|PSY 250 – Lifespan Dev in Context|
|This course introduces students to developmental theory and research across the lifespan, exploring the interaction of heredity and environment and its influence from conception to death. In addition, the impact of socio-cultural contexts (e.g., culture, gender, socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity) on biological/physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development will be considered throughout.|
The Psych Lifespan Development in Context class focused on each stage of life from a biopsychosocial model. This means discussing the physical (including neurological), cognitive, and social changes that occur with each life stage from an clear defined and psychological perspective. As is described, each stage of life is covered. From prenatal until postmortem (the class ends with a cheerful unit on Death and Dying). The class was less focused on the differences between contexts than the description implies, and more focused on the “average” expectations for each stage. Although I wish there was more focus on scenarios in which the typical development does not occur, I understand that the research in those areas is not finished developing.
The coursework tries to focus around multiple cultural systems, however the textbook does not. The textbook leaves out the many criticisms for the popular western theories, and tends to only focus on American systems. Typically each chapter minimally addresses issues in SES and minority status, but is never critical of the way the concepts themselves were developed. For example, Mary Ainsworth’s parenting styles are western-centric, but the textbook only explains the different styles of each group rather than questioning whether the styles work for each group.