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Differences Between Growth and Development in Psychology

Growth and development always come in pairs. Psychology defines growth as the
physical change that a particular individual undergoes. On the other hand, psychology defines
development as the overall growth of humans throughout their lifespan. Development
includes the understanding of how and why people change in terms of physical growth,
intellectual, emotional, social, and other aspects of human growth.
With regards to development, it always follows a pattern. Development is not a chaotic and
immediate process. It takes time, just like growth. For example, the cephalocaudal sequence is a
pattern of development. When a baby grows, his activities develop from head to toe. A baby
learns how to move his head first before he can walk. Since it follows a pattern, we can say that
development is also predictable.
We can say that development is gradual and is the same as growth. Like development, growth is
not an immediate process. It is a continuous process. The parts of the body continuously grow
given the proper nutrition it needs. Until the parts of the body reach their peak of growth, they
will continue growing.
The growth rate of humans is not usually uniform. During a humans early years, his growth rate
is at its peak. However, during the later years, the growth rate becomes slower. When we will
look at the parts of the body, we can also say that each part has a different growth rate. When a
baby is born, we can notice that the head seems bigger than the length of the body. The head is
actually one-fourth of the bodys length in babies.
It is very interesting to watch humans grow and develop. During the development years of
humans, development proceeds from general to specific. Let us take a child for example. When a
child wants something, he uses his whole hand to point at the thing he wants. But as he grows
older, his brain and muscles are developed. With that, he can now use a finger instead of his
whole hand when pointing at something. As a child develops, he is being affected by his
environment, nutrition, peers, and even his genes. With that, we can say that the development of
a child largely depends on his genetic traits and the factors around him.
Growth is more on the physical aspect while development is more on the mental aspect. These
two processes are highly correlated with each other. If a child has good physical health, most
likely the child also has above average mental capacity. With good physical growth, a child can
be more sociable with other people, too.