Acceleration in psychology. What is it, the definition is short, the reasons


  1. Definition and characterization
  2. Reasons for the appearance
  4. Epochal
  5. Intragroup
  6. Intellectual
  7. Sexy
  8. Negative aspects of development
  9. Positive aspects of influence
  10. Video about acceleration

Acceleration - this is the accelerated pace of physiological, mental and sexual development of a person, outstripping the indicators of the norm on average for a period of up to 2 years. Known in medicine and psychology only in the 19th century, the term of the German scientist E. Koch affects both all aspects of the psychological formation of a person (general acceleration) and its individual aspects (partial acceleration).

In modern psychology, the concept of "acceleration" is usually understood as an accelerated rate of development and intensive sex education of adolescents, accompanied by violent neuroendocrine shifts.

Definition and characterization

Acceleration in psychology is a faster physical and mental development that occurs in childhood and adolescence. The definition of this term was first proposed in 1935. German scientist E. Koch and was originally used to diagnose the faster growth and maturation of children and adolescents of the 20th century. compared to their peers in the previous generation.

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During his many years of research, the German specialist concluded that the children of the 30s. XX century in all age-sex groups turned out to be larger than their parents were at the same age.

In modern psychology, the term "acceleration" is also understood as a characteristic of intragroup stratification according to the rate of development of children of the same age. In this case, the concept of “accelerated” (“retarded”) children means children and adolescents who are ahead of their passport age by several years (or vice versa).

In foreign psychology, the phenomenon of "acceleration" is associated with the concept of "secular trend", implying the presence of characteristic shifts during intragroup and “epoch-making” (“secular”) acceleration:

  1. In the first case, the late period of puberty occurs against the background of the increased size of the child's body, which occurs with the lengthening of the growth period.
  2. "Secular" acceleration is directly opposite to the group, and is characterized by an earlier period of puberty in children, combined with an increased size of their body. This phenomenon has been studied in detail by the Russian anthropologist V.G. Vlastovsky, but has not yet received a reliable scientific justification.

Another translation of the term defines "acceleration" as an epochal shift - reflecting changes in human nature over a longer period of time, beyond the century.Acceleration in psychology. What is it, definition, reasons

According to the doctor of biological sciences V.G. Vlastovsky, similar trends have repeatedly occurred in the history of mankind and mean not only the acceleration of the development of the younger generation, but also significant changes in the development of adults of people, occurred over a period of 100-150 years and characterized by:

  • an increase in body size;
  • lengthening of the reproductive period;
  • later onset of menopause in women;
  • preservation of working capacity in old age;
  • increase in life expectancy.

In addition to physiological development, the acceleration process is associated with some changes in the psychological state of a person.

In most of the highly developed countries of the world, characteristic changes have been recorded by scientists since the middle of the last century. Some mentions of them, according to the doctor of biological sciences Vlastovsky V.G., are also in the works of ancient and medieval scientists.

"Pathology of mental development" by doctor of medical sciences Tiganov A.S. the term "acceleration" means the process acceleration (from 1 to 2 years) of the physiological, intellectual and sexual development of the younger generation, in general or partially. In the latter case, according to the doctor of sciences, the appearance of uneven psychophysical development can be noted.Acceleration in psychology. What is it, definition, reasons

The professor noted that the process of acceleration of children in the older age group was repeatedly highlighted in the medical and psychological literature as a phenomenon associated with adolescent infantilism, the reasons for the appearance of which remain poorly studied.

In the "Big Psychological Dictionary" the term "acceleration" refers to the faster physiological development of children, which has been observed over a period spanning the past 150 years. This phenomenon here covers various anatomical and physiological aspects of the body, including an increase in the height and weight of newborns and school-age children.

At the same time, the period of puberty was also significantly reduced (by 1-2 years), which was the result of the influence of a number of social and biological factors.

Reasons for the appearance

Acceleration in psychology is an accelerated maturation of adolescents in comparison with the previous generation, taking place in the form of a mass phenomenon that manifested itself in the 50s. XX century. As an independent phenomenon, it gained its fame at the end of the 19th century, but its individual manifestations were observed by scientists earlier, and were also described in the works of the ancient Greek scientist Hippocrates.

The exact reasons for the appearance of the phenomenon, despite its active study, remain unclear.Acceleration in psychology. What is it, definition, reasons

Doctors of psychology Zeltser A., ​​Vlastovsky V. G. and A. E. Lichko is named under the probable reasons for the appearance of acceleration:

  • changes in solar activity and increased radiation;
  • general urbanization, accompanied by the growth of individual cities and the massive resettlement of rural residents to them;
  • the prevalence of mixed marriages, accompanied by fragility of national, cultural and religious traditions;
  • a significant improvement in the quality of food, the predominance of vitamins and minerals in products.
  • intellectualized upbringing of a child, taking place against the background of his isolation from the children's collective;
  • changes in the structure of the genotype;
  • various mental dysfunctions.

Science also knows cases when mental acceleration develops in the form of hypercompensatory the phenomenon in children, due to the peculiarities of physiological development, forced to lead a sedentary image life. So, according to doctors Vlastovsky V.G. and A.E. Lichko, high intellectual abilities can be observe in children suffering from cerebral palsy (cerebral palsy) and valvular heart disease activities.Acceleration in psychology. What is it, definition, reasons

Conducted by a group of scientists from the International Institute of Psychosomatic Health, under the leadership of A.F. studies have explained the incipient process of acceleration of socio-cultural, economic and sociopsychological shifts in 50-60s centuries have passed.

In the mid 80s. of the last century, scientists noticed a decline in the acceleration process, as well as a gradual leveling of the growing up period in children and adolescents.


Acceleration in psychology is the acceleration of the physical and psychoemotional development of representatives of a generation born later than their predecessors (Bendas T. "Gender Psychology").

In modern psychology, the phenomenon can appear in several manifestations:


The accelerated maturation of adolescents, which manifested itself in the 20-50s. the last century is observed already at the stage of intrauterine development of the embryo. This process is manifested by significant physiological growth and acceleration of the general development of children and adolescents, which is observed in comparison with previous generations.

According to research data, modern children are born with a body length increased by 0.8-1.5 cm and a weight that has grown by 66-100 g compared to the previous generation. As the child grows further, these differences increase. Also, according to research, the changes affect the work of all vital organs and systems.

The phenomenon of epochal acceleration (acceleration of development), according to research conducted by experts in psychology K. S, Vlastovsky V. G. and Lichko A.E. especially noticeable at the stage of development in adolescents of reproductive abilities.

At the end of the XIX beginning of the XX centuries. puberty began in girls aged 12-14 years, and in boys from 13 to 15 years old and ended at 18-20 years old in girls and in 20-23 years. among young men.

Since the 50s of the twentieth century. scientists noted a downward shift in the development of reproductive abilities (by 1-2 years compared to the previous generation). Physical maturity in such children also began much faster, while acceleration aggravated the physiological and sociopsychological features of the course of puberty.

The acceleration process that began in adolescence is considered by scientists to be the least favorable and increases the child's predisposition to the development of neuropsychiatric disorders. The unfavorable manifestation of developmental acceleration by specialists includes situations when a child is 1-2 years old. at an accelerated stage, it passes the stage of puberty, acquiring adult outlines by the age of 14 - 16 face and body.

Such a sharp leap in development is accompanied by:

  • low-motivated mood swings;
  • explosiveness and conflict character;
  • intensive development of sexuality, manifested in the form of active masturbation or early sexual intercourse.

According to scientists, this condition is quite common in adolescents suffering from various psychopathic disorders, and contributes to the appearance of their initial symptoms 10-12 years old age.


The phenomenon is manifested by the process of accelerated physiological development of individual children and adolescents in their age groups and is manifested by the appearance of a higher growth in them, a significant increase in muscle mass, an increase in their physiological opportunities.

On the negative side, this process is accompanied by a decrease in the functional abilities of the internal organs. So, according to research data, it was found that in such children, along with an increased rate of development, the appearance of endocrine disorders, ENT pathologies and dysfunctions of the heart muscle can be observed.Acceleration in psychology. What is it, definition, reasons

By the way it proceeds, intragroup acceleration is divided into:

Phenomenon type

Its characteristic

Harmonious acceleration It is considered a rather rare phenomenon in the modern world, and is accompanied by the development at the same accelerated pace of all personal psychological functions of the child.
Disharmonious acceleration The spread, according to scientific research, is a phenomenon during which rapid mental and the physiological development of a child at an early age is accompanied by the appearance of somatovegetative dysfunctions. As they grow older, it is possible to join them with cardiovascular and endocrine pathologies. In the mental sphere, with this type of acceleration, the accelerated development of some mental functions may be accompanied by complete backwardness in the formation of others.


Appeared in the late 30s. of the last century, the term was developed after a series of studies by the American sociologist James Flynn, who showed an increase in the intelligence quotient of Americans (IQ) with each new decade on average by 3 item. Similar studies have been carried out in other countries of the world, revealing a significant increase in IQ.

The emergence of this trend is explained by scientists by the stimulating effect on the brain cells of a powerful information flow and the consumption of foods rich in vitamins and protein. Psychologists also noted the influence of the early development of a child on an increase in his intellectual abilities.


The phenomenon associated with the accelerated sexual development of adolescents was established by scientists in the period from the late 19th - early 20th centuries. and was accompanied, in addition to changes in the height and body weight of children, by a significant change in the period of their puberty.

According to research:

  • in girls, the period of the onset of menstrual bleeding changed, moving to 12-14 years of age;
  • in boys, the period of occurrence of emissions and the period of active growth and development shifted to the age of 13-14 years.Acceleration in psychology. What is it, definition, reasons

The change in the timing of puberty led to the awakening in young men of an early interest in the problems of love, relationships between the sexes and the emergence of early sexual attraction. At the same time, the gap between the level of physical development and moral-psychological, social and civic maturity is increasing. adolescents, which leads to the need for them to conduct a sex education course aimed at keeping young people from early onset of sexual intercourse life.

Negative aspects of development

The acceleration of a child in infancy and preschool age is accompanied by the appearance of a number of difficulties in his further education. The accelerated rate of mental development of a child aged 1 to 1.5 years can lead to the development of his hypersensitivity to possible manifestations of stress. According to psychological studies, mental acceleration is not always accompanied by an increase in intellectual development and an increase in creative abilities.

Experts noted that these children start talking early, use pronouns correctly, ask logically correct questions and show creative imagination, but their intellectual activity does not develop due to the inability of the brain to process information received from the outside and their real an experience.

Acceleration in a child can also manifest itself in the form of a clinical phenomenon that develops at the initial stage of schizophrenic personality disorder.

It can also precede the appearance in the future:

  • syndrome of pathological fantasizing;
  • hyperactivity syndrome;
  • psychoendocrine syndrome.Acceleration in psychology. What is it, definition, reasons

Group of psychologists of the International Institute of Psychosomatic Health, under the leadership of A.F. Kopyev, who conducted a study of the phenomenon of acceleration revealed the occurrence in adolescents who have undergone puberty period at an accelerated pace, pronounced vegetative disorders, manifested by:

  • the development of tachycardia, accompanied by sharp fluctuations in blood pressure (BP);
  • "Causeless" subfebrile condition;
  • difficulty falling asleep and insomnia;
  • increased appetite;
  • complaints of the appearance of a feeling of heat, chills, increased sweating;
  • orthostatic hypotension;
  • low motivated mood swings;
  • explosiveness and conflict character.

Positive aspects of influence

Psychiatric acceleration can also have positive aspects, contributing to the earlier development in the child of such psychological functions as:

  • consciousness;
  • self-awareness;
  • thinking;
  • intelligence;
  • Creative skills;
  • exceptional intellectual productivity.

A striking example of psychiatric acceleration, highlighted by the German neurologist M. Critchy became a boy who began to pronounce his first words at the age of 4 months, read his first ABC book at the age of one and graduated from the university with honors at the age of 15.

In psychology, acceleration means a faster rate of development of children and adolescents, which is manifested by a reduction in the period of growing up by up to 2 years in comparison with previous generations.

The process developing at all stages of the child's physical, social and mental development accelerates the formation of intellectual, mental and creative the child's abilities, but also accompanied by vegetative-vascular disorders, which increase the nervous excitability and vulnerability of those in this adolescent period children.

Video about acceleration

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