The term development means a progressive series of changes that occur as a result of maturation and experience. This means that development does not consist merely of adding inches to one’s height or of improving one’s ability. Instead it is a complex process of integrating many structures and functions.
The goal of developmental changes is to enable people to adapt to their environment in which they live. To achieve this goal, self- realization, or, as it is some times called “self- actualization” is essential. I have known an adolescent long ago, he was my neighbour. He used to be my childhood friend then. I have seen him since he was still five years old. During those times I already see him lacking the self- confidence, very pessimistic, he has fear of wrong doing and over control and over restriction of own activity.
When he was in his school age, six to twelve years old; I was just surprised seeing him very creative, and already developed a sense of competence and perseverance. When he reached his adolescent stage, I noticed that he has a coherent sense of self and always plans to actualize one’s abilities. There will be a very great difference in the development aspect of a person if he belongs to an ethnic or a dominant culture. Development is influenced by many factors and these are appearance, behaviour, cultural stereotypes, cultural values, role changes and personal experiences.
Behaviour is influenced by the environment the person has been brought up to. When behaviour changes are disconcerting, as during puberty and senescence, they affect attitudes toward the changes unfavourably. From mass media, people learn cultural stereotypes to judge people of those ages. Every culture has certain values associated with different ages. Because maximum productivity is associated with young through early middle age adulthood in the American culture of today, attitudes toward this age group are more favourable than attitudes toward other ages.