journey, a continuing process of development, seeded by nature and shaped by nurture, animated by love and focused by work, begun with wide-eyed curiosity and completed, for those blessed to live to a good old age, with peace and neverending hope.

 45Developmental Issues, Prenatal Development, and the Newborn
 46Infancy and Childhood: Physical Development
 47Infancy and Childhood: Cognitive Development
 48Infancy and Childhood: Social Development
 49Gender Development
 50Parents, Peers, and Early Experiences
 51Adolescence: Physical and Cognitive Development
 52Adolescence:Social Development and Emerging Adulthood
 53Sexual Development
 54Adulthood: Physical, Cognitive, and Social Development

PowerPoint: Chapter Slides 9 | Chapter Definitions 9
Study Guide 9 (and Answers 9)
Textbook (sort of an "e-book")