Human Growth And Development

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In infancy, social development is important, so the infant learns how to communicate with others for the first time. From newborn, baby’s will demonstrate engagement by fixing their eyes on the person who’s feeding them and from as early as 4 weeks will start to smile. By their first year, baby’s will learn to offer toys with others showing an understanding of sharing and they will also learn to be cautious of strangers. In their second year, they will often engage in role play such as putting a doll to bed or feeding it food.

Emotional development is important as it’s when the infant learns to express their feelings and emotions. As a newborn, babies will display happiness whilst being cared for, for example, being bathed, played with or cuddled. At one years old, the baby can learn to recognise emotion and even copy that emotion even if they’re not experiencing that emotion. By two, they can begin to express how they’re feeling and will often request and ask for their main career this shows an attachment. photo 1

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Cognitive development is the way the infant learns to think, imagine and remember. From newborn, baby’s respond to sound made and begin showing interest in their surroundings by scanning the room and people by looking around the room. By one years old, language will progress from imitation of adult’s words, to understanding of words, to beginning to say a few words themselves. At 18 months the baby will be able to point out body parts such as a hand on themselves and others and even know their own name. The number of words they say will continue to increase. As they’re nearing the end of infancy at two years old, the infant will be able to name objects and what they’re doing and will be able to speak around 200 words.

Physical development is how the infant grows and uses their body for skills. A newborn baby will need support to lift their head as their neck isn’t strong enough to support themselves. By the infants first year, they will be able to keep their head and chest up whilst on their stomach, kick their legs, get their first teeth, sit, roll, crawl, grip with their hands and even walk. At two years old, the infant will be able to run, jump and climb things independently.


Social development in children will see them learning to make friends and be independent. At the beginning of childhood children will be likely to be with other children and begin to be willing to share toys and make friends. They like to be independent and would demonstrate this by dressing and undressing themselves or making their own bed. By around age 7, The child will be able to be socially independent for example being able to wash and dry their hands and can engage in imaginative play with their peers. Social development in children will see them learning to make friends and be independent. At the beginning of childhood children will be likely to be with other children and begin to be willing to share toys and make friends. They like to be independent and would demonstrate this by dressing and undressing themselves or making their own bed. By around age 7, The child will be able to be socially independent for example being able to wash and dry their hands and can engage in imaginative play with their peers. They will also be able to choose their own friends because of their interests and personalities and can now enjoy team games as they understand the rules of the game and they have learnt how to take turns. By the end of childhood, the child should be able to take part in increasingly complex play and will be able to display loyalty to a group and often have a best friend who share similar interests and hobbies as them. This best friend will be the main person they enjoy spending their social time with.

Emotional development in childhood will often be the beginning of the child’s understanding of emotion. In the beginning of childhood, the child will enjoy being helpful and display this by helping to tidy up and complete tasks set for them. Around the middle of childhood, children will display empathy by caring for friends, family or pets who seem to be hurt and they will also develop a concept of fairness and develop self-confidence .By the end of childhood children will have a clear sense of what they know is right and wrong

Cognitive development in children will be at a high as they join school. By age 3 The child will develop more language and understanding and begin asking a lot of questions to further develop that understanding. The child will also begin to be or be toilet trained by this age however toilet training through the night might take longer. By age 5 the child should be able to count to 20 and begin to take interest in things such as writing and reading this will show an interest in their education. At age 6 the child will be talking in fluency and with confidence and will even be able to understand the concept of time and travel. At the end of childhood the child should be able to express themselves, perform simple calculations and Use more complex words in their writing and reading.

Physically in childhood you go through rapid growth although it’s not as fast as infancy it is still very quick. By age 4 a child should be able to ride a tricycle and walk backwards they should also be able to family hold a pen with two fingers and a thumb showing their fine motor skills developing. By the middle of childhood the child should be able to throw and kick a ball,have a good sense of balance, run and skip and become more coordinated. By the end of childhood, the child should be able to hop on either leg and will have good fine motor skills so will be able to colour inside of lines and cut out an image with scissors precisely.


The social development in adolescents often sees the person become increasingly independent from their parents compared to their previous life stages. Most adolescents begin to start working, earning their own money or being able to go places on their own. Young people in this age group will begin to develop their own set of morals and values. They will also begin to form long lasting friendships and even get into their first relationships

Emotional development means the adolescents can think about others and understand a different perspective. They will begin to develop their own culture and values which may cause conflict as they’re getting older so are discovering their own identity. Adolescents will also experience wide emotional swings and tiredness due to the influence of the hormones as a result of puberty. These young people will often feel misunderstood, self-conscious about their own appearance and under a lot of stress due to exams and anxiety about their future. Some adolescents may need extra support to manage their stress and mental health in this stage of life. Charities such as the Young Minds organization who help young people to cope, have said the number of individuals reporting feeling worried and anxious has doubled in last 30 years.

Cognitive development in adolescents means they’re able to process increasingly complex information and abstract thought. They can also reason and derive conclusions. A young person’s knowledge and memory increases throughout adolescence. In this life stage the individuals also undergo public examinations such as GCSES and A-Levels. Many lives changing and life influencing decisions are made at this stage.

Physical development is a huge part of adolescence and is referred to as puberty. Puberty is the period where a child’s body develops, and they turn into an adult. According to the NHS, the current average age to begin puberty is 11 for girls and 12 for boys. For boys in puberty, testicles and penis grow along with growth of pubic hair. The boys voice will begin to change and deepen. They will also go through a big growth spurt becoming taller and more muscular. In girls, the ovaries, uterus and vagina will increase to grow along with the breasts (which continue to grow and change shape in the first 4 years of puberty) which is usually the first sign of puberty. During puberty, the girl will start menstruating and so will begin their period which is likely to be irregular at first along with the growth of pubic hair. Both will have an increase in body sweat as sweat glands become lager and more active. Both may also experience acne.

Early Adulthood

Social development in early adulthood will mean social relationships may change many adults will remain friends with people from school especially if they share similar cultures, interest or job interests. These adults will tend to make friendships with people who have things in common such as having kids that go to the same school or are of a similar age or work in their workplace. People in this stage of life may stop going out with friends as often as they focus on their family life more.

In emotional development work changes can stress as a balance of work and family life can be difficult to manage. In this life-stage most will form lifelong relationships but not all will. Some relationships may even sadly breakdown. All these situations can cause emotional changes to adults as they attempt to manage the situation. The adult will form attachments to their own children that are born during this time and their partners. These relationships may be influenced the adult’s own past experiences. At this time, the adult may experience not only sadness but joy whilst watching their children grow-up.

Cognitive development is involved as adults continue to learn throughout this time of their lives. They may develop new skills for a job role and gain new knowledge this may be through formal or informal learning. Most adults will work through this life-stage to earn a living and to focus on establishing their own careers. Some adults may go back to university or still be studying towards that career.

In physical development for adults in early adulthood, they will reach physical maturity and major change in physical performance and development most adults reach their physical peak before the age of 30. Many athletes retire from competitive sport early in this life stage. Having a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise can help in this period of this life stage. At this point in life women may become pregnant and as a result of this the body will change during pregnancy both externally and internally to suit the requirements of the fetus and then the newborn baby. A mother’s body will begin to produce milk for the baby once they’re born.

Middle Adulthood

In social development, the adult’s relationship may continue through this life stage. This relationship may have been formed in school, work, areas of mutual interests such as clubs, friends or hobbies. However not all these relationships will last, and many may fall apart meaning that adult might begin a new relationship and from this meet new people. These adults will have to split the time between living their own lives and caring for their children and in some cases even their grandchildren. Friendships remain important in this life stage, so it is important that someone in middle adulthood gives time to focus on their friendships, so they don’t limit social activity.

Emotional development in middle adulthood often sees the adult attempt to balance relationships and work. many relationships can change in this life stage and parents may see the children growing up and leaving home or leaving to go elsewhere such as university. This can be a major transition and bring a lot of sadness and stress for a parent. For women, the beginning of menopause can create sadness as the loss of ability to have children signifies a major role change in a woman.

In cognitive development there may be career changes as people try to balance out their lives and work. Many adults carry on learning throughout this period although there may be some cognitive functions such as memory and problem-solving that decline during this life stage. Some adults may also go back to further education in this life stage to get a certain qualification they may need to pursue a career they want.

Physical development in middle adulthood slows down as physical skills decline. There are several physical changes in appearance for example begin to lose fat and collagen especially in the face and arms. Hair can become thinner and greyer. Internally adults tend to lose muscle length and strength along with bone density. Vision and hearing may also decline. Stress and genetics can have influence upon the rate and intensity of these changes. For women, menopause occurs from early to middle adulthood. This is when ovaries stop producing an egg each month. there are many symptoms of menopause which can vary these include hot flushes, mood swings and night sweats due to the reduction of levels.

Late Adulthood

In late adulthood social development may affect these adults as, they could face ageism from colleagues and people around them as these people feel like older people do not have the capacity anymore to work. Retirement may give these older adults a time to enjoy they are leisurely activities and socialise with friends more. However, some of these adults may find it harder socialising and not forming any social relationships in a workplace anymore.

Emotional development may be hard for someone in later adulthood. In late adult hood someone is very likely to have already suffered or about to go through the loss of a parent ,sibling ,partner or just someone close to them. This may cause the adult a great deal of sadness as they try to grieve their loved ones passing. An older adults self-esteem and confidence may lower as they lose some independence due to their ageing meaning they could need some extra support in day-to-day activities.

Cognitive development is important for people in this life stage. Adults in this life stage are at an increased risk of dementia so it is important to keep their cognitive skills stimulated to delay the process of dementia. Many adults do take on new skills at this age due to the amount of free time they have such as learning how to knit or learning new instrument.

Physical development in this life stage is slow. At this life stage there is a physical decline. There is also a decline in mobility. There is also a decline in sensory functions such as hearing and seeing. 

Bibliography and References

  1. Peteiro, M. F. (2017). CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma Health and Social care. CACHE.
  2. NHS pregnancy and baby guide. (2019, October 4). Retrieved from NHS. UK:
  3. YoungMinds – children and young people’s mental health charity. (n.d.). Retrieved from Young Minds:


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