The term development refers to certain changes that that occur in human beings from start to end. The term is not applied to all the changes. It is applied to those changes that appear in orderly ways and remain for a reasonably for period of time. A temporary change caused by a brief illness is not considered a part of development. Development is descried in terms of processes, periods and aspects.

A.Processes of Development:

The pattern of child development is complex because it is the product of several processes: biological, cognitive, and socioemotional.

  • Biological Processes: Biological processes involve changes in the child’s body. Genetic inheritance plays a large part. Biological processes underlie the development of the brain, gains in height and weight, changes in motor skills, and puberty’s hormonal changes.
  • Cognitive processes: Involve changes in the child’s thinking, intelligence, and language. Cognitive developmental processes enable a growing child to memorize a poem, imagine how to solve a math problem, come up with a creative strategy, or speak meaningfully connected sentences.
  • Socio-emotional processes: Involve changes in the child’s relationships with other people, changes in emotion, and changes in personality. Parents’ nurturance toward their child, a boy’s aggressive attack on a peer, a girl’s development of assertiveness, and an adolescents of joy after getting good grades all reflect socioemotional processes in development.

B.Period of Development:

For the purposes of organization and understanding, we commonly describe development in terms of periods. In the most widely used system of classification, the developmental periods are infancy, early childhood, middle and late childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood.

  • Infancy: Extends from birth to eighteen to twenty-four months. It is a time of extreme dependence on adults. Many activities, such as language development, symbolic thought, sensorimotor coordination, and social learning, are just beginning.
  • Early childhood (sometimes called the “preschool years”) extends from the end of in fancy to about five or six years. During this period, children become more self-sufficient, develop school readiness skills (such as learning to follow instructions and identify letters), and spend many hours with peers. First grade typically marks the end of early childhood.
  • Middle and late childhood: (sometimes called the “elementary school years”) extends from about six to eleven years of age. Children master the fundamental skills of reading, writing, and math at this time. Achievement becomes a more central theme of children’s lives and they increase their self- control. In this period, they interact more with the wider social world beyond their family.
  • Adolescence: Involves the transition from childhood to adulthood. It begins around ages ten to twelve and ends around eighteen to twenty-two. Adolescence starts with rapid physical changes, including gains in height and weight and the development of sexual functions. In adolescence, individuals more intensely pursue independence and seek their own identity. Their thought becomes more abstract, logical, and idealistic.
  • Early adulthood: Begins in the late teens or early twenties and stretches into the thirties. It is a time when work and love become main themes in life. Individuals make important career decisions and usually seek to have an intimate relationship through marriage.

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