Free Essay on Physical, Psychosocial and Cognitive Development

Published: 2019-08-15
Free Essay on Physical, Psychosocial and Cognitive Development
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Child development Human development Cognitive development
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 972 words
9 min read

According to Vartanian (2003), development is a continuous process in our lives. Most people believe that development stops once someone enters adulthood due to the reduction of noticeable growth changes. Studies have correlated the lifelong growth to the ability of a human to deal with environment changes. For instance, an individual might find it difficult to perform a given task, but after some time it becomes manageable. Other people of the same age who have not been exposed to such a challenge might still perform well while other might not. Such a scenario is the evidence of cognitive improvement that everyone undergoes but also raises the question of whether growth is internal or is triggered by environmental stimuli. This essay focuses on the determination of the physical, psychosocial and cognitive development of a young adult based on a therapist one-hour observation and interview process.

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The therapy session took place at the UPMC Presbyterian Shady Side Hospital on 4th April between 3 pm and 4 pm, 2016. The patient was a slim, petite, fair complexion and black haired shy but an independent nineteen-year-old black-American girl called Jane who is a college student taking an accounting course. She takes morning classes that last for about six hours and work from 3 pm to 8 pm at a grocery shop. Jane claims she works to relieve her parents the burden of providing her cash for her needs such as shopping and going out with her friends. Jane prefers to keep herself busy with her studies, job and family, and friends who she describes as the most important people in her life. During the therapy session, Jane seemed calm at the beginning but acted very defensively when she was interviewed about her family life. She was reluctant to talk about her childhood and anything that she wishes her family could be able to provide. However, she looked pleased talking about her feature prospects of finding a job in another state after finishing her college education and advancing in her studies.

Jane appears to be in perfect health as seen from her physical functioning. She says she enjoy evening walks and during weekends she goes for a one hour run around the park. Janes strength is unquestionable given her relatively busy lifestyle i.e. balancing studies, work, and the social life. Her shyness is almost unnoticeable because of her charm and the ability to speak out her mind and defend her beliefs that can be linked with considerable self-awareness which translates to high self-esteem. Jane seems to have her entire future planned out concerning career and social life. Jane claims that she likes her job as it makes her meet new people every day. Jane says that talking to them often unveils some small but significant life facts that she never cared to pay any attention to in the past few months. She seems fascinated by the varying opinions regarding common life matter for example. Why an individual prefers vegetable X over Y and vice versa.

Jane seems to be growing physically, socially and mentally; this can be evidenced by her strength and vigor which can be attributed self-awareness and responsibility that is, she understands that it is her duty to take good care of herself by getting proper meals, exercising and avoid substance abuse. Such changes fit into Daniel Levinson developmental theory where he asserts that adulthood can be categorized into five stages according to the standard changes that individuals within that particular age bracket experience ("Theories of Adult Development: Levinson, Vaillant & Neugarten - Video & Lesson Transcript |", 2016). For instance, Jane is under the early adult transition group. The categorization is based on her age as well as cognitive features; Jane seems to have a relatively rigid mentality regarding the general life. For example, she believes that she will work as an accountant after her college and further her career prospects and maybe have a family, although there is nothing wrong with her dreams, Jane fails to recognize environmental challenges that might force her to take a different career path or make more effort to achieving her goals. According to Levinsons theory if Jane is interviewed again after four years her answers regarding the future might be completely different as she would have adopted a more flexible and practical life perceptions.

Eriksons theory of psychosocial development fits Janes situation. At nineteen Jane is understanding various aspects concerning herself as well as of the people around her environment. For instance, the refusal to talk about family matters can be interpreted as the influence of customs on the young adults mentality. Jane might have learned that family matters must be private from the adults around her. Jane opens up that presently she talks to people more often compared to the last six months when she had not started working at the shop. Therefore, the difference in her social could be correlated to the environmental changes which fit in Bronfenbrenners ecological systems theory ("The Ecological Systems Theory by Urie Bronfenbrenner", 2016).


Janes development can be considered normal given the fact that her maturity level regarding physical, cognitive and social development meets the standards set by physicians. She seems to be improving her social life which will increase exposure to environmental challenges hence boosting a cognition which in turn influences her decisions whose impacts will be evident in physical being. However, increased exposure by changing her environment from time to time can be beneficial to Jane development.


The Ecological Systems Theory by Urie Bronfenbrenner. (2016). Retrieved 5 April 2016, from

Theories of Adult Development: Levinson, Vaillant & Neugarten - Video & Lesson Transcript | (2016). Retrieved 5 April 2016, from

Vartanian, L. (2003). Adolescence and emerging adulthood: a cultural approach. Journal Of Adolescence, 26(3), 385.

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