Psychology is regarded as the science of behavior. There are various subcategories of psychology like counseling, biopsychology, neural psychology, developmental among others. However, developmental psychology is a discipline of science that focuses on the development of human life. The discipline studies how changes occur in an individual and its cause. Furthermore, the discipline enables the psychologist to study human life at all age. The post aims to illustrate continuity-discontinuity issue as a current issue in developmental psychology. Also, the paper will provide a possible solution to the discussed issue.
Connectedness and pattern of development are the two primary component of the debate. This issue fundamentally addresses to what extent a person can change into someone different rather than he/she was at earlier stages or whether a person becomes older rendition of his/her early existence in development. Developmental psychologists who side with continues model characterize development as a process without distinct or sharp stages. The psychologist of continuous model further links adults and adolescents characteristics with their early development.
On the contrary, a psychologist who advocates for discontinuous model acknowledge development as a process associated with a series of discrete stages (Varta, R., & Miller, S. A, 2005). Moreover, this model states that an individual must complete one or more task before proceeding to the next stage. Freud proposed a psychosexual theory which states that an individual reaches mature adult sexuality in the genital stage after undergoing through oral, anal, phallic, and latency stages. Ultimately, there are also critical periods that a person undergoes according to proponents of stage theories of development. For instance, a crucial period for language acquisition is early childhood (5 years) (Berger, 2000). Thus, it easy for a child to master the second language in the bilingual home compared to most adults when they try to learn the second language during their adult years.
The truth lies between the extremes of abrupt discontinuity and gradual continuity. The idea that individuals make a rapid and abrupt transition from the initial stage to the following stage is supported by a little evidence, even in theories with emphasis on the stages. The emphasis of the continuity-discontinuity issue was majorly on the patterns and how they connect to development. It is worth to note that both poles of development include the changes that take place in the life of every child such as cognitive, intellectual, psychological, emotional, and physical development. The development steadily takes place unless there are circumstances of milestones of life and lifelike traumatic experience which can cause abrupt changes in the intellectual, psychological, and emotional development hence can have a great impact on individuals’ lives.
The life-span developmental psychology focuses on the change in behavior throughout individuals’ life course. Continuity-Discontinuity issue is of major interest to most psychologists. The continuous model psychologists have shown a link between the adult characteristics and early development. The Freud’s stage model explains the stages that children go through during development.
Berger, K. S. (2000). The developing person: Through childhood and adolescence (5th ed.). USA: Worth publishers.
Varta, R., & Miller, S. A. (2005). Child psychology. (4th, Ed.) New York: John Wiley &Sons, Inc.