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development psychology

the study of changes that occur as an individual matures

grasping reflex

an infant's clinging response to a touch on the palm of his or her hand

rooting reflex

an infant's response in turning toward the source of touching that occurs anywhere around his or her mouth


the internally programmed growth of a child

telegraphic speech

the kind of verbal utterances in which words are left out, but the meaning is usually clear


a specific plan for knowing the world


the process of fitting objects and experiences into one's schemas


the adjustment of one's schemas to include newly observed events and experiences

object permanence

a child's realization that an object exists even when he or she cannot see or touch it

representational thought

the intellectual ability of a child to picture something in his or her mind


the principle that a given quantity does not change when its appearance is changed


a young child's inability to understand another person's perspective


inherited tendencies or responses that are displayed by newborn animals when they encounter new stimuli in their environment

critical period

a specific time in development when certain skills or abilities are most easily learned

authoritarian family

parents attempt to control, shape, and evaluate the behavior and attitudes of children in accordance with a set code of conduct

democratic/authoritative family

adolescents participate in decisions affecting their lives

permissive/laissez-faire family

children have the final say; parents are less controlling and have a non punishing, accepting attitude toward children


the process of learning the rules of behavior of the culture within which an individual is born and will live


the process by which a child adopts the values and principles of the same-sex parent


the process of redirecting sexual impulses into learning tasks

role taking

children's play that involves assuming adult roles, thus enabling the child to experience different points of view

initiation rites

ceremonies or rituals in which an individual is admitted to new status or accepted into a new position


sexual maturation; the end of childhood and the point when reproduction is first possible


the first menstrual period


period during which males achieve first ejaculation


the condition during adolescence in which the growth or maturation of bodily parts is uneven


a process whereby an individual seeks to explain an often unpleasant emotion or behavior in a way that will preserve his or her self-esteem

identity crisis

a period of inner conflict during which adolescents worry intensely about who they are

social learning theory

Bandura's view of human development; emphasizes interaction


a small, exclusive group of people within a larger group


acting in accordance with some specified authority

anorexia nervosa

a serious eating disorder characterized by a fear of gaining weight that results in prolonged self-saturation and dramatic weight loss

bulimia nervosa

a serious eating disorder characterized by compulsive overeating usually followed by self-induced vomiting or laxative abuse

gender identity

the sex group (masculine or feminine) to which an individual biologically belongs

gender role

the set of behaviors that society considers appropriate for each sex

gender stereotype

an oversimplified or distorted generalization about the characteristics of men and women


combining or confusing traditionally male and female characteristics

gender schema

a set of behaviors organized around how either a male or female should think and behave


the biological event in which a woman's productions of sex hormones is sharply reduced


the desire, in middle age, to use one's accumulated wisdom to guide future generation


a discontinuation of development and a desired to recapture the post

decremental model of aging

idea that progressive physical and mental decline are inevitable with age


prejudice or discrimination against the elderly

senile dementia

decreases in mental abilities experienced by some people in old age

alzheimer's disease

a condition that destroys a persons's ability to think, remember, relate to others, and care for herself or himself


the study of dying and death


a facility designed to care for the special needs of the dying

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