The Concept of Lifespan Development

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One thing that is constant in the human life is change. From conception to death the human life goes through several changes including but not limited to physical appearance, mental and cognitive processes, development of personality and general health. Through these changes, psychologists have developed the concept of lifespan development which they describe as changes that occur in individuals as they go through life. These changes are both physical and cognitive (Boyd, & Bee, 2009). These changes are permanent and are affected by factors like environment, context or culture, lifestyle biological and psychological factors.

This paper will focus on lifespan development among adult Aboriginal and White Australians with emphasis on bio psychosocial and cultural factors that affect or influence their development.

The aboriginal group and white Australians

The aboriginal is believed to be the indigenous Australians that have existed prior to the colonization of the territory by the British. It is believed that they among the people that have managed to maintain the same adaptation model even during the modern times. There are unique in the social, cultural and religious organization which is based on simplicity.

The white Australians also was known as European Australians are residents of that country that has their origin from the Europeans and Caucasus. They form the majority of the modern Australian population since the 19th century after most of the indigenous population was displaced through colonization. Their culture is characterized by modern practices that have been accepted as the norm in the civilized society.

Comparison betw  een cultural factors

Previously, focus on human development was focused on childhood and early adult life. Thereafter, it was not given much attention as it was thought to have stopped at the young age, however, research has shown that human development continues through old change. One of the factors that contribute to these changes in adulthood is culture (Schaie & Willis, 2010). According to Albert & Trommsdorff (2014), the recent trend of neglecting culture has prevented sufficient study on the subject. However, the available data shows that culture plays a role in lifespan development. The first way that culture plays a role in the lifespan development is through social age. Defined by expectations, social age defines a group to which one belongs and the roles they are supposed to play as they advance in chronological age. In both aboriginal and white Australian cultures, age determines the roles that young adults of both genders play in the society (Eisenstadt, 2017). Based on social expectation set out in the culture, young adults and mature adults develop adaptations that help adjust to the new roles.  These adaption mechanisms triggered by cultural expectations and standard determines how these young adults develop for their new responsibilities and also helps them transition into the next phase. Also, in both aboriginal and white Australian culture, life events that normative are based on the cultural expectation of the society formulated along different age bracket. In short, in the aboriginal society, culture acts as a change trigger. These changes affect the lifespan development of the people who experience them. The other aspect of culture that affects the development span is socialization. Different cultures have different ways of socialization that are determined by the set factors in the society. Among the Aboriginal culture, socialization is an important aspect of the community with various activities meant to promote socialization. Further, culture influences values and shared ideas that determine adaptive competencies among adults within that culture. This is true of the aboriginal group whose life values are deeply entrenched in their culture.

Comparison between bio-psychosocial factors

Bio-psychosocial factors are a combination of biological, psychological and social factors that affect human development (Baltes, Lindenberger, & Staudinger, 2006). Biological factors are genetically originated, meaning that there are inborn and are passed on through generations, psychological factors are thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, while social factors are determined by the environment in which one develops.

In both aboriginal and white Australian groups, lifespan development in adults which include aging is affected by the biological change in hormones as the body grows. These changes make are triggered by advancement in age and the need to adjust to advancements (Baltes, Lindenberger, & Staudinger, 2006).  Biological changes affect the body functions which can alter the way one looks, feels, and interact. With the advancement of age comes reduced body activities and low energy levels making one to be inactive or less active than when they were young.

Psychological factors that affect lifespan development in both Aboriginal and White Australians include. Emotions, thoughts and general behavior patterns. All adults experience some kind of emotional changes in the course of their lives. While the factors that trigger emotional changes might differ, the effect of these changes in young adults remains the same through different cultures (Craik & Bialystok, 2006). Both Aboriginal and White Australians experience emotions changes that come with sexual maturity. These emotions influence how they develop to adult members of their societies. Also, young adults from the two cultures develop based on the prevailing thought pattern under which they are brought up. The way one is programmed in their thought patterns determine how well they develop into adulthood (Whitbourne & Whitbourne, 2010).  Those who have positive thoughts about life, develop to be responsible adults than compared with those who have negative thoughts.

The other factor that affects the lifespan development of both Aboriginal and White Australian is social factors. The environment in which one grows in determined how they developed. How fast or slow the Aboriginal or the White Australians age is determined by the kind of lifestyle they live based on the environment. Since the Aboriginals mostly live on the outskirts and have maintained their ancient ways of life, their development is influenced by this environment (Stuart-Hamilton, 2012). Their aging is slow as compared to the white Australians who are prone to risks behaviors because of their urban lifestyle.

Lifespan development is a continuous process that starts at conception and continues through to the time of death. In various stages of life, and the individual develops based on different factors that influence such development. The main factors that influence lifespan development include cultural and bio-psychosocial factors which are a combination of biological, psychological and social factors.


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October 13, 2023

Culture Life

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