psychology

Human Growth and Development

It has been said, “The only thing constant in life is change.” Human development is a lifelong process of physical, behavioral, cognitive and emotional growth and change. Its study leads to understanding the forces that shape human growth and maturation.

The Human Growth and Development exam covers material that is generally taught in a one-semester introductory course in developmental psychology or human development. It is a broad ranging exam. The study of developmental psychology is essential to understanding how human beings learn mature and adapt through the various stages in life. The guiding theories and research into the physical, cognitive and social developments from infancy to aging is covered.

The exam contains approximately 90 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these questions are pretest questions that will not be scored. The parameters of the exam are set by the College Board and are listed below.

*The questions will adhere to the terminology, criteria and classifications referred to in the fifth edition of the Diagnositc and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HUMAN GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT:

  • Knowledge of basic facts and terminology
  • Understanding of generally accepted concepts and principles
  • Understanding of theories and recurrent developmental issues
  • Applications of knowledge to particular problems or situations

The subject matter for the exam is drawn from the following topics.

THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES: 10% of the exam

Theories of development provide a framework for thinking about human growth, development, and learning.

  • Biological
  • Cognitive developmental
  • Ecological
  • Evolutionary
  • Learning
  • Psychodynamic
  • Social cognitive
  • Sociocultural

RESEARCH STRATEGIES and METHODOLOGY: 6% of the exam

The scientific research methods used to study the changes that occur in human beings over the course of their lives.

  • Case study
  • Correlational
  • Cross-sectional
  • Cross sequential
  • Experimental
  • Longitudinal
  • Observational

BIOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGHOUT THE LIFE SPAN: 12% of the exam

The biological development studies the physical changes, that occur from conception to adulthood.

  • Development of the brain and nervous system
  • Genetic disorders
  • Heredity, genetics, and genetic testing
  • Hormonal influences
  • Influences of drugs
  • Motor development
  • Nutritional influences
  • Perinatal influences
  • Physical growth and maturation, aging
  • Prenatal influences
  • Sexual maturation
  • Teratogens

PERCEPTUAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGHOUT THE LIFE SPAN: 12% of the exam

Perception refers to the process of taking in, organizing, and interpreting sensory information.

  • Habituation
  • Sensitive periods
  • Sensorimotor activities
  • Sensory acuity
  • Sensory deprivation

COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT THROUGHOUT THE LIFE SPAN: 12% of the exam

Cognitive theory is concerned with the development of a person’s thought processes.

  • Attention
  • Environmental influences
  • Executive function
  • Expertise
  • Information processing
  • Jean Piaget’s cognitive development theory
  • Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory
  • Memory
  • Play
  • Problem solving and planning
  • Thinking
  • Wisdom

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT: 8% of the exam

  • Bilingualism
  • Development of syntax
  • Environmental, cultural, and genetic influences
  • Language and thought
  • Pragmatics
  • Semantic development
  • Vocalization and sound

INTELLIGENCE THROUGHOUT LIFE SPAN: 6% of the exam

  • Concepts of intelligence and creativity
  • Developmental stability and change
  • Giftedness
  • Heredity and environment
  • Intelligence tests
  • Reaction range

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGHOUT LIFE SPAN: 12% of the exam

  • Agression
  • Attachment
  • Gender
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Moral development
  • Prosocial behavior
  • Risk and resilience
  • Self
  • Social cognition
  • Social learning and modeling
  • Wellness

FAMILY, HOME, and SOCIETY THROUGHOUT THE LIFE SPAN: 8% of the exam

  • Abuse and neglect
  • Bronfenbrenner, Urie
  • Death and dying
  • Family relationships
  • Family structures
  • Media and technology
  • Multicultural perspetives
  • Parenting styles

PERSONALITY and EMOTION: 8% of the exam

Personality development is the relatively enduring pattern of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that distinguish individuals from one another.

  • Attribution styles
  • Development of emotions
  • Emotional expression and regulation
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Erikson, Erik
  • Freud, Sigmund
  • Stability and change
  • Temperament

SCHOOLING, WORK, and INTERVENTIONS: 6% of the exam

  • Applications of developmental principles
  • Facilitation of role transitions
  • Intervention programs and services
  • Learning styles
  • Occupational development
  • Preschool care, day care, and elder care
  • Retirement

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOPATHOLOGY: 6% of the exam

The study of developmental psychological disorders from a lifecourse perspective.

  • Antisocial behavior
  • Anxiety and mood disorders
  • Asocial behavior, fears, phobias, and obsessions
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Chronic illnesses and physical disabilities
  • Cognitive disorders, including dementia
  • Learning disabilities
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Trauma-based syndromes

Each college sets their own credit-granting policies for the exam, so check with your college admissions office, test center, or academic adviser before taking the test.

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