What Is Lifespan Development?

Lifespan development is the study of growth and change throughout the human lifespan. These changes may be multidimensional, occurring across the lifespan and include physical, mental and socioeconomic changes that happen over time.

Changes may be multidirectional. For instance, language may be learned rapidly during formative years, while the ability to learn foreign languages wanes with age. Physical and biological changes occurring throughout the lifespan are also part of lifespan development. For example, eyesight may worsen with time and cognitive capacities may become reduced. Mentally, aging may cause depression and withdrawal. Biological and cognitive changes over the course of a lifetime may lead to a change in socioeconomic status.