Human development is the process of how people grow and change psychologically over the complete span of the human life; from birth to old age/death. In the past years many theorists have studied human development in five different areas such as physical, cognitive, emotional and social spiritual development. Erik Erikson is one of the most prominent theorists who identified eight stages of human development. One of the stages are identity versus role confusion; which is highlighted in the year of adolescence. Erikson also believed that every human being goes through a certain number of stages to reach his/her full development. Therefore, this essay will examine the five domains in human development namely physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual development within the child hood to early adulthood process. It also demonstrates the biological and environmental influences in human development. I will use my own development narrative as my case study to provide examples of these domains varying from childhood to early adulthood.
I was born and grew up in Ethiopia, a capital called Addis Ababa. On turning seven, I started attending school. My parents were not educated. However, I was very lucky because they always encouraged me to take the opportunities that they themselves did not have. The school I attended was a government school and therefore free of all expenses. On the other hand, my family paid for all my personal expenditures excepting transportation. My class consisted of a mixture of males and females. Some of my teachers were men and some were women. I started learning the English alphabets as well as my Amharic language. The teachers used both songs and games to teach our lessons. I lived nearby and could go home during the lunch-breaks. I enjoyed very much going to school and my favourite subject was drawing and music lessons.
According to Berger (1988), human development is usually divided into three domains: the physical domain; which included brain and body changes; the social influences that guide them; the cognitive domain, including thought processes, perceptual abilities and language mastery (skill) as well as the educational institutions that encourage them; and the emotional/social domain, including emotions, personality and interpersonal relationships and the complex social contexts in which they occur. Spirituality is an inspirational sense of life, including beliefs, symbols, value and norms.
Infancy is the initial years of one’s life after birth. During this period, the body growth is dramatic; especially the brain more than any other organ (Berk, 2007). Infants use their senses to both learn and to interact with the environment around them as their bodies grow stronger and more mature (Feldman, 2006). He also suggests that one way of infants learning to use their bodies is by learning to accomplish large physical tasks; which is gross motor skills such as crawling and walking. According to the theory of motor development, however, the specific timing at exactly which each skill appears varies between different developing children (Smith, 2003).
This typical motor growth variation can be seen in my own first two years of development, in contrast to my brother’s developmental processes. My mum had claimed that I had started crawling properly up on hands and knees at seven months but my youngest brother began crawling only at nine months of age. I also started walking by holding onto a hand and a piece of furniture within a week of my first birthday. Therefore, it can be seen that this form of motor development not only enhances my physical development, but it also improves my cognitive development such as thinking, attention, memory, and simple problem solving (Smith, 2003).
Further more, Erikson describes the first developmental task of the infant lies within the achievement of basic trust in the caregivers. He suggests that...
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