"Human Growth and Development"' is an outstanding example of a paper on wellness and lifestyle. Growth, development, and declines are all key and essential elements within the cycle of life. Therefore, understanding each of these phases as well as the nuances that they portend is integral in better understanding the changes that take place within the body and the psyche of the individual. This growth or aging process is such an integral component of how practitioners and individuals relate to the state of their own body and the prognosis and outlook of others that it alone can be termed as the most important factor in the health, treatment, and prognosis for a great number of issues. Based upon this fact alone, the understanding, appreciation for, and importance of such a process come clearly into view. Moreover, as the text states, this level of development, growth, and decline is so all-encompassing that it is necessarily attributed to the otherwise broad and expansive fields of parenting, health, well-being, education, diversity, and medicine. In such a way, the reader can gain but a brief glimpse of why such a factor lies at the very core of understanding regarding the human body. As stated in the text, the key stages of growth and development are concentric upon the following three factors: biological, cognitive, and socioemotional. As a function of these three factors, it is readily obvious to the reader/researcher that each of these is influenced by different factors. Concerning biological factors, this necessarily refers to the set of determinants that nature and biology itself has on the individual concerning overall development/health. Similarly, the cognitive factors affecting growth and development necessarily refer to those mental developmental levels that the individual experiences. Finally, the most nuanced of the three is that of socioemotional factors. This is the most difficult one of the three to understand because it combines both individual interpretations of what growth and aging mean as well as how society views these constructs. As can be noted by the way that the author of the chapters discuss, growth and development is always a study that is highly amenable to being differentiated into a series of stages. This of course is true of the developmental stages that the human experiences within the womb: germinal, embryonic, and fetal. As a means of understanding each of these, the author goes into a great deal of discussion regarding the integral factors of human growth and development which take place during each stage. However, more than just enumerating upon what instances of human growth take place during which stage, the author seeks to paint a valid picture for the unique ways that human development and issues are exhibited within each of the aforementioned stages. The reason for such a careful analysis of these stages of growth and development is because only through a closer understanding of how the human develops can the reader/researcher begin to understand some of the key components that give rise to many of the health problems and congenital birth defects which affect such a high number of newborn infants. As the authors describe, the study of this particular field of human development is called teratology. As a function of denoting the key stages of the child’ s development within the uterus, the analysis continues to denote the key stages involved in the birthing process. What is interesting to note in the way that the chapter discusses the key phases of life after the fertilization of the egg is the fact that the development process is noted as something that does not pick speed at any one particular point. Rather, the growth and development of the human from the time that fertilization takes place until birth is something that takes place on so many levels and is so intricate that attempting to denote the actual speed of development within such a process would be futile. Although once birth takes place, the level of biological development by no means slows; the authors choose to discuss the cognitive development that is exhibited within the child. As a function of this, the different levels of speech development, motor skill development associated with crawling then walking, and complex social interaction skills take precedence in this analysis. As a system of understanding this cognitive development, the chapter discusses the different schemes which the infant/child employs to help categorize and organize the massive amount of information that they are absorbing daily. Similarly, Piaget’ s four stages of infant development are enumerated upon. What is interesting about the levels of organization and categorization that the child exhibits during this stage are the fact that none of these categorization skills are learned (as far as medical research has thus far determined). It is therefore highly interesting the nature of whether such a learning ability was something that is environmentally learned or is somehow attributed to the cognitive abilities that the parents were able to instill within the child (i. e.
a form of nature vs. nurture argument). Although the answer to this is not likely to be determined, it is nonetheless fascinating where such ability came from; for without the ability of the child to categorize and organize information, the world itself would appear as little more than a massive jumble of unintelligible ideas, noises, thoughts, and sights. Similarly, the analysis that is concentric upon the growth and development of the child into adulthood and beyond is also mentioned; however, for purposes of seeking to extrapolate key meanings from this period that have not already been discussed and analyzed ad infinitum is difficult. As a function of this, the remainder of this brief analysis will focus upon the final chapter in question; i.e.
the chapter that deals specifically with the development in late adulthood and death. As a function of growth, the ultimate end must necessarily be death and decline (Hendry et al 45). As depressing as such an eventuality may be, the same is nonetheless true for the growth and development of the human being. Likewise, as a means of understanding the determinants that directly affect the growth and development of the individual during this stage, the authors discuss the concept of socio-emotional factors. The introduction of this term and its explanation helps to define the way that the individual within late adulthood accepts, understands, and prepares for the eventuality of death. If the student is to take a salient and pressing overview from the understandings that have herein been discussed it would be the fact that growth, development, and the process of death are all governed by a set of stages which are self-fulfilling and necessarily take place within every individual. Moreover, although none of these stages can be skipped, avoided, or otherwise altered in a typical human being, they nonetheless bear consideration because the processes that take place within each of them are inherently important in understanding the complex ways in which disease, developmental problems and the process of death and dying take place. Furthermore, it should be noticed by the reader/researcher that the process of growth/development/death is an ever-evolving non-stop process that is active throughout every phase of life. Whereas it is oftentimes believed that once birth leads to adulthood a type of stasis necessarily exists up until old-age, researchers and scientists have convincingly proven, as have the chapters in question, that this is indeed not the case as the body itself is an entity that is in constant flux.
ReferencesHendry, Charles, Alistair Farley, and Ella McLafferty. "Development, Growth, And Repair From Conception To Old Age." Nursing Standard 26.50 (2012): 44-49. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 18 Dec. 2012.