Continuity-Discontinuity Issue

The science of behaviour is considered to constitute psychology. Counseling, biopsychology, neuro psychology, and developmental psychology are just a few of the many subcategories that make up psychology. But the scientific field of developmental psychology is concerned with the growth of the human existence. The field investigates both the causes of and mechanisms governing changes in an individual. Additionally, the field allows psychologists to investigate people of all ages. The purpose of the article is to demonstrate the continuity-discontinuity problem as a current problem in developmental psychology. The essay will also offer a potential resolution to the problem raised.

The two main topics of discussion are connectedness and development pattern. This question essentially asks if a person can age into an older version of their early development or to what extent they can transform into someone different than they were at previous stages. Supporters of the continuous model in developmental psychology describe development as a process without clear stages or transitions. The continuous model’s psychologist makes more connections between the traits of adults and adolescents and their early development.

But a psychologist who supports the discontinuous model agrees that development is a process marked by a number of distinct stages (Varta, R., & Miller, S. A, 2005). Additionally, according to this paradigm, a person must do one or more activities before moving on to the subsequent step. After passing through the oral, anal, phallic, and latency stages, an individual reaches mature adult sexuality in the genital stage, according to Freud’s psychosexual theory. Finally, proponents of stage theories of development contend that individuals go through key phases of growth. For instance, a crucial period for language acquisition is early childhood (5 years) (Berger, 2000).

Continuity-Discontinuity Issue


The middle ground between sudden discontinuity and gradual continuity is where truth rests. Even in theories that place a strong emphasis on the stages, there is no evidence to support the notion that people move quickly and abruptly from one stage to the next. The patterns were primarily the focus of the continuity-discontinuity debate. It is important to note that both poles of development encompass the alterations that occur in every child’s life, including their cognitive, intellectual, psychological, emotional, and physical growth. Unless there are life milestones or realistic catastrophic experiences that might induce abrupt changes in intellectual, psychological, and emotional growth and hence have a significant impact on people’s lives, development happens gradually.


The life-span developmental psychology is concerned with how people’s conduct changes throughout the course of their lives. The majority of psychologists are quite interested in the continuity-discontinuity question. According to the continuous model, early development and adult characteristics are related. The developmental phases that children go through are explained by Freud’s stage model.


Berger, K. S. (2000). The developing person: Through childhood and adolescence (5th ed.). USA: Worth publishers.

Varta, R., & Miller, S. A. (2005). Child psychology. (4th, Ed.) New York: John Wiley &Sons, In


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