A-Frame Relationship: is one in which the partners lean on one another and are highly dependent on the other for survival

Achondroplasia: a genetic disorder that is marked by abnormally slow conversion of cartilage to bone during development resulting in a form of dwarfism characterized by a usually normal torso and shortened limbs and that is usually inherited as an autosomal dominant trait

Acne: a disorder of the skin caused by inflammation of the skin glands and hair follicles

Active Euthanasia: administering a lethal dose of medication to someone who wishes to die

Active Genotype-Environment Correlation: occurs when individuals seek out environments that support their genetic tendencies

Additive Pattern: many different genes contribute to a final outcome

Advance Directives: include documents that mention a healthcare agent and living wills

Agape: is an altruistic, selfless love

Age of Viability: the first chance of survival outside the womb, reached between 22 and 26 weeks

Age-Related Macular Degeneration: macular degeneration that affects the elderly in either a slowly progressing form marked especially by the accumulation of yellow deposits in and thinning of the macula or in a rapidly progressing form marked by scarring produced by bleeding and fluid leakage below the macula

Aggressive-Rejected: acting out of a feeling of insecurity

Albinism: a human being who is congenitally deficient in pigment and usually has a milky or translucent skin, white or colorless hair, and eyes with pink or blue iris and deep-red pupil

Alzheimer’s Disease: a degenerative brain disease of unknown cause that is the most common form of dementia, that usually starts in late middle age or in old age, that results in progressive memory loss, impaired thinking, disorientation, and changes in personality and mood, and that is marked histologically by the degeneration of brain neurons especially in the cerebral cortex and by the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and plaques containing beta-amyloid

Andropause: a gradual and highly variable decline in the production of androgenic hormones and especially testosterone in the human male together with its associated effects that is held to occur during and after middle age

Anemia: a condition in which the blood is deficient in red blood cells, in hemoglobin, or in total volume

Animism: attribution of conscious life to objects in and phenomena of nature or to inanimate objects

Anorexia: loss of appetite especially when prolonged

Anticipatory Greif: occurs when a death is expected and survivors have time to prepare to some extent before the loss

Apgar Score: an index used to evaluate the condition of a newborn infant based on a rating of 0, 1, or 2 for each of the five characteristics of color, heart rate, response to stimulation of the sole of the foot, muscle tone, and respiration with 10 being a perfect score

Articulation Disorder: refers to the inability to correctly produce speech sounds (phonemes) because of imprecise placement, timing, pressure, speed, or flow of movement of the lips, tongue, or throat

Associative Play: children will interact with each other and share toys, but are not working toward a common goal

Atherosclerosis: arteriosclerosis characterized by atheromatous deposits in and fibrosis of the inner layer of the arteries

Athletic Coach: Parenting Style: helps children form strategies, supports their efforts, gives feedback on what went right and what went wrong, and stands at the sideline while the children perform

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): a developmental disorder that is marked especially by persistent symptoms of inattention (such as distractibility, forgetfulness, or disorganization) or by symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity (such as fidgeting, speaking out of turn, or restlessness) or by symptoms of all three and that is not caused by any serious underlying physical or mental disorder

Authoritative: Parenting Style: children develop greater competence and self-confidence when parents have high, but reasonable expectations for children’s behavior, communicate well with them, are warm, loving and responsive, and use reasoning, rather than coercion as preferred responses to children’s misbehavior

Authoritarian: Parenting Style: the traditional model of parenting in which parents make the rules and children are expected to be obedient

Autobiographical Memory: our personal narrative

Autosomal Dominant Disorders (Heterozygous):  Inherits the gene change from only one parents

Arthritis: inflammation of joints due to infectious, metabolic, or constitutional causes


Babbling: producing meaningless speech sounds

Beginning Phase: ‘of breaking up’ involves seeing imperfections in the relationship but remaining hopeful that things will improve

Bereavement: the period after a loss during which grief and mourning occurs

Big Five: a person’s tendency toward extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, conscientiousness, and openness

Bilingual: using or able to use two languages especially with equal fluency

Binge Eating Disorder (BED): an eating disorder characterized by recurring episodes of binge eating accompanied by a sense of lack of control and often negative feelings about oneself but without intervening periods of compensatory behavior (as self-induced vomiting, purging by laxatives, fasting, or prolonged exercise)

Boomerang Kids: a young adult who returns to live at his or her family home especially for financial reasons

Braxton-Hicks-Contractions: relatively painless nonrhythmic contractions of the uterus that occur during pregnancy with increasing frequency over time but are not associated with labor

Bulimia Nervosa: a serious eating disorder that occurs chiefly in females, is characterized by compulsive overeating usually followed by self-induced vomiting or laxative or diuretic abuse, and is often accompanied by guilt and depression

Bullying: abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger, more powerful


Cancer: a malignant tumor of potentially unlimited growth that expands locally by invasion and systemically by metastasis

Case Studies: involve exploring a single case or situation in great detail

Cataracts: a clouding of the lens of the eye or of its surrounding transparent membrane that obstructs the passage of light

Centenarians: people over the age of 100

Cephalocaudal Development: growth during prenatal development occurs in two major directions from head to tail

Cesarean Section (C-Section): a surgical procedure involving incision of the walls of the abdomen and uterus for delivery of offspring

Chromosomal Abnormality: occurs when a child inherits too many or too few chromosomes

Chromosome: any of the rod-shaped or threadlike DNA-containing structures of cellular organisms that are located in the nucleus of eukaryotes, are usually ring-shaped in prokaryotes (such as bacteria), and contain all or most of the genes of the organism

Chronic Illnesses: illnesses that are ongoing, generally incurable conditions that require continuing medical attention and affect daily life

Circumcised: to cut off the foreskin of (a male) or the prepuce or clitoris and labia minora of (a female)

Classical Conditioning: conditioning in which the conditioned stimulus (such as the sound of a bell) is paired with and precedes the unconditioned stimulus (such as the sight of food) until the conditioned stimulus alone is sufficient to elicit the response (such as salivation in a dog)

Clinically Dead: when a person no longer has brain activity

Clustering Rehearsal: the person rehearses previous material while adding in additional information

Cognitive: of, relating to, being, or involving conscious intellectual activity (such as thinking, reasoning, or remembering)

Co-Parental Divorce: is experienced by those couples who have children together. Determining custody and visitation are part of this station of divorce

Co-Sleeping: parents and infants sleeping in close proximity to each other

Cohabitation: involves living together in a sexually intimate relationship without being married

Cohort: is a group of people who are born at roughly the same period in a particular society

Community Divorce: involves severing ties with neighbors, coworkers, friends, and relatives following divorce

Companionate Love: intimacy and commitment are the hallmarks; partners love and respect one another and they are committed to staying together

Concrete Operational Stage: mastering the use of logic in concrete ways

Conditioned Stimulus: learned response to a stimulus

Confidentiality: Researchers must also protect the privacy of the research participants’ responses by not using names or other information that could identify the participants

Confirmation Bias: is the tendency to look for evidence that we are right and in so doing, we ignore contradictory evidence

Congenital Disability: is a condition present at birth regardless of its cause.  Formerly known as Birth defects, they may result in disabilities that are physical, intellectual, or developmental.  The disabilities can range from mild to severe.

Conservation: refers to the ability to recognize that moving or rearranging matter does not change the quantity

Consummate Love: intimacy, passion, and commitment are present; often the ideal type of love

Content Analysis: involves looking at media such as old texts, pictures, commercials, lyrics or other materials to explore patterns or themes in culture

Continuity Theory: suggests that as people age, they continue to view the self in much the same way as they did when they were younger

Continuous Development: development is a slow and gradual process

Cooing: to make a low soft cry of a dove or a pigeon or a similar sound

Cooperative Play: children are interacting to achieve a common goal. Children may take on different tasks to reach that goal

Corpus Callosum: the great band of commissural fibers uniting the cerebral hemispheres of higher mammals including humans

Critical Thinking: a detailed examination of beliefs, courses of action, and evidence, involves teaching children how to think

Cross-sectional: research that involves beginning with a sample that represents a cross-section of the population

Cross-sequential Research: involves combining aspects of the previous two techniques; beginning with a cross-sectional sample and measuring them through time

Crystallized Intelligence: refers to the accumulated knowledge of the world, we have acquired throughout our lives

Cultural Relativity: is an appreciation for cultural differences and the understanding that cultural practices are best understood from the standpoint of that particular culture

Culture: is often referred to as a blueprint or guideline shared by a group of people that specifies how to live

Cyberbullying: the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person (such as a student) often done anonymously

Cystic Fibrosis (CF): a common hereditary disease that appears usually in early childhood, involves functional disorder of the exocrine glands, and is marked especially by difficulty in breathing due to mucus accumulation in airways, by faulty digestion due to a deficiency of pancreatic enzymes, and by excessive loss of salt in the sweat


Dating Cohabitation: These partnerships are entered into for fun or convenience and involve less commitment than premarital cohabitation

Debriefing: At the end of a study debriefing, which is a procedure designed to fully explain the purposes and procedures of the research and remove any harmful after effects of participation, must occur

Deception: occurs whenever research participants are not completely and fully informed about the nature of the research project before participating in it. Deception may occur when the researcher tells the participants that a study is about one thing when in fact it is about something else, or when participants are not told about the hypothesis

Declarative Memories: memories for facts or events that we can consciously recollect – Explicit Memories

Deferred Imitation: the imitation of actions after a time delay

Dendrite: any of the usually branching protoplasmic processes that conduct impulses toward the body of a neuron

Depression: a mood disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies

Descriptive Studies: focus on describing an occurrence

Developmental Designs: are techniques used in lifespan research (and other areas as well).  These techniques try to examine how age, cohort, gender, and social class impact development

Developmental Theories: offer explanations about how we develop, why we change over time and the kinds of influences that impact development

Diabetes: a variable disorder of carbohydrate metabolism caused by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors and usually characterized by inadequate secretion or utilization of insulin, by excessive urine production, by excessive amounts of sugar in the blood and urine, and by thirst, hunger, and loss of weight – Diabetes Mellitus

Dialectical Thought: ability to bring together salient aspects of two opposing viewpoints or positions

Dichotomy: a division into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities

Discontinuous Development: development occurs in separate stages

Disenfranchised Greif: may be experienced by those who have to hide the circumstances of their loss or whose grief goes unrecognized by others

Divided Attention: the ability to switch our focus between tasks or external stimuli

Dominant: being the one of a pair of bodily structures that is the more effective or predominant in action

Dual-Process Model of Grieving: model takes into consideration that bereaved individuals move back and forth between grieving and preparing for life without their loved one

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: a severe progressive X-linked muscular dystrophy of males marked by early childhood onset and absence of the protein dystrophin

Dyscalculia: impairment of mathematical ability due to an organic condition of the brain

Dysgraphia: impairment of handwriting ability that is characterized chiefly by very poor or often illegible writing or writing that takes an unusually long time and great effort to complete

Dyslexia: a variable often familial learning disability involving difficulties in acquiring and processing language that is typically manifested by a lack of proficiency in reading, spelling, and writing


Economic Divorce: divorce involves the division of property and debt, determining whether alimony will be paid, and determining if a spouse who provided support while their partner was in school or other lengthy training that increased their earning potential will be entitled to future earnings

Ectopic Pregnancy: development of a fertilized egg elsewhere than in the uterus (as in a fallopian tube or the peritoneal cavity)

Egocentrism: the quality or state of being egocentric: excessive interest in oneself and concern for one’s own welfare or advantage at the expense of or in disregard of others

Elderspeak: a patronizing form of ‘baby talk’ used to talk down to the elderly

Embryo: a vertebrate at any stage of development prior to birth or hatching

Emotional Divorce: involves a lot of mini-divorces in which partners make alienating remarks to one another. Partners become disengaged from one another and emotionally withdrawn. Some couples divorce emotionally, but never legally

Empty Love: love may be found later in a relationship or in a relationship that was formed to meet needs other than intimacy or passion (money, childrearing, status)

Empty Nest: the seemingly empty home after the parents’ children have left the house indefinitely

End Phase: ‘of breaking up’ the decision to leave has been made

Endogamy: marriage within a specific group as required by custom or law

Epidural Block: an injection of a local anesthetic into the space outside the dura mater of the spinal cord in the lower back region to produce a loss of sensation especially in the abdomen or pelvic region

Episodic Memories: long-term memory of a specific event that was personally experienced at a particular time or place in the past

Episiotomy: surgical incision of the perineum to enlarge the vaginal opening for obstetrical purposes during the birth process

Eros: is an erotic style of loving in which the person feels consumed

Ethnocentrism: the attitude that one’s own group, ethnicity, or nationality is superior to others

Explanatory Studies: are efforts to answer the question “why” such as “Why have rates of divorce leveled off?” or “Why are teen pregnancy rates down?”

Evaluation Research: is designed to assess the effectiveness of policies or programs

Evocative Genotype-Environment Correlation: refers to how the social environment reacts to individuals based on their inherited characteristics

Executive Function (EF): the group of complex mental processes and cognitive abilities (such as working memory, impulse inhibition, and reasoning) that control the skills (such as organizing tasks, remembering details, managing time, and solving problems) required for goal-directed behavior

Expertise: refers to specialized skills and knowledge that pertain to a particular topic or activity


Family Capital: parents who have higher levels of income, occupational status, and other qualities favored in society

Fast-Mapping: words are easily learned by making connections between new words and concepts already known

Fatuous Love: some people who have a strong physical attraction push for commitment early in the relationship

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): an umbrella term for a range of effects of exposure and replaces the term fetal alcohol syndrome

Fetus: an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind

Filter Theory of Mate Selection: the pool of eligible partners becomes narrower as it passes through filters used to eliminate members of the pool

Fine Motor Skills: exact movements of the hands and fingers and include the ability to reach and grasp an object

Flow: the mental state of being completely present and fully absorbed in a task

Fluency Disorders: affect the rate of speech; speech may be labored and slow, or too fast for listeners to follow

Fluid Intelligence: refers to the capacity to learn new ways of solving problems and performing activities
quickly and abstractly

Fragile X Syndrome: an X-linked inherited disorder that is characterized especially by moderate to severe intellectual and developmental disabilities, an elongated face and prominent forehead, chin, and ears, and by large testes in males, and that often has limited or no effect in heterozygous females


Gallstones: a burning discomfort behind the lower part of the sternum due especially to spasmodic reflux of acid from the stomach into the esophagus

Gamete: a mature male or female germ cell usually possessing a haploid chromosome set and capable of initiating formation of a new diploid individual by fusion with a gamete of the opposite sex

Gamete Intra-Fallopian Tube Transfer (GIFT): implanting both sperm and ova into the fallopian tube and fertilization is allowed to occur naturally

Gender Constancy: the knowledge that gender does not change

Gender Dysphoria: a distressed state arising from conflict between a person’s gender identity and the sex the person has or was identified as having at birth

Gender Dysmorphia: marked by a feeling of discomfort and disconnection between one’s self and biological gender

Gender Identity: a person’s internal sense of being male, female, some combination of male and female, or neither male nor female

Gender Roles: the rights and expectations that are associated with being male or female are learned throughout childhood and into adulthood

Gene: a specific sequence of nucleotides in DNA or RNA that is located usually on a chromosome and that is the functional unit of inheritance controlling the transmission and expression of one or more traits by specifying the structure of a particular polypeptide and especially a protein or controlling the function of other genetic material

Genotype: all or part of the genetic constitution of an individual or group

Genotype-Environment Correlations: refer to the processes by which genetic factors contribute to variations in the environment

Genotype-Environment Interactions: involve genetic susceptibility to the environment

Germinal Period:  begins at conception, lasts 2 weeks

Glaucoma: a disease of the eye marked by increased pressure within the eyeball that can result in damage to the optic disk and gradual loss of vision

Greif: the normal process of reacting to a loss, the psychological, physical, and emotional experience of loss

Gross Motor Skills: involve the use of large muscle groups and are typically large movements of the arms, legs, head, and torso

Gestational Diabetes: Diabetes that develops in a woman while pregnant, whom did not have diabetes prior to pregnancy

Guided Participation: otherwise known as scaffolding, when a teacher or capable peer helps a child learn cognitive skills within a certain range (zone of proximal development)

Granny Dumping: the practice of family members abandoning older family members with severe disabilities in emergency rooms is a growing problem


H-Frame Relationship: is one in which the partners live parallel lives

Hayflick Limit: cells divide a limited number of times and then stop

Hawthorne Effect: the stimulation to output or accomplishment that results from the mere fact of being under observation

Heart Burn: a burning discomfort behind the lower part of the sternum due especially to spasmodic reflux of acid from the stomach into the esophagus

Heart Disease: an abnormal condition of the heart or of the heart and circulation (such as coronary heart disease, arrhythmia, or heart-valve defect)

Hemophilia: a hereditary, sex-linked blood defect occurring almost exclusively in males that is marked by delayed clotting of the blood with prolonged or excessive internal or external bleeding after injury or surgery and in severe cases spontaneous bleeding into joints and muscles and that is caused by a deficiency of clotting factors

Heterozygous: having the two alleles at corresponding loci on homologous chromosomes different for one or more loci

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): abnormally elevated blood pressure especially of the arteries

High Cholesterol: too much cholesterol in one’s blood

Holophrastic Speech: expressing a complex of ideas in a single word or in a fixed phrase

Home State: occurs when parents or siblings visit the school

Homogamy: the mating of like with like

Homozygous: having the two genes at corresponding loci on homologous chromosomes identical for one or more loci

Hormonal Stress Theory: suggests that as we age the ability of the hypothalamus to regulate hormones in the body begins to decline leading to metabolic problems – Neuroendocrine Theory of Aging

Hormones: a product of living cells that circulates in body fluids (such as blood) or sap and produces a specific often stimulatory effect on the activity of cells usually remote from its point of origin

Hospice: involves caring for dying patients by helping them be as free from pain as possible, providing them with assistance to complete wills and other arrangements for their survivors, giving them social support through the psychological stages of loss, and helping family members cope with the dying process, grief, and bereavement

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): either of two retroviruses that infect and destroy helper T cells of the immune system causing the marked reduction in their numbers that is diagnostic of AIDS

Huntington’s Disease: a hereditary brain disorder that is a progressive, neurodegenerative condition marked especially by impairments in thinking and reasoning, disturbances of emotion and behavior, and the involuntary spasmodic movements of chorea and that is associated with the loss or atrophy of nerve cells in the basal ganglia especially of the caudate nucleus and putamen

Hyperactivity: higher than usual levels of movement and activity (such as excessive talking or fidgeting) typically associated with attention deficit disorder

Hypothesis: an assumption or concession made for the sake of argument


Imaginary Audience: the adolescent’s belief that those around them are as concerned and focused on their appearance as they themselves are

Impaired Aging: more physical challenge and disease than others of the same age

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): procedure involves removing eggs from the female and fertilizing the eggs outside the woman’s body

Incomplete Dominance: the property of being expressed or inherited as a semi dominant gene or trait

Inductive Reasoning: logical process in which multiple premises believed to be true are combined to obtain a specific conclusion

Infant Anoxia: hypoxia especially of such severity as to result in permanent damage, during delivery

Infantile Amnesia: inability to remember the feelings and experiences of early childhood

Infatuation: consists of an immediate, intense physical attraction to someone

Infertility: not fertile or productive, incapable of or unsuccessful in achieving pregnancy

Information Processing: based on the ideas and research of several cognitive scientists studying how individuals perceive, analyze, manipulate, use, and remember information

Informed Consent: Researchers must obtain informed consent, which explains as much as possible about the true nature of the study, particularly everything that might be expected to influence willingness to participate.  Participants can withdraw their consent to participate at any point

Intrinsic Value: the partners are together because they enjoy, love and value one another


Joint Attention: the ability to focus on objects or individuals in social interactions


Kinkeeping: organizing events and communication in order to maintain family ties

Klinefelter’s Syndrome: an abnormal condition in a male characterized by usually two X and one Y chromosomes, infertility, smallness of the testicles, sparse facial and body hair, and enlarged breasts

Kwashiorkor: severe malnutrition in infants and children especially of impoverished regions cause by a diet low in protein


Lateralization: the process in which different functions become localized primarily on one side of the brain

Learning Disability (LD): any of various conditions (such as dyslexia or dysgraphia) that interfere with an individual’s ability to learn and so result in impaired functioning in language, reasoning, or academic skills (such as reading, writing, and mathematics) and that are thought to be caused by difficulties in processing and integrating information

Legal Divorce: involves court proceedings and negotiations that legally dissolve the partners’ marital ties to one another

Liking: in this relationship, intimacy or knowledge of the other and a sense of closeness is present

Limbic System: a group of subcortical structures (such as the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, and the amygdala) of the brain that are concerned especially with emotion and motivation

Living Wills: written or video statements that outline the health care initiates the person wishes under certain circumstances

Long-Term Memory: a memory that involves the storage and recall of information over a long period of time (such as days, weeks, or years)

Longitudinal Research: involves beginning with a group of people who may be of the same age and background, and measuring them repeatedly over a long period of time

Ludus: refers to a style of loving that emphasizes the game of seduction and fun


M-Frame Relationship: the relationship is interdependent

Major Neurocognitive Disorder: diagnosed as a significant cognitive decline from a previous level of performance in one or more cognitive domains and interferes with independent functioning

Mania: the style of love characterized by volatility, insecurity, and possessiveness

Marasmus: a condition of chronic undernourishment occurring especially in children and usually caused by a diet deficient in calories and proteins

Marriage Gradient: suggests among couples, the man is supposed to have more education than the woman

Martyr: a parent who will do anything for the child; even tasks that the child should do for himself or herself

Mediation Deficiency: occurs when a child does not grasp the strategy being taught, and thus, does not benefit from its use

Meiosis: the cellular process that results in the number of chromosomes in gamete-producing cells being reduced to one half and that involves a reduction division in which one of each pair of homologous chromosomes passes to each daughter cell and a mitotic division

Menopause: the natural cessation of menstruation that usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55

Metacognition: awareness or analysis of one’s own learning or thinking processes

Middle Phase: ‘of breaking up’ once it becomes clear that efforts to change are futile; marked by disappointment

Minor Neurocognitive Disorder: diagnosed as a modest cognitive decline from a previous level of performance in one or more cognitive domains and does not interfere with independent functioning

Mitosis: a process that takes place in the nucleus of a dividing cell, involves typically a series of steps consisting of prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase, and results in the formation of two new nuclei each having the same number of chromosomes as the parent nucleus

Mourning: the process by which people adapt to a loss

Multidisciplinary: combining or involving more than one discipline or field of study

Multifactorial: caused or marked by a polygenic mode of inheritance dependent on a number of genes at different loci; also, caused by or dependent on the interaction of multiple genes combined with one or more environmental factors

Multitasking: the ability to switch our focus between tasks or external stimuli

Mutual Dependency: partners begin to disclose even more about themselves and are met with support and acceptance

Myelin: a soft white material that forms a thick layer around the axons of some neurons and is composed chiefly of lipids (such as cerebroside and cholesterol), water, and smaller amounts of protein


Nature: heredity plays the most important role in bringing about a feature

Negative Reinforcement: involves taking something away from the situation in order to encourage a behavior

Neuroplasticity: the capacity for continuous alteration of the neural pathways and synapses of the living brain and nervous system in response to experience or injury

No Harm: The most direct ethical concern of the scientist is to prevent harm to the research participants

Normal Aging: changes are similar to most of those of the same age

Nondeclarative Memories: typically automated skills that do not require conscious recollection – Implicit Memories

Novice: someone who has limited experiences with a particular task

Nurture:  one’s environment is most significant in shaping the way we are


Observational Studies: involve watching and recording the actions of participants

Onlooker Play: children are observing other children playing.  They may comment on the activities and even make suggestions, but will not directly join the play

Oogenesis: the process of female gamete formation including the formation of an oocyte from an oogonium followed by meiotic division

Operant Conditioning: conditioning in which the desired behavior or increasingly closer approximations to it are followed by a rewarding or reinforcing stimulus

Operational: refers to logical manipulation of information, so children at this stage are considered pre-operational

Optimal Aging: good health, active, stimulating life

Osteoarthritis (OA): a common form of arthritis typically with onset during middle or old age that is characterized by progressive degenerative changes in the cartilage of one or more joints (as of the knees, hips, and hands) accompanied by thickening and overgrowth of adjacent bone and that is marked symptomatically chiefly by stiffness, swelling, pain, deformation of joints, and loss of range of motion

Osteoporosis: a condition that affects especially older women and is characterized by a decrease in bone mass with decreased density and enlargement of bone spaces producing porosity and fragility

Overload Stressors: having too many demands placed on them by children or do to financial concerns


Pal: permissive parent, wants to be the child’s friend

Palliative Care: focuses on providing comfort and relief from physical and emotional pain to patients throughout their illness even while being treated

Parallel Play: children play alongside each other, using similar toys, but do not directly act with each other

Passive Euthanasia: no longer feeding someone or giving them food

Passive Genotype-Environment Correlation: occurs when children passively inherit the genes and the environments their family provides

Permissive: Parenting Style: involves holding expectations of children that are below what could be reasonably expected from them

Personal Fable: belief that one is unique, special, and invulnerable to harm

Phenotype: the observable properties of an organism that are produced by the interaction of the genotype and the environment

Phenylketonuria (PKU): an inherited metabolic disorder caused by an enzyme deficiency resulting in accumulation of phenylalanine and its metabolites in the blood causing usually severe mental retardation and seizures unless phenylalanine is restricted from the diet beginning at birth

Photoaging: the cumulative detrimental effects (such as wrinkles or dark spots) on the skin that result from long-term exposure to sunlight and especially ultraviolet light

Physical Bullying: involves hurting a person’s body or possessions

Physician-Assisted Suicide: occurs when a physician prescribes the means by which a person can end his or her own life

Physiological Death: occurs when the vital organs no longer function

Placenta: the vascular organ in mammals except for monotremes and marsupials that unites the fetus to the maternal uterus and mediates its metabolic exchanges through a more or less intimate association of uterine mucosal with chorionic and usually allantoic tissues

Plasticity: intelligence can be shaped by experience

Police Officer/Drill Sergeant: Parenting Style: focuses primarily making sure that the child is obedient and that the parent has full control of the child

Polygenic: any of a group of nonallelic genes that collectively control the inheritance of a quantitative character or modify the expression of a qualitative character

Popular-Antisocial: gain popularity by acting tough or spreading rumors about others

Popular-Prosocial: are nice and have good social skills, tend to do well in school and are cooperative and friendly

Positive Reinforcement: involves adding something to the situation in order to encourage a behavior

Pragma: the style of love that emphasizes the practical aspects of love

Preeclampsia: a serious condition developing in late pregnancy that is characterized by a sudden rise in blood pressure, excessive weight gain, generalized edema, proteinuria, severe headache, and visual disturbances and that may result in eclampsia if untreated.  – Toxemia

Premarital Cohabitation: people testing the relationship before marriage by living together

Preoperational Stage: of, relating to, or being the stage of cognitive development according to Jean Piaget’s theory in which thought is egocentric and intuitive and not yet logical or capable of performing mental tasks

Presbycusis: a lessening of hearing acuteness resulting from degenerative changes in the ear that occur especially in old age

Presbyopia: a visual condition which becomes apparent especially in middle age and in which loss of elasticity of the lens of the eye causes defective accommodation and inability to focus sharply for near vision

Primary Aging: refers to the inevitable changes associated with aging

Primary Sexual Characteristics: changes in the reproductive organs

Principle of Least Interest: the partner who has the most to lose without the relationship (or is the most dependent on the relationship) will have the least amount of power and is in danger of being exploited

Production Deficiency: the child does not spontaneously use a memory strategy, and has to be prompted to do so

Propinquity: nearness in place or time

Prospective Memory: the memory of planned events in the future

Proximodistal Development: growth during prenatal development occurs from the midline outward

Psychic Death: occurs when the dying person begins to accept death and to withdraw from others and regress into the self

Psychic Divorce: involves grieving, becoming more objective about one’s role in the breakup, and feeling whole again as a single person

Psychosocial: involving both psychological and social aspects

Punisher: anything that follows an act and decreases the chance it will reoccur


Rapport: a friendly, harmonious relationship

Reactive Attachment Disorder: a psychological disorder of infancy and early childhood that is characterized by disturbed or developmentally inappropriate patterns of social interaction and is typically associated with inadequate parental care (such as neglect of the basic emotional and physical needs of the child)

Recessive: producing little or no phenotypic effect when occurring in heterozygous condition with a contrasting allele

Reciprocal Determinism: the interplay between our personality and the way we interpret events and how they influence us

Reinforcer: used to encourage a behavior

Resiliency: being able to overcome challenges and successfully adapt

Rh Disease: hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn that is characterized by an increase in circulating erythroblasts and by jaundice and that occurs when the immune system of an Rh-negative mother produces antibodies to an antigen in the blood of an Rh-positive fetus which cross the placenta and destroy fetal red blood cells.  – Erythroblastosis Fetalis, Hemolytic Disease of the newborn

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): a usually chronic autoimmune disease that is characterized especially by pain, stiffness, inflammation, swelling, and sometimes destruction of joints

Romantic Love: intimacy and passion are components of romantic love, but there is no commitment

Rubella: an acute contagious virus disease that is caused by a toga virus (species Rubella virus of the genus Rubi virus) and is milder than typical measles but is damaging to the fetus when occurring early in pregnancy.  German Measles

Rules of Exogamy: specify the groups into which one is prohibited from marrying


Sample: a representative part or a single item from a larger whole or group especially when presented for inspection or shown as evidence of quality

Sampling Bias: selecting samples in such a way to exclude certain factors

Sanctity State: a time in which the child is contemplative, quiet, or prayerful and is a very brief part of the day

Sarcopenia: reduction in skeletal muscle mass due to aging

Scaffolding: is the temporary support that parents or teachers give a child to do a task

Secondary Aging: refers to changes that are caused by illness or disease

Secondary Sexual Characteristics: visible physical changes not directly linked to reproduction, but signal sexual maturity

Secondary/Content Analysis: involves analyzing information that has already been collected or examining documents or media to uncover attitudes, practices, or preferences

Selective Attention: the ability to focus on a single task or stimulus while ignoring distracting information

Self-Concept: the mental image one has of oneself

Self-Efficacy: the belief that you are capable of carrying out a specific task or of reaching a specific goal

Self-Esteem: confidence and satisfaction in oneself

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: tendency to act in such a way as to make what you predict will happen comes true, calls our attention to the power that labels can have whether or not they are accurately applied

Self-Revelation: the revelation of one’s own thoughts, feelings, and attitudes especially without deliberate intent

Semantic Memories: long-term memory of facts, information, and meanings that is not related to any specific event personally experienced in the past

Sensory Memory: the first stage of the memory system, and it stores sensory input in its raw form for a very brief duration; essentially long enough for the brain to register and start processing the information – Sensory Register

Sex-Linked Chromosomal Abnormality:  when one is missing a whole sex chromosome

Sexual Abuse: the infliction of sexual contact upon a person by forcible compulsion

Sexual Response Cycle: sexual motivation, often referred to as libido, is a person’s overall sexual drive or desire for sexual activity

Sexually Transmitted Disease: any one of various diseases that can be transmitted by direct sexual contact

Short-Term Memory: a memory that involves recall of information for a relatively short time (such as a few seconds) – Working Memory

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD): a chronic anemia that occurs in individuals (as those of African or Mediterranean descent) who are homozygous for the gene controlling hemoglobin S and that is characterized by destruction of red blood cells and by episodic blocking of blood vessels by the adherence of sickle cells to the vascular endothelium which causes the serious complications of the disease (as organ failure)

Simple Random Sampling: randomly selected samples

Social Bullying: involves spreading rumors, purposefully excluding someone from a group, or embarrassing someone on purpose

Social Death: occurs when others begin to withdraw from someone who is terminally ill or has been diagnosed with a terminal illness

Social Exchange Theory: people try to maximize rewards and minimize costs in social relationships

Social Intelligence: recognizing that others can think differently about situations

Social Learning Theory: actions that are learned by watching others

Socioeconomic Status: is a way to identify families and households based on their shared levels of education, income, and occupation

Socioemotional Selectivity Theory: older adults become more selective in their friendships than when they were younger

Solitary Play: children play by themselves, do not interact with others, nor are they engaging in similar activities as the children around them

Spontaneous Abortion: naturally occurring expulsion of a nonviable fetus

Spermatogenesis: the process of male gamete formation including the formation of a spermatocyte from a spermatogonium, meiotic division of the spermatocyte, and transformation of the four resulting spermatids into spermatozoa

Stage Theorists: developmental change occurs in distinct stages that are qualitatively different from each other, and inset, universal sequence

Storge: is a style of love that develops slowly over time

Stranger Anxiety: fear of unfamiliar people

Street Corner State: the child is playful, energetic, excited, and expresses personal opinions, feelings, and beliefs

Stress: one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium

Student State: the student focuses on a task or tries to stay focused on a task, is passive, compliant, and often frustrated

Substance Abuse: excessive use of a drug (such as alcohol, narcotics, or cocaine): use of a drug without medical justification

Substitute Marriage: partners are committed to one another and are not necessarily seeking marriage

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): the death of an apparently healthy infant usually before one year of age that is of unknown cause and occurs especially during sleep

Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID):  death occurring among infants less than 1 years old and have no immediate obvious cause

Sustained Attention: the ability to stay on task for long periods of time

Synaptic Blooming: a period of rapid neural growth

Synaptic Pruning: neural connections are reduced thereby making those that are used much stronger

Synaptogenesis: the formation of nerve synapses


Tacit Knowledge: pragmatic or practical and learned through experience rather than explicitly taught

Tay-Sachs Disease: a hereditary disorder of lipid metabolism typically affecting individuals of eastern European Jewish ancestry that is characterized by the accumulation of lipids especially in nervous tissue due to a deficiency of hexosaminidase, that is inherited as a recessive autosomal trait, and that causes death in early childhood

Teacher-Counselor: Parenting Style: one who pays a lot of attention to expert advice on parenting and who believes that as long as all of the steps are followed, the parent can rear a perfect child

Theory: a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena

Theory of Mind: is the understanding that the mind can be tricked or that the mind is not always accurate

Tourette’s Syndrome: a familial neurological disorder of variable expression that is characterized by recurrent involuntary tics involving body movements (such as eye blinks or grimaces) and vocalizations (such as grunts or utterance of inappropriate words), often has one or more associated conditions (such as obsessive-compulsive disorder), is more common in males than females, and usually has an onset in childhood and often stabilizes or ameliorates in adulthood

Toxic Stress: children who live in extremely stressful situations of abuse over long periods of time can suffer long-lasting effects

Toxoplasmosis: infection of humans, other mammals, or birds with a disease caused by a toxoplasma (Toxoplasma gondii) that invades the tissues and may seriously damage the central nervous system especially of infants

Trial Marriage: type of cohabitation in which partners are trying to see what it might be like to be married

Trisomy 13: a congenital condition that is characterized especially by usually severe mental retardation and by craniofacial, cardiac, ocular, and cerebral abnormalities, is caused by trisomy of the human chromosome numbered 13, and is typically fatal especially within the first six months of life.  Patau Syndrome

Trisomy 18: a congenital condition that is characterized especially by mental retardation and by craniofacial, cardiac, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary abnormalities, is caused by trisomy of the human chromosome numbered 18, and is typically fatal especially within the first year of life.  Edwards Syndrome

Trisomy 21: occurs when there are three rather than two chromosomes on #21.  Down syndrome

Turner’s Syndrome: a genetically determined condition that is typically associated with the presence of only one complete X chromosome and no Y chromosome and is characterized especially by a female phenotype with underdeveloped and usually infertile ovaries and short stature


Unconditioned Stimulus: natural response to a stimulus

Uninvolved: Parenting Style: are disengaged from their children

Unoccupied Play: children’s behavior seems more random and without a specific goal.  This is the least common form of play

Utilitarian Marriages: are unions entered primarily for practical reasons

Utilization Deficiency: child using an appropriate strategy, but it fails to aid their performance


Variable: able or apt to vary; subject to variation or changes

Verbal Bullying: saying or writing mean things, teasing, name-calling, taunting, threatening, or making inappropriate sexual comments

Vicarious Reinforcement: the act of engaging in a behavior because we have seen it work for someone else

Virtual Volunteer: dialoguing online with others from around their world and sharing their support, interests, and expertise

Voice Disorders: involve problems with pitch, loudness, and quality of the voice

Voluntary Euthanasia: helping someone fulfill their wish to die by acting in such a way to help that person’s life end


Wheel Theory of Love: love relationships begin with the establishment of rapport

Withdrawn-Rejected: easy targets for bullies because they are unlikely to retaliate when belittled


Zone of Proximal Development: the learner can do with guidance

Zygote: a cell formed by the union of two gametes

Zygote Intra-Fallopian Tube Transfer (ZIFT): sperm and ova are fertilized outside of the woman’s body and the fertilized egg or zygote is then implanted in the fallopian tube


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Psychology Through the Lifespan Copyright © 2020 by Alisa Beyer and Julie Lazzara is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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