Child Development

Topics: Jean Piaget, Developmental psychology, Child development Pages: 6 (2024 words) Published: December 22, 2012
There are many different factors that influence a child’s development. In this essay I will discuss how heredity, culture, nutrition and parental affection all influence child Development across three different domains, the physical, cognitive and social-emotional. These four factors surround children in their everyday lives and they all influence child development in some way. Due to these factors child development is a unique and individual journey for every child. Firstly I will discuss heredity and the influences it has on the three domains of child development. Secondly, I will explain the influences culture has on them. Thirdly, I will discuss the influence of nutrition and, finally, parental affection and the impact it has. “Heredity means the passing of traits to offspring from its parents or ancestors” (Wikipedia: the free encyclopaedia, n.d.). All humans have inherited human traits, some common and some individual. For example, eye colour, height, colour blindness, right/left handedness are all individual traits, whereas, all children have the capacity to learn how to walk, understand language, use simple tools, imitate others and draw inferences about how other people view the world (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010, pp. 5-6). There are also heredity genetic disorders that are responsible for Cerebral palsy, Spina bifida, Cystic fibrosis and a wide range of other physical disabilities (McDaniel, n.d. para.7). By taking a child’s heredity traits into consideration there are many that may affect physical development. “For instance, children with Down syndrome are particularly susceptible to sprains and dislocations because of limited muscle tone and excessive mobility in their joints.” So therefore their physical development may be slower in some areas compared to an average, healthy child (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010, p.184). Cognitive development is another domain that heredity is deeply grounded. “As reports, neurological efficiency, or the speed with which a child’s brain operates, is largely genetically controlled and not something that you can influence” (Schreiner, 2010, para.3). Petrill et al (as sited in McDevitt & Omrod, 2010, p. 6) suggests that how slow or quick a child is to learn from instruction and everyday experiences, is determined by heredity. This can be seen in a study done on identical twins. The twins were separated at birth and lived in different environments with different families and even though they experienced these different environments their IQ’s remained quite similar, which indicates that heredity has a strong bearing on a person’s intelligence (Pearce, n.d. para.4) Because of their genetic makeup, some children act differently to other children socially-emotionally. For example, children who are by nature inhibited may be quite shy around other people and are more likely to have less social contacts, because they find making new friends harder. Whereas, in contrast, children who have more extroverted temperaments by nature find it easier to be sociable and will persistently seek out new peers with whom they can talk, laugh and play (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010, p. 7). Because everyone is unique in their heredity makeup, adults and other people can help children in their physical, cognitive and social-emotional development by finding ways to adapt activities where needed for children with disabilities and special needs, and also by giving extra encouragement and support to others who find some things harder to achieve. Secondly, Culture is another factor that affects the three domains of child development. There are different principles of physical development; some are universal, for example, learning muscle control. However some are variable to culture, like how gross and fine motor skills are utilized. For example, in the United States of America playing little league baseball is a common use of gross and fine motor skills. While in other...

References: Schreiner, E. (2010). Factors That Affect the Health & Physical Development of Children.
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