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Life Span Approach to Growth and Human Development: A Broad General Overview of the Model

TTI Publishing Ltd


The traditional approach to the study of development emphasizes extensive change in childhood. But today, it is no longer fashionable to study development within this narrow confine of framework without reference to the theoretical approach that asserts that growth and development begins at conception and continues throughout life. This perspective which is known as the life span perspective, is chronicled in this article. In doing so, it takes a bird’s eye-view of some of the critical aspects of this approach and posits that the life-span model is inter alia, multidirectional; development is life long, multidimensional, plastic, multidisciplinary and contextual. Moreover, the paper holds that amongst other things, the life span approach helps us to gain an understanding of our own history, as an infant, a child, an adolescent or a young adult – Finally, the paper draws the reader’s attention to the fact that by adopting the life-span perspective, we gain insights into what our lives will be like as we grow into middle age or old age, who we are, how we came to be this way and where our future will take us.

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