Department of Psychology

Faculty Research: Developmental & Lifespan Psychology

Developmental psychology is the study of human and nonhuman development across the life span from conception to death. It is concerned with the development of individual, culturally-specific, and universal normal development with deviation from normal development that result in developmental exceptionalities and psychopathologies. Its goals include the description of development as a function of age and the explanation of changes with age, since age is itself a marker and not a causal variable.

Since developmental psychology deals with changes across the age span, it studies the increasing competence that occurs initially with age and the declines in function that may occur with later age. The changes observed include those in physical, motor, language, cognitive, and social behavior. It looks also at differences in development as a function of variables such as gender, socio-economic status, and cultural and subcultural groups. It looks for explanations for observed changes at all levels from biological to cultural.

Virtually from its inception, developmental psychology has combined scientific and applied perspectives that ultimately, its goals are not only to describe and explain development, but to determine and, where appropriate, implement changes in the environment that will optimize that development.

The following faculty members research this area of psychology. Please follow the links to their homepages.