Developmental PsychologyAcademic EssayDominic Ward
Given that we all experience our lives differently, can normative development exist? Normative development, as a concept, is a strange creature. Initially, there is acompelling logic to the idea that there are observable milestones that define normal, or average, development. A milestone is after all simply a chronologically significantachievement; non-achievement of certain critical milestones is often thought to be anindication of abnormal development. Yet, on closer consideration, much of this façadefalls away at an instant. After all, what is ‘normal’? What is truly even understood bythis term? That no two individuals express the same self begs the question: by normativedevelopment, is it really only meant that which is socially appropriate? Or is it yetsomething else entirely? It will be the objective of this essay to argue that normativedevelopment does exist and is best understand under the terms defined by a bio-ecological theory of development. Furthermore, it will be proposed that there are threedistinct elements observable in the developmental process, all of which can be explained by bio-ecological theory. In fulfilling this aim, firstly, a review of the concept of normative development will be presented, by way of setting an overall tone for the study.Within the context of this review, the three key elements of the developmental processwill be discussed, in order of presentation: p
hysical norms; age norms; and the growth of the will.
Following this will be an in-depth examination of the bio-ecological viewthrough the vehicle of a case study. This case study should serve as a proving ground for