Lifespan Development and Personality Paper Instructions: Developmental psychology seeks to address various aspects of human development, including physical, cognitive, social, moral, and personality development. Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper explaining the influences on physical and cognitive development. Do not use direct quotes toreference a source, rather paraphrase what other authors have provided, then provide the correctly formatted source citation. Select one of the stages of development below as the focus of your paper. Infancy: from birth to 1 year Early childhood: from 1-6 years Middle childhood: from 6-12 years Adolescence: from 12-18 years Early adulthood: from 18-40 years Middle adulthood: from 40-60 years Late adulthood: from 60+ years Address the following in relation to the selected stage: • Explain which factors affect physical development? Considerhereditary and environmental influences. Provide examples. • Explain which factors affect cognitive development? Considerhereditary and environmental influences. Provide examples. • Explain which factors affect social, moral, and personalitydevelopment? Describe the factors by explaining two theoretical perspectives associated with social, moral, and personality development. Include at least 2 “academically acceptable” (see Instructor Polices todetermine what is academically acceptable) references (1 can be fromyour reading) from the University Library. Format your paper in accordance with APA guidelines. Prior to submitting your paper for grading, consider submitting thepaper to the Center for Writing Excellence. Remember the CWE is notperfect; you are responsible for proofing the final paper.


Lifespan Development and Personality

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Lifespan Development and Personality


This paper comprises a comprehensive study of the aspects of human development by analyzing the factors that affect various stages. The article emphasizes on explaining the factors that influence various aspects including cognitive, physical, social, moral, and personal development. Using the adolescence stage (from 12 – 18 years) as the point of focus in this paper, we elaborate on the essence of the development aspects and their influence the development of an all-rounded personality. The development of individual various significant stages that determine the kind of a person one becomes in their future or a later date of life. The psychoanalysis of the aspects influencing development is a significant entity of understanding the lifespan development and personality.

Factors that Affect Physical Development

In the lifespan development, the adolescence stage (from 12 – 18 years) is a critical state of personality development. Scholars in psychology study find the puberty stage as a profoundly critical state that has many both external and internal influences on the physical development of individuals. The stage is profound with continuously physical development especial the sexual organs becoming more active and alive. The development of pubic hairs, sexual hormones, breast development and body shape take place. The stage marks the climax of sexual maturity stage with body structures of individuals taking new development shape to match the particular gender.

Hereditary factors or environment can determine the factors that affect physical development at the adolescence stage. The hereditary factors that influence physical development in adolescence are as a result of the genetic composition of individuals. Genetics entails a set of unique characteristics passed to the offspring hereditary from the parents (Steinberg, 2005). The genetics affect the growth rate, the size of the body parts, and the onset of growth events. For example, the genetic characteristics of the athletic body allow the development of body parts in conformity to elevating the ability of the child to perform well as an athlete. Also, puberty stage is triggered by hormone changes and are highly reliant on the parents’ genetic composition passed on to the new-born.

Also, further studies assert that genetics cannot inherently affect physical development of a child alone. Other factors such as the environment play a significant role in the physical development of a child. For example, in the case of identically identical twins, the physical development can be profoundly different depending on the environment the twins are exposed to in their growth period. Such environmental factors affecting physical development growth include nutrition, climate, and toxins exposure.

Factors that Affect Cognitive Development

The cognitive development of a child entails the persistent focus on the conceptual, perceptual, information processing, and language learning capabilities of a child. The cognitive development precisely focuses on the brain developments of a child exerting their ability to comprehend and conceptualizing things. The adolescence stage of development undergoes important developmental processes that determine the cognitive development of an individual. These can be sourced from hereditary and environmental factors.

The hereditary factors that affect cognitive development entail of the genetics passed from parents to the offspring. The cognitive development asserting of the child’s ability to think and reason logically, comprehend critical factors, and complex concepts are essential to the process (Malina et al., 2004). For example, the genetics of geniuses tend to be passed on to the offspring that can comprehend and execute complex computations at early ages compared to their peers at the same age.

The environmental factors affecting the cognitive development of a child at the adolescence stage depend on the issues they are exposed to in life. This period co-exists between the world of cognitive reasoning, analysis, and execution to determine the complexity of thinking widely known as formal logical operations. The cognitive development is illustrated in solving problems and issues that children come across at the adolescence stage (Roberts et al., 2005).  The puberty stage is mainly characterized by many issues taking place, these factors out as major influencers of the cognitive development of a child. For example, children in developed nations with extensive exposure to technology develop higher cognitive ability than in third world countries that languish in poverty and illiteracy.

Factors that Affect Social, Moral, and Personality Development

The social, moral, and personality development in the adolescence stage is one characterized by many challenges in developing a well-rounded person. The adolescence stage as it is profound with abnormal behaviors, moods, and rebellion, it exerts a tendency of inducing the high influence the child’s development. This paper expounds on two theories of development to explain the factors affecting social, moral, and personality development including Erickson’s stages of psychosocial development and Kohlberg’s stages of moral development.

Erik Erikson’s stages of development comprise of an eight-stage theory of human development which has been profoundly agreed in psychology studies of development. The eight-stage theory builds on Freud’s stages of psychosexual development that teenagers/adolescents undergo in their development (Crain, 2015). The emphasizes of Erikson’s theory manifests its focus on the social relationships and their impacts to personality development. In adolescence, the factors affecting the social, moral, and personality development includes social relationships, implementation of virtues, and the cultural exposure of the child.

Also, Lawrence Kohlberg stages of moral development entail of a theory that focuses on the personality development on the basis of moral thought. The theory ass proposed by Kohlberg is important to understanding the development of personality at the adolescent stage. At this stage, many factors are affecting the development of morality, in turn, influencing the personality development (Smetana, 2006). These include peer pressure, social relationships, family, and cultures in the society. Personality and moral development highly rely on the social encompass that an individual is exposed to in their development. For example, a child that has been brought up exposed to Christian values and social co-existence will be different from the child that has been exposed to salvage as a means of survival. The personality development, therefore, becomes distinct in relation to such factors that one is exposed to in the adolescence stage.


The choice of Erikson and Kohlberg’s theories of development provides coherent features of how development takes place at various stages. At the adolescence stage, the two theories find social relationships as a key factor to the moral, social, and personality development. On further development, physical and cognitive development are highly influenced by hereditary (or genetics) and environmental factors to the kind of growth they experience.



Crain, W. (2015). Theories of development: Concepts and applications. Psychology Press.

Malina, R. M., Bouchard, C., & Bar-Or, O. (2004). Growth, maturation, and physical activity. Human Kinetics.

Roberts, B. W., Wood, D., & Smith, J. L. (2005). Evaluating Five-factor theory and social investment perspectives on personality trait development. Journal of Research in Personality, 39(1), 166-184.

Smetana, J. G. (2006). Social-cognitive domain theory: Consistencies and variations in children’s moral and social judgments. Handbook of moral development, 119-153.

Steinberg, L. (2005). Cognitive and affective development in adolescence. Trends in cognitive sciences, 9(2), 69-74.

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