Theories on human development

  • Created by: Kayeee7
  • Created on: 06-05-16 12:10

Application to care settings:

Health: Hospitals, GP Surgery, and other primary healthcare providers, hospices...

Social Care: Day care centres, residential & nursing homes, sheltered housing, foster homes...

Children & Young people: Child minders, nurseries, play groups, primary schools, secondary schools, pupil referral units, colleges...

Community Justice: Prisons, remand centres, young offender's institutes...

Strategies & Techniques:

Biological treatments: Drugs, meditation and relaxation, sensory rooms...

Person-centred therapy & encounter groups...

Behaviour therapy, behaviour modification, token economy...

Modelling, social skills training, and family therapy...

Behavioural perspective (Maslow)

  • Humanistic theories look at people as individuals - they stress the uniqueness of each person that we build our own beliefs and develop our own self concept (how we see ourselves). To truly understand human behaviour you have to enter the unique thoughts of that person.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs:

  • Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist that is famous for development of his hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy consists of five levels that can be divided into deficiency needs (four deficit needs at the bottom) and growth needs. Self-actualization needs are growth needs.

Self actualisation

When a person has mostly met the deficit needs they have the potential to be self-actualising. They do not have to worry about food and shelter, they have love and emotional attachments and a high self esteem. If they can go beyond the pressures of life and not be controlled by deficit needs they are free to explore their creativity and potential. Self actualising people are ‘free’, they are satisfied for with life. It is believed that a person's self actualisation sually happens later in life. When they have achieved this they will have:

  • Accurate perception of reality
  • Acceptance of themselves and others

  • Great self knowledge

  • Involved in major projects in life

  • Independence

  • Creativity

  • Spirituality


  • Holistic - focuses on the individual and all of their needs.
  • It is important that the H&SC practitioners see the whole person and not just their physical needs

  • Focuses on unique experiences of each individual being fulfilled and not just financial wealth.


  • Only a general understanding and limited understanding into behaviours

  • Inadvisable to interpret human behaviour from just one perspective

  • Theory is not based on scientific research (is subjective)

  • Cultures in which large numbers of people live in poverty; people are still able to have loving relationships even without meeting physiological needs

Strategies used by the humanist perspective to support clients

  • Person centred therapy - this deals with the ways in which individuals perceive themselves consciously rather than how a counsellor can interpret their unconscious thoughts or ideas. PCT ultimately sees human beings as having an innate tendency to develop towards their full potential (self actualisation). However, this ability can become blocked or distorted by our life experiences - particularly those that affect our sense of value.

  • It aims to facilitate personal growth and relationships of an individual by allowing them to explore and use their own strengths and personal identity. There are six conditions necessary to enable real change. These are:

    • There is psychological




this is really good!!