Explain the Concepts of Growth, Development and Maturation. How do They Differ?


Growth refers to the increase in size. It is the process of something growing. It is a physical and quantifiable process. For example, an increase in your height or weight.


Development refers to the process of developing or evolution. For example, the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly.


Maturation refers to the process of becoming mature over time and reaching the full phase of development. For example, having a career when you turn into an adult.

Difference Between Growth, Development and Maturation

The major difference between the concepts of growth, development and maturation are as follows:

  1. Growth refers to the physical development of an individual whereas maturation refers to the intellectual or personal development of an individual while development refers to the change in the functioning of one’s organs.
  2. Growth is an increase in size, maturation is an advancement in one’s personal and cognitive domains, whereas development is the improvement of an individual.
  3. Development follows a pattern whereas maturation and growth do not follow a pattern.
  4. Development and maturation is always positive and an improvement whereas growth, especially in weight, is not always considered to be an improvement.
  5. Growth is only limited to the physical aspect whereas maturation and development refers to the advancement for all aspects.
  6. Growth can be measured whereas maturation and development cannot be measured.
  7. Growth is not a continuous process whereas maturation and development is a lifelong and continuous process.


Although growth, development, and maturation are terms that are often used in place of one another, these are the major differences between these three concepts.

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