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What Is Maturation In Psychology

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The Growth of Knowledge: Crash Course Psychology #18

Assimilation refers to a part of the adaptation process initially proposed by Jean Piaget. Assimilation plays an important role in how we learn about the world around us. In early childhood, children are constantly assimilating new information and experiences into their existing knowledge about the world.

Caveats About Identifying Maturational Processes

When we designate a segment of development as a maturational change, we must remember that we have done just thatdesignated. Any dissection of human development into segments imposes onto it our own interests and timelines. In nature, maturation is an integrated whole, but when we describe maturation we would be overwhelmed if we did not focus on particular points of maturity within specific domains. For example, indicators of maturity and their maturational processes will differ depending upon whether one is looking at cognitive maturation, sexual maturation, or emotional maturation each has its own maturity endpoint, yet in reality they are not as distinct as their separate titles would suggest. We may discuss them as separate maturational processes, but from the perspective of the developing organism , they are a single, dramatically integrated process.

Relation Between Growth Maturation And Learning

After reading this article you will learn about the relation between growth, maturation and learning.

The growth of the body is an important factor in determining the pattern of behaviour. Normal growth is necessary for normal behaviour to take place. Individuals with arrested growth or retarded growth or accelerated growth exhibit different patterns of behaviour. Thus, in an individual in whom the brain has not grown adequately, the behaviour is also found to be underdeveloped.

Closely related to the process of growth is the process of maturation. An individuals nerves and muscles must grow up to a certain stage and be ready to undertake a certain activity before the particular behaviour can be displayed. For example, working and speech do not appear before a certain age.

It has also been seen that people differ in their rates of maturation. It has been found that any amount of stimulation or practice is useless unless an individual reaches a certain optimal level of maturation. In fact, any attempt at premature training and practice may even be harmful. Thus, growth and maturation and processes which produce or fail to produce the necessary basic internal conditions for the appearance of different patterns of behaviour, are innate processes and lay down the limits for behaviour.

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What Is Maturation In Human

Maturation is the process of development that occurs as we grow and change. There are many types of maturation including physical and cognitive. Physical maturation occurs when our body grows and changes as we get older. Cognitive maturation is the process of development in the way we think as we grow.

What Is The Maturation Effect


The maturation effect is any biological or psychological process within an individual that systematically varies with the passage of time, independent of specific external events. Examples of the maturation effect include growing older, stronger, wiser, and more experienced. These examples involve longlasting changes.

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Cultural And Religious Issues

In Jewish religion, the “becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah” refers to the ceremony declaring that a Jewish child is morally and ethically responsible for their actions, is eligible to be called to read from the Torah, as well as responsibility to abide by the 613 laws written in the Torah. Traditionally, this ceremony awarded adult legal rights as well as the right to marry. Similarly, Christian churches hold Confirmation as a rite of passage in early adolescence. The rite holds fewer practical responsibilities than the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, but carries ethical and moral consequences. In all churches, of age Christians are responsible for going to church on Sundays and for confessing their sins periodically within certain denominations it is also a common practice to warn children that it would be a mortal sin to lapse in these responsibilities.

A number of traditions are associated with the earlier critical maturation point of menarche. A girl’s menarche is commemorated in varying ways, with some traditional Jewish customs defining it as a contamination, with the customs shaped around cleaning it away and ensuring it does not make anything or one unclean. This served a historical purpose of blocking women from taking part in economic or political events. The Maori of New Zealand, the Tinne Indians of the Yukon, the Chichimilia of Mexico, and the Eskimos, among other groups, all hold varyingly negative beliefs about the time of menarche and what dangers it brings.

Popular Theories Stages & Models

The key figures in the history of developmental psychology are predominantly known for their own theories and models.

Each of these models has contributed to the understanding of the process of human development and growth.

Furthermore, each theory and model focuses on different aspects of development: social, emotional, psychosexual, behavioral, attachment, social learning, and many more.

Here are some of the most popular models of development that have heavily contributed to the field of developmental psychology.

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When To See A Developmental Psychologist

While development tends to follow a fairly predictable pattern, there are times when things might go off course. Parents often focus on what are known as developmental milestones, which represent abilities that most children tend to display by a certain point in development. These typically focus on one of four different areas: physical, cognitive, social/emotional, and communication.

For example, walking is one physical milestone that most children achieve sometime between the ages of 9 and 15 months. If a child is not walking or attempting to walk by 16 to 18 months, parents might consider consulting with their family physician to determine if a developmental issue might be present.

While all children develop at different rates, when a child fails to meet certain milestones by a certain age, there may be cause for concern. By being aware of these milestones, parents can seek assistance, and healthcare professionals can offer interventions that can help kids overcome developmental delays.

These professionals often evaluate children to determine if a developmental delay might be present, or they might work with elderly patients who are facing health concerns associated with old age such as cognitive declines, physical struggles, emotional difficulties, or degenerative brain disorders.

Developmental psychologists can provide support to individuals at all points of life who may be facing developmental issues or problems related to aging.

Problems With Alleged Negative Correlation Between Plasticity And Critical Thinking

Adolescence: Crash Course Psychology #20

One problem with the notion of mental maturity as in adults being both more critical and less plastic than children is that it assumes a negative correlation between plasticity and independent critical thinking. This assumption is criticized as the ability to clearly distinguish ideas from each other and critically assess them would increase the capacity for self-correction and not decrease it, making the correlation between plasticity and independent critical thinking positive and not negative.

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Relevance To Childhood Development

Gesell observed that the motor skills of children developed in a fixed, or stage-like, pattern that were mostly unaffected by external influences. He called this process maturation. Maturation can first be seen in the developing embryo, where development occurs in the same pattern for every human without variation. In the embryo, the heart and cardiovascular system develop first, quickly followed by the central nervous system…

What Is The Difference Between Maturation And Learning

The key difference between maturation and learning is that learning comes through experience, knowledge, and practice while maturation comes from within the individual as he grows and develops. Maturation, on the other hand, is a process where the individual learns to react to situations in an appropriate manner.

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Biological And Evolutionary Markers

Where maturity is an earned status that often carries responsibilities, immaturity is then defined in contrast by the absence of serious responsibility and in its place is the freedom for unmitigated growth. This period of growth is particularly important for humans, who undergo a unique four-stage pattern of development that has been theorized to confer a number of evolutionarily competitive benefits . In infancy, motor development stretches long into the early years of life, necessitating that young infants rely on their mothers almost entirely. This state of helplessness provides for an intensely close bond between infant and mother, where separation is infrequent and babies are rarely out of a caregiver’s arms. For non-human primates and all non-human mammalian species the growth of the first permanent molar marks the end of lactation and the beginning of foraging, setting an early requirement for independence. Human children, on the other hand, do not have an advanced motor control capable of foraging and also lack the digestive capacity for unprepared food, so they have always relied on the active involvement of their mother and other caregivers in their care into childhood.

History Of Developmental Psychology


Developmental psychology first appeared as an area of study in the late 19th century . Developmental psychology focused initially on child and adolescent development, and was concerned about childrens minds and learning .

There are several key figures in developmental psychology. In 1877, the famous evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin undertook the first study of developmental psychology on innate communication forms. Not long after, physiologist William Preyer published a book on the abilities of an infant.

The 1900s saw many significant people dominating the developmental psychology field with their detailed theories of development: Sigmund Freud , Jean Piaget , Erik Erikson , Lev Vygotsky , John Bowlby , and Albert Bandura .

In more recent years, it has broadened further to include prenatal development . Developmental psychology is now understood to encompass the complete lifespan .

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Where Does Maturation Come From

The first records of maturation come from around 1400. It derives from the Latin verb mtrre, meaning to grow ripe or to bring to maturity. In Middle English, maturation meant suppuration and is still sometimes used in this way today.

Maturation is the noun form of the verb maturate. Maturate means about the same thing as mature, but its much more formal and much less commonly usedits almost always used in technical contexts. A person usually isnt said to maturatethey mature. Maturation, however, is perhaps most commonly used to refer to the process of a person maturing. Its other uses are often scientific, especially within the field of biology.

Banduras Social Learning Theory

American psychologist Albert Bandura proposed the social learning theory . Bandura did not believe that classical or operant conditioning was enough to explain learned behavior because some behaviors of children are never reinforced . He believed that children observe, imitate, and model the behaviors and reactions of others .

Bandura suggested that observation is critical in learning. Further, the observation does not have to be of a live actor, such as in the Bobo doll experiment . Bandura et al. considered that learning and modeling can also occur from listening to verbal instructions on behavior performance.

Banduraâs social theory posits that both environmental and cognitive factors interact to influence development.

Banduras developmental theory has been criticized for not considering biological factors or childrens autonomic nervous system responses .

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A Look At Positive Developmental Psychology

Contemporary theories of developmental psychology often encompass a holistic approach and a more positive approach to development.

Positive psychology has intersected with developmental disciplines in areas such as parenting, education, youth, and aging .

These paradigms can all be grouped together under the umbrella of positive developmental psychology. This fresh approach to development focuses on the wellbeing aspects of development, while systematically bringing them together .

  • Positive parenting is the approach to childrenâs wellbeing by focusing on the role of parents and caregivers .
  • Positive education looks at flourishing in the context of school .
  • Positive youth development is the productive and constructive focus on adolescence and early adulthood to enhance young peoples strengths and promote positive outcomes .
  • Positive aging, also known as healthy aging, focuses on the positivity of aging as a healthy, normal stage of life .

Much of the empirical and theoretical work connected to positive developmental psychology has been going on for years, even before the emergence of positive psychology itself .

We recommend this related article Applying Positive Psychology in Schools & Education: Your Ultimate Guide for further reading.

What Is Maturation In Psychology

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In psychology, maturation is the process of development in which an individual matures or reaches full functionality. Originally, maturation examined only biological forces, such as the aging process, involved in a childs changes in behavior. Maturation theories evolved to include cognitive development as a result of biological maturation and environmental experiences. Modern concepts of maturation theorize that it is the process of learning to cope and to react in emotionally appropriate ways.

Along with growth and learning, maturation is one of three processes that play a central role in a persons development. Maturation does not necessarily happen along with aging or physical growth, but is a part of growth and development.

The concept of maturation was pioneered by Arnold Gesell in the 1940s. He emphasized natures role in human development. In developmental psychology, the concept of maturation was advanced by Jean Piaget. For him, simply growing up played a crucial role in childrens increasing capacity to understand their world, posing that children cannot undertake certain tasks until they are psychologically mature enough. Today, cognitive theories of development do not adopt a strictly biological perspective. Instead, maturation relates to the interplay between genetics and socio-environmental influences. Also, maturation is no longer seen as being limited to childhood.

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How Does A Mature Person Behave

A mature person will take responsibility for his own actions rather than blame others. An emotionally mature person is always adding value to himself and those around. Learning and developmental activities form a key part of his daily activities and goals. He is able to understand and manage his own emotions.

What Does A Developmental Psychologist Do

Developmental psychology has three goals: to describe, explain, and optimize human development.

Developmental psychologists categorize development in two ways:Normative Development

Normative development is the developmental pattern that is typical for most people. For example, a baby that hits developmental milestones consistently within the expected range is experiencing normative development.

Idiographic Development

Idiographic development describes individual variations outside of the range of normative development.Developmental psychologists aim to understand what normative development looks like for humans and how and why individual development may differ from what’s typically expected. Developmental psychologists hope to use this understanding to optimize human development, helping all people reach their full potential.

Developmental psychology is a highly research-oriented field, but developmental psychologists are employed in a wide variety of work. Developmental psychologists may:

  • Help parents develop secure attachments with their children
  • Research how skills are acquired
  • Help elderly adults cope with biological and social changes associated with aging
  • Work with government agencies to guide the implementation of social programs

A developmental psychologist may work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Universities
  • Assisted-living facilities

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Lifespan Perspectives On Maturation

Developmentalists also use maturation to describe the attainment of skills and capacities achieved later in life. For the adult, both the domains of maturation and the level of maturation reached become individualized. One adult may focus on attaining mature financial skills, while another may focus on attaining mature interpersonal skills or wisdom. Experiential opportunities and demands do play a stronger role in adult maturation than they do in childhood, but genetic input is still substantial. Both genes and prior developmental outcomes contribute to cognitive and physical capacity, and choice of environments, experiences, and acquaintances. Another input that may grow in strength across adulthood is volition. The adult capacity for meaning making and thus control over choices creates maturational opportunities that are not available to the young. These opportunities increase individual differences in both areas of competence and the levels of skill reached. These individual differences are part of the study of personality and the study of clinical and counseling applications. For all of these areas, maturity refers to maximally adaptive social, emotional, or cognitive functioning, and maturation is the process of achieving it.

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Gottesman, Irving I., and Daniel R. Hanson. 2005. Human Development: Biological and Genetic Processes. Annual Review of Psychology 56: 263286.

What Does Milestones Mean In Health And Social Care


Developmental milestones are behaviors or physical skills seen in infants and children as they grow and develop. Rolling over, crawling, walking, and talking are all considered milestones. The milestones are different for each age range. There is a normal range in which a child may reach each milestone.

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What Is Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychology is the branch of psychology that focuses on how people grow and change over the course of a lifetime. Those who specialize in this field are not just concerned with the physical changes that occur as people grow they also look at the social, emotional, and cognitive development that occurs throughout life.

Some of the many issues developmental psychologists assist with include:

  • Cognitive development during childhood and throughout life
  • Developmental challenges and learning disabilities
  • Emotional development
  • Self-awareness and self-concept
  • Social and cultural influences on child development

These professionals spend a great deal of time investigating and observing how these processes occur under normal circumstances, but they are also interested in learning about things that can disrupt developmental processes.

Nature Vs Nurture Debate

One of the oldest debates in the field of developmental psychology has been between nature and nurture .

Is human development a result of hereditary factors , or is it influenced by the environment ?

The polarized position of developmental psychologists of the past has now changed. The nature/nurture question now concerns the relationship between the innateness of an attribute and the environmental effects on that attribute .

The field of epigenetics describes how behavioral and environmental influences affect the expression of genes .

Many severe mental health disorders have a hereditary component. Yet, the environment and behavior, such as improved diet, reduced stress, physical activity, and a positive mindset, can determine whether this health condition is ever expressed .

When considering classic models of developmental psychology, such as Piagets schema theory and Freuds psychosexual theory, youll see that they both perceive development to be set in stone and unchangeable by the environment.

Contemporary developmental psychology theories take a different approach. They stress the importance of multiple levels of organization over the course of human development .

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