Essay on Human Development

Students are often asked to write an essay on Human Development in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Human Development

The concept of human development.

Human development is a process of enlarging people’s freedoms and improving their well-being. It involves increasing the choices and opportunities for all people.

Dimensions of Human Development

There are three main dimensions: health, education, and living standards. Health is measured by life expectancy, education by years of schooling, and living standards by income.

The Importance of Human Development

Human development is crucial. It helps societies to progress, reduces poverty, and promotes equality. It’s a way to help everyone live a productive and fulfilling life.

Challenges in Human Development

Despite its importance, many challenges exist, like inequality, environmental degradation, and political instability. Overcoming these challenges is vital for sustainable human development.

250 Words Essay on Human Development

Introduction, theoretical framework.

The Human Development Index (HDI), introduced by the United Nations Development Programme, quantifies human development. It emphasizes three fundamental dimensions: knowledge, longevity, and decent standard of living. However, human development is not merely a function of these quantifiable elements; it also involves intangible aspects such as freedom, dignity, and autonomy.

Role of Education

Education plays a central role in human development. It equips individuals with knowledge and skills, empowering them to contribute to societal progress. Education fosters creativity and innovation, driving technological advancements and economic growth.

Health and Living Standards

Health is another crucial component. A healthy population is more productive, contributing to economic growth and societal development. Additionally, a decent standard of living, characterized by access to basic needs and services, is vital for human development.

Societal Participation

Active societal participation promotes inclusivity and equality, essential elements of human development. It enables individuals to contribute to and benefit from societal progress, fostering a sense of belonging and mutual respect.

In conclusion, human development is a comprehensive and nuanced concept. It encompasses not only economic growth but also aspects such as education, health, living standards, and societal participation. It is about creating an environment where individuals can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interests.

500 Words Essay on Human Development

The biological perspective.

From the biological standpoint, human development begins with genetics. Our genetic makeup, coupled with environmental influences, guides our physical growth and maturation. This includes the development of the brain, motor skills, and health. Understanding the biological aspects of human development allows us to grasp why we are the way we are, and how our physical attributes and health conditions may influence our life experiences.

The Psychological Perspective

The psychological perspective focuses on the development of mental processes, behaviors, and emotions. Cognitive development theory, proposed by Jean Piaget, suggests that individuals pass through different stages of cognitive growth as they mature. This theory underscores the importance of experiences and interactions in shaping our cognitive abilities, personality, and emotional well-being.

The Sociocultural Perspective

Interplay of factors.

It is important to recognize that these perspectives do not exist in isolation. They interact in complex ways to shape human development. For instance, our biological makeup may influence our cognitive abilities, which in turn can be shaped by our sociocultural environment. Similarly, our sociocultural context may impact our physical health through factors such as diet, lifestyle, and access to healthcare.

Human Development Index

To measure human development, the United Nations uses the Human Development Index (HDI). The HDI is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable, and having a decent standard of living. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare.

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Human Development Essay: Topics, Examples, & How-to Guide

A human development essay explores how a person or group of people can grow and thrive.

A human development essay is a piece of writing that explores how a person or group of people can grow and thrive. Several disciplines study these processes and might require you to get ready with this kind of assignment:

  • Biology analyzes human body development issues throughout our lifespan;
  • Psychology views human development as gaining or abandoning certain behavioral trends;
  • Sociology explains the cause-and-effect relationships between an individual and a group;
  • Economics studies the growth of human freedoms through the improvement of their well-being.

This article systematizes the available bulk of knowledge on the importance of human development. We have collected the essential concepts and approaches you can explore through our human development essay topics and samples.

💵 Human Development in Economics

🤯 human development in psychology.

  • 🧒 Human Growth Essay Topics
  • 📑 Outlining Your Essay
  • 1️⃣ HD Theories: Essay Example
  • 2️⃣ HD & Economic Growth: Essay Example

The first Human Development Report introduced this notion back in 1990 . But the discussion of the relationship between economic growth and human development started in the middle of the 20 th century.

Now we believe that GDP is not the only indicator of our well-being . Human life is more than just selling, buying, and consuming.

Human development in economics focuses on the creation of equal rights and opportunities for everyone . This approach states that the entire society would prosper from the happiness of each of its members.

In these terms, human development has two dimensions:

  • enhancement of human abilities;
  • provision of prerequisites for our growth.

Human development has two dimensions: enhancement of human abilities and provision of prerequisites for our growth.

The former explores how we could ensure that everyone has access to education, healthcare, and decent living conditions. The latter involves achieving environmental sustainability and equality of rights and opportunities for people of all genders, ages, and ethnic backgrounds.

Human Development Index

The Human Development Index (HDI) emphasizes that people and their well-being are the criteria for a country’s prosperity, not only its economic growth.

Today, we use HDI to question the efficiency of national policy. It also allows us to compare different countries with the same GDP but different human development levels. Analyzing this data, governments can refocus their priorities and correct past mistakes.

HDI is calculated as the geometric mean of the following normalized indices:

  • Life expectancy at birth is used to calculate the life expectancy index, where 85 years is the maximum.
  • The education index is the sum of the expected and mean years of schooling divided by 2.
  • This index is determined as GNI per capita.

Meanwhile, HDI is not as comprehensive as one might expect. HDRO (the Human Development Report Office) claims that it does not consider human inequalities, the empowerment of minorities, poverty levels, and gender disparity.

Psychology views human development from an individual’s perspective. This discipline distinguishes between three directions of human development.

The picture describes three directions of human development in psychology.

  • Physical changes occur in our bodies. How do we grow from a baby into an adult and from an adult into an older person? How do we acquire new motor skills, and what is the biology of our senses? What do our brains consist of, and how do they change with age? Correct answers to these questions help us explain the next direction.
  • Cognitive changes cause the development of human behavior. What goes on in our brain that defines what kind of people we are? This domain focuses on logical thinking, learning, understanding, moral reasoning, and practical intelligence. It searches for the ways we could learn faster and become better versions of ourselves.
  • Psychosocial changes track the growth of our social skills and preferences. It all starts with the principal caregiver. Gradually, we begin to interact with more people, such as friends, distant relatives, educators, and colleagues. It is all about our self-image, self-esteem, emotions, and relationships. The psychosocial domain also studies our ways to cope with losses or death.

Human Development Theories

The history of psychology knows many human development theories, many of which are still trusted. We will focus on the two fundamental approaches. They divide childhood into several critical stages that define our character, habits, likes, relationships, and even success in life.

Piaget’s 4 Stages of Cognitive Development

Piaget’s theory is the most widely accepted approach to child development. He believed that children construct knowledge while they manipulate and explore the objects around them. Jean Piaget marked four stages of cognitive development.

  • Sensorimotor stage (0-2 years). A child learns that objects do not disappear. Their activity is all about experimenting with things to see what happens. This stage should culminate with developing the deferred imitation skill. It involves the ability to reproduce an action or sound made by another person later.
  • Preoperational stage (2-6 years). Children use symbols to represent words and ideas. They develop the language and make-believe play but still lack logical reasoning. They are egocentric and cannot imagine that other people may feel or think differently.
  • Concrete operational stage (6-12 years). Thinking becomes logical and focused. Children develop inductive reasoning: they observe to make generalizations about the world around them. But they still struggle with deductive thinking.
  • Formal operational stage (12 years – adulthood). Abstract thinking emerges. They learn to develop theoretical ideas to explain the world.

Freud’s 5 Stages of Psychosexual Development

The Father of Psychoanalysis believed that human personality consisted of ego, superego, and id. They become unified and inseparable once the child passes the five stages of psychosexual development.

  • Oral stage (0-1 year). The mouth is the pleasure center for the infant. That is why everyone is born with a sucking reflex. If the oral needs are not met during the first year of life, the child can start biting their nails or suck a thumb.
  • Anal stage (1-3 years). Children gain control over their bodily functions. They experiment with feces. But early toilet training can make a child too obsessed with order.
  • Phallic stage (3-6 years). Children find out the pleasure they can get from their genitals. According to Freud, this is when the sexual desire to the parent of the opposite sex emerges. Boys go through the Oedipus complex. They want to replace their father and see him as a rival in the mother’s love. Later, Carl Jung spoke of the Electra Complex, a similar mechanism in girls.
  • Latency stage (6-12 years). Sexual instincts give way to the superego. During this period, children adopt the moral principles and values of their parents.
  • Genital stage (12+ years). Sexual instincts reemerge. If all the above steps passed successfully, adolescents would show appropriate sexual behavior.

But this theory is too controversial to be taken for granted. Do parents define their child’s sexual and aggressive drives? Nobody knows for sure.

💡 232 Human Development Essay Topics

Since human development is a debatable and scarcely studied area of knowledge, it offers a whole lot of topics to discuss. For your convenience, we have divided them into two categories:

  • The first can be used for essays on human development psychology.
  • The second includes human growth and development essay topics in economics and sociology.

155 Human Development Topics (Psychology)

Psychology focuses on the emotional, intellectual, and social development of an individual. Scientists traditionally divide this growth into stages, according to the respective age. That is why the topics here can be about early childhood, parent-child relationships, school years, adolescence, marriage, and divorce.

  • Child psychology: Theories of development by J. Piaget.
  • How can parents facilitate their child’s relationships with peers?
  • Divorce: Psychological effects on children.
  • Which purposes does attachment play in infants?
  • Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory of development.
  • Which ideas of Freud’s psychosexual development theory do you think are valid?
  • Find the common features between Freud’s psychosexual theory and Erikson’s psychosocial theory.
  • Child development and education.
  • Explore the causes of inferiority complex in adolescents.
  • Children’s play: An ingredient needed in children’s learning.
  • How does one’s sense of self influence their future relationships?
  • Corporal punishment and its effects on children.
  • Why do we need to reward the feeling of gratitude in adolescents?
  • What is the role of the family in shaping our social well-being?
  • Developmental psychology in adolescence.
  • Describe the principles of caregiving you consider as healthy and beneficial.
  • Personal development plan.
  • What is social knowledge, and where do we gain it?
  • Write a human development theories essay.
  • Emotional development in children and adults.
  • What do the preferred leisure activities of adolescents tell us about their development?
  • Early childhood classroom environment plan.
  • Does the gender of the main caregiver matter?
  • Study the effect of orphanage education on a child’s psychology.
  • The introduction to early childhood education.
  • Is a child’s family or school more defining for their development?
  • Second life : Professional development and communication.
  • How does patriarchal prejudice undermine the intellectual growth in girls?
  • Does the lack of college-level education make a person less smart?
  • Sigmund Freud’s personality and psychoanalysis.
  • How did dr. Maria Montessori use human tendencies for child development?
  • Adult learning theories.
  • How does a father’s toxic masculinity impact a boy’s emotional well-being?
  • Early childhood cognitive-based philosophy.
  • Make a research summary of the role of IQ in human development.
  • Explore the causes of the “terrible threes.”
  • Lifespan human development: perspective and theories.
  • Write a reflection about risk-taking behaviors in teenagers.
  • Linking human development to the human condition.
  • Is poverty the worst factor for a child’s development?
  • Early childhood education activities and trends.
  • Analyze the consequences of substance abuse in adolescence.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy for depression in adults.
  • Do children adopt their same-sex parent’s gender roles in adulthood?
  • Child abuse and neglect effects on adult survivors.
  • What is the role of creativity in a preschooler’s development?
  • Tools of the mind in the early childhood development.
  • Do you agree that all psychological disorders of children under 12 are caused by an unhealthy family atmosphere?
  • The theories of child development.
  • How do we learn to control our emotions?
  • How autistic children develop and learn?
  • Analyze the major results of gender-neutral education.
  • Early childhood education and skills development.
  • When is the due time to start sex education of children and why?
  • Erik Erikson’s theory of development.
  • What is the tole of symbolic function and make-believe play in a child’s development?
  • Family structure and its effects on children.
  • Why is egocentrism in children normal?
  • Infant development.
  • Establish the relationship between language development and intellectual growth.
  • Biological, cognitive, and socioemotional development.
  • Sexism in human development theories.
  • How an operant conditioning influences child development.
  • Awareness of age-related change helps to live a healthy life.
  • Middle childhood and adolescence development.
  • The adverse effect of malnutrition in a child’s development.
  • Assessment in early childhood: Special education.
  • When is stress positive and negative for the psychological development of an individual?
  • How video games affect children.
  • Analyze human development in multigenerational families.
  • Erickson’s psychosocial development and its stages.
  • Compare and contrast the American and Japanese approaches to education and their results.
  • Theoretical perspectives on human development: Freud, Piaget, and Skinner.
  • The role of controlled independence in childhood.
  • Technology impacts on the new generation of children.
  • Why is periodical boredom necessary for a child to develop?
  • Learning and student development theories and factors.
  • Why is human development the basic need of any society?
  • The development of secure and insecure attachments in children.
  • Why is intellectual growth so pleasurable for us?
  • Moral and personality development.
  • If the human development mechanism is equal for all, why are we so different?
  • 21 st century skills development.
  • Why do modern sociologists think we should work less?
  • Peer pressure on children in high school.
  • What could we learn from the indigenous African tribes in terms of the psychological development of children?
  • Interaction for child’s development and learning.
  • Schools: an unknown war where we miss our childhood?
  • Effects of media on children.
  • To which degree do genes determine our development?
  • Jean Piaget – cognitive theorist.
  • Why are foster children less prepared for adult life than their adopted peers?
  • When should children start school?
  • When do children stop learning through play?
  • Managing stress better: Personal development.
  • Which socio-emotional factors make aging less depressing?
  • Preschool play role in the cognitive development.
  • The benefits and drawbacks of grandparents’ raising children.
  • Autism as the most prevalent developmental mental disorder.
  • How does lifelong learning benefit human brain?
  • Teaching and supporting adult learners.
  • How does lifestyle influence our cognition?
  • Parent-child relationships and parental authority.
  • Should adults develop an awareness of their aging?
  • Early intervention for young children with autism.
  • Why do scientists no longer view aging as a negative process?
  • Development and improvement of communication skills.
  • Which factors define our ability for emotional regulation?
  • Child’s play observation and parent interview.
  • Compare the Christian and Muslim cultural differences in human development.
  • The early abuse’ impacts on teenagers emotional development.
  • Are private nurseries and schools better for children’s development?
  • Behavior change in learning processes.
  • Why is generation alpha more emotionally intelligent than any earlier-born children?
  • Videogame addiction and its impact on children.
  • Shout less and explain more: the effect of the modern approach to caregiving.
  • Adult education, its objectives and approaches.
  • Why should we tell our daughters they are smart rather than beautiful?
  • Personal development: Career management.
  • How does social change impact the life of an individual? Give examples.
  • Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s child development theories.
  • Suggest mentoring interventions for at-risk adolescents.
  • Adult learning and effective instruction.
  • To which extent should we normalize children with developmental disorders?
  • Negative impacts of adult cartoon television programs on children.
  • Do developmental differences make us more human?
  • Social psychology in people’s life.
  • Do all families need psychotherapy, like they need a family doctor?
  • Childhood sexual abuse and adolescents’ self-esteem.
  • Which barriers do LGBT adolescents meet in their development?
  • Life-span development and personal life experiences.
  • Outline a positive youth development program.
  • Understanding learning: theories’ impacts.
  • Explain eating disorders as the result of incorrect upbringing.
  • The influence of online games on children and adults.
  • Describe the changes our brain suffers under continuous stress.
  • The psychological effect of 9-11 on young adults.
  • Typical vs. Atypical development in children.
  • Social psychology: group influence on the self.
  • Why is mindfulness important for human development?
  • Importance of a teacher in child development.
  • We learn behavioral health from our parents.
  • Divorce influence on childrens’ mental health.
  • How do behavioral phenotypes emerge during early development?
  • Child development theories: Comparative analysis.
  • Why do many children function differently in home, school, or community settings?
  • Communication role in the children’ development.
  • Suggest ways to identify co-occurring conditions in developmental disorders.
  • Psychological child development theories.
  • Describe the existing approaches to establishing healthy schools.
  • Piaget’s stages of cognitive development.
  • Parental autonomy vs. Monitoring: which is better for an adolescent?
  • Postpartum depression effect on children’s development.
  • How do parents’ beliefs and values determine their parenting strategies?
  • Childhood and optimal development analysis.

77 Human Development Topics (Economics)

  • How entrepreneurship in the energy sector can pave the way for sustainable development in Africa.
  • What are the parties involved in human development, and why don’t they share the same interests?
  • Should we care about income inequality?
  • Why does totalitarianism entail stagnation?
  • Democratic and Economic Development in Asian Countries.
  • Do migrant incomes spur economic development in their native countries?
  • International human resource development.
  • How does the growth of female entrepreneurship favor economics?
  • A development of American society.
  • How can equal rights and possibilities of all people make governments more efficient?
  • Resolving the problems of poverty and income inequality.
  • How does the availability of loans benefit human development?
  • Development Theory and Human Rights.
  • Should towns transform into cities to become more prosperous?
  • Resource availability for low to moderate income families in New York City.
  • Is feminism a sign of human evolution?
  • Rapid urbanization in the developing world is increasing.
  • What is the impact of literacy campaigns in socially disadvantaged rural areas?
  • Poverty reduction in developing countries.
  • Find the relationship between water resources and the level of farming development in a given region.
  • Human Rights for Development.
  • Explore the growing urban-rural interactions in large cities.
  • Employment opportunity for people with learning disabilities in the UK.
  • Give examples of win-win scenarios in human evolution.
  • Analysing a community development: Case study.
  • Why do societies often ignore or resist the advantages of human development?
  • How innovation and growth strategy will develop Abu Dhabi economy through Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.
  • Study the role of recreational possibilities for the local population.
  • Values of innovation and entrepreneurship in economic development.
  • The effect of food availability on human development.
  • Millennium Development and Well-Being of Families.
  • Do you support transnational social movements, and why?
  • Compensation and benefits in an area of human resources development.
  • Do religions favor economic development?
  • Influence of religion on the development of colonial American society.
  • Analyze the impact of socioeconomic context on human development.
  • Is nationalism beneficial for a country’s well-being?
  • The development of the industrial work environment.
  • Which factors impede poor people from growing their capital?
  • Crime prevention through social development.
  • Is leisure more critical for economic growth than production?
  • Alternative Fuels and the US Nation Development.
  • Should the government regulate human development, or is it unpredictable?
  • Development traps and failure: The negative consequences of disasters on the economy.
  • What are the external factors of human development in emerging countries?
  • Fiscal decentralisation and local economic development in Ghana.
  • Human Development Index (HDI) Vs. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • National human resource development in Asian states.
  • Which aspects would you include in the HDI formula?
  • Is late retirement beneficial for a country’s economic development?
  • Environment: Sustainable Development in Abu Dhabi.
  • Which material conditions affect human evolution?
  • The critical points of equal employment opportunity.
  • The role of sustainable development in a country’s well-being.
  • Globalization drives inequality: Liberalist and structuralist perspectives.
  • What is the primary goal of human development for economics?
  • The income gap in the US economy.
  • Are elevated birth rates a positive or negative factor for economic growth?
  • Human resources development in the UK and Australia.
  • What is the relationship between foreign capital penetration and human life expectancy in third-world countries?
  • Economic and Social Development of the UAE.
  • How does ethnic homogeneity influence human development in a given area?
  • Gender wage gap and inequality.
  • Why is the majority of wealthy countries democratic?
  • Human resource development practices to achieve economic growth: The case of Singapore.
  • Analyze the role of free medicine in social well-being.
  • How can the employment of the disabled favor a country’s economy?
  • Assessing why Nigeria LNG has been restricted in development.
  • How is the work/family balance of employees important for a company’s prosperity?
  • Workforce development and modern trends.
  • Explore the effect of an individual’s well-being on a country’s development.
  • Small business and development in South Africa.
  • How does democratization improve a country’s productivity?
  • Regional inequality of Yogyakarta.
  • How does English training in third-world countries influence their development?
  • Post-disaster development of Haiti.
  • New conceptions of adulthood among the youth in the developing countries.

🧒 Human Growth and Development Essay Topics

  • The impact of aging on human development.
  • How do role models promote moral and behavioral development in the 21st century?
  • Socioeconomic factors and their value in growth and development.
  • The development of moral predispositions at an early age.
  • The value of professional development of a person.
  • Genetic regulation of growth in height and weight in teenagers.
  • The role of initiative and guilt in the preschool age group.
  • What are the main red flags in growth and development?
  • Child health and human development over the lifespan.
  • Emotional development of a person from birth to old age.
  • Regulation of early human growth: the main peculiarities.
  • COVID-19 and its role in children’s social development.
  • How does environmental pollution affect human growth and development?
  • The language development in humans and its key stages.
  • How does maternal physical activity influence fetal growth?

Haven’t found the perfect topic in the lists above? Use our essay topic generator !

📑 Human Development Essay Outline

1. Introduction. By the end of your essay, your readers will surely forget what you wrote here. But do not underestimate the effect of a well-composed introduction on your audience’s expectations! Do your best to sound inspiring and upbeat in your human development essay introduction. Tell yourself, why did you select this topic? If it is an exciting issue for you, the readers will also get interested. So, the introduction speaks about the topicality and urgency of a problem. The thesis statement culminates your introduction. You should explain your position in a single sentence. Here are some good and bad examples:

☹️ Bad😑 Better🙂 Good
I am going to speak about medicine in the social economy.This essay explains why free medicine is good for society.This essay will highlight the demographic, cultural, and economic results of free medicine in terms of social well-being.
Too broad and informalSlightly more precise, but not enoughJust right!

Need to formulate a thesis statement? Use our thesis-making tool !

2. Main body. The primary rule here is structure. It is hard to read one long paragraph with many ideas. Introduce each argument from the new line. Give a topic sentence at the beginning of each section and then elaborate on it with examples and reflections.

3. Conclusion. In the field of human development, the conclusion of an essay should provide the prospects of the tendency you analyzed. Imagine yourself an analyst consulting an international company. What will happen if they continue doing the same? How can they reach different results? Once again, try to sound inspiring.

1️⃣ Human Development Essay Example #1 (Psychology)

Below you will find a sample of human development essays for a psychology-related discipline. It illustrates the outline we have mentioned above based on the topic Why Is Freud’s Developmental Theory considered outdated?

Human Development Theories Essay

1. Introduction. In the XXI century, we are all obsessed with development. We would like to become a better version of ourselves, develop our country, and humanity as a whole. Unfortunately, there is no axiom confirming the mechanism of human development.

Thesis statement. This essay explores the pitfalls of Freud’s developmental theory and questions its applicability.

2. Main Body.

Argument 1. Freud drew his theory from memories of his patients. But certain experiences people believe are true often turn out to be inaccurate. Sometimes, we fabricate our memories due to how we felt back then or would like to feel now. Thus, Freud used unreliable sources of information about child development.

Argument 2. Freud’s theory revolves around sexuality. But as Jung and Adler noticed, human life is more complicated than that. Oversimplification reduces us to instincts, which is not true. People have their subconscious fears and desires, but sexual energy is only one of their aspects.

Argument 3. Sigmund Freud only worked with adults. All adults are former children, but the researcher never studied children in their games, education, or frustrations. Freud had six kids, but his career never allowed him to spend much time with family. It is questionable how someone could draw conclusions about a child’s mental processes without actually speaking to a child.

3. Conclusion. Sigmund Freud largely contributed to modern psychology. He was the first to question our rational thinking and intellectual sobriety. But his five stages of psychosexual development are far from reality. First, they are constructed based on inaccurate and unreliable reports of mentally disturbed people. Second, sexuality is only one of the many things that make us who we are. Third, the scientist never did live research on children. That is why his theory is outdated now.

2️⃣ Human Development Essay Example #2 (Economics)

If you need to write an essay on human development while studying economics, you may use the following sample. It illustrates how to write an essay on the relationship between human development and economic growth.

Human Development and Economic Growth

1. Introduction. What happened first, human development or economic growth? The early signs of economic growth appeared when the first people started exchanging their goods with the neighboring tribes. They had to develop a new skill and change their picture of the world to catalyze economic growth.

Thesis statement. This essay aims to confirm the two-way linkage between the development of individuals and economic growth.

Argument 1. If that first exchange of crops and cattle did not work out, we would have never got as developed as we are now. The economic growth that happened once we had mastered “business negotiations” gave us the necessary resources to develop other skills.

Argument 2. Human development is hardly predictable. The most significant improvements in technology, medicine, construction, and science happened during the most challenging times for humanity. The two world wars showed that we could develop when the economy is in decay. But the new production methods and scientific achievements give us an opportunity to grow the economy when things get better.

Argument 3. Economic growth without human development is limited. For example, when a third-world country receives an external capital inflow, its economy stabilizes or even grows. But if its population does not acquire new models of doing business, the money will end. Such a country will return to its previous poor condition.

3. Conclusion. It would be wrong to say that human development caused economic growth or vice versa. None of the two are possible without the other. Human development happened first, but further knowledge acquisition required economic growth. Improvement of the economy does not guarantee human intellectual growth. Meanwhile, it is an indispensable prerequisite for our development.

❓ Human Development Questions & Answers

What does the science of human development seek to understand.

This science tries to find the reasons why people tend to change over time or why they remain at the same level. It establishes the mechanisms through which we become more educated, moral, organized, and civilized. The science also describes the benefits and drawbacks of human development for the economy, sociology, psychology, and ecology.

What is Human Development and Family Studies?

Human Development and Family Studies focuses on the health and psychology of individuals throughout their lifespan. This area of knowledge discusses human life in the context of their family relationships and social roles. It is an interdisciplinary science that involves psychology, economy, and sociology.

How does culture affect human development?

Culture defines the way we perceive society and the world as a whole. It affects our vision of reality from early childhood. Culture influences our beliefs, values, and purposes. Moreover, it is a decisive factor for our self-image as an individual and a member of society.

What makes the study of human development a science?

The study of human development explores how we learn, mature, and adapt to changes and adverse conditions. It is largely related to psychology but also involves sociology, economics, anthropology, and biology. It is a science because it aims to describe, predict, and understand the changes in human behavior that bring us to development.

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What is Human Development?

While the expression “human development” is widely used, it is understood in different ways around..

humanity development essay

HDRO Outreach

2015 marks 25 years since the first Human Development Report introduced a new approach for advancing human flourishing. And while the expression “human development” is widely used, it is understood in different ways around the world. So on the occasion of the 25th anniversary year of human development reporting, we’d like to highlight how the Human Development Report Office (HDRO) presents human development.

Credit: UNDP Kosovo’s animation "What is Human Development?" explains and promotes sustainable human development.

Human development grew out of global discussions on the links between economic growth and development during the second half of the 20th Century. By the early 1960s there were increasingly loud calls to “dethrone” GDP: economic growth had emerged as both a leading objective, and indicator, of national progress in many countries i , even though GDP was never intended to be used as a measure of wellbeing ii . In the 1970s and 80s development debate considered using alternative focuses to go beyond GDP, including putting greater emphasis on employment, followed by redistribution with growth, and then whether people had their basic needs met.

These ideas helped pave the way for the human development approach, which is about expanding the richness of human life, rather than simply the richness of the economy in which human beings live. It is an approach that is focused on creating fair opportunities and choices for all people. So how do these ideas come together in the human development approach?

  • People: the human development approach focuses on improving the lives people lead rather than assuming that economic growth will lead, automatically, to greater opportunities for all. Income growth is an important means to development, rather than an end in itself.

humanity development essay

  • Choices: human development is, fundamentally, about more choice. It is about providing people with opportunities, not insisting that they make use of them. No one can guarantee human happiness, and the choices people make are their own concern. The process of development – human development - should at least create an environment for people, individually and collectively, to develop to their full potential and to have a reasonable chance of leading productive and creative lives that they value.

The human development approach, developed by the economist Mahbub Ul Haq, is anchored in Amartya Sen’s work on human capabilities, often framed in terms of whether people are able to “be” and “do” desirable things in life iii . Examples include

Beings: well fed, sheltered, healthy

Doings: work, education, voting, participating in community life.

Freedom of choice is central: someone choosing to be hungry (during a religious fast say) is quite different to someone who is hungry because they cannot afford to buy food.

As the international community seeks to define a new development agenda post-2015, the human development approach remains useful to articulating the objectives of development and improving people’s well-being by ensuring an equitable, sustainable and stable planet.

i Kennedy, Robert. (1968). Address to the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas on March 18, 1968. www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27718.htm ii Simon Kuznets, who created GDP, warned expressly against using it as a measure of wellbeing. Kuznets, Simon. “National Income, 1929–1932.” U.S. Congress, Senate Doc. No. 124–73, at 7 (1934) iii Professor Sen was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998 for his work in welfare economics.

Photo credit: UNDP Mongolia's #GivingTuesday

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129 Human Development Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

Inside This Article

Human development is a complex and multifaceted process that encompasses physical, cognitive, emotional, and social growth throughout the lifespan. Understanding the factors that influence human development is crucial for educators, psychologists, healthcare professionals, and policymakers to support individuals in reaching their full potential.

If you are studying human development or working in a related field, you may be tasked with writing an essay on a specific topic. To help you brainstorm ideas for your next paper, we have compiled a list of 129 human development essay topic ideas and examples.

Physical Development

  • The impact of nutrition on physical development in childhood.
  • How physical activity influences motor development in infants.
  • The role of genetics in determining growth patterns in adolescence.
  • The effects of puberty on physical development and self-esteem.
  • How chronic illness affects physical development in children.

Cognitive Development 6. Piaget's theory of cognitive development and its implications for education. 7. The role of language development in shaping cognitive abilities. 8. How technology impacts cognitive development in children. 9. The effects of early childhood trauma on cognitive development. 10. Cultural influences on cognitive development in adolescence.

Emotional Development 11. Attachment theory and its impact on emotional development in infants. 12. The role of parenting styles in shaping emotional development. 13. How social relationships influence emotional development in adolescence. 14. The effects of trauma on emotional development in children. 15. Strategies for promoting emotional regulation in early childhood.

Social Development 16. The role of play in social development in early childhood. 17. Peer relationships and social development in adolescence. 18. The influence of media on social development in children. 19. The effects of poverty on social development. 20. Gender identity and social development in adolescence.

Adolescent Development 21. The challenges of identity formation in adolescence. 22. Risk-taking behavior in adolescence and its impact on development. 23. The effects of social media on adolescent development. 24. Mental health issues in adolescence and their impact on development. 25. Strategies for supporting positive development during the adolescent years.

Childhood Development 26. The impact of early childhood experiences on development. 27. The role of play in promoting cognitive and social development. 28. Attachment theory and its implications for early childhood development. 29. The effects of adverse childhood experiences on development. 30. The importance of early intervention in promoting healthy development.

Infant Development 31. The impact of prenatal development on infant health and well-being. 32. Attachment theory and its implications for infant development. 33. The role of sensory experiences in promoting infant development. 34. The effects of neglect on infant development. 35. Strategies for supporting infant development in the first year of life.

Language Development 36. The stages of language development in children. 37. The role of environmental factors in promoting language development. 38. Bilingualism and its impact on language development. 39. Language development in children with developmental delays. 40. Strategies for supporting language development in early childhood.

Motor Development 41. The stages of motor development in infancy. 42. The impact of physical activity on motor development in children. 43. Motor development in children with disabilities. 44. The effects of screen time on motor development. 45. Strategies for promoting motor development in early childhood.

Adulthood Development 46. The challenges of middle adulthood and its impact on development. 47. The effects of aging on cognitive and physical development. 48. The role of social relationships in promoting healthy development in adulthood. 49. The impact of career changes on development in adulthood. 50. Strategies for maintaining optimal health and well-being in older adulthood.

Parenting and Development 51. The role of attachment in shaping parenting practices. 52. Parenting styles and their impact on child development. 53. The effects of parental stress on child development. 54. The challenges of co-parenting and its impact on child development. 55. Strategies for promoting positive parent-child relationships and healthy development.

Adoption and Development 56. The impact of adoption on child development. 57. Attachment issues in adopted children and their implications for development. 58. The challenges of transracial adoption and its impact on development. 59. Strategies for supporting healthy development in adopted children. 60. The role of open adoption in promoting positive outcomes for children.

Trauma and Development 61. The effects of trauma on brain development in children. 62. Trauma-informed care and its implications for supporting healthy development. 63. The role of resilience in promoting positive outcomes for children who have experienced trauma. 64. The effects of trauma on social and emotional development. 65. Strategies for supporting children and adolescents who have experienced trauma.

Mental Health and Development 66. The impact of mental health issues on development in children and adolescents. 67. The role of stigma in preventing access to mental health services for children and adolescents. 68. The effects of untreated mental health issues on cognitive and social development. 69. Strategies for promoting mental health and well

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108 Human Development Essay Topics

🏆 best essay topics on human development, ✍️ human development essay topics for college, 👍 good human development research topics & essay examples, 🎓 most interesting human development research titles, ❓ human development research questions.

  • Sustainable Human Development
  • Theories of Charles Horton Cooley and George Herbert Mead about Human Development
  • The Impact of Communication on Human Development
  • The Role of the Environment and Genes in Human Development
  • Human Development Psychology
  • Analysis of Human Development Theories
  • Cognitive Changes in Human Development
  • “Lifespan Human Development” by Sigelman, Carol, and Elizabeth Rider In his theory, Jean argues that we absorb information and knowledge according to our brain constructs that are developed from our past experience with certain concepts in the world
  • Art Education and Human Development Arts is a very flexible discipline, this means that there are no definite solutions to problems in art and by extension life.
  • Developmental Research: Human Development Developmental research determines progress and development. This can be done by examining the relationship between factors contributing to that development.
  • Human Development Theories by Piaget, Vygotsky, and Erikson Several perspectives on the phenomenon of human development exist. These are represented by the framework designed by Piaget, Vygotsky, and Erikson.
  • Human Development Theories: The Science of Learning and Development There are many theories on how human development through different stages of life affects an individual’s life and mental health.
  • Global Poverty and Human Development Poverty rates across the globe continue to be a major issue that could impair the progress of humanity as a whole.
  • Human Development Psychology: Stages, Socio-emotional Development, and Emotional Attachment Lifespan development is the growth of the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial changes that incurs throughout life.
  • Human Development in Zimbabwe The report covers’ human development’, it’s meaning, and measures within the context of Zimbabwe development by incorporating aspects of the United Nations Development Program.
  • Human Development in Early Adulthood During their life, a person goes through many developmental stages, each associated with specific activities. This paper examines early adulthood.
  • Human Development and the Security and Safety Index The objective of this research was to look at the connection between human development and the security and safety index.
  • A Unified Theory of Human Development In the paper, the definition, benefits and disadvantages of a unified theory on human development will be discussed.
  • Research Designs in Human Development Studies This paper analyzes several types of research design, which include observational research technique, longitudinal design, cross-sectional research, and sequential research design.
  • Why Adolescents Take Drugs: Human Development Delinquent and irresponsible behaviors such as substance abuse, violence, and unsafe safe practices produce serious social and health implications.
  • Child Labor’s Negative Impact on Human Development This paper argues that child labor is by far the worst form of atrocities because it inhibits positive development by robbing children of the opportunity to gain life skills.
  • Human Development: Key Aspects The ecological perspective studies humans from an environmental standpoint, which includes social, emotional, and biological influences.
  • Adolescence and Human Development Challenges There are various questions about how puberty affects adolescents concerning the fact that not all people are impacted in the same way.
  • Human Development Psychology Issues This paper summarizes learned information on the development of human, in particular transgender disorders and homosexuality, and personality development.
  • Pregnancy, Human Development and Heredity This paper presents the physiological concepts that revolve around pregnancy and their implication in human development.
  • Technologies Growth: Significance for Human Development Nowadays, various types of technologies are acknowledged to have become an integral part of people’s life. It is reasonable to claim that such progress might have a positive impact.
  • Bioecological Model of Human Development Many scholars in the psychology field define child development as biological, psychological and emotional transformation of a child from birth.
  • Global Social Progress and Human Development The global social progress concept provides an opportunity to look at the development of the humankind as the process enhanced by a combination of multiple factors.
  • Mobile Phones’ Social Impacts on Sustainable Human Development
  • Addiction and the Effects on Human Development
  • Child Health and Human Development Over the Lifespan
  • Foreign Direct Investment According to Different Countries’ Stages of Human Development
  • Biological and Environmental Factors and Human Development
  • How Nature and Nurture Affect Human Development
  • Corruption and Human Development Correlation in Western Balkan Countries
  • Determining the Relationship Between Happiness and Human Development
  • Psychology and Human Development: Theory of Radical Behaviorism
  • Human Development and Quality of Institutions in Highly Developed Countries
  • Computers and Their Influence on Human Development
  • Economic and Human Development in Global North and Global South
  • Measuring Human Development and Environmental Sustainability in European Countries
  • Developmental Psychology and Human Development
  • Rainbows: Jean Piaget and Human Development
  • Cognitive Development and Erikson’s Stages of Human Development
  • Animal and Human Development Throughout the Ages
  • Human Development and Income Inequality as Factors of Regional Economic Growth
  • Genetic and Environmental Influences on Human Development
  • Economic and Social Determinants of Human Development
  • Capitalism, the State, and the Underlying Drivers of Human Development
  • Human Development and Its Impact on the World
  • Biological Human Development and Its Interaction With Environmental Influences
  • Environmental Degradation and Inclusive Human Development in Sub‐Saharan Africa
  • Civil War and Human Development: Impacts of Finance and Financial Infrastructure
  • Natural Environment and Early Human Development
  • Factors Affecting the Human Development Index
  • Aid, Conflict, and Human Development
  • Comprehensive Human Development: Realities and Aspirations
  • Education and Human Development: How Much Do Parents Matter?
  • Democratization and Human Development
  • Poverty, Human Development, and Growth: An Emerging Consensus
  • Human Development and Regional Disparities in India
  • Ecological System and Its Effects on Human Development
  • Dynamic Linkage Between Economic Growth and Human Development
  • Climate Changes and Human Development
  • Gender and Regional Inequality in Human Development
  • Behaviorism and Human Development
  • Migration, Poverty Reduction Strategies and Human Development
  • Anxiety Disorder, Socialization, and Human Development
  • Circular Migration and Human Development
  • Economic and Human Development Policies Since Independence
  • Gender Codes and the Human Development Indicator
  • Counseling and Human Development in Multicultural Society
  • Global Governance for Human Development
  • Freud’s and Erikson’s Perspectives on Human Development
  • Shaping the Future: How Changing Demographics Can Power Human Development
  • Cultural and Political Influences on Human Development
  • Energy Consumption Transition and Human Development
  • Faith and Successful Human Development
  • What Happens at Each Stage of Human Development?
  • How Have the Natural Characteristics of Melanesia Affected Human Development?
  • How Does Cultural Anthropology Influence Human Development?
  • What Research Designs Are Used to Study Human Development?
  • How Do the Foundations of Human Development Influence the Work of Mental Health Counselors?
  • What Are the Main Theories of Human Development?
  • How Does the Impact of the Human Development Process Differ From Learning?
  • How Does Biology and the Environment Affect Human Development?
  • When Was Sigmund Freud’s Theory on Human Development First Published?
  • How Does Culture Affect Human Development?
  • What Is Human Ecology about Human Development?
  • How Does “Nature vs. Nurture” Influences Human Development?
  • How Did Erik Erikson Apply the Epigenetic Principle to Human Development?
  • How Do Heredity and Environment Interact to Influence Human Development?
  • What Variables Does the Human Development Index Incorporate?
  • Why Do Many Countries With High Gross Domestic Product Have a Low Human Development Index?
  • How Many Stages Does the Human Development Have?
  • Why Lifelong Motor Development Is a Vital Part of Human Development?
  • What Factors Best Explain Human Development?
  • At What Stage During Human Development Does the Lumbar Curve of the Spine Develop?
  • What Does the Science of Human Development Seek to Understand?
  • What Period of Human Development Brings About the Most Rapid Change?
  • What Importance Does Social or Moral Development Have for Human Development?
  • What Is the Critical Period Hypothesis of Human Development?
  • How Do Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology Each Relate to Human Development?
  • How Does Neuroscience Relate to Human Development?
  • What Makes the Study of Human Development a Science?
  • What Is the Cognitive Domain in Human Development?
  • Is Human Development a “Means” to Achieve Economic Growth?
  • How Does Physical Geography Impact Human Development and Settlement?

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StudyCorgi. (2022, December 30). 108 Human Development Essay Topics. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/human-development-essay-topics/

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StudyCorgi . "108 Human Development Essay Topics." December 30, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/human-development-essay-topics/.

StudyCorgi . 2022. "108 Human Development Essay Topics." December 30, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/human-development-essay-topics/.

These essay examples and topics on Human Development were carefully selected by the StudyCorgi editorial team. They meet our highest standards in terms of grammar, punctuation, style, and fact accuracy. Please ensure you properly reference the materials if you’re using them to write your assignment.

This essay topic collection was updated on January 8, 2024 .

Human Development - Free Essay Examples And Topic Ideas

Human development encompasses the process of growth and maturation from infancy through adulthood. Essays might discuss theories of human development, stages of development, and the factors influencing physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Furthermore, discussions could extend to the societal and environmental factors contributing to human development, and the impact of policy on human development outcomes. We’ve gathered an extensive assortment of free essay samples on the topic of Human Development you can find at PapersOwl Website. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.

On the Relevance of Black Holes and Supermassive Black Holes to Human Development

It has been said that Einstein once dreamed that he himself was traveling with a photon--a single particle of light. He was attempting to imagine past the boundary of the then known physical theories. It was an endeavor that would eventually produce both General, and Special Relativity. These two theories provided mankind things like GPS technology, more efficient communication technologies (communication satellite coordination), and seemingly, an overall truer knowledge of reality. In fact, relativistic physics have birthed an unimaginable level […]

Nature Vs. Nurture: Unraveling the Threads of Human Development

Nature versus nurture has been a debate that involves human behavior, and determiners whether it has to do with the environment one is born in or something that was inherited. Nature is often known as the hormone-based behaviors, genetics, disposition, and traits that have been inherited. Some kids get blue eyes from their parents, being able to play instruments and have an atheistic talent often comes for genes or traits pasted down from family members. Nurture has to do with […]

Middle Childhood

Children go through middle childhood, this starts around age 6 and continues to age 11. This is often referred to as the ""school years"". Middle childhood children are very curious and love to explore the world around them. They are active listeners and absorb knowledge like sponges. This is a time when children develop foundational skills for building healthy social relationships and learn roles that will prepare them for adolescence and adulthood. They are learning the social foundations of forming […]

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Human Development in Different Perspectives Across the Life Span: Differences and Similarities between Childhood Versus Adulthood

Throughout this paper, we have explored approaches to human development from different perspectives across the life span, such as in adolescence, childhood, adulthood, and so on. This subject is primarily investigated in terms of mental functioning and social relationships by developmental psychology in this chapter. To understand better, we have studied the stages in human life as prenatal, infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood. Given that developmental research includes various methods, ethics hold […]

Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model: a Layered Approach to Human Development

Understanding human development is akin to piecing together a jigsaw puzzle; many factors interplay to shape who we are, from our individual genetic makeup to the broader cultural and societal influences. Urie Bronfenbrenner's ecological model, introduced in the latter half of the 20th century, offers an insightful framework to explore these multifaceted influences. This model takes us on a journey, from intimate personal interactions to expansive societal constructs, highlighting how each layer intricately impacts human growth and behavior. At the […]

Effects on Children in Long-Term Foster Care

Foster care is a temporary placement for children who have a home environment that has unsafe living conditions that affect the child's well-being because of abuse and neglect. Family preservation and the safety of the child is the primary goal for children placed in temporary foster care. When focusing on family preservation, child welfare agencies provide services such as parenting education for parents to acquire skills in how to resolve problems effectively and can assist parents in receiving welfare benefits […]

Integrative Writing Assignment Erikson Autobiography

Introduction   Erik Erikson was a theorist. He believed that there were stages of development, each housing their own ‘tasks’. He concluded that “Young children wrestle with issues of trust, then autonomy (independence), the initiative. School-age children strive for competence, feeling able and productive.” (Myers, 2014 p 519).   Stage 1: Trust versus Mistrust (Infancy to 1 year) This first stage of Erik Erikson’s Eight Stages of Life lasts from infancy to one year of age. The child is unfamiliar […]

Domains in the Growth Process of Children

Physical Domain There are four different domains present in the growth process of children. These include the physical, cognitive, language, and social-emotional domains. These five domains explain why children behave a certain way and react in other ways. The physical domain explains the various physical changes that are present during certain periods of growth for children. For example, it is easy to tell physical differences between a preschooler and a toddler. Preschooler's body growth is larger than that of a […]

How do Childhood Experience Affect One’s Life?

Today’s society is very different from societies in the past. Have these changes affected children’s mental health? Most of us don't remember our first two or three year of life, but our earliest experiences may stick with us for years, influencing us well into adulthood. The experiences we face in our childhood can determine our future. Trauma faced during childhood may influence the way in which we control our emotions, or even our social skills during adulthood. According to Maanvi […]

The Unfamiliar Childhood Disorder – Reactive Attachment Disorder

The purpose of this paper is that a study was conducted for the diagnosis of Reactive attachment dsorder (RAD). This study was assessed with using the Relationships Problem Questionnaire (RPQ) and Reactive Attachment Disorder – Checklist (RAD-C). Chronbach's alpha of was used to test inter-rater, reliability and test-retest reliability (Thrall, Hall, Golden, & Sheaffer, 2009). There were fifty-three parents and caregivers who participated in the study. The first group were composed of children and adolescents who had former diagnoses of […]

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a cognitive disability that affects a person’s “communication, social, verbal, and motor skills” . The umbrella term of ASD created in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association that covered 5 separate autism diagnosis and combined them into one umbrella term, the previous terms being Autistic Disorder, Rett syndrome, Asperger’s Disorder, Childhood disintegrative Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders. The word spectrum in the diagnosis refers to the fact that the disability does not manifest itself in […]

Effects of Divorce on Families

The most basic effects of separation on kids or young adults incorporate an effect on their psychological changes, proper social skills, scholarly accomplishments and even behavior impacts that can carry on over the span of adulthood. The most recognized effects that divorce has on kids present themselves in the way that children will begin to reprimand themselves for the separation, there is a sense of vulnerability in elements of life that were previously concrete, there are social issues that emerge, […]

Day Care Effects on Childhood Development

Nearly one quarter of children in the United States are placed into a daycare system by the time they are five years old. Unfortunately, many families in today’s expensive world cannot afford for one parent to stay at home with their children all day. Since young children cannot properly care for themselves independently, parents often seek secondary care from outside sources. This leads to young children being placed in organizations such as daycare centers, preschools, and nurseries. One of the […]

Early Childhood and the Effects of Abuse and Neglect

Child abuse, neglect, or maltreatment and even intimate partner violence are all considered to be factors with negative effects for children. Neglect or maltreatment leads to many forms of abuse. Some of these are domestic violence, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. These could impact a child's overall health if not treated early. More so, if children are not treated with therapy at an early stage, serious mental health issues could develop when children become adolescents. It has been stated that […]

Effects of Marriage and Divorce on Children

Development during early childhood is very important. It shapes who a person is in their actions, values, and ideals for the rest of their life. Divorce can affect how a child develops cognitively. Due to the stress of conflict, potential lack of attention or loss of resources the child receives during divorce it can be detrimental to how a young child cognitively develops and can have impacts on their life in the moment, but also long-term consequences. The self-image of […]

Benefits of Early Childhood Education

“If school is about learning, and learning starts at birth, then the idea that we expect Kindergarteners to meet their first teachers at age five is all wrong (English, 2018)”. There is increasing research being facilitated on early education with specific emphasis on the overall benefits it has on children. The range of benefits discussed in recent research include academic achievement, behavior, educational progression and attainment, delinquency and crime, and labor market success, among other domains (RAND, 2005). While much […]

Effects of Puberty in Children and Adolescence

Ideally, puberty involves changes that individuals, explicitly children, undergo mentally, physically, and socially in variations such as anxiety issues as they adapt to the mature bodies (Viner,2017). Puberty stage differs depending on the reaction of the individual; some may experience new changes as early as seven years old while others may experience the changes in their late stages. Physicians widely recognize adolescence as a critical change that opens gateways altering the life course of an individual and may affect their […]

Pecularities of Foster Care System

Foster Care is a system in which a minor is being put into a group home, or private home of a state-certified caregiver, referred to as a "foster parent" or with a family member approved by the state. Instead of being safely returned with their families or moved quickly into adoptive homes many will be forced to remain or bounce around different foster homes or institutions for years. Frequent moves in and out of the homes of strangers can be […]

Child Abuse Means a Physical Maltreatment

Child abuse means a physical maltreatment or sexual molestation of a child. When a child is starting to experience abuse, they change. They suddenly don't show affect for a certain relative or they don't want to go over to that relative's house. They get an attitude or change their behavior. Most people just see this as they are growing up and rebelling. When children start making sexual remarks or start displaying sexual behaviors with other young children, those are signs […]

Education in the Foster Care

Youth in child care and grown-ups who some time ago were put into consideration have lopsidedly high rates of enthusiastic and conduct issue. Among the zones of concern has been the absence of exhaustive psychological wellness screening of all youngsters entering out-of-home consideration, the requirement for more careful distinguishing proof of youth with passionate and conduct issue, and deficient youth access to high caliber emotional well-being administrations. In view of the magnificent quality and extensiveness of these announcements, the Casey […]

A Mission of Foster Care

Foster care is a temporary living arrangement made by the state for a child. Children are often placed in foster care because either a child protective service department employee or a court appointed judge has deemed the home unfit for a child to stay at. Foster care not only affects the child's life now but it also creates a barrier for future opportunities. Children are often placed in foster care because of the risk of maltreatment, including neglect, physical and […]

Childhood Obesity and Adolesence

Childhood obesity can be prevented in many ways. Parents are the main ones with a say so on obesity. They allow their children to digest all kinds of bad foods. Parents should introduce on a daily basis different kinds of healthy foods. They should also promote is by showing children how healthy food are good for the body. You have some children that won’t eat healthy things because of the color and the way it looks. Obesity is one of […]

The Field of Early Childhood

A Mission Statement for the Field of Early Childhood The early childhoodfield consists of five sectors. ""The sectors are Head Start, Chid Care, Health and Well Being of Children and Families, Research and Academia in the Early Childhood Field and Public Early Childhood Education, Each sectors talks about the goals and accomplishment, history, contributors, history and current issues"" (Laureate Education). Summary of five sctors goals Head Start is a program that is funded by the federal government to serve children […]

Main Pecularities of Foster Care Homes

Foster care protects and takes care of children or teenagers who have been saved from their families following allegations of abuse and neglect or both. A foster care system is an arrangement where a minor is placed under a private home, group home or ward that has been certified by the government. The minors are taken care of by foster parents, and they are closely monitored by social service or government agencies (Geiger, 26). It is meant to provide a […]

The Cause and Effect of Childhood Physical Abuse in the Home

Abstract Sadness, fearfulness, loneliness, and depression are some result of some sort of abuse that a child experience. Physical abuse happens when people hurt a child and causing broken bones, burns, bruises, or cuts. Childhood abuse in the home is a central social problem. This is significant to me because people never knows what really happens to children behind closed doors. Childhood abuse can have long-term effects that continue in adulthood. The overall purpose of this study is to see […]

Importance of Foster Care Agencies

The foster care agency takes in about 250,000 kids every year. Having that many children entering the system increases the issues of finding the proper caregiver for a child. Just as these problems are created, many effects can develop for the child that can last short-term and possibly long-term. Luckily, there are many ways to help these obstacles. Foster care agencies may construct unfavorable situations due to the choice of caregivers and the overabundance of problems that are created in […]

NIH Principles of Substance Abuse Prevention for Early Childhood

Lifespan development focuses on changes that occur within a person from the beginning of their conception until their death. Lifespan development incorporates not only the physical changes one acquires throughout time, but also the cognitive, emotional, and social changes. Humans have the capability of constant change, especially when exposed to different incidents or environments that can influence their choices, but as time goes on this change can become harder to achieve. At least four stages of lifespan development are observed, […]

The Foster Care Independence Act

Operating from 1853-1929, the Orphan Train Movement transported around 250,000 children. The children on the bus consisted of those who had been abandoned, did not have a home, and whose parents were deceased. They were brought to Canada and the United States and were placed throughout to their new homes (DiPasquale, n.d.). The purpose of this movement was to get children that did not have a home and were poor off New York streets and to bring them to the […]

Teen Pregnancy

Abstract: Teen pregnancy is a growing issue. For one, in some cases, it has become normalized by society to not only engage in sexual acts at a younger age. Even though some individuals may receive scrutiny over their early pregnancy, on a grand scale, it isn’t scrutinized enough. What adds to the complacency over this situation is the fact that teenage pregnancy has tremendously declined from generations prior. With this, the general public feels as if it is not that […]

Children in Foster Care

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The Lifespan Development Perspective Essay

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The lifespan perspective of development, conclusions, reference list.

Lifespan development is a progressive process of development in a human being involving an increase in age, which begins at conception and ends with death (Sugarman, 2000, p. 56). In addition, lifespan development can be divided into four levels depicting advanced functionality and character changes as an individual moves from one level to another.

These levels include childhood and adolescence; early adulthood; middle adulthood; and late adulthood (Sugarman, 2000, p. 56). This paper presents discussions on the lifespan perspective of development and two major theories of lifespan development. In addition, the impact of the interaction between genes and the environment on the process of human development is also discussed.

The lifespan perspective examines the changes that take place at each level of human development relative to the environmental (Society and culture) factors that influence these changes (Sigelman & Rider, 2008, p. 84). Moreover, the lifespan perspective can be defined in many ways.

For instance, the lifespan perspective can be a progressive and lifelong process of development that is not limited to any single level in human development. On the other hand, there are three major aspects of the lifespan perspective of development, which include the cognitive, social, physical dimensions of change (Sugarman, 2000, p. 59).

Furthermore, other studies claim that the perspective is plastic in nature because some domains of lifespan development increase while others decrease. This plasticity of the lifespan perspective occurs in response to various environmental factors that influence human development.

In addition, the perspective is embedded in the lifelong events that occur in the life of an individual. Thus, this perspective is studied by scientists, anthropologists, and psychologists, which brings out its multidisciplinary nature (Sugarman, 2000, p. 63). On the other hand, the perspective has different contextual implications. Therefore, human development is determined by biological, cultural, social, and physical environmental factors.

The three aspects of the lifespan perspective are also implicated in different developmental changes. The physical aspect of development involves changes in weight, height, shape, and the changes in individual experiences with the external environment (Sigelman & Rider, 2008, p. 86).

On the other hand, the social aspect of development involves changes in different phases of human development, which are directly influenced by the social environment such as social skills and relationships. Lastly, the cognitive domain of human development entails change in an individual’s thinking capacity, memory, and decision-making (Sugarman, 2000, p. 64).

The changes characterizing the lifespan perspective of development can also be divided into eight stages of human development. The first stage also known as the Trust vs. Mistrust stage occurs during the period between birth and one year.

Here, development of trust depends on the relationship between the toddler and the care-giver (Sugarman, 2000, p. 66). The second stage also known as Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt period occurs during the early childhood stage. During this stage, the child is capable of making choices relative to the individualized willingness.

The Initiative vs. Guilt is the third stage in development, which occurs during the middle childhood stage. During this stage, children develop a sense of purpose through engaging in goal-oriented activities (Sigelman & Rider, 2008, p. 88). The fourth stage also called the Industry vs. Inferiority period occurs at the late childhood period. Here, children develop competence through learning social norms, basic education, and culture.

Additionally, the adolescence stage signifies the Identity vs. Role Confusion period. Here, individual values and choices develop because individuals are able to account for their actions. The Intimacy vs. Isolation period occurs during early adulthood and it is characterized by development of intimate relationships, marriage, and families (Sigelman & Rider, 2008, p. 90).

The Generativity vs. Stagnation period occurs during the middle adulthood stage. Here, individuals are committed with providing for their families and developing their careers. Lastly, the Integrity vs. Despair stage occurs during the late adulthood stage. The elderly individuals are self-contented and they are full of life experiences and advice.

Theories of Lifespan Development

There are many theories that attempt to explain the process of human development from different perspectives such as Freud’s theory of psychosexual development and Erikson’s theory on psychosocial development. Erikson’s theory posits that an individual encounters several conflicts during the development process, which depend on the type of relationship existing between this individual and the society.

Therefore, as an individual moves through the eight stages of development discussed above, he/she must solve the conflicts involved in one stage before moving to another. This ensures that one develops a sound personality; otherwise one may encounter difficulties in addressing conflicts in subsequent stages if the previous ones were not sufficiently resolved (Sugarman, 2000).

On the other hand, Freud’s theory states that the process of personality development occurs at the early childhood stage. Subsequently, the behavioral changes observed in developing individuals are influenced by the childhood events. Here, personality development occurs through several stages during the early childhood stage.

During this stage, the pleasure-oriented capabilities of an individual become focused on specific areas in one’s body. These capabilities also known as sexual libido or psychosexual energy play a major role in the subsequent behavioral changes in an individual (Sigelman & Rider, 2008).

Thus, if all the issues involved in the psychosexual stages of development are adequately resolved, then an individual develops a sound personality. However, if the psychosexual issues remain unresolved, the person involved is trapped in a particular stage until all the issues are resolved.

The Interaction of Genes and the Environment in Lifespan Development

A child inherits the genetic information of both parents through the information carriers known as genes. The genes are made up of DNA, which is found on chromosomes. On the other hand, the environment in the context of lifespan development refers to the total social and cultural factors surrounding a developing human being (Sigelman & Rider, 2008, p. 86). Therefore, lifespan development in children depends on two major factors; the genetic make-up of a child and the environmental factors.

However, the two factors can play a mutual role in influencing the development of different individuals in the society. Here, the epigenetic framework of development posits that the genetic make-up can be turned on and off relative to the internal and external environmental feedback (Sigelman & Rider, 2008, p. 89).

This gives the process of lifespan development the flexibility and plasticity described in the discussions above. For instance, the learning process in children follows a specific pattern of adaptability, which depends on the internal and external factors.

Therefore, during the early childhood stage, individuals use the environmental experiences in reasoning and acting. However, as the environmental factors and experiences change along the period of lifespan development, so does the emotional, reasoning, and social attributes in an individual (Sigelman & Rider, 2008, p. 91).

The paper presents discussions on the lifespan perspective of development, the theories of lifespan development and the interaction of heredity and environment to produce individual differences in development.

From the discussions above, the lifespan perspective of development examines the changes that occur in different individuals, which occur due to the interaction of the genetic make-up and the total circumstances surrounding an individual. On the other hand, this perspective is also reinforced by Freud’s theory of psychosexual development and Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development, which are summarized in the discussions above.

Sigelman, C. K. & Rider, E. A. (2008). Lifespan human development. New York: Cengage Learning Publishers, Inc.

Sugarman, L. (2000). Lifespan development: Frameworks, accounts and strategies (2 nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

  • American Psychological Association: Development of Professional Knowledge & Abilities
  • Effect of Humanistic Theory on Individual Personalities
  • Freud's Psychosexual Stage Conception
  • Lifespan Development and Its Theories
  • Behaviour across the Lifespan
  • Development Stages in Infant-Father Relationship
  • The role of genetics in development
  • Erik Erikson's Life and Contributions to Psychoanalysis
  • Developmental Theories in Psychology
  • Levels of Play Development
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IvyPanda. (2019, February 7). The Lifespan Development Perspective. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-lifespan-perspective-of-development/

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Human Development, Essay Example

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In the works of different researchers, it is claimed that social behavior is not something naturally acquired as a result of aging. Indeed, children’s inadequate behavior usually results from the lack of social and communication skills. Hemmeter, Ostorsky and Fox in the article “Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning: A Conceptual Model for Intervention” emphasized that “creating a caring, socially rich, cooperative, and responsive environment requires an intentional and systematic approach” (2006). The development of social skills and personal capabilities requires appropriate education, gentle guidance of the adults, responsible parenting and good school environment.

There are key social skills that are essential for children when they enter school: an ability to develop positive relationships with peers and adults, an ability to communicate emotions effectively and adequately, an ability to listen (Hemmeter, Ostorsky & Fox, 2006), nonaggressive behavior. Also, children need compassion, ability to work in the team, and, later, an ability to stay calm under pressure. Social skills are skills and behaviors that facilitate interaction and help to achieve social status. The ability to communicate emotions is essential for open and easy communication with peers, without hypocrisy or inadequacy that may lead to misunderstanding or absence of friends. The ability to listen underlies understanding and not interrupting the speaker; inability to listen may make a child a bad company and unwelcome in conversations. The ability to show compassion is vital for children, as it allows understanding of someone’s feelings and sharing them; children without it may be perceived as cruel or aggressive, and thus they may have problems with peers. Working in the team is an indivisible part of every child’s life (games, competitions, classroom activities). Inability to collaborate and respect friends may lead to ostracism or loneliness.

A chief influence in the lives of teenagers and children are their parents, claims Sara in her article devoted to parent-children relationships (2002). It is their family that plays a key role in the establishment of the moral beliefs and social behaviors.

In order to develop social skills such as ability to listen and ability to communicate, parents need to respect their child and not treat him or her as a silly and irresponsible creature. Sara provides the next example: when a child does something wrong (stealing, lying), parents should deal with it by means of conversation, not a lecture (2002). Young children depend on their relationships with parents or caregivers “to teach them about themselves and the world they live in” (Aviles, Anderson & Davila, 2006); these relationships shape children’s understanding of their behaviors by the parents/caregivers responses. What is normal for the family members is normal for the child.  So, showing respect in the family enhances the ability to listen to what adults say and the ability communicate adequately, i.e. as it is normal for certain society.

A human development psychologist Erick Erickson also emphasized the parents influence during first years of the child’s life. By the age of five, the child develops trust or mistrust to the world and society, autonomy or doubtfulness about one’s capabilities, and initiative to play (explore, fantasize…) or guilt (Elkind, 1970). Parents must create caring and responsive family environment in order to promote easy communication with children and other adults. The child who was cared of, listened to and played with will be socially active and open. Responsive family provides the child with friendly and caring communication with parents; this communication improves the child’s ability to communicate as well as adequate responses to child’s communication. Family communication enhances the child’s ability to communicate by creating behavioral patterns and promoting initiative.

In contrast to caring and responsive family atmosphere, the family environment may inhibit children’s social development. If the child experiences aggression, temperamental difficulties, noncompliance, and language difficulties, it indicates problems in the family. Problems like violence and absence of sympathy may inhibit social skills. Violence in the family inhibits communication skills and compassion. Due to violence children may distrust adults and other people, and thus be unable to develop positive social relationship. Also, witnessing violence leads to low self-esteem and inhibit the ability to stay calm under the pressure. Absence of sympathy and care in the family does not provide development of compassion. As social skills are behavioral patterns, compassion must also be a pattern. In order to develop this pattern, caring and responsive approach is needed, thus lack of family care inhibits compassion. To summarize this paragraph, it is essential to point out that negative family environment influences children’s behavior greatly – much more than classroom environment, for example.

At a certain age, a child enters school where teachers can influence his or her social development. The main controlling and directing school environment force is the teacher, his competent work and monitoring of the class. When taught routines and expectations by teacher’s directions and feedback, children learn ethics; this promotes an ability to develop positive relationship with peers and adults in certain society. When children are taught to manage themselves, they learn to stay calm under the pressure. Of course, it is essential for the teacher to make a classroom atmosphere creative and comfortable in order to promote co-working and teamwork. Friendly and creative atmosphere may involve competitions or creative activities with motivating incentives, teaching to be a good loser; such things contribute to the ability to work in the team. It must be comfortable for children to express themselves freely.

In order to foster compassion skills, teacher must provide an example by expressing compassion himself and showing that this is normal. Good example can shape a proper perception of expressions of compassion and thus contribute to this skill. Also, classroom activities include listening to teacher’s instructions or explanations; listening to instructions must be silent and attentive, so children learn to listen first and ask question after. Friendly and creative environment may include active communication or argument, and this provides children with perfect example of communication model, when one person listens to other, and vice versa. Thus, general communication skills and listening skills are improved.

Obviously, negative classroom environment may inhibit social and academic success of the children. Teacher’s indifference may cause a feeling that the child is insignificant, his problems are ridiculous, he is left to his own devices, and adults are not interested in communication with him. It inhibits his ability to develop positive relationship with peers and adults. Inability to find a common language with students or racial or sexual harassment may inhibit the same social skill and compassion as well, as aggressiveness will be deemed normal.

Sara provides an idea that illustrates the central idea of this paper. “If you want your kids to grow up to be kind, compassionate and caring, you’re going to have to lead the way” (Sara, 2002). It means that all adults who can influence the child’s life should improve his or her social development in some way or other.

It does not matter, who you are – a parent or a teacher. When you have children that depend on you, you must remember that whether they will trust you or avoid your company, or whether they will be successful in communication with peers or ostracized, depends on social education that must start in the early childhood and last until late adolescence.

Aviles, A., Anderson, T., & Davila, E. (2006). Child and Adolescent Social-Emotional Development Within the Context of School. Child & Adolescent Mental Health , 11(1), 32-39. doi:10.1111/j.1475-3588.2005.00365.x.

Elkind, D. (1970, April 5). Erik Erikson’s Eight Ages of Man. The New York Times  Magazine . Reprinted by permission from The New York Times Company. Retrieved September 16, 2010 from http://www.ceed.pdx.edu/ectc_sscbt/pdfs/EriksonsEightAgesofMan.pdf

Hemmeter, M., Ostrosky, M., & Fox, L. (2006). Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning: A Conceptual Model for Intervention. School Psychology Review , 35(4), 583. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.

Sara, S. (n.d). (2002) Parents can pass values along to children, experts say. Contra Costa  Times (Walnut Creek, CA) , Retrieved September from Newspaper Source database.

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Home / Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs / Online Bachelor’s in Human Development and Family Studies / Bachelor’s in Human Development and Family Studies Resources / Stages of Human Development: What It Is & Why It’s Important

What Is Human Development and Why Is It Important? What Is Human Development and Why Is It Important? What Is Human Development and Why Is It Important?

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Tables of Contents

  • Eight Stages of Human Development?
  • Theories of Human Development

Human Development vs. Developmental Psychology

What are the genetic factors that affect human growth and development, why do we study human growth and development.

Imagine two children born in the same town and the same year to families with similar socioeconomic statuses. One child grows up to be assertive and confident, while the other grows up to be timid and shy. The study of the stages of human development can help explain the reasons for these differences and much more.

What is human development, exactly? Human development is a branch of psychology with the goal of understanding people — how they develop, grow, and change throughout their lives. This discipline, which can help individuals better understand themselves and their relationships, is broad. As such, it can be used in various professional settings and career paths.

humanity development essay

What Are the Eight Stages of Human Development?

If human development is the study of how people change throughout their lives, how and when does this development happen? Many scientists and psychologists have studied various aspects of human development, including ego psychologist Erik Erikson. He examined the impact of social experiences throughout an individual’s life and theorized that  psychosocial development happens in eight sequential parts . What are the eight stages of human development?

Stage 1 — Infancy: Trust vs. Mistrust

In the first stage of human development, infants learn to trust based on how well their caregivers meet their basic needs and respond when they cry. If an infant cries out to be fed, the parent can either meet this need by feeding and comforting the infant or not meet this need by ignoring the infant. When their needs are met, infants learn that relying on others is safe; when their needs go unmet, infants grow up to be less trusting.

Stage 2 — Toddlerhood: Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt

In addition to autonomy versus shame and doubt, another way to think of the second stage is independence versus dependence. Like in the first stage, toddlers go through this stage responding to their caregivers. If caregivers encourage them to be independent and explore the world on their own, toddlers will grow up with a sense of self-efficacy. If the caregivers hover excessively or encourage dependence, these toddlers grow up with less confidence in their abilities.

For example, if a toddler wants to walk without assistance in a safe area, the caregiver should encourage this autonomy by allowing the independent behavior. If the caregiver insists on holding the toddler’s hand even when it’s not necessary, this attention can lead to doubt later in life.

Stage 3 — Preschool Years: Initiative vs. Guilt

During the preschool years, children learn to assert themselves and speak up when they need something. Some children may state that they’re sad because a friend stole their toy. If this assertiveness is greeted with a positive reaction, they learn that taking initiative is helpful behavior. However, if they’re made to feel guilty or ashamed for their assertiveness, they may grow up to be timid and less likely to take the lead.

Stage 4 — Early School Years: Industry vs. Inferiority

When children begin school, they start to compare themselves with peers. If children feel they’re accomplished in relation to peers, they develop strong self-esteem. If, however, they notice that other children have met milestones that they haven’t, they may struggle with self-esteem. For example, a first grader may notice a consistently worse performance on spelling tests when compared with peers. If this becomes a pattern, it can lead to feelings of inferiority.

humanity development essay

The key components of Erikson’s model of human development include stage one, infancy, trust versus mistrust; stage two, toddlerhood, autonomy versus shame and doubt; stage three, preschool years, initiative versus guilt; stage four, early school years, industry versus inferiority; stage five, adolescence, identity versus role confusion; stage six, young adulthood, intimacy versus isolation; stage seven, middle adulthood, generativity versus stagnation; and stage eight, late adulthood, integrity versus despair.

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Stage 5 — Adolescence: Identity vs. Role Confusion

The adolescent stage is where the term “identity crisis” originated, and for good reason. Adolescence is all about developing a sense of self. Adolescents who can clearly identify who they are grow up with stronger goals and self-knowledge than teenagers who struggle to break free of their parents’ or friends’ influences. Adolescents who still deeply depend on their parents for social interaction and guidance may experience more role confusion than teenagers who pursue their own interests.

Stage 6 — Young Adulthood: Intimacy vs. Isolation

In young adulthood, which begins roughly at age 20, people begin to solidify their lifelong bonds; many people enter committed relationships or marriages, while others form lifelong friendships. People who can create and maintain these relationships reap the emotional benefits, while those who struggle to maintain relationships may suffer from isolation. A young adult who develops strong friendships in college may feel more intimacy than one who struggles to form and maintain close friendships.

Stage 7 — Middle Adulthood: Generativity vs. Stagnation

In middle adulthood, people tend to struggle with their contributions to society. They may be busy raising children or pursuing careers. Those who feel that they’re contributing experience generativity, which is the sense of leaving a legacy. On the other hand, those who don’t feel that their work or lives matter may experience feelings of stagnation. For example, a middle-aged adult who’s raising a family and working in a career that presumably helps people may feel more fulfilled than an adult who’s working at a day job that feels meaningless.

Stage 8 — Late Adulthood: Integrity vs. Despair

As adults reach the end of life, they look back on their lives and reflect. Adults who feel fulfilled by their lives, either through a successful family or a meaningful career, reach ego integrity, in which they can face aging and dying with peace. If older adults don’t feel that they’ve lived a good life, they risk falling into despair.

Other Theories of Human Development

Although widely used, Erikson’s psychosocial development theory has been critiqued for focusing too much on childhood. Critics claim that his emphasis makes the model less representative of the growth that people experienced in adulthood. Erikson’s model of the stages of human development is only one theory addressing growth and change throughout life, as many other psychologists have researched their own  theories of human development , including the following:

Cognitive Development

Jean Piaget developed the theory of cognitive development. Piaget’s theory is widely used in education programs to prepare teachers to instruct students in developmentally appropriate ways. The theory is based on four stages:

  • Sensorimotor —  In the sensorimotor stage (birth to 2 years old), children learn object permanence, which is the understanding that people and objects still exist even when they’re out of view.
  • Preoperational —  In the preoperational stage (2-7 years old), children develop symbolic thought, which is when they begin to progress from concrete to abstract thinking. Children in this stage often have imaginary friends.
  • Concrete operational —  In the concrete operational stage (7-11 years old), children solidify their abstract thinking and begin to understand cause and effect and logical implications of actions.
  • Formal operational —  In the formal operational stage (adolescence to adulthood), humans plan for the future, think hypothetically, and assume adult responsibilities.

Moral Development

Lawrence Kohlberg created a theory of human development based on moral development concepts. The theory comprises the following stages:

  • Preconventional —  In the preconventional stage, people follow rules because they’re afraid of punishment and make choices only with their best interests in mind.
  • Conventional —  In the conventional stage, people act to avoid society’s judgment and follow rules to maintain the systems and structures that are already in place.
  • Postconventional —  In the postconventional stage, a genuine concern for the welfare of others and the greater good of society guides people.

Psychosexual Theory

Sigmund Freud popularized the  psychosexual theory . The theory comprises five stages:

  • Oral —  In the oral stage (birth to 1 year old), children learn to suck and swallow and may experience conflict with weaning.
  • Anal —  In the anal stage (1-3 years old), children learn to withhold or expel feces and may experience conflict with potty training.
  • Phallic —  In the phallic stage (3-6 years old), children discover that their genitals can give them pleasure.
  •   Latency —  In the latency stage (roughly 6 years old through puberty), they take a break from these physical stages and instead develop mentally and emotionally.
  • Genital —  In the genital stage (puberty through adulthood), people learn to express themselves sexually.

Ideally, children move through each phase fluidly as their sexual libidos develop, but if they’re stuck in any of the phases, they may develop a fixation that hinders their development.

Behavioral Theory

The behavioral theory focuses solely on a person’s behaviors rather than the feelings that go alongside those behaviors. It suggests that behaviors are conditioned in an environment due to certain stimuli. Behavioral theorists believe that behavior determines feelings, so changing behaviors is important because this will in turn change feelings.

The  attachment theory  focuses on the deep relationships between people across their lifetime. An important attachment theory finding is that children must develop at least one strong bond in childhood to trust and develop relationships as adults. The attachment theory comprises four stages:

  • Asocial or  pre-attachment   (birth to 6 weeks old)
  • Indiscriminate attachment (6 weeks old to 7 months old)
  • Specific or discriminate attachment (7-9 months old)
  • Multiple attachments (10 months old or later)

Social Learning Theory

The social learning theory builds upon the behavioral theory and postulates that people learn best by observing the behavior of others. They watch how others act, view the consequences, and then make decisions regarding their own behavior accordingly. The four stages in this theory are:

  • Reproduction

In the attention stage, people first notice the behavior of others. In the retention stage, they remember the behavior and the resulting consequences. In the reproduction stage, people develop the ability to imitate the behaviors they want to reproduce, and in the motivation stage, they perform these behaviors.

Sociocultural Theory

The  sociocultural theory  ties human development to the society or culture in which people live. It focuses on the contributions that society as a whole makes to individual human development. For example, children who are raised to play outdoors develop differently from children who are raised to play indoors.

An important part of this theory is the zone of proximal development, which is an area of knowledge and skills slightly more advanced than a child’s current level. The zone of proximal development helps teachers think about and plan instruction, so sociocultural theory plays a large role in preservice teacher training.

Resources: More Information on Theories of Human Development

  • BetterHelp, “Behavioral Theory, Behavioral Psychology, or Behaviorism? How Behavior and Personality Intersect ”
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, “Lawrence Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development”
  • Healthline, “What Are Freud’s Psychosexual Stages of Development?”
  • PositivePsychology.com, “What Is Attachment Theory? Bowlby’s 4 Stages Explained”
  • Psychology Today , Social Learning Theory
  • SimplyPsychology, “Lev Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory”
  • SimplyPsychology, Theories of Psychology
  • Verywell Mind, “The 4 Stages of Cognitive Development”

What are the differences between human development and developmental psychology? These terms are closely related. In fact, the study of developmental psychology is most people’s entry into human development.

Developmental psychology  is defined as a scientific approach to explaining growth, change, and consistency throughout a lifetime. It uses various frameworks to understand how people develop and transform throughout their lives. The goals of developmental psychology are to describe, explain, and optimize development to improve people’s lives. In the real world, developmental psychology is used in the study of physical, psychological, emotional, social, personality, and perceptual development.

The  study of developmental psychology  can lead to careers in several different fields. Developmental psychologists often work in colleges and universities and focus on research and teaching. Others work in healthcare facilities, clinics, assisted living facilities, hospitals, mental health clinics, or homeless shelters. In these applied settings, their focus is more on assessing, evaluating, and treating people. According to June 2020 data from PayScale, developmental  psychologists earn an average annual salary of about $68,000 .

One more key element of human growth and development left to explore is  genetics . Genetics influences the speed and way in which people develop, though other factors, such as parenting, education, experiences, and socioeconomic factors, are also at play. The multiple genetic factors that affect human growth and development include genetic interactions and sex chromosome abnormalities.

Genetic Interactions

Genes can act in an additive way or sometimes conflict with one another. For example, a child with one tall parent and one short parent may end up between the two of them, at average height. Other times, genes follow a dominant-recessive pattern. If one parent has brown hair and the other has red hair, the red hair gene is the dominant gene if their child has red hair.

Gene-Environment Interactions

Humans’ genetic information is always interacting with the environment, and sometimes this can impact development and growth. For example, if a child in utero is exposed to drugs, the child’s cognitive abilities may be impacted, thus changing the developmental process. In addition, even if a child’s genes would indicate a tall height, if that child experiences poor nutrition as children, it may impact their height.

Sex Chromosome Abnormalities

Sex chromosome abnormalities impact as many as 1 in 500 births. The following syndromes are examples of sex chromosome abnormalities that can impact development:

  • Klinefelter syndrome  is the presence of an extra X chromosome in males, which can cause physical characteristics such as decreased muscle mass and reduced body hair and may cause learning disabilities.
  • Fragile X syndrome  is caused by a mutation in the FMR1 gene that makes the X chromosome  appear fragile . It can cause intellectual disability, developmental delays, or distinctive physical features such as a long face.
  • Turner syndrome  happens when one of the X chromosomes is missing or partially missing. It only affects females and results in physical characteristics like short stature and webbed neck.

Down Syndrome

Down syndrome  is another common example of how genetics can impact development. This chromosomal disorder may cause some individuals to experience physical or intellectual development differences. Down syndrome occurs at the 21st chromosomal site, in which people with Down syndrome have three chromosomes rather than two.

Those with Down syndrome often have different physical characteristics and may be prone to physical problems like heart defects and hearing problems. Most individuals with Down syndrome have intellectual impairment, but the degree of this impairment varies from person to person.

humanity development essay

The top reasons for studying human development are to gain an understanding of your own life experience, help others understand what they’re going through, understand the relationship of society and individual growth, lead more effectively, and support the physical and mental health of others.

The study of human growth and development offers a wealth of value for personal and professional growth and understanding. Many reasons exist for why we study human growth and development.

Common benefits include the following:

  • To  gain a better understanding  of one’s own life experiences. This can help people personally reach an understanding of what childhood events shaped their adulthood.
  • To  gain knowledge  of how social context impacts development. This knowledge can be invaluable for professionals like teachers as they gain a deeper understanding of their students.
  • To  help others understand and contextualize  the ups and downs of life. This helps therapists and psychologists better aid their clients in self-discovery.
  • To  understand how societal change can support growth  and development. This understanding helps decision-makers in schools change the educational culture for the better.
  • To  become a more effective research, teacher, or leader  in many different industries. Understanding human development deeply and in context has many professional benefits that can lead to greater insight.
  • To  support the physical and mental health of individuals  throughout their life span. Professionals like doctors, nurses, and therapists must understand human growth and development to better support their clients.

Students may choose to study human growth and development because of its array of applications across many professional fields. For example, students who want to become elementary school teachers may take courses on the stages of human development to understand cognitive development and how children’s brains grow and change.

Human development is a wide-reaching and ever-changing discipline. A knowledge of human development can be invaluable to people personally as they continue to learn and grow throughout their lives and professionally as they learn to apply what they’ve learned to their careers.

Infographic Sources

Financial Express, “The Eight Stages of Human Development”

VeryWell Mind, “5 Reasons to Study Human Development”

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Human Development Essay Examples

Evolution of psychological theories in human development.

The study of human development has been an intriguing subject for psychologists throughout history. Over the years, various psychological theories have emerged to explain the complex processes of growth and change in individuals from birth to old age. This essay will delve into the evolution...

Human Development Across the Lifespan: Cognitive Developmental Theory

Cognitive developmental theory was first proposed by Jean Piaget which clarifies how a child builds a psychological model of the world. He couldn't help contradicting the possibility that knowledge was a settled characteristic and viewed cognitive development as a procedure which happens because of natural...

The Concept of Common Pool Resource by Elinor Ostrom

Elinor Ostrom invented the 8 design principles for sustainable community development. She made a discovery when she saw that users of natural resources came together and make their own rules to ensure that these resources are economically and environmentally sustainable. She was especially intrigued when...

Ways of Supporting Individuals with Additional Needs

Rebecca Brown is an 8 year old child who was involved in a road traffic accident when she was 5. Due to the accident Rebecca suffered a spinal cord injury and damaged her cervical spine. This means that Rebecca is disabled from the neck down,...

The Construction of the Punk Subculture

A problematic yet misunderstood label of the punk subculture, began as early in the 1940s however did not get its recognition until the 1970s when punk rock started booming in the music industry. Those who did not understand what punk was seen it as being...

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Glass Desk in the Office?

The materials that are used for the essential elements of office , as are the desks, have not changed much with the passage of time. Generally, the star is the wood that can vary for its different finishes and for the shapes it acquires in...

Report on Personality Research Using Different Models

Self-discovery is a difficult process for most people. Understanding to use strengths and overcome the shortcomings is even more difficult. In this article I would like to present some specific methods for self-analysis and self-understanding. So it is easy to realize where is your strengths,...

Human Development Index: Success of Human Development in Countries

The measurement of a country’s economic and social status is often considered one of the most critical and highly debated issues in regard to global and regional economic research. After reviewing the first few chapters of the required reading and learning the factors that compose...

The Importance of Healthy Competitive Nature

For some, parents placed them in athletic or music training programs since they could walk or even taught us how to speak several different languages since we started to talk. Others spent their childhood doing simpler things, avoiding true focus on one specific activity. Now...

Current Development and Perspectives of Pv Technologies

A few years back, PV technologies were uncommon and still considered a breakthrough innovation that could be connected yet in strict cases and at a very high cost. At that point, they began being utilized for space applications and on account of the advancement in...

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