L.K. Frank

“The changes that occur in any physical aspect are known as growth.”

Libert, Poulos, and Manner(1979)

Development refers to a process of change in growth and capability over time, function of both maturation and interaction with the environment.”

There are different characteristics that define the meaning of growth and development. These characteristics are as follows:

Characteristics of Growth:

  1. Growth defines the change in the physical factors of a child including height, weight, mass, and physical development.
  2. Growth can be measured as it is quantitative.
  3. Growth can be perceived through eyes and senses.
  4. Growth does not take place in a continuous manner.
  5. Growth is uniform in the physical sense such as the milk teeth growth, toddling then walking, etc.
  6. Growth takes place for a limited period.
  7. The growth rate is faster in the initial years than in the later stages.
  8. Food, the amount of nutrition, health, and fitness influence mental as well as physical growth.
  9. Mental health cannot be perceived through senses but rather through physical growth.
  10. Various factors such as heredity, environment, social relationship, and motivation affect the growth rate.

Characteristics of Development:

  1. Development is the overall growth of a person with regard to the mental, social, physical, and psychological levels.
  2. Development cannot be measured.
  3. Development has a set pattern but it can vary as it can be at a different rate as per the individual.
  4. Development goes from general to specific.
  5. Development is a life-long process so it is continuous in nature.
  6. Development is an umbrella term that can hold every aspect from social to psychological.
  7. Development is a more complex and comprehensive term than growth.
  8. The process of development is interrelated to many factors.
  9. Development denotes the qualitative changes.
  10. Development goes from concrete to abstract.


Height, weight, mass, color, size Mental, social, physical, and psychological changes
Measured as it is quantitativeCannot be measured as it is qualitative
PerceivableCannot be perceived through the senses
Not continuousContinuous
Till the limited period A life-long process
The faster growth rate in the initial yearsUniform and steady in nature
Can be affected by health issuesInterrelated to many factors
The less complex and comprehensive concept A more complex and comprehensive concept
In a uniform pattern From concrete to abstract
Denotes only physical aspectsdenotes every aspect of change
Characteristics of Growth and Development

Difference Between Growth and Development

growth and development
Difference Between Growth and Development