"Human Growth and Development" is an outstanding example of a paper on child development. Infancy refers to the stage between birth and 18 months. Preschool level refers to children between the ages of 3 to 5 years. The most significant things in the life of an infant and a preschool child are feeding and exploration respectively. For example, children seek to find playmates and understand the environment around them. The preschool level is characterized by a struggle between initiative and guilt. In contrast, infancy is characterized by the struggle between trust and mistrust.
Children at the preschool level have an urge to control their environment (Overton & Lerner, 2010). However, the children who demonstrate too much power are met with disapproval that makes them develop feelings of guilt. Consequently, the social and personality development of the infant depends on the kind of care that they are given (Feldman, 2010). For example, a child who is given affection will develop trust for other people. A lack of affection and care at this stage will result in poor social development, as the infant will mistrust.
The exertion of too much power at the preschool level will enable the child to grow into a strong-willed and controlling person. Infants have no capacity for moral development. However, they make choices and observations that can shape their moral character at the preschool level (Overton & Lerner, 2010). In the event that children are given all the things that they want at this level, they become accustomed to getting their own way. During this stage, the children can be taught about right and wrong. The stage plays a significant role in the development of a sense of purpose among individuals.
In contrast, infancy is marked by a dependence on the caregivers. A failure by the caregivers to demonstrate affection and provide reliable care will result in feelings of mistrust (Feldman, 2010). The two stages have significant similarities. Firstly, the psychosocial, moral and personality development of the child depends on their caregivers. The people in their environment have the ability to shape the development of a child. Secondly, the environment plays a prominent role in shaping their individuality. For example, the social and personality development of a child will be affected if they are in the care of unaffectionate people.
Similarly, preschool children living in an environment characterized by immoral behavior will be inclined towards a life without a strict moral code. In addition, failure by the caregivers at this stage to correct any controlling behavior will cause the child to grow into a stubborn person. It is important to note that infants are born with temperaments. Their personality depends on the interaction between these temperaments and their environment (Feldman, 2010). A high-quality relationship between the child and the caregiver is integral in the emotional and social development of the child.
As a result, successful socialization at the preschool level depends on the infant stage. During infancy, the child responds more to primary caregivers than other people (Feldman, 2010). At the preschool level, they respond to people evenly. In addition, infants exhibit stranger anxiety, an observation that decreases drastically at the preschool level. It is impossible for the child to demonstrate any moral behavior during infancy. However, they start to differentiate between right and wrong at the preschool stage (Overton & Lerner, 2010).
In addition, they also exhibit guilt due to empathy when they break the rules. For example, John may feel bad for hurting the feelings of his friend by taking her toy. As a younger child, he could only have known that it was wrong if he were punished as opposed to feeling bad about it. Q. 2 The preschool child is 3-5 years, middle stage refers to children between the ages of 6-11 years while adolescence refers to children between 12 to 18 years.
All three stages are characterized by physical development. There is a lot of growth in human beings between the ages of 3-18 years. Adolescence is marked by the development of the gender characteristics in an individual. At this stage, boys experience growth in the penis, height, facial and body hair while girls experience breast development, menstruation and changes in both body shape and height. Both develop pubic hair and the ability to have children. Adolescence plays a significant role in the brain development of a person. There are a lot of changes in the brain during this stage of human development that affects the social skills of the child and behavior.
The child develops problem-solving and planning skills. They also develop the ability to make decisions. In contrast, the preschool and middle stages are characterized by an inability to plan, solve problems or make individual decisions. A snowman, McCown, and Biehler (2012) claim that the environment influences the intellectual development of children. The only thing that changes during the three stages is the agent that affects intellectual development. During preschool, the caregivers and the other members of the family play a significant role in reinforcing positive behavior and discouraging negative behavior.
For example, a child who disobeys the parent may be prevented from watching television or playing outside for a while as a way of punishing bad behavior. Similarly, when they obey their parents, they can be given a present as a way of reinforcing positive behavior. According to Snowman, McCown, and Biehler (2012), the teacher and fellow children play a significant role in the intellectual development of the child during the middle stage. They teach the children how to read, write, speak and do arithmetic.
Mastering the four skills is integral in the intellectual growth of a person. Intellectual growth also comes from the interaction between an individual and other children in school. Adolescence is characterized by a struggle between the need to establish the identity of the individual versus confusion over the role that the person should play in society (Zelazo, 2013). During this period, the individual has a strong desire to make their own decisions. However, they are influenced by the desire to conform to their peers. During the preschool and middle stages, children are unaware of their roles in society.
However, during adolescence, they are aware of the different roles that are expected of them by virtue of their gender (Zelazo, 2013). For example, preschool and middle stage children may play together without caring that the other child is a boy or female. In contrast, during adolescence, they are conscious of the differences between a boy and a girl. Conclusion The different stages of human development are not only interlinked but also have a number of similarities.
However, many differences due to growth exist. The socialization and personality of a person depend on their experiences throughout all the stages of human development.
Feldman, R. S. (2010). Development across the life span. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.
Overton, W. F., & Lerner, R. M. (2010). The Handbook of life-span development: Vol. 1.
Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Snowman, J., McCown, R. R., & Biehler, R. F. (2012). Psychology applied to teaching.
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Zelazo, P. D. (2013). The Oxford handbook of developmental psychology. New York, NY:
Oxford University Press.