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what is developmental psychology definition

what is developmental psychology definition Developmental psychology (or psychopathology) has emerged as an important
field over the last 25 years and takes a multidisciplinary approach to
development and the understanding of developmental problems. It focuses on
both the effect of development on disorder and the ways in which disorder affects
ongoing developmental processes (Cicchetti & Cohen, 1995).
Developmental psychopathology focuses on:
1 The interplay between normal and abnormal development.
2 Risk and protective factors in biological, psychological and social spheres of
development.
3 Delineating pathways to the development of mental disorder and
psychopathology.
4 Understanding critical periods: the notion that there are periods in
development that are optimal for the development of specific skills and that
these are also periods of greatest vulnerability to disruption of their
acquisition. An example is the capacity to form attachment relationships for
which experiences in the first two years of life appear to be critical.
5 Understanding brain/environment interactions: there is increasing interest
in the way in which neurological development and organisation are
influenced by the social environment and quality of social interaction,
particularly during the infant period of rapid brain growth. Current research
demonstrates that the optimal growth of the infant brain depends on the
quality of the relationship between the primary caregiver and infant (Shore,
1997). The anatomical differentiation of the brain is dependent on
appropriate stimulation from the environment and brain function can be
altered by experiences at certain sensitive periods of development. An area of
research interest is the ongoing effect of brain/environment interaction on
development and subsequent functioning.

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