Human Development Acroos the Life Span

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This essay will discuss human development across the lifespan. This discussion will include physical, cognitive and psychosocial development in relation to the theorist Jean Piaget who developed the cognitive stage theory which emphasises the individual’s mental process. Erik Erikson who developed the eight stage theory of psychosocial development, which discusses the socially and culturally influenced processes of development of the ego, or self.

Infants are born equipped with a number of survival reflexes, such as coughing, blinking and grasping they are also with the ability to feel pain and hear things. The infant’s physical development in the first two years of early childhood is extensive and rapid following particular growth patterns such as cephalocaudal, which means from the head to the toes and proximal distal meaning from the centre out. During this period gross motor skills increase dramatically and children are more active than at any other period in their life span.

During late childhood muscle mass and strength gradually increase, legs lengthen and the trunk slim down, growth is slow and consistent. Children become better coordinated, stronger and assume a more adult like shape (Santrock, J.W, 1997).

Puberty (eleven to 20 years) is a period of rapid development and sexual maturation that occurs in early adolescence. Adolescents usually experience a growth spurt and varies according to gender. Girls generally reach puberty before boys and oestrogen a female hormone secreted by the ovaries results in secondary sexual characteristics such as breasts, pubic hair, fat deposits over hips and abdomen and menstruation (Santrock, J.W, 1997). Growth accelerates during the teenage years resulting from increased secretion of growth hormones and an average, 20 centimetres gained in height. (Papalia,D.E., Olds,S.W.,& Feldman,R .D ,2007). Most boys generally reach puberty after girls although puberty lasts longer. Boy’s growth spurt is...
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