Theories of Human Development and Growth Assignment Help

As per human development assignment help experts, following are three theories of human growth and development:

Attachment Theory: According to this theory, infants are pre-programmed to take proximity either to their parent or significant adult and show separation protest by distress and anger (Sudbery, 2009). It states that regulation of infant affect is performed through attachment relationships. As per this theory, there are mainly four stages of Business Helphuman development and growth in terms of attachment. First stage is pre-attachment that ranges from 0-2 months of infants and involves undiscriminating social responsiveness. Second stage is attachment in the making from 3-6 months and characterized by discriminating social responsiveness (Beckett & Taylor, 2010). Third stage is clear cut attachment that is from 7 months to 3 years and proximity and contact are sought by the child. Fourth stage is reciprocal relationship that starts from 3 years of child development and involves sharing of responsibility to maintain equilibrium.

Influential Theorist: John Bowlby (1907-1990) is the influential theorist of attachment theory and was a trained psychoanalyst. John was also a member of British psychoanalytic community. He worked on the effects of external factors that influence development of child. Out of his work, attachment, separation and loss were the most famous work. Key are of interest of John was on the effects of separation of children from their parents. Propositions given by John were used heavily in developing bases of attachment theory.

Psychoanalytic Theory: According to this theory, human beings are termed as servants to inborn instincts of biology that gradually matures during the course of childhood. In other words, this theory states that inborn biological instincts also form a crucial role in deciding “who we are” and “what we are going to become” in future (Shaffer, 2008). As per the notion given by Fred for this theory, there are some biological urges that drive the development of human beings. This theory states that two instincts that drive the urges are Eros and Thanatos. Eros is life instinct that promotes survival of human beings by activities like eating, breathing, sex and other bodily requirements. On the other hand, thanatos is death instinct that is known as destructive force exists in the human beings that is characterized by behavior like, anger, murder, aggression, sadistic etc.

Influential Theorist: Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was the most influential theorist of psychoanalytic theory of human development and growth. He was a practicing neurologist who changed the perspective of people about the development of human beings. The theory was developed on the basis of life history of mentally disturbed patients of Freud.

Behaviorism Theory: According to this theory, human development is based on overt behavior of individuals that shape their development. This theory was given by John. B.Watson. As per this theory, associations between stimuli and response are the building blocks of human development (Shaffer, 2008). This theory states that child development is not stimulated by instincts, but these are shaped or drive by the rearing environment in which their parents and other key people reside. In other words, this theory states that development of human beings is shaped or determined by the environment and may differ from people to people.

Influential Theorist: John B. Watson (1878-1958) was the influential theorist of behaviorism theory developed to depict the human development. He stated that human development should be perceived as a continuous process of behavioral changes.

Aspects of Life Span Perspective

As per the life span perspective, human development can be defined as the process of multiply determined and not easy to understand with single framework (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2012). In other words, it states that ageing is the lifelong process that is defined as growing up and growing old.  So, it can be argued that life span premise is that life starts with conception and ends with death and no single stage like childhood, adolescence, middle age etc can be understood without considering its origin and consequences.

Mainly, there are four aspects of Life Span that are Multidirectionality, plasticity, multiple causation and historical context. According to the life span perspective, all these aspects or forces interact with each other to form a life and determine the human development. These aspects cannot be considered in isolation in determining human development. Along with this, these are considered as the biopsychosocial framework of human development.

Influence of Heredity and Environment

Heredity and environment influence the development of human beings. Heredity and environment interact with each other in a dynamic way to develop phenotypes throughout the development of human beings (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2012). Genes of individuals influence the kind of environment to which they are exposed. Environment influences people both in beneficial and detrimental way. Like, if the parenting environment is good, the development of children results good. Impact of heredity on human development is determined by the environment into which they live. In other words, the environment in which genetic instructions are carried out decides the influence of heredity over the development of children.

Temperament of child depends over the environment and heredity. Like, temperament of identical twins is more alike than fraternal twins. Temperamental dimensions and age of child determine the impact of heredity on human development. Like, heredity influences temperament in childhood at higher extent than temperament in infancy. Along with this, heredity and environment also influence the intelligence level of human beings up to certain extent. For example, children from well organized home environment, effective parent behavior and play materials tend to score high in IQ tests as compared to other children.


Beckett, C. & Taylor, H. (2010). Human Growth and Development. (2nd ed). UK: SAGE.

Kail, R.V. & Cavanaugh, J.C. (2012). Human Development: A Life-Span View. (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Shaffer, D.R. (2008). Social and Personality Development. (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Sudbery, J. (2009). Human Growth and Development. New York: Taylor & Francis.

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