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Human Life Span Development Essay

For this unit, I will produce a fact file booklet that can be used by future Health and Social Care students. In this booklet I will include; The life stages: conception, birth and infancy (0-3 years); childhood (4-10 years); adolescence (11-18 years); adulthood (19-65 years); old age (65+) I will be looking at development changes that occur at different life stages, and I will also describe physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social development through the life stages. I will also include definitions of growth and development, developmental norms, developmental milestones, life course, maturation and life expectancy.

  • Physical development includes aspects such as growth, changes at puberty, menopause and ageing. Growth is usually described as an increase of size, height, weight or shape, and development is meant to describe changes in complexity.
  • Intellectual and language aspects of development include rapid learning in the early years (language, moral development, problem-solving) and learning throughout life including the effect of age on intellectual ability.
  • Emotional aspects of developing include early attachment and bonding;
  • Independent and self-confidence
  • Social aspects of development should include social and cultural influences which include cooperation, teamwork, relationships, beliefs and norms.

Conception, birth & Infancy (0-3) What is conception? Conception occurs when the sperm meets the egg and fertilises it. The fertilised egg is called an embryo which implants into the wall of the womb. At about two months it is usually called a foetus and it continues to grow and develop for about 9 months. Conception is a remarkably difficult process. The male has to produce sperm and the female has to produce an egg which then has to come together at just the right time and in just the right place. Physical development From birth to one 1month a baby should make basic distractions in vision, hearing, smelling, tasting, touch and perception of pain. Babies with normal development should be able to lift their head by months, sit unsupported for 6 months and crawl, pull themselves upright at 16 months and walk and by the age of 2-3 years old, they should be able to kick, throw a ball and pedal tricycle.

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Intellectual and language development. By the time a baby is 10 months he/she should start saying one or two words, imitate sounds and respond to simple commands. 2-3 years old, the baby starts to use short sentences controls and explores the world with language, stuttering may appear briefly. Emotional development. From 2-3 months the babies get quiet distress, from 4 months-6 months they enjoy being cuddled and from 2-3 years they start to have violent emotions and anger. They also intend to have differentiated facial expressions of anger, sorrow, joy and they also have a sense of humour. Social development.

At 4-6 months a baby can recognise his/her mother. Distinguishes between familiar people and strangers and they no longer smile indiscriminately. At the same point, they also expect feeding, dressing and bathing. When a baby is 2-3 years when they talk they use “I”, “me”, “you”, most babies intend to use these words a lot. They copy parents actions, they like giving cuddles, they are dependent, enjoy playing alongside another child and every single baby is possessive about toys.

Childhood (4-10). Physical development. By the time a child, he/she reaches childhood should be able to skip on one foot, hop and dress themselves up without help. They have a good balance (5years old) and smoother muscle action and they can also tie shoes. Girls have smaller muscles compare to boys but for other developments, girls are about 1 year ahead of boys. Intellectual and language development At the age of 5 and above they should be able to say about 2,072 words, Carrie out directions well, read and write their name, know all the different colures and this is time they begin to know the difference between fact and fiction- lying.

Emotional development. They are stable, well adjusted, like to associate with mother or mother or father, enjoys responsibilities and they also seem to like following rules. Social development. They have one or two special friends, highly organised, they enjoy playing table games requiring turns and observing rules and they are so willing to carry out some responsibilities. Adolescence (11-18) Physical development. As children approach and move through adolescence, they proceed through few stages of puberty. There are a lot of differences between girls’ development and boys’ development. Most girls begin to develop breast buds at 8 years old, with full breast development achieved around 12 to 18 years. By the time girls and boys turn 11 years old, they would have started their puberty, of cause it depends on your body. Some people don’t start puberty until they are 16 or even 18 and this is because of their body, their body develops really slowly. Girls:

  1. Growth in height continues, but at a slower pace than earlier; adult height is reached by age 16 or 17.
  2. Breast development continues
  3. Hips widen, legs and stomach increase
  4. Menstrual periods become regular; ovulation is established; pregnancy becomes possible

Boys:

  1. Muscles fill out and strength increases dramatically
  2. Voice deepens
  3. Body hair increases

Intellectual and language development. From the age of 11 to 18 teenagers’ ways of thinking about themselves, others and the world shift to a much more adult level.

  1. Their arguing skills improve (and are demonstrated often and with great passion).
  2. Focus on the future develops
  3. Learns to recognise that current actions can have an affect on the future.
  4. Decision-making skills improve.

Emotional development. Emotional development continues once children reach adolescence. Teenagers become very moody and negative. Most adolescence copes with the changes in emotionally positive ways. When emotional stress does arise, it often is the result of adolescent conflict with their parents.

Social development. Teenagers seem to be spending more time with their friends during adolescence, with popularity being a strong motivation for many of them. Peer pressure is another thing, it gets really strong during this age, cliques becoming visible, groups and crowds become more heterosexual, and dating becomes very important. Youth organisations can have an important influence on adolescents. Adulthood (19-65). Physical development. At this stage, a person may continue to undergo significant hormonal changes. However, by the mid-60S the changes are more noticeable:

  1. The skin becomes thinner and less elastic- wrinkles appear
  2. Bones become more brittle and more likely to break
  3. Height is reduced, the spine may become more rounded and muscles become weaker.

Intellectual and language development. People do not become less intelligent as they grow older. They may need more support when gaining new abilities, new skills or knowledge, and if older people are in good health and exercise their minds they will retain their mental abilities. Emotional development. They can get affected by anything around them, this includes retirement, retirement can affect them as they do not have a clear idea of who he or she anymore and apart from health problems they can suffer from being stereotyped- by mostly teenagers. Social development. Older people live a very active life once they retire and they make new friends as on the other hand health problems and impairments can create difficulties that mean they are very isolated and lonely.

Old age (65+). Physical development. The ageing process progresses more quickly once most people reach their sixties. By the time people reach their sixties, they will have to deal with some sort of disability. It is important to know that being older is not an illness. Intellectual and language development. Old people are still able to learn a different kind of skills and hobbies, which has been shown to help people age in a positive way. They can learn a foreign language, play few games and learn how to play some musical instruments. Older people are less able to solve problems as quickly as adulthood. Emotional development. Many older people are pleased to have more free time to them, at this time they are able to spend their retirement visiting their family and friends or pursuing their hobbies. Social development. Many people prepare for retirement by developing interests that can be followed later and others may do voluntary work. This kind of social interactions has been shown to be important for a healthy older person.

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