1. Introduction Thisreport will cover the physical, cognitive, social and emotional stages ofdevelopment from birth through to adolescence. Focusing on physical developmentfrom birth to adolescence the main features are growth, bone and muscledevelopment and puberty.
Discussing the range of theories that will helpunderstand why children and young people behave differently to one another, theway they physically develop and how the brain develops. Theorists that helpexplain essential parts of development are categorised in to continuousdevelopment and discontinuous development. Continuous is the process of slowly developingskills, as opposed to discontinuous, which is developing skills through stages.( Burk, L E, 2016) Key theories that help explain some of the main elements in explaining behaviour, Behaviouristtheory , Social learning theory, Cognitive theory and Social- cultural theory.
An additional factor to development are an array of different transitionsbabies to teens go through such as, starting nursery/ school, startinguniversity, moving area, loss of a loved one or parents divorcing. Thesetransitions can have an effect on an individual which can be seen as anobstacle for development or can help improve development. 2 Infancy :0-2 years 2.1 Physical developmentInfancy: 0-2 years Once a child is born they aremeasured on the Apgar scale (Appendix 1),the higher the combined score thebetter physical condition the new born is in. Approximately at the age of 5months the weight of the baby will have doubled from the initial birth weight,this ‘baby fat’ will peak at the age of 9 months, this function helps to keep astable body temperature. By the time the toddler is 2 they will lose a lot ofbody fat and begin to slowly increasetheir muscle tissue, a toddlers strength is still very limited and coordinationis still being improved.
By the age of 1 the toddler will have grownapproximately 50% bigger than the birth height and by the age of 2 thepercentage will increase to 75% taller than the initial birth weight. Due tothis, the toddlers body proportions grow in different patterns, these trendsare the, cephalocaudal and Proximodistal trends. The cephalocaudal trend ‘headto tail’ is from birth as the head of baby is 20% of the total body and thelegs only being 1/3 of the length. The Proximodistal trend ‘near to far’ willmeasure the body from the centre outwards, measuring the span of the arms andlegs, this is used through infancy to measure the continuous growth of the armsand legs.
(Burk. L ,E, 2016 ) Around the age of 1 ½ -2 years a toddler willbegin to develop motor skills and fine motor skills, they will begin to maturecloser to the age of 2. 2.2 Cognitive developmentInfancy: 0-2 years Piaget’s stages of cognitivedevelopment (appendix 2) stage one, sensorimotor, new born babies learn fromthe environment through the reflex behaviours and instincts, the senses andmotor responses synchronise together to get a better understanding of theenvironment around them. Infants begin to become to be very egocentric andbegin to learn how to accomplish things and figure out what they want and learnthe ways to communicate this.
Piaget’s theory would show this is due to schemasthat the infant has made through the adaptation of the environment, this helpsthe infant to influence the current behaviour, so it is easy to adapt to theenvironment around them, this development is accommodation. (Hayes. N, 1997) A toddler will begin tocomprehend words and the meanings, language will continuously develop, by theage of 18 months being able to produce up to 50 words. This will then start todevelop to a better coherent way of speaking, as by the age of 2 bring able toproduce up to 200 words. (Burk L E, 2016) 2.3 Social and emotionaldevelopment Infancy: 0-2 years A new born will have theability to smile, smile back at familiar faces, recognise different facialemotions and begin to laugh, they can distinguish the difference between voicesand understand the difference between positive and negative emotions.
Atapproximately 7-11 months attachments start to become clear with the caregiver,seeing them as a secure retreat. Bowlby suggested that positive earlyattachments to the caregiver (mainly mother) secures positive relationshipbuilding in the future. At this time the tiddler will also begin to understandother people’s emotional expressions and will be able to react to in thecorrect way, a toddler will be able to control emotions better. ( Bowlby. J,1969) From the age 19 months to 2 years a toddler will have self-consciousemotions will begin to appear, showing the correct emotion to the behaviour.
Advanced speaking can lead to the correct vocabulary to tell the caregiver howthey are feeling and can use it to comfort or speak to others.Self-gratification is controlled and subsidised and starts to show more empathyto situations. A toddler can also begin to categorize their self and others based onsex, age, characteristics and much more. ( Burk, L E ,2016 ) 3 Early Childhood :3-7 years 3.1 Physical development: 3-7 yearsWithin early childhood, growthbecomes a slower process, the average child will gain around 2-3 inches inheight a year, the average child will also gain around 5-7 pounds of fat ayear, depending on the lifestyle and environment that they are in.
(Burk , L E, 2013) Around the ages 3-5 gross motor skills improve, such as walking becomeseasier and fine motor improve having the ability to use a fork and knife wellwithout assistance. At the age of 5-7years they can run faster without falling over and able to use a pen/pencil towrite. At the same age, primary teeth ‘baby teeth’ begin to fall out andreplace with secondary teeth ‘adult teeth’.3.2 Cognitive development: 3-7years Piaget’s cognitive stage theory,at the ages 3-7 a child fits in to the preoperational stage.
During this stagea child will develop an understanding on how to think more abstract. this helpsthe child come to terms with symbolic concepts and have a more sophisticatedvocabulary. A child will become very inquisitive and constantly ask questionsabout a situation or everyday life. Also at this stage a child can holdattention for a longer period, helping the child grasp basic knowledge ofnumbers.
during this time a child’s attention span will improve, helping achild to then plan successfully. 3.3 social and emotionaldevelopment: 3-7 years According to Kohlberg’s stagetheory (appendix 3)a child at the age of 3-4 will be at stage 2 ;self-interest, during this stage a child seeks rewards for good behaviourrather than committing bad behaviour and getting a punishment.
A child willbegin to build up their self-esteem in different areas of their life, thisbeing learning new things and being confident with in them, getting along withfamily members and being along side peers. Language will help a child to engagewith peers and take part on imaginative play, relying on langue to express howthey feel. By the age of 5-6 a childwill reach stage 3 which is conformity and interpersonal accord, the ‘goodboy/good girl’ level is made on the idea of what other people will think aboutthe child/ action. At the age of 7, a child will reach stage 4 of Kohlberg’stheory, authority and social order. This stage is focused on the idea of fixedrules and a child obeying them, not only worrying what other people think ofthem but what the whole society thinks of them. 4.Middle childhood 6-11 years4.1 Physical development Around this age, most childrenshould have lost or began to lose primary teeth, being replaced permanentteeth.
The growth and weight rate are still gradual, increasing small amounts,depending on the environment and genetics. Towards the ages of 9-11, a childmay start to grow at a faster rate, it is evident that girls can begin theadolescent growth spurt 2 years earlier than boys. (Burk, L E , 2016) Duringthis time a child’s attention span will improve, leading to more in depthlearning and a verity of knowledge. 4.2 Cognitive development 6-11yearsPiaget’s stage theory wouldlink children of the ages of 6-11 in the concreate operational stage. Duringthis time a child will have the ability to have a better understanding of moreabstract ideas and having the ability to think of more complex ideas. At this time childrenhave a more logical thought process, helping a child to have a more organisedway of thinking.
A child will have the ability to view a situation from twodifferent perspectives, maturing from the younger egotistical self. Piagetbelieves that at this time a child has the ability to learn rules with ease,but a child will struggle to understand the logic behind those rules. Memoryimproves due to the memory strategies children will apply when learning newthings and expanding on old knowledge, long term knowledge then becomes moreorganised meaning a child will have a better understanding. 4.3 Social and emotionaldevelopment 6-11 years During this age a child willbe going through stage 4 Industry vs Inferiority in Erikson’s Psychosocialstages. At this stage schooling is a very important aspect of children’s life,meaning the role of a teacher is very important to teach the skills that childrenneed throughout their life. Also, a child’s peer group becomes a priority to achild, this helps a child self esteem build.
Within peer groups children willfeel the need to try and gain approval from their peers so that they can feelvalued and confident. Throughout this time initiative must be praised andreinforced to ensure children do not begin to feel inferior, then doubting theskills they have achieved not being able to reach the child’s full potential. Bandura’sSocial Learning theory of modelling (Appendix 5) would argue that childrenduring this age can begin to model their peer’s behaviour that they aspire tobe like and retain the behaviour. For example, a child is the ‘class clown’ apeer will then pay attention to the model, retain the information to imitatethe child, reproduction of the behaviour, other children may find thisbehaviour funny therefore giving the child motivation to act in this way. 5.Adolescence 11-18 years5.
1 Physical development 11-18yearsIn early adolescence pubertywill begin, girls will reach the peak of the growth spurt whilst boys onlybegin the growth spurt. Girls begin to start menstruation, contribution to moodswings and gaining more body fat that muscle, breasts will begin to grow aswell as leg, under arm and pubic hair will grow. In boys, leg, under arm andpubic hair will grow, voices will become lower and deeper and they will havethe ability to ejaculate, contributing to mood swings. Around this time phasedelay (sleep) becomes more common, meaning a teen will become tired more easilyand have urges to sleep during the day, a teens sleep pattern will beapproximately 2 hours later than the average bedtime (Appendix 6).
At lateadolescence, boys will complete the growth spurt and will gain more muscle,mood swings in boys and girls will begin to decrease and can deal willstressful situations more appropriately. ( Berk, L E, 2016)5.2 Cognitive development11-18 years The 4th stage ofPiaget’s theory is Formal operations stage, starting at the age of 11. Earlyadolescence has the ability to a more hypothetical and abstract way ofthinking. Adolescence can understand false premises that do not confuse them.An adolescent’s logic becomes more formal and structured and can verballyexplain different concepts without using demonstrations. Also, an adolescent’sdecision making will improve, and priorities will become clear.
Languagebecomes sophisticated adding abstract words and has a clear understanding ofdifferent speech styles and when to apply them. Reading gradually improves toan adult standard, interpreting more sophisticated texts and uses the correctgrammar. 5.3 Social and emotionaldevelopment 11-18 years Stage 5 Identity vs roleconfusion in Erikson’s psychosocial stages, begins at the age of 12 all throughadolescence. This stage is where an adolescent will look for a sense of selfand look for their own personal identity.
(Berk, L E, 2016) The way anadolescent teen will find a sense of self and personality is through their ownbeliefs values and goals. During this stage, Erikson suggests that a teen willfeel uncomfortable with their bodies, they can either adapt to their body typeleading to fidelity or reject their body and state of mind and respond inidentity crisis. During this stage parent – child conflict rises,leading to spending less time with family and more with peers, it is usual atthis time a teen will have a small friendship groups rather than large, asloyalty and mutual understanding is key. Near the end of adolescenceself-concept shows a better understanding of ones moral and personal standardsand values and parent- child conflict begins to decrease. An adolescent willbegin to want a romantic relationship with the opposite/ same sex. The adolescent mind is essentially a mind or moratorium, apsychosocial stage between childhood and adulthood, and between the moralitylearned by the child, and the ethics to be developed by the adult (Erikson,1963, p.
245).6.Transition Transition in to nursery canbe confusing and scary for a toddler, as the familiar faces of family and closefriends is what a toddler sees on a day to day basis. A child could react badlyto going to nursery and begin to cry and feel overwhelmed feeling a sense ofabandonment, due to the attachment a child will have with the care giver, thisin not uncommon. Other children may not be phased by the transition and slot invery well with other children. Divorce is a transition thatnot all children go through, but can be one if the toughest transitions,causing stress in to adulthood (Appendix 7). The consequences divorce has onchild development is very heavily based on the age of the child/young person,children categorised as preschool will feel emotion towards the situation,feeling upset, but will not understand the situation in full. Middle ageschildren, will feel extremely emotional leading to fanaticises of the reunionof their parents, and feeling disappointed when this does not happen.
Adolescence can have a sense of shame, feeling it is their personalresponsibility why their parents split, leaving an adolescent very emotional,but hiding the emotion leading to more angry behaviour. This can affectrelationships between parent and adolescent as arguments can occur moreregularly which can lead to an adolescent siding with one parent (Kim, H.S. 2011). It is normal for a child/young person to have experienced emotionaldistress within the first year, possibly leading to behaviour problems.Approximately after 5 years a child/young person may feel they had to grow upfaster than the average person of same age, taking on responsibilities androles that may have matured the child/young person. Parenting can become morelaxed as the parents may feel guilt for causing emotional distress, leading to thechild/young person not following rules and bad behaviour is not punished asstrongly as it should be. (Kim, H.
S.2011)Transitioninginto adulthood can be stressful for some adolescents, this can be because ofthe responsibility and independence that comes with adulthood. Some adolescentcan find this transition difficult and lose confidence within themselves asthey feel like they may fail and become disappointed.
Whereas, some adolescentsthrive of gaining independence and like to gain more responsibility withintheir own life and not relying on parents or family members. 7.Conclusion To conclude, the report hasdiscussed the different stages of development from birth through to maturity,looking at key approaches explaining the physical, cognitive, social andemotional stages, as well as areas of transition. Key theorists including the Piaget,Kohlberg and Erikson have been used throughout to further explain the differentstages and provide example. The areas of transition of each stage including education,divorce and transitioning in to adulthood. have been discussed, mainly focusingon the effects these could have on an individual’s development.
Discussing thedevelopment of children and youths is vital for parents to have the ability toreflect and see if their own child is developing correctly.