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What is Lifespan Development?

Interested in studying lifespan development? Learn more about it's role in the field of human development.

Lifespan development belongs to the greater field of human development. From a high-level view, human development is a discipline that engages the optimizing of several factors of human life and fields of study to help people live their best lives.

A human development professional is likely to study a mix of sociology, biology, psychology, behavior, emotion, genealogy, education, religion, and more. Generally speaking, any field that contributes to an understanding of the multifaceted and complex nature of humanity is a field studied by lifespan development professionals.

Let’s take a closer look at what lifespan development is, what professionals glean from this knowledge, and more.

What is Lifespan Development?

As described by the American Psychological Association, human lifespan development studies how humans learn, mature, and adapt from infancy to adulthood to elderly phases of life. Some areas of focus include physical, cognitive, social, intellectual, perceptual, personality, and emotional growth.

What are the benefits of pursuing this field?

Some might wonder what the benefit is of pursuing a field that is tangled up with so many different and complex areas of studies. Lifespan development offers people a way to make discoveries and changes to their lives as they pertain to these discoveries.

Here are some benefits you may experience as a result of studying lifespan and human development:

A better understanding of others

Among their five reasons to study human development, VeryWellMind outlines one as a better understanding of your friends, family, and those around you. Lifespan development offers an extension of these benefits by granting professionals better insights into how and why people become who they are and whom they become over time.

The possibility for an improved quality of life

Following the maturation and development of people over time allows professionals to assess how to best optimize their lives. The same article by VeryWellMind states, “while every person is a little bit different, human development tends to follow a remarkably predictable pattern. Once you’ve studied development, you’ll know what’s typical at certain ages.”

Studying human development can help illuminate atypical patterns in people at any stage in life and help spot developmental challenges that could be inhibiting one’s quality of life and seek out solutions.


In the midst of studying lifespan development, it’s not unlikely to find applications to your personal life. With this knowledge, you might find yourself learning more about who you are, reflecting on your childhood, adulthood, and looking toward what the future might hold too.

Lifespan development is a field that encompasses the complexities of human beings, their growth, and personhood. It offers a way to study a vast array of subjects in one field. If you find yourself interested in multiple fields but can’t seem to settle on just one option, lifespan and human development offer a way in which you don’t have to choose.

Human Development programs

Our Human Development programs introduce the sociological, emotional, biological, and psychological factors that contribute to an individual’s development. See below for the entire list of programs available at Pacific Oaks:

Learn more about Pacific Oaks College

Interested in advancing your career in human development? Learn more about beginning your education in human development at Pacific Oaks!

Pacific Oaks is proud to be a nonprofit and regionally accredited higher education institute that offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology, early childhood education, marriage and family therapy, and more. Request more info today by completing the required information below.

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