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The Developmental Influences of Aging: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:03 Definitions
  • 1:11 Normative Age-Graded
  • 2:23 Normative…
  • 3:22 Nonnormative Influences
  • 4:24 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Devin Kowalczyk

Devin has taught psychology and has a master's degree in clinical forensic psychology. He is working on his PhD.

This lesson will explore the developmental influences put on a person based on the culture's expectations, the world they live in, and the bizarre occurrences that happen in some people's lives.

Definitions

Do you ever just stop and think about your life? There are tons of things that happen in every person's life, some of them good and some of them bad. It is interesting to think about what made you. What events in your life got you to this point?

Developmental influences are events that impact the dynamic interaction between an individual and their environment. These are divided up into three different types, and each one will make sense when examined. The first is normative age-graded influences, the second is normative history-graded influences', and the last is non-normative influences. We will get into specific definitions and examples in a bit, but quickly we will explain these three. The first is normal stuff that happens with certain ages, like driving at 16. The second is history-based, which is your context: for example, many people know of the 9/11 attacks, while some of our younger viewers may not. The third is non-normal things that happen to only a few people, like being born HIV positive.

Normative Age-Graded

Normative age-graded influences are life events that are typical and based on chronological age. These are things that everybody in your culture kind of expects. People start driving around 16, graduating high school around 18, getting married in their 20s and having babies.

An easy way for you to think of normative age-graded influences is to consider if there is a typical age at which something usually happens. If you can say, 'Most people at age X have or do Y,' then you're likely looking at a normative age-graded influence.

Normative influences can also be culture specific. For instance, Quinceañeras and Bar or Bat Mitzvahs are well-known examples of coming-of-age ceremonies in Latino and Jewish cultures. They are a normal part of growing older.

Normative age influences occur throughout the lifetime, and following the simple idea of asking yourself if there is a typical age for something - then it's a good example of a normative event. Retirement happens in the 60s or early 70s. Midlife crises happen in the 30s or 40s. Typical, normal, and a lot of people go through it.

Normative History-Graded

Normative history-graded influences are environmental influences that affect large groups of people. Don't limit yourself with the word 'environment' to think I only mean weather and pollution. History-graded influences are things that describe the era you live in. Another term you may run into in the literature is Zeitgeist, which is a German word that translates to spirit of the time.

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