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Psychology In Hsc

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Psychology is an important aspect of working of health and social care industry (McGorry, 2010). By following varied psychological principles and concepts, functioning as well as overall efficiency and effectiveness of the sector can be enhanced by great margins. The present report sheds light on such theories with a view to develop understanding about different stages of life span development. In addition to it, thorough discussion is made in relation to various social and biological determinants of the human behaviour in this report.

Task 1

1) Comparing theories of life span development

In order to get thorough understanding about different stages of life, authors and academicians have developed various theories and principles (Jetten and et.al., 2012). Life span development basically can be defined as an approach that consists of various stages and phases that need to be undergone so that thorough and effective understanding about the life of an individual can be obtained. According to numerous authors and academicians, stages of life span development and psychological theories are linked with and depend on one another to a great extent. In the following paragraphs, two such concepts have been compared in terms of stages of life span development. These stages are infancy; early childhood; adolescence; early adulthood; and late adulthood/death. The two theories are stage vs. open ended; and continuity vs. discontinuity (Pascoe and Richman, 2009).

In stage theory, there are certain phases and steps that have to be completed so that development can be carried out in an efficient and effective manner. Those who follow this psychological theory state that if these are not carried out properly, then there are very less chances that the individual might be able to attain proper development. In this sense, it may not be wrong to say that these stages are 'pre-planned' and ‘natural’; therefore, they cannot be avoided in any circumstances (Irving, 2011). Further, if proper attention is not paid to follow these stages in their respective order, then it can have negative impact on the concerned person and even may put their life in a very risky position. For instance, such a situation could lead to hampering the growth of person in terms of mental and physical dexterity thereby influencing them in a negative manner (Kinderman and Tai, 2009). But on the other hand, open ended theory states that people do not have to follow the exact stages that are set out by others i.e. they can modify these development stages as per their own liking and needs. Further, such theorists also state that up to a certain age limit, people need to follow certain stages; otherwise their development would be affected in a negative sense (Bradley, Curry and Devers, 2007).

The continuity theory of lifespan development describes that these stages are linked with one another and they must be carried out in a particular continuity form. If this continuity breaks, then the development process may be hampered in a negative manner (Kinman and Grant, 2011). But in contrast, the discontinuity opines that it is not important for people that they follow these stages in a prescribed manner, rather they can start at any point and end it anywhere as they like. This means that it is not important for an individual to keep a link between these stages and they can take up any stage at random, but they just have to manage the biological cycle of development (Stroebe, 2011).

2) Link between psychological theories and different life stages

Over the years, various theories that describe the stages of life span development have been prepared. In this context, there are three main theories and concepts which are behavioural; cognitive; psycho-dynamic; and humanistic (Davies and Faulkner, 2005). In the following paragraphs, link between these theories and life stages is described and evaluated.

Behavioural theory of psychology is a highly preferred and very popular concept. It states that human behaviour is something that can learn and unlearned easily. This facet can be directly with two stages infancy and early childhood (Mojtabai, 2010). For a child, these form a time period wherein they learn a lot of things about life such as walking, talking, manners, etc. by observing their parents and other people in the society. So, it can be said that their behaviour is dependent upon the kind of their upbringing. If attention was paid to ensure that they spent their time in a good and positive environment, then it can be easily observed in their behaviour (Sayers and et.al., 2008). The same concept can also be applied to the stage of adolescence. But when an individual enters the stage of early adulthood and late adulthood/death, they are rarely affected by their surroundings. Rather their behaviour is more rational in nature, i.e. they think before taking any action.

Cognitive theory was developed by Jean Piaget. According to it, children in their very first stage such as infancy, childhood and adolescence possess an undeveloped approach to rationalization; but on the other hand, those in stages of adulthood and late adulthood tend to be more rational and their thinking process is more logical in nature (Glassman and Hadad, 2013). Therefore, it can be said that a child may give wrong or inaccurate answer(s) to various questions, but such probability is very low in adults. This is because; they would have undergone with a lot of conditioning and learning throughout their life. It may be safe to say that these individuals would be in ease and comfort while dealing with various problems and situations in comparison to children. Psycho-dynamic theory was developed by Sigmund Freud and is considered to be not only a very popular approach, but also a widely used one and effective as well. It states that aspects such as behaviour, thinking, reactions, etc. are affected by unconscious motives of an individual (Shapiro, Brown and Biegel, 2007). In contrast to it, the humanistic theory states that people regardless of the stage that they may be in have a tendency to develop themselves as well as the society they are a part of. Further, they pay a lot of attention to personal growth and development.

Task 2

1) Social and biological factors that influence human behaviour

Behaviour and conduct of an individual is dependent on a wide variety of factors and thus, it is very important that thorough attention is given to identify and evaluate these aspects (Perakyla, 2008). Some such factors and forces are the aspects of social and biological determinants. By understanding the social and biological fronts, great insights can be obtained to comprehend the behaviour of an individual. Considering the fact that Sam was suffering from Alzheimer's from a prolonged period of time, it may not be wrong to say that understanding these factors can be very useful. It is a neuro-degenerative disease that can be related with the symptoms such as problems with language, disorientation, mood swings, etc. (McLeod, 2007).

Since Sam's family was not able to understand his condition in a proper manner, it may be safe to assume that behaviour of the society towards him was not good and proper. They mistook his behaviour as his intentional attempts to hurt peopleHe had a very bad memory, meaning that he could not remember things for a long duration of time (Posavac, 2012). This resulted in the development of a very bad situation for him where people hurt and influenced him in a negative manner. Furthermore, the cultural norms are not in favour of people who are suffering from Alzheimer's (Sheldon, 2011)..

In a similar manner, biological factors have a crucial role in determining the behaviour of individuals. These factors have a very crucial role to play in the process of determining behaviour of people. It should be understood that  people behave in different situations on basis of skills, abilities and talents that they possess (Director and Director, 2013). This phenomenon can be explained through the example that Sam who is suffering from Alzheimer's had great difficulties in interacting with people; moreover, he used to behave in a different manner than that of the normal individuals.

2) Importance of social roles in health and social care setting

In delivering effective health and social care services to individuals, different social roles and norms have a very critical role to play. It has been observed on many occasions that such roles are important as they help in gaining thorough understanding for individuals and thus, provide them effective care so that their health related problems can be solved (Lee and Gramotnev, 2007). There are various kinds of roles which have a central part in the process of delivering effective health care services to individuals. One of them can be better understood through the concept of conformity. It is termed to be a type of social influence which involves a change in the belief or behaviour with a purpose of 'fitting in' a group or special kind of setting. In essence, conformity can be defined to be a process of yielding to group pressure (Allen, 2014). Basically, there are three kinds of conformity, that is, Normative, Informational and Ingratiational. Three types of conformity determine the way in which people receive health and social care services and behave in similar settings.

Normative conformity states that people yield to group pressures so that they can fit into a group (Rigby, 2011). Since, he desperately needs to become a member of the group; he would be ready to do anything for the same. In this sense, it may not be wrong to say that the concerned individual would even show signs of public compliance where he would accept the ideas and views of the group but privately he would reject the same. This means that even though the person is looking to become a part of the group, but this is so because of the pressure which he may be facing from various other social groups (Moule and Hek, 2011).

Task 3

1) Role of psychological theories in understanding mental disorders

Through the help of various psychological theories and concepts much better and thorough understanding of the varied mental disorders can be done. Herein, mental disorder such as depression can be taken as an example (Haslam, 2009). The evolutionary therapy has been found to play a crucial role towards assessing the overall tendency of depression that is faced by people. It has played a better role in comparison to other mechanistic theories whose major emphasis has been on aetiology of depression as well as on the factors that make them vulnerable towards suffering from it. Evolutionary therapy in majority of the cases can play a crucial role to assess the depression that has been faced by the patients (Nolen-Hoeksema and Rector, 2007). This approach does not lay emphasis on the process of depression but is likely to provide valuable insight towards what has been the origin of such tendencies in the patient. This may help in providing depression specific guidance to the health care professionals. This theory further plays a crucial role in finding out the major reason towards the mental depression that is being suffered by the patients. Hence, this approach is likely to aid in finding out the major reason behind depression so as to help the health care professionals towards developing care strategies for the vulnerable masses (Thoits, 2011).

Studies have shown that through evolutionary theory, that is, a much better and improved understanding of reason(s) behind a person's depression can be understood. This is mainly because of the reason that it does not consider depression to be a result of evolution in the characteristics of human beings but can also arise out of guilt, shame or perceived rejection (Umberson and Montez, 2010). In this sense, it may not be wrong to say that through the help of evolutionary theory, there are much better chances for the mental health nurses to understand the main cause behind a person's depression and then to find the ways through which it can be resolved.

2) Application of psychological principles affecting behaviour change in health and social care setting

Psychological principle such as humanistic perspective can be taken into account. Mental health is very important for every individual. It is because it is a way that can help them to lead an effective life and also accomplish their goals and objectives. There are a wide variety of ways through which a patient who is suffering from mental illness can be improved by great margins and also enable them to fulfil their dreams and goals (Marlatt, 2011). One of the approaches through which mental health nursing can help to bring about a behavioural change in an individual is that of humanistic theory. It states that behaviour of any person is related to the way in which they see themselves i.e. their inner feelings and self image. In this context, it may not be wrong to say that to change and improve the behaviour of a mental health patient is to provide them regular counselling so as to alter the image that they have developed for themselves over a period of time (Umberson and Montez, 2010). In this regard, the concerned individual has to understand that they are very unique and have the power needed to lead a much better life than what they may be leading currently.

Humanistic approach states that an individual is responsible for his own happiness and possess the right amount as well as type of abilities that can make them happy. In this sense, it can be said that using the humanistic theory would enable the counsellor to put a lot of focus and pay substantial amount of attention to the individuals which would provide them much better feelings and then work to the best of their capabilities (McGorry, 2010).

3) Ways in which psychological theories can enhance the understanding of relationships in health and social care

Another important theory of psychology is that of cognitive behavioural therapy which states that human brains are computers as they possess a large variety of information as well as store and retrieve it whenever needed., to make a treatment effective it is imperative that there exists a positive relation between patient and the doctor (Marlatt, 2011). In this context, a cognitive behavioural theory can be very helpful and effective mainly because of the reason that it would enable both doctor as well as the patient to coordinate with one another and to work for a common goal. During the case, it was observed that Peter, a mental health nurse was finding it very difficult to interact with patients that are suffering from depression. Herein, to use the cognitive approach, Peter should try to communicate more with the patients to gain understanding regarding the reasons behind their depression and such a mental condition (Pascoe and Richman, 2009).

By constant interaction between himself and the patient(s), Peter would be able to effectively identify as well as understand the main reason(s) behind their depression and thus, it creates a mutual understanding and positive rapport amongst them. This in turn will help in providing the best and most effective treatment to patients as well as would support to improve their mental condition substantially (Irving, 2011). Main reason because of which this theory would be of great use to Peter is that it would enable him to interact with the patient on a constant basis and thus, provide the best and effective care to them. In this context, it may not be wrong to say that through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, mental health nurses can help Peter to work efficiently and effectively. Through the use of this theory, relationship in health and social care industry can be enhanced by great margins and thus, ensures that demand of care service users is fulfilled to the greatest extent possible (Lee and Gramotnev, 2007).


Psychology has a very important role to play in health and social care industry so as to become able to provide highly effective and efficient services through which demand of service users can be fulfilled to a great extent. During present study, it was observed that there are a large number of such theories and principles that have a direct relationship with different stages of life span development. It is crucially important that a thorough and effective understanding about the same is to be obtained and put In a good use.


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  • G. Kinman,  L. Grant, (2011), Exploring stress resilience in trainee social workers: The role of emotional and social competencies, British Journal of Social Work, 41(2), 261-275
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  • P. A. Thoits, (2011), Mechanisms linking social ties and support to physical and mental health, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 52(2), 145-161
  • D. Umberson, J. K. Montez, (2010), Social relationships and health a flashpoint for health policy, Journal of health and social behaviour, 51(1), 54-66

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