Developmental Theories


Offer explanations for lifespan changes 

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How children grow and develop

Developmental Theories

Place different emphases on the role of genetics and environmental influences
Developmental Theories
Understanding them is useful for

promoting children’s development

identification of developmental delays or irregularities


Maturational Theory
Suggested that developmentis primarily determined and 
pre-programmed by genetics is universal and predictable

explains all differences

  • Resulted in the concept of “milestones”


Psychoanalytical Theory

  • Suggested that development is governed by  unconscious processes
  • Focused on 5 stages of personality formation
  • Believed that instinct and gratification motivate behavior
  • Freud’s ideas are frequently rejected for lack of scientific evidence