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Introduction

As suggested by Lindenberger (2010), lifespan theories of development offer a comprehensive framework to describe, explain and optimise the cognitive development across different stages of life of an individual. These theories are based on two assumptions. First, cognitive development reflects on the working of biological components and cultural components and second, the biological component is invested in many cultural aspects throughout the development (Kline et al., 2018). Developmental theories analyse the growth and behaviour of children throughout their developmental stages and what interests them. Many theories, like Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychological Development, Ann Masten’s Resilience Theory, Psychological Student Development Theory and so on, offer valuable insights into the behaviour of individuals and how their performance is stimulated, maintained, directed and motivated (Saracho, 2023).

Human growth and development is an interaction of experiences from childhood that lays an impact on the later stages of life. An individual may encounter various challenges and obstacles while they are growing up, which may reflect on the events that occur in their lives (Balasundaram & Avulakunta, 2023). In this essay, we shall delve into the relationship between the two most significant stages and developments that are undergone in each one of them. The two stages being early childhood and adulthood. By venturing into these aspects of formative developmental theorisation, the present essay will attempt to identify the complicated elements that form a nexus between the developmental theories and the events. The current essay will eventually offer valuable insights into the influence of biopsychosocial, political and cultural variables associated with the development of an individual throughout the different stages of life.

Early Childhood Milestone: Language Acquisition

An instance that I recall involved uttering my first words as the most significant developmental milestone I had achieved in my early childhood stage. My parents noticed a development in my communicative abilities when I reached the age of 2 years. I had started associating sound with objects, actions and feelings. To point out the exact moment when I started my journey in the context of language learning and expression, I recall framing a meaningful sentence rather than just uttering a single word. This depicts my growth towards comprehensive and cohesive communication. The excitement and curiosity of my parents with regard to my novel communication abilities motivated and encouraged me to explore more words and formulate sentences. My vocabulary expanded and improved over the years, and eventually, I was able to construct meaningful sentences, which also enabled me to express ideas and feelings to those around me. The developmental milestones were not limited to my ability to speak and communicate but also facilitated a connection with others on a deeper level and moulded my interactions and relationships while making me understand my surroundings better (O'Toole et al., 2021).

Adulthood Milestone: Getting a New Job

While reflecting on the transition from the early childhood stage to my adulthood, getting my first job after finishing my graduation marks the most significant adulthood milestone. I faced many challenges throughout my journey of getting a job after graduation, like adjusting to a new place and communicating with new people, dealing with an extensive workload and work culture, excelling in my field, etc. In the process, I faced many of these challenges alone however, I also sought support and guidance from my peers, family and mentors through many of them by effectively communicating my feelings and emotions with them as I encountered these challenges (Henry-Noel et al., 2019).

Moreover, my role at the new company demanded extensive critical thinking and decision-making abilities and a sense of motivation to perform better. But I developed certain skills to overcome these challenges while graduating from university, like dealing with extensive assignments and projects that required critical thinking. My interactions at the early stages of my life, including events and challenges, helped me develop effective communication skills, critical thinking abilities, problem-solving abilities and effective decision-making power that will eventually help me in the later stages of life (Alkhatib, 2019). The event of getting a job illustrates the beginning of a new stage of life and the acquisition of knowledge of a wide range of skills and multifaceted growth and development that I acquired over the years inspired by my early experiences (Dahl et al., 2018).

This adulthood accomplishment depicts my transition from an academic landscape to a professional landscape where I can apply the acquired skills and knowledge on to the new stage of my life. Ultimately leading me to grow further. It serves as an event that brought with it perseverance and resilience in me to do better by learning and utilising lessons from my past experiences.

Critical Analysis of the Milestones from Childhood and Adulthood

My first words in my early childhood, while learning language and communication, mark a significant milestone in my growth and development. It impacted the later stages of my life significantly. As for the question of biopsychological aspects, the development of language skills made me capable of interacting with others and thus forming connections with them by expressing my thoughts and emotions (Trevarthen, 2018). This accomplishment of obtaining the ability to speak and communicate effectively with others facilitated an improved experience in my adulthood wherein I was able to communicate with my family, friends and mentors (Dyson et al., 2021). The political impact of the education policies in my early childhood helped me gain the cognitive abilities and social understanding that helped me even in my graduation years (Reifin-Tagar, 2022).

Addressing the aspects of developmental theory, my experiences from my childhood to my adulthood are influenced by Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychological Development. In his theory, Erikson suggests that the personality of an individual develops in a predetermined order. The individual may experience a psychological crisis that might affect them either positively or negatively throughout these eight stages (Orenstein & Lewis, 2022). The biopsychosocial influence can be located in the accomplishment of my early childhood milestones of learning communication and to be able to tackle the crisis in my adulthood by successfully dealing with challenges (Mcleod, 2023). Further, it is also illustrated in the instance where I had inculcated in myself a sense of trust and autonomy to deal with the challenges that I faced with the passage of time due to my cultural influences.

As far as my adulthood milestones are concerned, the instance where I overcame the challenges and rediscovered new ways to self-empowerment holds significant value. Through my experiences, I developed and inculcated in myself the skills to communicate effectively and to be psychologically resilient. This allowed me to address and resolve my problems by enabling me to communicate and seek professional help. As per the research conducted by Masten and Barnes (2018), the relevance of resilience throughout childhood marks the importance of exposure, key adaptive systems rooted in the lives of people and their interactions with other systems, family members, healthcare practitioners and so on.

Another study by Masten et al. (2021) suggests that the concept of resilience can be defined as the capability of an individual to adapt to challenges that threaten the function, survival and future development. In addition to this, resilience in a developing organism is complicated and dynamic since it is influenced by the multiple interactions among people and their environments throughout their lives (Vella & Pai, 2019). As far as my capacity to cope with challenges, regulate emotional skills and form social connections are in question, they can be associated with developmental theories. In addition to this, the resilience acquired throughout this stage helped me make the appropriate decisions in my university years (Wehmeyer & Shogren, 2017).

Throughout my university years, due to the appropriate education policies, I developed a wide range of skills like problem-solving, time management and prioritisation which helped me immensely with my new job (Hill et al., 2019). This claim can be backed by linking it with the psychosocial student development theory that focuses on students’ self-reflection on their identities and the development they undergo with respect to their relationships, managing emotions and ambitions in life (Abes, 2016). As a result, I was successfully able to overcome the challenges that I had to face throughout my life in university and job. The value of my education and communication during my developmental stages, when considered culturally and politically, contribute significantly to my development and growth over the years Lou & Bosley, 2023).

Conclusion

In summary, tracing my journey from my early childhood milestones to my adulthood accomplishments, it is safe to say that early experiences of an individual mould their behaviours and experiences in the later stages of their lives. The developmental and lifespan theories suggest that this growth enables them to develop resilience, coping skills, decision-making skills and other important skills to help them face and overcome the challenges they face in the process. As a consequence, a sense of growth and development is instigated in the individual. My experience throughout my transition from my early childhood to adulthood and the acquisition of a wide range of skills like effective communication, time management and problem-solving techniques enabled me to face the challenges in my adulthood. It further allowed me to reflect on my identity and improve overall.

References

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