American Psychological

Application of Concepts in Human Development

Student’s name

Institutional affiliation

Application of Concepts in Human Development


The American Psychological Association describes human lifespan development studies as to how human beings mature, learn, and transition from infancy through adulthood to the elderly phases of life. Human development across the lifespan focuses on focal areas that include social, physical, cognitive, intellectual, personality, perceptual, and emotional growth. The human lifespan consists of various stages with infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood being the most common stages. The study of lifespan development provides a way for people to make adjustments and discoveries in their lives and improve their understanding of other people. This text discusses the concepts in the four stages of the human life span including beginning to conception to birth, the first two years, early childhood, and middle childhood.

Beginning-Conception to Birth

Some of the common terminologies linked with the conception stage of development are the germinal, embryonic, and fetal stages. These are three main stages through which the process of prenatal development. The germinal stage is the first two weeks that follow conception. A few hours after conception, a zygote (fertilized egg) starts making its way to the uterus through the fallopian tubes. Cell division starts taking place following 24 hours of conception through a process known as mitosis (Wright, 2020). Cells continue multiplying until they separate into two distinctive masses and the blastocyst arrives and implants itself to the uterine wall. The embryonic period starts from the third week of conception and ends on the eighth week. The embryonic stage plays a significant role in brain development. After four weeks of conception, the neural tube forms which later develops to become the central nervous system. The fetal period starts from the ninth week and lasts until the baby is born. In this stage, more important changes to the brain take place. The stage is characterized by intense growth and changes as early body structures and systems form. The three stages of zygote development are critical processes for every person. The three concepts reflect in my personal development in the sense that had they not taken place, I would not be who I am today. The three stages contributed to developing a healthy brain, spinal cord, and nervous system. The fact that I have a well functioning nervous system is because of the germinal, embryonic, and fetal stages of conception. The knowledge of the three concepts of the germinal, embryonic, and fetal stages can contribute to my future because by understanding the stages of lifespan development, I am able to make informative discoveries that can change lives. I will be better placed to improve my future and make informed choices if I learn more about who I am and reflect on my childhood.

First Two Years

The three common concepts used in Berger’s text in this stage include separation anxiety, developmental milestones, and infant temperament. Separation anxiety is normal in nearly all young children. Most children that are between 18 months and three years tend to suffer from separation anxiety and tend to be show clinginess to some degree. Some of the common indicators of separation anxiety in toddlers include severe crying, wanting to be around their parents at all times, and refusal to do things that need separation. Toddlers and infants that suffer separation anxiety also come off as violent in their interactions with other children and throw emotional temper tantrums. On the other hand, developmental milestones refer to the physical skills and behaviors that can be observed in children and infants as they develop and grow. They include activities such as walking, crawling, talking, or rolling over. The milestones vary according to the age range, and there is a normal range for achieving every milestone. Infant temperament is the innate personality that an infant possesses. Essentially, temperament has to do with how babies interact and react in their immediate environment. Temperament exists from a child’s birth. Babies that are less active from birth tend to have challenges adjusting to new scenarios while slow-to-warm babies are more mellow. Temperament is evident in my cousin’s daughter. When she was an infant, she was a quiet child that liked to keep to herself and did not like interacting with other children. This reflects in her current personality as she struggles to adjust to new environments. She also suffers separation anxiety. Every time school is almost resuming, she struggles to adjust to her normal school routine and occasionally asks if she can stay home with her parents and not attend school. Developmental milestones reflect how she took a long time before she can start speaking as a toddler. She delayed speaking, which has somehow affected who she is because she does not like speaking to people much. The concepts of separation anxiety, developmental milestones, and temperament can help me understand myself and my personality type. With this knowledge I can understand why I struggle with some activities and excel in others and it can help me work on my shortcomings.

Early Childhood

Learning language, greater independence and a sense of self are some of the concepts that pertain to the early childhood stage of human development. Early childhood is the stage between 2 and 6 years. It is the age when the child begins formal schooling. The child starts to learn language and record notable growth in their vocabulary. At this stage, children learn language through memory, imitation and paying attention. Children pick up new words by associating the word they hear to what it refers to by attending to the words. In majority of the children, the process of learning a language is usually automatic. Children at this age also demonstrate increased independence which is important for nurturing. They do this by getting themselves dressed, brushing their teeth, setting up the table, or picking out their preferred outfits. Preschoolers at this age also demonstrate of sense of self by defining themselves in a descriptive and not a judgmental manner. The children’s overall mental image of themselves is often limited to their ages, sexes, names, abilities, and physical attributes. The concepts of learning a language, greater independence and a sense of self apply to my nephew in all aspects. I have had the privilege of watching him grow as he has lived with us since he was born. He started becoming very self-aware when he was five years old. He knew his full names, and was very vocal about himself. He would talk about his favorite colors and games he loved playing. He also showed independence at an early age. He would brush his teeth after dinner by himself and help his mother decide what he wanted to wear the next morning. Knowing about independence and sense of self helps my future by keeping me informed about the psychosocial changes that occur in human development. By understanding myself and understanding the history of development, I am better placed to make better choices based on my own abilities and capabilities.

Middle Childhood

Psychological ageing, accomplishments, and comparisons are some of the concepts that emerge in regard to the middle childhood stage of development. At this stage psychological ageing often occurs in the sense that children often struggle with their identity. In essence, children struggle to find meaning and coherence in their actions, feelings, and thoughts. As regards accomplishments, at this stage, children often result in comparing themselves to other people in both academics and extra-curricular activities such as sports. The students that are embraced and recognized are those that demonstrate strong performances in both schoolwork and games. They are rewarded in the form of awards at school. These concepts apply to my younger brother who is eleven years old. I have seen him display some of these traits, including a strong sense of accomplishments. Whenever he finishes tasks that he had set for himself or those he has been assigned, he gets excited and yearns recognition from me or my parents. Additionally, psychological aging shows in the way he struggles to find meaning in some of his actions. The concepts will be helpful for my future career as they will help me understand the psychological functioning of a child. This way, I will be in an excellent position to help children resolve the day-to-day life struggles that affect them.


Wright, S. M. (2020). Flipping the script: Utilizing a modified Harvard case study model in undergraduate life span development classes. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 6(2), 104.