Unit1: Human Lifespan Development

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Principles of growth

Growth is referred to as a chnage e.g. increase or decrease in weight, height, dimenstions and length.

Measuring height:

- Infants grow rapidly and will reach roughlt half their adult height by the age of two.

- Adolscents experience growth spurts during puberty.

- Full height is reached by the start of early adulthood.

Four principles of growth:

1. Growth rates are not constant

2. Different parts of the body grow at different rates

3. Growth rates vary between children

4. The growth rate of boys is usually faster than girls. 

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Principles of growth 2

Recording growth:

Growth is an indicator of children's health and wellbeing

Measurements are plotted on a growth chart. Centile lines represent the values of measurement from a large number of children to show 'norms' of growth in each age group. 

- Growth charts give the length or height, weight and head dimensions expected at a particular age.

- Comparing children's growth against norms is important to identify signs of developmental problems.

- Growth charts are different for boys and girls as their expected rate of growth varies.

Head dimensions: head circumference is measured at birth and at 6-8 weeks to identify any abnormality in brain or skull growth. Skull growth is faster in the first two years of life but continues into early adulthood.

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Principles of development

Development describes the skills and abilities through life stages.

Areas of development:

1: Physical development: growth and other physical changes that happen to our body throughout life

2: Intellectual/cognitive development: the development of language, memory and thinking skills.

3: Emotional development: ability to cope with feelings about ourselves and others

4: Social development: ability to form friendships and relationships and learn to be independent.

Development milestones: The rate of development may vary between individuals but it follows the same sequence, with each stage called a milestone (developmental norm). 

Development is observed and cannot be measured in the same way as growth.

Observation involves an assessment of children's abilities, learning and behaviour to ensure that children are making expected progress against milestones.

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Gross motor skills (0-8) years

Gross motor skills allow children to control the large muscles in their legs, arms, back, feet. 

Infancy (0-2)yrs:

-Infants develop their gross motor skills from the head down

- 6mnths: infants gradually control muscles in their neck, back so they can roll, sit and crawl

- 11-13mnths: muscles in their legs develop so they can stand, walk and cruise.

- 2yrs: infants can climb onto low furniture and at 2 and a half they can kick a ball. 

Using gross motor skills:

- Crawling, jumping, skipping, walking, kicking, running, balancing, coordinating, bending, climbing, pulling and pushing.

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Gross motor skills (0-8) years 2

Early childhood (3-8yrs):

- 3--4yrs: they can pedal and control a tricycle, balance and walk along a line, run forwards and backwards, throw a ball and aim it, they can hop on one foot. 

-5-8yrs: they can balance on a low beam, they can skip with a rope, accurately throw and catch a ball, hop, skip and jump with confidence, ride a bicycle. 

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Fine motor skills (0-8yrs)

Fine motor skills are important for controlling and coordinating the movement of small muscles in the fingers and hands.

How fine motor skills develop:

1. Newborn: the newborn is able to grasp an adult's finger. By 3 months, he will hold a rattle for a short time, 6mnths, grasp a toy and pass it to other hand, 12mnths, pick up small objects using a pincer grasp.

2. 18mnths: build will small blocks, use a spoon, marks with crayons using a palmar grasp. 2yrs, pull on her shoes and control her crayons to draw circles. 

3. 3yrs: developing a tripod grasp, can use utensils, turn pages in a book, button clothing. 4yrs: will be able to thread small beads and colour in pictures.

4. 5yrs: control the muscles in her fingers to manipulate blocks and hand-eye coordination, write her own name forming letters correctly and by the time she is 8, she will use joint up handwriting.

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Fine motor skills (0-8yrs) 2

Activities that support fine motor skills:

- Holding a rattle, tricycle handle or spoon will help with gripping. 

- Building with blocks, playing a musical instrumnet, playing with animal/car board games will help with manipulation

- Writing, sewing, completing a jigsaw will help with hand-eye coordination.

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Physical development in adolescence

Adolescene is the life stage between 9 and 18 years old.

Puberty: during adolescene, young people experience a physical change. This takes place in girls around 11-13 and for boys 13-15. 

Puberty starts when a hormone in the brain sends a signal to the pituarity gland, which releases hormones that stimulates the ovaries in girls and testes in boys to produce sex hormones.

During this life stage, a person's height can change rapidly over a short time, this is known as growth spurt.

The role of hormones in sexual development:

The hormone testosterone is produced by the testes, stimulates growth of penis and testes, pubic hair growth, development of muscles and lowering of the voice.

The hormone oestrogen and progesterone are produced by the ovaries. They stimulate the growth of breasts, and reproductive system and helps to regulate the menstrual cycle. 

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Physical development in adolescence 2

Primary sexual characterisitcs: processes that are related to the sex organs which are present at birth and mature when sex hormones are released.

Boys: Penis enlarges, prostate gland produces secretions, testes enlarge and produce sperm

Girls: Menstruation begins, uterus and vagina grow, ovulation occurs.

Secondary sexual characteristics: these are not necessary for reproduction. They develop when sex hormones are released.

Boys: Growth of facial hair, Growth of armpit, pubic and chest hair, increased muscle, growth spurt and larynx (lowering of voice)

Girls: Growth of armpit and pubic hair, increased layers of fat under the skin, breasts enlarge, growth spurt and hips widen. 

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Physical development in early adulthood

Early adulthood describes the life stage between 19 and 45 years of age.

Maturation: individuals reach physical maturity in early adulthood.

- Physical strength and stamina at its peak, motor coordiantion at its peak, full height is reached, reaction time is quickest, hand-eye coordination is at its peak, sexual characteristics are full developed, women are at their most fertile and become preganant and lactate.

Fertility and menopause: at the beginning of this life stage, women are at their most fertile. 40-45 years old, they reach the end of their reproductive years. This period is called perimenopause.

During menopause, the reproduction in oestrogen cause physical and emotional symptoms that include:

-hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, loss of libido (sex drive), vaginal dryness. 

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Physical development in middle adulthood

Middle adulthood describes the life stages between 45 and 65 years.

Signs of ageing:

- greying hair, men begin to lose hair

- loss of muscle tone, strength and stamina, loss of height

- women are no longer fertile, body shape may increase or decrease

Menopause: natural physiological change experienced by women during the middle adult life stage. It happens over several years with the gradual ending of menstruation. 

A reduction in oestrogen: ovaries stops producing eggs, thinning and shrinking of vagina, affects the health of nails, hair and skin, may cause mood swings and affects the hypothalamus which regulates body temp causing hot flushes and night sweats. 

A reduction in oestrogen and progesterone gradually stops menstruation and impacts libido. 

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Physical development in later adulthood

Later adulthood is the life stage from 65years onwards. 

The effects of ageing:

- loss of muscle, stamina, less mobility in fine and gross motor muscles

- reduction in vision, hearing, less elasticity in skin, decline in strengh, thinning of hair on head a pubic areas

- higher susceptibility to infection, to disease, decline in performance of organs, increased likelihood of falls

Height loss: it is usual to start to lose height in middle adulthood, which continues to later life. By the age of 80, individuals have lost as much as 5cm, this is caused by changes in posture and compression of joints. 

Intellectual ability: can negatively affect how individuals process info such as memory, recall and speed of thinking. 

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Intellectual development

Intellectual development is about how individuals organise ideas and make sense of the world around them

Types of intelletual development: problem solving, language development, memory, moral development, abstract thinking and creative thinking. 

Stages of life: intellectual skills develop differently at different stages of life. 

Infancy and early childhood: rapid intellectual development. 90% of neurone connections are in place by 5years old. 

Early adulthood: individuals have gained knowledge, skills and experience. They use past experiences to make judgements. Thinking is logical and realistic. Are able to think through problems and make decisions. 

Later adulthood: continue to learn new skills and knowledge. Intelligence does not change but short-term memory and thinking speed may decline. 

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Intellectual milestones

0-8 years old. 

From birth: can use all their senses around them to help understand the world. 

At 3 years: can ask questions, recongise colours and sort objects. 

At 5 years: starting to read and write and draw in detail, can talk about the past and future. 

At 8 years: can think more deeply, reason, talk about abstract ideas and plan. 

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Piaget

Piaget believed that children pass through distinct developmental stages in sequence. He thought that children should be allowed to discover things for themselves through spontaneous play. 

Stages of cognitive development:

1. Sensorimotor: birth to 2: infants learn about their environment and develop early schemas by a using all their senses to physically explore the world. 

2. Pre-operational: 2-7yrs: children begin to control their environment by using symbolic behaviour, including representational words, drawings, pretend play but are not able to think logically. 

3. Concrete operations: 7-11yrs: children use practical resources to help them understand the world, counters for maths. they classify, categorise and use logic to understand things they see. 

4. Formal operations: 11-18yrs: young people have the capacity for abstract thoughts, rational thought and problem-solving. 

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Piaget 2

Piaget's schematic development theory:

Assimilation: child constructs an understanding (schema)

Equilibrium: child fits their experience with their schema

Disequilibrium: a new experience disturbs the child's schema

Accomodation: child's schem changes to take account of the new experience

 Example below:

Child has developed a schema about sand A

Child's experience fits with the schema E

Water is added to sand, schema is upset D

Child changes schema to develop new schema which accomodates water A

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Piaget 3

Conservation: refer's to the children's understanding that the amount remains the same even when the container's shape has changed. Piaget used solids, weight and numbers. 

Piaget's test showed:

- Children under 7 years old cannot conserve because they cannot think about more than one aspect of a situation at one time

- By the operational stage at 7, children can think logically so they understand that water level stays the same even when placed in different shaped container. 

Egocentrism: Piaget believed that children under 7, can only see things from their own perspective. He used his Swiss mountain test to prove this theory. The test showed that children of that age cannot describe the mountain from the doll's perspective on the other side. 

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Piaget 4

Criticisms of Piaget:

- Piaget has underestimated children's rate of development

- With support, children can develop more advanced concepts

- Children can be given experiences that help them to move through the stages at a faster rate

- Some children can see things from the perspective of others before the age of 7.

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Language development

Language development involves communication through articulation (speech) and receptive speech (understanding). 

Stages of language development:

Infancy: 0-3mnths: makes mouth movements in response to parent and cries for comfort or food, 6-12mnths: understands some words such as byebye, make sounds such as gaga, 18mnths: can say between six to ten words, can follow simple instructions

Early childhood: 2-3yrs: links words together e.g. me car, vocabulary increases to approx 200 words, 3-5yrs: uses simple sentences, ask questions and may use incorrect forms of words e.g. I good, 8yrs: speaks in complex sentences and can reason and explain

Adolescence: 9-19yrs: devloping vocabulary and uses language to explore abstract ideas. 

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Chomsky

Language Acquisition Device (LAD):

Chomsky proposed the LAD as the part of the human mind that allows infants to acquire and produce language. He suggested that humans:

- are born with a structure in their brain that enables them to acquire language

- have a critical period for first language development in their first few years of life

- all follow the same pattern of language development

- have an innate understanding of the structure of language (universal grammar) that is the basis of all languages (subject, verb, object). 

It is a nativist theory as it suggest that individuals are pre-programmed to develop in a certain way. 

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Chomsky 2

Criticisms of Chomsky:

- lack of scientific evidence of innate understanding of structure of language

- the rate of language development is affected by the degree of interactions with others

- does not take into account that a language acquisition support system is required

- chomsky put emphasis on grammar in sentence developement instead of meanings

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Theories of attachment

Attachment is the emotional bond that is formed between infants and young children and their main caregiver. 

Bowlby's theory of attachment:

Infants are biologically pre-programmed to form attachments:

- Attachement to the primary caregiver is essential

- In their early months, infants form one primary attachment

- Infancy is a critical period for developing attachments

- Attachment to the primary caregiver is a model for future attachments

- A disruption to attachment has a negative impact on development. 

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Theories of attachment 2

Schaffer and Emerson's stages of attachment:

1. Birth - 3mnths: responds to caregiver

2. 4-7mnths: shows preference for primary caregiver but accepts care from others

3. 7-9mnths: prefers primary caregiver and seeks comfort from them; unhappy when seperated and shows fear of strangers

4: 10mnths+: begins to develop attachments with others who respond to them. By 18mnths most infants have formed multiple attachments. 

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Theories of attachment 3

Ainsworth's Strange Situation Classification (SSC):

Mary Ainsworth classified attachments into three main types, based on a study of children's reactions when parted from a parent. 

Secure attachment type: in tune with the child and their emotions, will show distress when primary caregiver leaves, and greets them when they return; seeks comfort from caregiver when upset; happy with strangers when caregiver is present. 

Insecure avoidant: unavailable to child, rejects them; does not show distress when primary caregiver leaves; continues to explore the environment; may go to a stanger for comfort 

Insecure resistant: inconsistent in meeting the child's needs, shows distress when primary caregiver leaves but resists contact on their return; shows anxiety and insecurity. 

Disrupted attachment may cause: anxiety, difficulty in forming relationships, depressive disorders, deliquency and learning disorders. 

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Emotional development

Self-concept is an individual's evaluation of their own self worth.

Self-image: how individuals view themselves, influenced by how they are percieved by others e.g. slim person may see themselves as overweight

Self-esteem: how individuals value and feel about the knowledge they have of themselves.

Self-concept: combination of self-image and self-esteem

Factors that may impact on self-image and self-esteem:

- Family and culture, life experiences

- Achievement e.g. school, life circumstances e.g. employment

- The attitude of others, sexual orientation, physical development/health

-Emotional development, including early attachment

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Emotional development 2

Self image and self-esteem:

Positive self image: feels happy about personal apperanceand abilities, recieves good feedback from othersabout appearance and abilities, compares self favourably with others

Negative self image: feels unattractive or less intelligent with others, recieves negative comments from others about apperance or abilities, compares self negatively against perfect images in magazines and on TV

High self-esteem: feels confident, willing to try new things, copes well under pressure

Low self-esteem: feels worthless, less likely to try new things, less likely to cope well in new or difficult situations

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Stages of play

The stages of play are closley linked with stages of social development and language.

Play in infancy and early childhood:

- All children play

- Infants starts to play when they are just a few months old

- Play promotes physical, intellectual, emotional and social development

Varying stages of play: the may vary between children. All children will pass through these stages. Stages are influenced by children's language and intellectual development. Initally children play alone, then alongside children and eventually share and co-operate during play.

0-2yrs: solo play: infant is engrossed in his own play. Children play alone with toys such as rattles, shakers and balls. They may be aware that other infants are present but do not attempt to play with them.

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Stages of play 2

2-3yrs: parallel play: these children are playing next to each other but are involved in their own play. Children are aware of other children. They may copy each other but do not intend to interact.

3yrs+: co-operative play: these children are sharing, talking and playing together. Children share ideas and resources in the same activities. They interact and agree roles to develop their play towards a shared goal.

Language and play: Chomsky believes that play is important for children to develop thier vocal and children need language to be able to communicate and negotiate during co-operative play.

Symbols and play: Piaget believes that infants use all their senses to find out about the world around them (heuristic play). He also believed that children in the pre-operational stage learn best through exploratory play. Natural materials indoors and outdoors encourages curiosity and explorantory play.

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Friendships and relationships

These are essential for healthy human development.

Building friendships: involves learning to value others and develop skills to interact with individuals and groups.

Close friendships: from around 3 years old, children start to develop special friendships. These make individuals feel secure and confident. They also promote independence and self-esteem.

Friendships with a wider group of friends: as children wider their circle of friends, they become more confident and independent. Adolescents are greatly influenced by the views of their friends which may affect their self-image. Wider friendships continue to be important in adulthood for positive emotional and social development.

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Friendships and relationships 2

Developing relationships:

Relationships involve developing skills to interact with others in different situations.

Formal relationships: develop between non-related individuals such as colleagues or teacher-pupil. Positive formal relationships are important for good self-esteem and good self-image.

Intimate relationships: may begin in adolescence and continue and new ones form throughout life. Close intimate relationships result in greater contentment, emotional security and positive self-image.

Informal relationships: built between individuals and family or significant people. They start with attachments in infancy. Strong informal relationships promote contentment to deal with life events. They help too build other informal, formal or intimate relationships throughout life.

Healthy relationships: acceptance, trust, compromise, respect, honesty and responsibility

Unhealthy relationships: stress, isolation, distrust, blame, insecurity and low self-esteem.

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Social development and independence

Independence involves doing things for oneself and making decisions without relying on others. It is closely linked to social and emotional development.

The development of independence through the life stages:

Infancy: depends on others for care, will play alone but like a familiar adult nearby

Early childhood: develops the necessary skills to become more independent in personal care and develops likes and dislikes and can make limitied decisions

Adolescence: enjoys more freedom, can make independent decisions (lifestyle, education), but emotions may affect this ability, takes responsibility for their own actions but are influenced by others

Early adulthood: may live with parents but is independent, makes own decisions about personal life and career and often a time for relationships, marriage and starting a family

Middle adulthood: becomes increasingly independent, increased freedom with life changes e.g. dependent children leave home and time for retirement.

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Social development and independence 2

Later adulthood: continues to make own decisions, may have financial constraints if relying on state pensions and changes in mental and physical capacity may gradually reduce ability to make own decisions and be able to care for themselves

Independence is influenced by:

- stage of emotional development, stage of social development

- physical disability, health and culture

Peer pressure: person or group influencing an individual to change their behaviour, values or beliefs they conform to and become socially accepted by peer group. Adolescents may pressurise others to follow their lead on school rules, home rules and lifestyle.

Negative behaviours due to peer pressure: smoking, alcohol, drugs, bullying, vandalism, stealing, disrespect

Positive behaviours: studying, befriending, respecting others, eating healthy, learning new skills

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