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Foundations of Human Development in the Social Environment Essay

Human behaviors can be intriguing and somewhat confusing. Human development is assessed through many factors and throughout this paper I will be discussing the interactions between the bio-psycho-social dimensions of development, the concept of human diversity and cultural competence and also explain the connection between general systems theory and social order. To understand the human thinking and behavior, the professional must grasp an understanding of the three elements I listed above.

To begin to gain insight into the human behavior one may begin with the biological, psychological, and social developments of one’s life. These aspects of development are also referred to the bio-psycho-social. Biological concerns the physical aspect of a person’s life, psychological emphasize an individual’s thought process and the social development addresses the person’s interaction with those around them and in their environment. People are very complex and these three various aspects work together, shaping the person as a whole. When one of these dimensions is affected, for example if a person gets depressed this affects the psychological area; however their social interactions are also affected when the person stays in bed, this can lead to biological if the individual stops eating.

The bio-psycho-social begins at infancy and continues to develop along one’s life span. There are normal developmental milestones which are significant in individuals’ lives; these are motor development, personality development, motivation, social development, and learning. There are certain developments that occur at age-appropriate times, which can help a professional define the word “normal.” An example, consider a baby’s motor development; by the age three or four they can dress and undress themselves. That is considered “the norm.” The normal development milestones offer a basic line for assessing human behavior, this way the social workers can distinguish between situations that merit interventions and those who do not.

As a social worker it is significant to understand the human behavior and several concepts contribute to the understanding. Human diversity, which is the range of differences among groups, which include but are not limited to; age, race, disability, gender, ethnicity, sex, and sexual orientation. Then there is cultural competence, which is the master of a certain knowledge, skill, policy, and program. It is vital for the social worker to understand cultural beliefs, values, and practices of their clients. Human diversity is culture, it is the shared attitudes, goals, spiritual beliefs and social expectations that characterize a broader society in which people live.

In today’s world there is a long way to go to gain cultural competence. Fortunately, social workers are adding cultural competence to their already existing strengths and values, making them well-appointed professionals to deliver the appropriate care to the people. The National Association of Social Workers recently developed a standard, requiring the worker to strive to deliver culturally competent services to their ever more diverse case loads. By the social worker becoming culturally competent, they are better able to address the person with diverse needs, such as the disabled, older adults, and those who are transgender or gay.

It is a task for the social worker to find balance between the psychological aspects and the social environment, but it has been done; by the use of the general systems theories and social order. The connections between these two bring an understanding to human behaviors, the functioning, and the thinking of humans. General systems theory is that of wholeness, the system can be a family, a community or an organization. There are many concepts in the system theories; some of them are the system, boundaries, subsystems, relationship, input/output, feedback and differentiation. The general systems theory takes all that make that system and puts it together, “wholeness.” Social order describes the norm within society. By using these two concepts together the social worker can understand better their clients, their families, and their communities. All of which make the client who the client is.

Human behavior in our society accumulates many factors as I stated throughout this paper. Many different concepts are needed to help the professional understand the behaviors of their clients. By taking into consideration the bio-psycho-social dimensions, looking at the general systems theory and gaining insight into human diversity and cultural competence, the social workers are better able to help the client succeed and become a productive member of society. Understanding human development and the social environment is the professional’s responsibility, to become culturally competent to handle all diversity that may cross their path and to respectfully gain knowledge of the client through their own biological, psychological, and sociological elements of what makes them; them.


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