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Human life development

Categories: DevelopmentHumanLife


Growth refers to an increase in size, such as changes in an individual’s body for example size, weight, height and shape. Development usually comes in stages, as in the changes in the complexity of an individual and a rise in skills or knowledge, such as learning how to walk.

Conception to birth (0-9 months)

P1) The internal development is the development of the embryo in the mothers body which is needed to absorb oxygen and food from the blood for the baby.

At this stage all of the developments are physical changes.

M1) Physically about two weeks after a woman’s menstrual period the ovary releases an egg, which then travels down the fallopian tube. Sperm travels through the cervix and swims into the fallopian tube – one single egg penetrates the egg cell and the resulting cell is called a zygote, then the fertilised egg travels down the fallopian tube. While doing this the fertilized egg divides once it has travelled through the fallopian tube, the embryo implants into the womb lining.

From four weeks the embryo now relaxes in the womb lining, the outer cell reach out like roots to come together to the mothers blood supply. The inner layer of cells form into two then later on shape into three, each one of these layers will grow to be different parts of the baby’s body. One of the layers becomes the brain and nervous system, the eyes, skin and ears.

Another layer will form into the lungs, gut and stomach; finally the third layer will grow into the blood, muscles, heart and bones.

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The fifth week is the time of the first missed period when many women are only just beginning to think they may be pregnant. Nevertheless already the baby’s nervous system is starting to develop. A groove forms into the top layer of cells. The cells fold up around to make a hollow tube called the neural tube. This will form into the baby’s brain and spinal cord. At the same time the baby’s heart is coming together and already has some of its own blood vessels. A string of these will link baby and mother and will become the umbilical cord. From week six to seven there is now an outsized bulge where the heart is and a bump for the head because the brain is developing. The heart begins to beat and can be seen beating on an ultrasound scan. Dimples will appear on the side of the head which will become the ears and there are thickenings where the eyes will form. On the baby’s body there will become bumps where the muscles and bones will be forming. At seven weeks the embryo has grown to 10mm long from head to bottom, this measurement is called “crown- rump length”. By week eight a face is gradually forming, the eyes are more recognizable and have some colour in them.

Also there is a mouth in which the tongue has formed. There are now the beginnings of hands and feet, with ridges where the fingers and toes will be. The major internal organs are all developing which are the, brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, gut and the liver. On week nine the baby has grown to about 22mm long from head to bottom. Week ten to fourteen, just 12 weeks after conception the fetus is fully formed. Its development all their organs, muscles, bones, limbs, and its sex organs, from now on it has grown and matured. The baby is now able to move about; however, the movement’s cannot yet be felt. By fourteen weeks the heart beat is well-built and can be heard through using an ultrasound detector. The baby’s heart beat is extremely fast, about twice as fast as a normal adult’s heartbeat. At fourteen weeks the baby is about 85mm long from head to bottom. From week fifteen the baby has now growth swiftly, the body grows bigger so that the head and body are more in proportion and the baby doesn’t look so top heavy.

The face looks much more human and the hair is beginning to grow as well as eyebrows and eyelashes. However the eye lids stay closed over the eyes. The lids of the skin of the fingers are now made, so now the baby has its own individual fingerprint. Toenails and fingers are growing and the baby has a firm hand grip. At twenty-two weeks the baby is covered in a very fine, soft hair called “lanugo”. At about sixteen to twenty-two weeks you will be able to feel the mothers baby move for the first time. The baby is now moving about vigorously and responds to touch and to sound. You may be able to feel the baby hiccup which will make the baby jerk. The baby may also begin to follow a pattern for waking and sleeping. From this stage you are now capable of hearing the heart beat through a stethoscope, also your partner may even be able to hear it by putting an ear to your abdomen, but it may be difficult to find. The baby is now enclosed in a white, greasy substance called “vernix”.

It is thought that it is maybe to protect the baby’s skin as it floats in the amniotic fluid. The vernix mostly goes before birth. By twenty-four weeks the baby is called “viable” this means that the baby is now thought to have a chance of survival if born. Around about twenty-six weeks the baby’s eye lids are exposed for the first time. The eyes are almost always blue or dark blue. It is not until some weeks after birth that the eyes become the colour they will stay, although some babies do have brown eyes at birth. The head to bottom length at thirty weeks is about 33cm. By the time the baby is thirty-one to forty- weeks is it growing chubbier, so the skin which was quite wrinkled before, is now smoother. Both the vernix and the lanugo begin to disappear. By about thirty-two weeks the baby is typically lying downwards braising for birth. Sometime beforehand the baby’s head may move down into the pelvis and is said to be “engaged” but sometimes the baby’s head does not engage until labour has begun.

Birth to infancy (0-3 years)
Physical development

P1) When a child is new born they are powerless – this means that it is a parent or caregivers responsibility to ensure it survives however, all children are born with natural physical developments, such as rooting, sucking, swallowing, grasping, stepping and startle reflexes although new born babies have very low muscular co-ordination they are able to focus their eyes and follow sounds from side to side. They are also able to cry and make gurgling sounds which helps indicate the child’s needs.

(M1) Humans are fairly helpless and dependent then they are born. To ensure the new-borns survival they need to be looked after. Babies are born with several reflexes which are sucking, rooting, grasping, swallowing, stepping and the startle reflex. New-borns are mostly immobile when they are born and have very little muscular co-coordination. Soon the muscles start to strengthen and babies get going, their movements allow them to begin to explore their environment and learn how their world operates. Physical control progresses downwards, beginning with the head and moving through the arms, neck, trunk and finally their legs.

From two months the baby is able to raise its head when lying on its stomach, at four months they can grasp objects using their whole hand, at six months they will be able to sit up without support, at eight months they can start to crawl, at twelve months they can walk without help, at eighteen months they can climb stairs and run but often fall, at two years they can control muscles which allow for toilet training and they can climb on furniture and kick a ball but not yet catch one, and by three years they will be able to jump and ride a tricycle.

Emotional development

P1) Our emotional development starts from a very young age that way a child and their main caregiver bond together this will result in the attachment they gain towards one another the emotional development of infancy is all about the intellect of having security around you and the development of trust and self-worth for yourself and others.

M1)Emotional development is the way we are able to form effective relationships. Young babies cry if they are parted from their carer for a long time. One-year old babies are about to learn about the effects their behaviour has on their caregiver and they can express emotions through laughter, tears and facial expressions. Two-year old children are known for their temper tantrums as they find it hard to express their emotions. They are able to show a certain degree of empathy, which is often stated through play such as punishing or praising a doll. By the time they get to three, children are most sensitive to other individual’s feelings and are eager to share toys and take turns when playing. They are interested in having friends and this is often when children start nursery or playgroup.

Intellectual development

P1) At this stage children begin to develop the mind, which allows them to recognise, remember, reason, know and understand things that are around us. This all helps towards developing communication skills which help us to be understood and the start of developing relationships when children start to interact with the environment they develop their own thoughts and responses to the world. Language is also part of intellectual development.

M1) intellectual development refers to the development of the mind and lets us recognise reason, remember, know and understand things around us. As a child co-operates with the environment, they progressively organise their thoughts and develop an appropriate set of responses for dealing with the world. Children should know at least six words by the time the child is eighteen months. Most one-year olds should be able to name straightforward objects and by the age of two most are able to put two or three words together into a trouble-free sentence. By the age of three most speech should be understandable and children should be able to speak in complete sentences. Children at this age love to have stories read to them, often the same ones over and over again.

Social development
P1) Social development starts a few days after your child is born. New babies will respond to sounds of humans who are around them and will focus on the humans faces social development is linked very closely with emotional development as the first social relationships that are built are with those who are the main care provider for the child.

M1) Our need to be sociable seems to be something we are born with, yet babies of a few days old will react to the sound of human speech, touch and smell, however social development starts in the womb. The baby will be able to hear music, a care giver reading a story and how the mother’s mood is. If you watch and listen you will observe that older babies and toddlers make social moves towards each other and are pleased to see each other. At first the most important relationship will be the baby’s caregiver and other family members, whereas relationships with peers become more important as children start to grow up. Young children form relationships and have a habit of showing preferences for particular people. Language skills are vital in the developing of these relationships and, as children develop, they are more able to express their feelings verbally. Children benefit from spending time with younger and older individuals. One way in which children develop social relationships outside their families is through play.

Childhood 3-11 years

(M1) Childhood is such an exciting stage of development with physical skills forming as well as children learning about society in which they live. Children become much more independent and in many cultures already start to take on many responsibilities.

Physical Development
(P1 When a child leads into their childhood stages they become more independent and take on their own responsibility and choices. The growth at this period is still very fast as they start to develop their body proportions during childhood. These stage children start to develop their growth motor skills which help to co-ordinate and muscle their large muscles, this helps with the skills for an example: walk, run, sit and other physical activities. They also start to develop their fine motor skills which help to co-ordinate and control the small muscles in the body.

M1) Growth carry’s on developing rapidly during this phase, however not as fast as in the first few years, and body proportions and beginning to be more becoming more advanced. Children begin to be more aware of things and are cable of tying their on shoes laces, making and decorating a cake, play sport such as football, building a brick tower, play a musical instrument, throwing a ball and gymnastics. Children learn any skills through doing these activities such as co- ordination.

Intellectual development
For the period of stage children begin to be able to do more logical activities, they also start to understand different concepts whilst you explain things to them however, the individual needs to see them in order to completely understand. As children start to grow up and start to develop intellectual skills their language becomes more fluent and extremely clear. Likewise through this stage children start to develops the sense of the past, present and the future.

M1)we can only guess what children are thinking by their gestures and by what they say. During this stage of development numerous things start to change and take place in many different countries this is the time where when children often start formal schooling, some ideas about what we should be teaching children at this stage are based on Piaget’s theories about what children are capable of understanding.

Stage 1- Sensorimotor (0-2 years) the infant learns about the word through their senses such as their mouth and tasting. Born with reflexes- the infant learns to control their muscles and movements. The child needs to develop object permanence- Piaget said s/he doesn’t remember and know that something still exists if it is “out of sight”. Stage 2 pre-operational (2-7) Children can now use language but Piaget said they can’t think in a logical way.

They need to develop “conservation” i.e. understand that a tall slim glass of water doesn’t contain more water than a short wide glass (children look at the physical size instead of using logic). Stage 3 Concrete operational (7-11 years) the child can use logic but tends to focus on practicable/observable solutions. Stage 4 Formal operational (11+) the individual can now think about problems in their head and come up with different possible solutions. For an example if I turned on the light in a classroom which didn’t work, why do you think this might be.

As children are developing and getting older they are able to carry out more logical activities. They start to begin to understand different concepts but often need to actually see concrete objects in order to understand them. For example if the child is learning about fractions they will be able to understand it but only if they can use a concrete example like dividing up a pie so that a number of people can each have a piece. As children retreat through this stage they become more or less fluent in language and may mature a good vocabulary.

They start to be able to contrast sentences and use grammar fairly well, it is also during this stage that children begin to see things from other points of views not just their own, Also they have a sense of past, present and future. Moral development is something which also forms during this stage of development this is the process by which children adopt the rules and expectations of the society in which they are brought up and develop of wisdom of right and wrong. This would be learnt from the people around him such as their mother and father.

Emotional development
P1) During childhood the is the stage where children start to show pleasure towards their families and individuals who the children may be close to. They will create close attachments with these individuals, through this stage children start to develop and show may different emotions which for some changes for the wrong reason. Children will tend to act frustrated, sad and angry. This shows then they start to feel tired or need help with something.

M1) as children headway through this stage they start to loosen their attachments with their main carers although they still need their support. They arise to be more individual and start to develop a sense of “self”. Most of our emotional responses are learned from our primary caregivers. Most children learn to be in control of their emotions responses and to resolve conflict and carers should praise the child when this occurs while trying to understand the temper tantrums of frustration that do occur. At this development the children start to show signs of compassion and empathy and again, carers need to encourage this. During this stage they also start to form the ability to talk about their feelings, even at a young age children will say things such as “I feel sad” or “that makes me happy”.

Social development
P1) childhood is when socialisation occurs to children, this is the development of bonds and friendships between individuals. And this is the stage where friendships outside the family become more significant as they start to move from the stage into adolescence where that begins vital to them.

M1) As children form into social begins they go through what is termed “socialisation”. Primary socialisation takes place within the family although there are many different types of family’s. relationships with people outside of the family become more important as children move through this stage and into teenage years. One way in which these relationships develop is through play. Solitary is where young children like to explore and play with a wide range of toys by themselves. They will also like games of imagination and make-believe.

The approximate age would be 0-2 years, parallel is where toddlers will play alongside others and will even watch what they do but will not play another the approximate age would be 2-3 years. Simple co- operative is where children join in many different activities with others and learn to share and take turns this would be aimed at 3-5 years and complex co- operative is children making up complex games with others, organising themselves and making their own rules. Approximate age would be 5 years and onwards.

Adolescence (Teenage ages (11-18 years)

Physical development

P1) During adolescence the physical change to an individual’s bodies is going through puberty, which is a rapid growth of our bodies an when we become physically able to reproduce. Puberty occurs in both boys and girls usually at the average age of 12. Both female and males go through physically changes such as weight gain and growth spurts.

(M1) At puberty, chemicals in your body called hormones set off many physical changes, including growth spurts and weight increases, and boys and girls begin to change and look different as they grow into a young men and women. Similar changes to women and men are under arm hair grows, pubic hair, body smell gets stronger, emotional changes and growth rate increases. Changes which only happen for men are: voice breaks, testes, penis increases, testes start to produce sperm cells, shoulders get wider and hair grows on face and chest. Changes which would happen for women: breasts develop, ovaries start to release egg cells ( period starts) and hips get wider getting ready for pregnancy and birth.

Intellectual development

P1) At this stage of adolescence the mind develops broader and you start to learn the ability to work with abstract concepts. You also start to develop their long term memory which enables the individual to remember more information and store it in their brain for a later date such as studying for a upcoming exams, this will be awfully key to in your life stage.

M1) Stage 4 Formal operational (11+) the individual can now think about problems in their head and come up with different possible solutions. For an example if I turned on the light in a classroom which didn’t work, why do you think this might be. Teenagers also begin to see the difference between fact and opinion, learns that current actions many have an effect on the future and in late teens they will start to think about what they would like to do in the future for a career.

Emotional development

P1) At this stage you start to develop your own identify as an individual and your emotional intelligence. Also through this stage their emotional develop is all over the place, it has been portrayed as one of “storm and stress” in this period it is very common for an individual to feel misunderstood at times and they may start to challenge parental values.

M1) At this stage the most important period in development of adult personality. Through this period teenagers may feel overwhelmed; often teenagers alternate from behaving like children and then behaving as adults. They also frequently feel misunderstood and may challenge parental values, deliberately pushing against boundaries by this stage teenagers become less dependent on family for emotional support and turn to their friends for advice. This is called the influence of the peer group. Young people want to be accepted by their friends and this can be sometimes lead to difficult situations, affecting both self- esteem and self- concept which may lead to depression, anxiety, being stressed and confused.

Social development
P1) this is the most difficult stage for social development because as you come be independent on your peers you may start to find it a fight to fit in with different crowds of individuals. For example the clothing you wear, or the type of personality they have. The main issue for social development throughout adolescence is peer pressure.

M1) Social and emotional development is interlinked and as teenagers gain independent, they spend more times with their friends. This allows them to practise social skills, sometimes called social intelligence. For some adolescents factors such as living in poverty, living in a dysfunction family and/or living somewhere in a are which as high crime make this period of life much more difficult. Peer pressure can also be difficult if in the wrong crowd; this is often a period during which issues such as experimenting with alcohol, sexual orientation and attitudes towards education are examined. However sexual relationships vary on your social group the avenge age is 17 years old.

Adulthood ( grown-up 18-65 years)

Physical development
P1) Individuals which are in their twenties and thirties which would be early adulthood are usually at the peak of their physical development. They are completely mature and it is at this stage that a lot of people have children, Individuals who are in their thirties or older start to see and feel the beginning of physical aging process.

M1) Most elite perform at their bet in their twenties and even have to think about their retirement. Good exercise regimes and a healthy lifestyle can help to expand this ad many individuals decide to start to develop their fitness after this age. From around about the age of 30 the physical ageing process begins and individuals begin to note certain changes about their appearance such as wrinkling of the skin, hearing and sight decline, bones lose calcium, greying and thinning hair, flexibility reduces, circulatory system not as efficient and the menopause for women over 50.

Intellectual development
P1) Early adulthood is the stage where most individuals continue or further their education to get to their desired career, their intellectual health is very important because it helps creativity, general knowledge and common sense. There is also evidence that memory decreases with age and, just as physical self needs exercise to keep flexible, so an individual’s mind will also need to be kept active.

M1) Intellectual development surely does not stop after the age of 18. Some individuals in our society either continue with their education or start work at this stage of development. A lot of young adults continue their education at a collage or university even this stage the individuals intellectual development does not stop. Once at work, many new skills are required and individuals may well also follow a number of more formal training courses. Young adults continue to develop problem solving and decision-making skills.

Emotional development
P1) Emotional development is very strong at this stage in life as individual aged between their twenties and thirties they will be thinking about life partners and developing close emotional bonds with one another. This is also the time where some people decide to have a family, which means new responsibilities. Most young adults have the emotional maturity to manage these, although there are sometimes too many pressures and they need to access outside help.

Middle adulthood from the forties onwards is also a time of change and for some these changes can cause “Mid-life crisis”. Individuals will start to become aware of their physical ageing, women will go through the menopause, there are a fewer job options, some children are thinking of moving away from their parents, and middle aged adults may be helping looking after their own ageing parents, who are themselves experiencing difficulties. However for many people it is a positive time their experience is valued, they have been productive, there is more freedom as children leave home and people are usually established in their communities. Individuals can look at the contribution they have made to society which gives them a sense of belonging and well-being.

Social Development
P1) Social changes are significant throughout this stage. In an individual’s twenties they usually do not have too many responsibilities and most people are able to spend quite a bit of free time socializing with other people because friendships becomes vital and they begin to find it exciting being with other individuals and meeting new people.

M1) Friendships are vital, both same sex and opposite sex, and meting new individuals is often an exciting activity. Throughout this stage there are many different types of relationships that develop both public and personal. The personal ones will be extended families, long-term friends and, possibly, a life partner. Public relationships are those which take place in the wider world. Such as the world of work, social networks are developed and maintained through a number of different ways.

Old age (65+ years)

Physical Development
P1) This can be a very important stage as physical appears starts to change, the skin starts to become lose and wrinkle in all places, most commonly the face and hands. The hair starts to thin and become grey, in most cases fall out easier. The skeletal bones and the joints become weak and fragile and start to give way. An individual may also develop sight and hearing impairments which is blindness and deafness and the brain stops development if the person is not kept active and this results in memory loss for most individuals.

M1) Once an individual hits the age around about their sixties their ageing process progresses more quickly. At some point almost all older people will have to deal with some sort of disability as they are no longer able to the things which they were able to do at a younger stage. Different physical effects of ageing can be their eye sight may find it difficult reading and the brain may cause some memory loss.

Intellectual development
P1) During this stage keeping mentally active you will still be able to learn different skills and hobbies, you can keep you intellectual development increasing through lifestyle factors, if you are an active individual this could just be through walking then you are more than likely going to keep your brain mentally more active than those who do not do any physical activity such as exercise.

M1) Many individuals do not retire until much later and often act as advisors due to long life experience and wisdom. Older individuals can still learn different skills and hobbies, which has been shown to help people in a positive way. They can learn foreign language, bridge, learn to play a musical instrument, join a painting or pottery glass and play scrabble. Many of these activates also involve others, which in itself provides mental stimulation. Social factors can also be significant. Older individuals who live with their family members and who have a lot of human interactions tend to a lot better both in terms of physical and intellectual health than those who more isolated in old age.

Emotional Development
P1) Emotional development in old age can be equally positive and negative. When an individual gets to the stage of old age it is known that they have a sense of pride. This is because many young individuals will look up to the older generation and want to listen to the things they have to say. From that it will make them feel like they have made a good contribution to their community. Likewise some older individuals look forward to having their own free time to be able to spend with their family and friends or people who they are with during hobbies.

M1)Many old individuals are satisfied to be able to have more free time and are able to spend their retirement visiting family and friends or pursing their hobbies. In some societies the wisdom of old age is valued so those individuals feel they are making a contribution to their communities. But if this is not the cause it can make people feel that they are just a drain.

Social Development

P1) During old age individuals start to consider retirement, this means that most of the elderly become less social in the community, however it gives them more social time with individuals who care about them such as friends and family. If the individual had strong connections with family and friends this would be the stage where an individual can feel they are losing bonds. This is because people around your own age or older will start to lose their lives which will end up leaving you with a loss of a close friend or a family member is can lead to heavy depression and upset.

M1) Many individuals prepare for retirement by developing interests that can followed later and other may do voluntary work. These kinds of social interactions have been shown to be vital for a healthy older age. If families do not live nearby, when partners and friends die or health problems make it difficult to get out, it is easy to become isolated and depressed. But there are now many services designed to help avoid this situation.


Class notes
Text book health and social care Level 2 Btec first : Elizabeth Haworth: Unit 8 published by Pearson Education Limited 2010

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Human life development. (2016, Apr 10). Retrieved from

Human life development
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