What Is Developmental Psychology?

What is Developmental Psychology

As you all know this life has never been a constant thing. You will experience a lot of change at every step in this life. Changes are good when you move towards development. Humans throughout their life go through the developmental process. We come to this planet as a child, live here, and die. In between life to death, we experience a lot of changes in ourselves. Some of the changes are evident and are considered normal while there are changes that are not expected, or human develops through interaction with the environment. Developmental psychology is a branch of psychology which studies the changes in human nature throughout life.

Developmental psychologists research to study the reason behind these changes and their effects on the overall growth of humans. This will help in controlling the violent behaviour that may arise due to the psychological impact on human development.

What is Developmental Psychology?

Psychologists are trying to comprehend the process of normative development in humans. Experts are trying their best to understand the problems to stop them in the initial stages. By learning about the process of normative development, experts are better able to identify main problems and serve early interventions that can result in better outcomes. Developmental psychologists can work with people of all ages to treat issues and support growth, although some choose to specialise in a specific area such as childhood, adulthood, or old age. If you are facing any issue in this branch of psychology or need further assistance in your academic assignments, go for online assignment help and ask the experts to solve your queries.

Development Psychology is a fragment of psychology which studies how individuals grow and evolve with time in life. The students who choose this as their field of study don’t just study the physical changes which emerge in the growth process, but, they also observe the emotional, social and cognitive development. 

Issues That Developmental Psychologists May Help Patients

Here are some of the most common issues which people face and need a development psychologist to deal with:

  • Language acquisition
  • The initiation of self-concept and self-awareness
  • Motor skill development
  • Emotional development
  • Moral Reasoning
  • Social influences on the development of children
  • Cultural influence on the development of children
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Personality Development
  • Cognitive Development

The students have to invest a lot of time to investigate, observe and assess the way the above-listed one processes in normal scenarios. However, they also have an interest in exploring new factors which may be responsible for disrupting the developmental processes. These psychologists can help many people dealing with multiple issues in getting back to their normal day-to-day lives.

They try to understand how and why individuals grow and evolve, to gain better knowledge in this field. Then they apply the same to help people to come out of the issues and live their lives to the fullest. It is vital to observe and understand the process of normal development in human life and identify possible issues early. This is because some untreated issues which may seem trivial at the initial stage can grow bigger and turn into frustration, low self-esteem and even depression.

The study of developmental psychology helps professionals to use an array of theories to think and observe various aspects of human development. For instance, a professional studying intellectual development in a kid may consider Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. This theory outlines the main stages of child development. The psychologist may also consider how a child’s behaviour gets affected by his or her relationship with caregivers, which implies that Bowlby’s theory of attachment can be a prime consideration. Vygotsky’s theory of socio-cultural development and Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development are two known theoretical frameworks which focus on the influence of social forces on development. Every approach aims at multiple development aspects such as social, parental or mental influences on how kids grow.

While studying Developmental psychology students are mostly interested in the observation of the way social relationships affect the growth process of children and adults.

Signs That You Need a Developmental Psychologist

Development is a process which mostly follows a predictable pattern; however, at times some aspects may go out of track. It has been observed that parents emphasise developmental milestones which shows the capabilities children usually show at a specific point in time. They are related to four areas:

  • Social/ emotional
  • Communication
  • Cognitive
  • Physical

For instance, walking is a kind of physical milestone that almost every child achieves between the age of 9 to 12 months. In case a child is not able to walk and not even making efforts to walk by reaching the age of 16 to 18 months, parents might move to consultation. They might head towards a physician to assess if their child is dealing with a development issue or not.

Every child has a different development rate when a kid does not meet specific milestones within a stipulated time; there may be root for concern. The parents should stay aware of all the milestones, and seek help from developmental psychology specialists to enable their kids to grow better and overcome delays in development.

 Psychologists can offer strength to those people who are facing issues and problems related to ageing at any point of time in life. They usually observe the behaviour of children to determine whether they are facing developmental issues or not. Also, they can help elderly people to overcome health problems linked to old age like emotional difficulties, degenerative brain disorders, cognitive declines and physical struggles.

Struggles You May Come Across at Multiple Stages of Development

Struggles at multiple stages of Development

You might have thought that developmental psychologists usually break down the process of development into different phases of life, and this assumption is true. Every categorization of development shows a phase in which a varied milestone is achieved. The individuals may face specific changes at every stage, and those who study developmental psychology in detail can assist such people in dealing with their stress.


This period is gaining a lot of interest from psychologists who want to know the way the earliest influence on human development can affect the growth in the case of children. The psychologists also observe primary changes occur pre-birth; the fetuses react to stimuli in the mother’s womb. Also, they observe the perceptions and sensations which fetuses can identify before birth. Developmental psychology involves studying the potential problems including the use of the maternal drug, down syndrome and other diseases which can be inherited by the child and impact development in future.

Early Childhood

This is the period called as early childhood witness noticeable growth and change in children. During this period, developmental psychology focuses on studying the cognitive, emotional and physical growth of kids. The psychologists provide interventions for smooth development by overcoming all hurdles. They also pay attention to helping every kid to live life to its fullest. The healthcare experts and parents of a child always try to ensure that the child is growing properly. They want to make sure that he or she is getting the right nutrition and achieving cognitive milestones.

Middle Childhood

This period of children’s life contains both physical maturation and social influences to a great extent. The children enter elementary school and get new social exposure. This phase of their lives put them into new situations, and this builds a different mindset as well. They want to make a mark on their new world. By doing so they gain competency through their schoolwork, they make new friends and also strive to construct their sense of self. Parents often search for the assistance of developmental psychology experts to help their children to come out of the problems which they may counter at this age.


Now, this is one of those periods where every kid faces a great transition. This period is usually the most different and interesting from other phases of life. Many people go through psychological turmoil during adolescence. There is a great psychologist Erik Erikson, who shares his view on this phase of life and states that this period has a lot of identity formation. At this point, kids get a strong will to test their limits. They surround themselves with questions like who they are and what they want to achieve in life. Many of them are in a constant struggle of exploring new identities. Developmental psychology experts can help teenagers to a great extent in dealing with challenges. These professionals can help the kids to understand their unique issues and the best ways to tackle them. Their help can make the transitions way easier and smoother for teenagers who often struggle hard to cope with their issues. All the problems related to an adolescent period like emotional turmoil, social pressure and puberty can be dealt with in a better way with expert assistance.

Early Adulthood

This phase of adulthood witnesses the generation and maintenance of relationships. People make close friendships, intimacy and bonds. Many of them start a new family. All these things are crucial milestones of adulthood. The people who can build and manage relationships get enriching experiences, social support and connectedness. On the other hand, those who struggle a lot with their relationships are left lonely. If you are feeling issues as well, then visiting a developmental psychology expert is always the best option.

Middle Adulthood

At this stage of life, people develop a sense of responsibility and contribution to their society. Erikson has explained this phase as a tumult between stagnation and generativity. People, who are involved in the world, contribute things which will last forever and leave a mark on the upcoming generation as well to offer them a sense of purpose. They witness a lot of activities including community involvement, responsibilities related to family, group memberships etc.

Old Age

This period is mostly considered as a phase in which a person will suffer poor health. However, it is just a probability; the fact is that at this age people are more likely to fall ill than earlier and not a compulsion that everybody will become weaker and unhealthy. This is why many people around us are living their lives actively, even after reaching the age of 80s and 90s.

The health-related issues are likely to get increased at this age. The developmental psychology issues grow more at this age, and mental declines are recorded at their utmost. Diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia may trigger at this age. Erikson considered old age as a reflection of life. People who look back and see that they had a balanced, happy and well-lived journey have a sense of wisdom. Such people are ready to face the end of life with satisfaction. On the other hand, those who look back and have a lot of despair and regret about their life attract diseases.

Getting Diagnosed With a Development Problem

To find out whether you are going through a developmental psychology issue or not, you must visit a psychologist. Other than this, a perfectly trained professional can also help. Both of them will carry out a developmental evaluation or screening. For kids, such assessments include the process of reviewing medical history. This is followed by standardised testing to observe communication, physical development, emotional skills, cognitive skills and social skills. In case a problem is detected, you may be referred or advised to visit a developmental psychology specialist, it may be a physical therapist, an occupational therapist or even a speech-language pathologist.

Why You Should Not Be Sad About a Developmental Psychology Issue?

Once you figure out that you are having a developmental psychology-related issue, it is natural to be scared and confused. In case not you but a loved one is going through the same it can be traumatic as well. However, there is no need to push you into the sea of sadness. The right treatment can bring everything back to normalcy.

If this happens to you or your loved one, the first thing you must do is to don’t take it all negatively. The more you will stress yourself, the more entangled you will be. Just, sit back for some time and make yourself more aware of the issues. Invest your time in finding out all you should know about developmental psychology from its diagnosis to all the available treatments. Try to learn it all. You can even make a list of queries and concerns which pops up in your head and discuss all of them with your doctor, healthcare professional or developmental psychology expert. Make yourself active in the procedure, and you will surely feel better. Being informed and equipped is the best thing to do when it comes to fighting any issue.


Developmental psychology is a scientifically conducted study, it deals with the changes that take place in an individual during his/her lifetime. initially, it only studies the developmental changes in infants but later includes adolescence, ageing and complete human life. Developmental psychology studies change various topics like motor skills, cognitive development, moral understanding, emotional development etc.

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