factors that determine developmental level

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  • developmental psychology: study of progressive changes in behavior in abilities from conception to death due to interaction b/w:
    • heredity: genetic transmission of physical and psychological characteristicsfrom parents to their children
      • operates through DNA: deoxyrybonucleic acid - it is a molecular structure that contains coded genetic info -
        • it is organized into 46 chromosomes which are thread like structures in the nucleus of each cell that are made up of DNA - only sperm and ova cells contain 23 chromosomes
        • genes - small areas of DNA that carry hereditary info- can be dominant or recessive (must be paired with another recessive to be expressed) - mostly many genes work in combination to influence our traits or characteristics (polygenic characteristics)- genes can switch on or off at certain ages or developmentalstages
          • readiness: min levels of maturation must occur before some skills can be learned
    • environment : sum of all external conditions that affect a a person
      • prenatal influences: before birth in the interior of he womb
        • can lead to congenital problems caused by teratogens (any substance capable of  altering fetal development) birth defects - not like genetic disorders that are inherited from parents
      • sensitive periods: early experiences in sensitive periods (a time of increased sensitivity to certain environmental influences)can have lasting effects if
      • Deprivation & enrichment: Dep is lack of normal nutrition, stimulation.comfort or love; enr is when env is deliberately made more stimulating, loving and so forth (by encouraging exploration and stimulating play)
    • reaction range: environment puts limits on the effects of heredity
    • own behavior: reciprocal influences: growing infants influence their parents' behavior at the same time they are changed by it - child's temperament (physical core of personality) affects parenting
  • can lead to congenital problems caused by teratogens (any substance capable of  altering fetal development) birth defects - not like genetic disorders that are inherited from parents

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