DEVELOPMENT: CONCEPT AND DEFINITION Development refers to the qualitative changes in the organism as whole.Development is a continuous process through which physical, emotional andintellectual changes occur. It is a more wider and comprehensive term than growth.It is also possible without growth. In Webster‟s dictionary development is defined as “the series of changes whichan organism undergoes in passing from an embryonic stage to maturity.” In Encyclopedia Britannica is the term development defined as “theprogressive change in size, shape and function during the life of an organism bywhich its genetic potential are translated into functioning adult system.” So,development includes all those psychological changes that take in the functionsand activities of different organs of an organism. Development is continuous and gradual process (Skinner). According to Crowand Crow (1965) development is concerned with growth as well as those changesin behavior which results from environmental situation.” Thus, development is a process of change in growth and capability over timedue to function of both maturation and interaction with the environment.Table 1.1A: Comparison of Growth and Development Growth refers to physiologicalchanges. Development refers to overallchanges in the individual. Itinvolves changes in an orderlyand coherent type towards thegoal of maturity. Changes in the quantitativerespect is termed as growth. Development changes in thequality along with quantitativeaspect. Growth does not continuethroughout life. Development continuesthroughout life. Growth stops aftermaturation. Development is progressive. Growth occurs due to themultiplication of cells. Development occurs due toboth maturation andinteraction with theenvironment. Growth is cellular.  Development isorganizational. Growth is one of the part ofthe developmental process. Development is a wider andcomprehensive term. Growth may be referred todescribe the changes inparticular aspects of the bodyand behavior of the organism. Development describes thechanges in the organism as awhole. The changes produced bygrowth are subjects ofmeasurements. They may bequantified and observable innature. Development bringsqualitative changes which aredifficult to measure directly.They are assessed throughkeen observation of behaviorin different situations. Growth may or may not bringdevelopment. Development is possiblewithout growth.


Principles of Human Development
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