Discuss the influences on the physical, socio-emotional and cognitive development of a child. Consider the following in your response: Heredity, Culture, Nutrition and Parental Affection
“Children are resilient”, this is a term that we commonly hear in regards to the changes forced on children. But in reality how resilient are they? According to Darcia Narvaez, “not that much”, how often will a teacher see a child from a broken family, or a child who can’t concentrate in class, as they have not eaten breakfast that morning? This document will discuss the influence of physical, socio-emotional and cognitive development of a child, with consideration to heredity, culture, nutrition and parental affection. One of the most easily identifiable types of development in a child is that of their physical development. It is something that can be measured and seen. The first aspect of physical development that will be discussed in Heredity. Heredity is essentially genetics. The genetic predisposition of a child is determined at conception. The DNA structure found in the male sperm and female ovum is combined at conception to create a foetus. The foetus or child has a combination of both parents genetic structure (McDevitt, Oromond). The combination of the parents DNA (or chromosomes, found within the DNA structure), determine the genetic traits that a child will have (Powell,K) . In most cases a dominant gene will develop over a recessive gene (McDevitt, Oromond). The physical development of a child is effected by heredity/ genetics when there are abnormalities in the chromosomes, within the DNA, of the child (McDaniel). The parents’ genetic structure can carry alleles, which have a pre-determined illness or mutated gene (Powell,K). Therefore the physical development of a child can be effected by the genetic structure of the parents, which can cause problems such as: mental retardation including muscular dystrophy, or illnesses such as sickle cell anaemia (McDevitt, Oromond). Culture encompasses the behaviours and beliefs of society and includes the families and community within that culture (McDevitt, Ormrod). The effects of a child’s culture on their physical development will depend on the culture the child is raised in. The physical development of a child occurs in stages, their ability to reach each stage, or a specific level of development will depend on the cultural values on the society in which the child lives in (US Department of Health and Human Services). If the culture the child lives in values academia or athletic ability the child will often develop highly in these areas. (McClosky) Whilst the individual child’s culture is important it is important to also review the Nutritional aspects of physical development. Nutrition is one of the most important factors in the physical development of a child. Nutrition for a child begins at conception (Dubois). The care a mother takes whilst carrying a child will determine whether that child will receive appropriate nutritional support throughout the pregnancy (Dubois). If for example the mother is a drug addict or an alcoholic it will have severe ramifications on the child, with possible side effects including mental and physical impairment. Once the child is born nutrition is still an important factor in a child’s physical development (McDevitt, Ormrod). Appropriate nutrition a child receives will provide optimal physical development and may prevent problems such as obesity and the onset of illnesses such as type 2 diabetes (Berk). Cuddles and kisses and emotional support are the types of people think about when they think about parental affection. The use of an authoritative parenting style is a method that supports the above statement (McDevitt, Ormrod). This type of parenting stimulates the physical growth and development in a child. It released hormones that in conjunction with appropriate nutrition provide optimal physical development (Berk). A child that does not...
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