This paper is designed to inform the reader, about key developmental factors that promote self-regulation, health and well-being across the life span of an individual. This paper will cover the Biological, Behavioral and Emotional development that we go through during our prenatal development in the womb all the way to the final stages of late adulthood.
Keywords: Introduction, Summary, Overview
Biological, Behavioral and Emotional Development from Womb to Adulthood
As a human being our understanding of human development is constantly changing and as time continues to move forward and technology continues to improve, our understanding of human development continues to change. Our current understanding and focus on human development are mainly focused on three different aspects which affect our development as we age; these three aspects are Social, Emotional and Physical development. These three aspects of our development play a major role in our health and well-being as well as in our self-regulation, Self-regulation is the fact of something such as an organization regulating itself without intervention from external bodies. In other words, self-regulation is the act of controlling oneself without the help or intervention of an outside force. Health and Well-being are both focused on one’s health whether it’s the Physical, Emotional or Social Health of the individual, the goal is to ensure that the individual is functioning at 100%. The main focus is on wanting to ensure that each individual lives’ a long and healthy life.
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Human development relates to the nature and mental growth of a human being throughout their life, starting from infancy and ending with maturity and old age. As we start to age our bodies and our mental health slowly start to deteriorate and after a while, we start to notice these changes occurring to our bodies. Our physical strength, mental state, as well as our biological health, start to diminish as this occurs, we become more susceptible to illnesses and viruses that had no prior effect on us before. Illness such as the common cold, or the flu becomes much hard to fight off the older you are.
To begin with, prenatal development is mostly focused on the nine months prior to a child being born, these nine months are divided up into three separate trimesters each trimester being about three months long. During these nine months expecting mothers are required to take more precautions with themselves in order to ensure that their baby is born strong and healthy, they should not be consuming any drugs, alcohol or smoking tobacco. This should also avoid doing any heavy lifting more activities that could put her or her child’s life in danger.
The first two weeks after the sperm has fertilized the egg are called the germinal period. This is the period when the zygote travels down the fallopian tubes to the uterus and implants in the uterine wall. as it travels, it begins cell division and differentiation. (Arnett, 2015) After the first 2 weeks comes the Embryotic period, during this period the embryo begins to develop its nervous system, as well as its muscles and digestive tract. The embryotic period will last for another 3 weeks in which the embryo continues to develop its arms, legs, fingers, and toes, the fetus well also starts to develop most of its major organs at this point in the development.
Next, we have the fetal period this is the last stage before entering the second trimester during the fetal period/stage the genitalia begins to form and release sex hormones that will influence the fetus and the rest of the prenatal development. At this point in the developmental stage, the fetus becomes more active, it (he/she) starts to move in the womb and begins to respond to its environment. The third and final trimester of the prenatal development allows the fetus to fully develop its organs also during this period the fetus will gain about two-thirds of its weight before being born. Although the fetus isn’t born yet it has become more active and well moves around more often inside the womb. In Western societies like the United States, most women give birth in hospitals but in some areas around the world, some women give birth to their child with the help of a midwife at home instead of in a hospital.
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Continuing on, child development is the development of perceptual, emotional, mental and behavioral capacities and functioning during childhood. The term childhood refers to this period in the human lifespan from the development of verbal skills in one or two years to the onset of adolescence at 12 or 13 years of ages (Britannica.) Children from an early age are constantly watching and observing us and our actions, they learn about how to interact with other people and with their own environment. Child development incorporates the social, emotional, biological aspects of the child’s life into his/her development, each aspect helps them to develop into proper adults. After birth, newborn children are very susceptible danger and to be harmed because of this the child will spend most of their time being held by their mother and other family members this way they are not placed in any danger. Within half a year the toddler should begin to crawl and within the first year after being born they should start to walk and make verbal cues, sounds (baby talk).
Even though all children follow the same developmental stages some children may develop at a much faster rate than other children, this becomes apparent when children enter the adolescence stage of their life’s. During adolescence both boys and girls go through puberty, in some cultures, this may mark their transition into adulthood and are no longer viewed as being children.
Young Adulthood Development Young Adulthood development is the stage of life in which a person begins to develop their own identity, they go through a journey of self-discovery and try to figure out what they want. Young adults although they are viewed by everyone else as being adults, don’t view themselves as being full-fledged adults. I felt like this before after turning I turned 18, I knew that I was viewed as an adult, but I never really considered myself as an adult. This is because I wasn’t financially stable, and I was still living with my parents, although I was 18, most of the decision making was done by my parents with me having little to no say in the decision making. Young Adults are at a point in their life in which both their physical and biological health are at their peak, young adults are more likely to experiment with and end up abusing alcohol and drugs. Emerging adulthood is commonly thought of as the period of peak physical well-being and performance as individuals are usually less vulnerable to illness and more physically agile during this period than previous stages of adulthood. Nevertheless, emerging adults are generally more likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases and infections as well as adopt unhealthy behavioral patterns. (Arnett, J. 2012)
Middle Adulthood Development Mid adulthood or Middle age is the period of living between 40 and 60. During this period, people have some personal changes that indicate that this individual is aging, including graying of hair, hair loss, wrinkling of the skin and weight gain. Individuals in middle adulthood usually experience a mid-life crisis caused by a loss of job, a divorce, passing of a loved one or a sudden change in one’s life, as individuals, as human beings we will experience at least one mid-life crisis in our life’s and the most important thing that we should know is that we will get past this crisis and continue living our lives. Although aging into middle adulthood has its drawbacks there are some benefits that come with the aging process, you have more extra free time, more active, your much happier and have a better understanding of the world.
Late Adulthood Development lastly, late adulthood is the last stage in the human development process. Individuals in this stage of life are known as the elderly, although many people maintain good health into late adulthood, this is a life stage where a variety of health problems increase. This period in late adulthood is characterized by a decline in the individuals’ cognitive skills, as well as with their physical strength, and other senses like smell, taste, and vision. In the United States, the elderly are placed in a senior center or hospices because their family can’t take proper care of them, but in other countries around the world such as in South America, the eldest child is in charge of caring for their aging parents until they pass.
Overall, we as human beings can do a lot more to ensure that we live a long and healthy life, by exercising, eating healthy, avoiding anything that could be harmful to our bodies or our minds. Human development focuses on human growth and changes across the human lifespan beginning with the prenatal stage and ending with late adulthood stage, human development focuses on characteristics such as the social, biological, and emotional state of an individual.
- Arnett, J. (2012). Adolescence and emerging adulthood: A Cultural Approach. (5th ed.). Pearson Education retrieved from http://www.pearsonhighered.com/assests/hip/us/hip_us_pearsonshighered/samplechapter/0205892493.pdf [permanent dead link]
- Arnett, Jeffrey Jensen. Human Development (Page 62). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.
- Child Development. Britannica. Retrieved from www.britannica.com/science/child-development-process (Jul. 2018)