Child development psychology

What is developmental psychology? What stages do children and people enter? What aspects of development do they learn and what do they entail? In which phase do you develop which aspect?

What is developmental psychology?

The concept of developmental psychology contains two words, namely: development and psychology. Psychology is the science that studies human behavior. Developmental psychology is therefore the development of the science that studies human behavior.

What stages do children and people enter?

Children and people go through different phases in their lives, namely:

  • unborn child (prenatal phase: 40 weeks)
  • infant (0-18 months)
  • toddler (18 months – 4 years)
  • toddler (4 – 6 years)
  • school child (6 – 12 years)
  • adolescent (12 – 17 years)
  • adolescent (17 – 22 years)
  • adult (22 – 65 years)
  • older person (65 years and older)


What aspects of development do they teach and what do they entail?

  • Physical aspect – physical growth or decline, motor development, sensory development.
  • Cognitive aspect – intellectual development, language development, development of thinking and memory.
  • Social aspect – development of interaction with others, development of acceptance of others and development of social behavior.
  • Personality aspect – Formation of one’s own identity, development of one’s own will, one’s own views and the development of girls’ and boys’ behavior.
  • Emotional aspect – development of feelings of (basic) trust and security
  • Sexual aspect – development of sexual behavior, development of body and pleasure experience, development of the value of one’s own body.


In which phase do you develop which aspect?

Unborn child

As an unborn child you mainly develop physical growth. You turn from a clump of cells into an embryo and you are born as a little person. You also develop the emotional aspect in this phase, you become familiar with your mother and build a bond with her.


In the infant phase you also develop both your physical growth and your emotional bond with your mother and father. But you also develop your language. You imitate the sounds you hear around you.


As a toddler you develop your personality completely, you realize that you have your own body and your own will. You will also develop your language by writing complete sentences and increasing your vocabulary. A toddler also develops his sexual aspect, a toddler realizes that it is a boy or a girl and I am very focused on peeing and pooping.


When you first go to school as a toddler you learn to play with other children, as a toddler you mainly play ‘next to each other’ and now you can also play with each other. Furthermore, as a toddler you learn to use more and more words and to name things correctly. In the toddler phase you also learn a lot about motor development. As a toddler you can hold a pencil, but as a toddler you learn the ‘tweezer grip’.


When you are a school child you develop your behavior in all aspects. You learn a lot, play together with other children and develop your sexual behavior in the form of a first boyfriend or girlfriend.


When you are a teenager, your sexual behavior develops even further because you have your first ‘real’ boyfriend or girlfriend, with whom you don’t just hold hands. Furthermore, your friends are very important and in terms of physical growth, girls get breasts and wider hips and boys have a wider chest and their penis grows.


As an adolescent you have more control over yourself than when you were a teenager. There is room in your head for more people and your relationship with your parents usually changes. Your sexual behavior and experience of pleasure is also now reaching a point where you want to try and discover many things. You look for your place in life and (usually) follow an education that you have chosen yourself and that suits you.


As an adult you have rights and obligations. You know your place in society and who you like to be around. You try to live healthy and help others. You want someone next to you who lives with you and you (often) want children with them.

Older person

When you become an older person, or an elderly person, you know how life works and your physical aspect often deteriorates. You experience discomfort and in some cases you are dependent on others to help you.

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