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Human Growth & Development

“from womb to tomb”

It is not the strongest of the species
that survive, nor the most

intelligent, but the one most

responsive to change.
Charles Darwin
Human Growth & Development

This chapter deals with a

Wholistic approach to Human
Development across the Life
Span, considering the person as a
system with Body, Mind and
Spirit functioning as an entirety,
and being Influenced by the
Why Learn about Human Growth
and Development
Human Growth & Development

A Knowledge of one’s personal

development is an essential
component of self-knowledge.
To provide a baseline for
understanding the perspective of
client and nature of their problem. It
is essential to understand the stages
and the process of normal Growth
and Development.
Development Approach to
 Its very important for the counselor to know as
much as about the development process and
where the client are and to make interventions
appropriate to their developmental levels.
 Its very important to start with the client rather
than your theories when adopting a
developmental approach to counseling.
 The study of human development is valuable in
designing preventive programmes to prevent
certain types of problems by the application of
the current knowledge.
Development of the whole Person

The study of Human Development across

the life span (from birth to death) is
relatively recent phenomenon. The study
of human development must include all of
the multidimensional interactional
 Basic or core elements considered here are
physical-motor, cognitive-intellectual,
socio-emotional, and moral-spiritual (faith)
each element interacts with and influence
Basic or core elements

Physical-Motor: It includes Body build,

size, strength, rate of physical maturation
or deterioration, motor skill coordination,
and physical health.

Cognative-intellectual: It includes
memory, thinking, language, perception,
problem solving, and academic
Basic or core elements

Social-Emotional: It includes
emotional development,
temperament, and interpersonal
relationship skills.

Moral-Spiritual: It includes beliefs,

values, morals and faith
Principles of Human Growth and Development

“Growth in an Organism is that structural

change which increases its level of
functioning in specific ways, although the
potential for some different but related
function may be concomitantly decreased”.

As child learns language, use of baby talk

Principles of Human Growth and Development

 Growth is a continuous and life long process: Right

from the union of the sperm and ovum and continuing till
death growth is a constant process. The rate of growth
may change among individuals but the process goes on.
 Growth is sequential and Unique: Union of the sperm
and ovum creates a blue print that is both general to the
species and unique to the individual. The stages of
growth occur at predictable times, and the result is a
distinctly unique adult.
Principles of Human Growth and Development

 Growth is the unfolding of the Genetic Code (deoxyribonucleic

acid, or DNA): The unfolding will occur at the right time, given a
general nonhostile environment. Interacting with the environment
growth includes learning & maturation and is integrative.
“ if a child is hungry and cries, the child learns that crying can result
in being fed. Some learning occurs best at the critical or sensitive
periods in the child’s development”.
 Growth is integrative with all of the human systems working
together: A child may be mentally ready to ride a bicycle but
physically might not have the strength, coordination, and balance to
 Growth occurs in Stages: Stages are identifiable within the various
dimensions, but not everybody completes every stage.
Areas of Development

 The most observable of the

developmental processes is that of
physical development. Beginning in
utero on conception and is influenced by
the environment provided by the
 Approx 2,50,000 babies are born in US
every year with birth defects most being
preventable defects.
Areas of Development

 Amniocentesis: a clinical examination of cells

from the womb containing the fetus is taken to
determine whether genetic or environmentally
caused malfunctions have occurred. Along
with taking the genetic history of the parents.

 Genetic Counseling: Helping people make a

decision about having children, and working
with families who have genetic problems
Areas of Development
(The Birthing Process)
Birthing Process
 Giving birth to a child can be both exciting
and stressful period in the lives of all
 Under normal circumstances the baby leaves
the security of the womb and is literally
forced down the narrow birth canal until born.
Sudden change from the safety of the uterus
to the bright lights and loud noises of the
outside world is the first trauma in the child’s
life. This trauma is the chief cause for later
neuroses in adults
So how to avoid this trauma in the new born

The child should be born in a quite, dimly

lit room and immediately placed on the
mother’s abdomen, where the child can be
gently fondled and caressed. After the
umbilical cord is cut, the child is bathed in
warm water.
Infants born in this manner do seem to cry
less and respond early than babies born
into bright and loud noises and greeted
with vigorous slap on the buttocks.

 The forming of the attachment with another

person, can begin immediately after birth,
forming the bases of a lifetime relationship.
Skin contact, cuddling, touching, stroking,
eye contact, and talking are all functions of
the bonding practice.
 Greater the length of time involved in the
bonding process, greater the chances for a
strong, positive, trusting relationship in the
 Its applicable to both father and the mother.
Early Childhood (0 to 5 years)

 The foundation for all of the child’s future growth &

learning becomes well established at this time.
 Will attain half of their future height by age 2+.
 By age 4, child’s IQ will be stable enough to predict the
IQ at age 17.
 By age 5, the child has 75% of their ultimate brain
weight and 90% of it by age 6.
 At 5 the child is energetic, active and uses the large
muscles fairly well.
 Age 6 to 12, physical growth slows down considerably,
bodily proportions continue to change, large muscle
development continues and greater small muscle

 Adolescence, from a purely physical

sense, begins with the prepubertal
growth spurt and ends with the
attainment of full physical maturity.
 Skeletal growth is complete, total
height being attained, and “ upper limits
of genetic potential for endocrine
development” have been reached.
 Adolescents have both the pleasure and
the pain of being the direct observers of
the entire process.
Problems in Adolescence

 Development or lack of it is the major concern:

Comparisons with peers and the prevailing ideal, plus the
horror of attending the problems like acne makes it difficult
for them and those around.
 Distinct periods of physical changes triggered by an
explosion of hormones in the body.
 During this age secondary sex characteristics first appear
and sexual organs become functional.
 Here the individuals ultimate height is attained & where
boys are broadening at the shoulders and girls are
broadening at the hips.
Problems in Adolescence

 Although this stage is standard for everyone, the time and

rates at which bodily changes take place differ significantly.
 Early maturing boys benefit from their status, whereas there
is a stigma attached to the late bloomers.
 For girls the reverse seems to be true, but not the same
degree, as the mass media promote the idea of sexual
attractiveness and conformity to certain ideals for members
of both sexes.
 Attention deficit.
 Anger issues.
 Suicide.

There tends to be loss of

muscle strength and
endurance partly due to a
decline in activity level.
Body size shrinks and
posture changes
markedly loss of strength
is inevitable.

In women ( Age of 48-51)

 At this stage women is no longer able to
conceive a child. The cessation of the
menstural cycle brought by the changes in
the hormone secretion.
 Hormonal changes can affect the
woman’s total personality and result in
headache, irritability, and depression.
 With the fear of pregnancy gone, sexual
interest may increase for some women.

In Men (age of 40-80-90)

 No major drop in sex hormone levels.
 Sperm production continues on into the
eighties and nineties.
 some may face the symptoms like
tiredness, irritability, poor appetite and
impaired ability to concentrate. It is
caused by decreased levels of
testosterone production and can be aided
by testosterone injections to reduce the
condition called Male Climacteric.
What Intelligence is all about

Intelligence is the ability to think in

abstract terms.
Intelligence as a global term incorporates
mental and physical processes that may or
may not be measurable.
Measured intelligence refers to specific
mental and physical activities that have
been demonstrated in a controlled testing
What Intelligence is all about

In simple terms

One major component of the intellectual
capacity of an individual is thinking
Thinking in general includes such mental
activity as forming concepts, making
comparisons, solving problems, and
It’s the function of the Right and the Left
Hemisphere of the Brain
Types of Intelligence

 Emanate from left hemisphere of the brain:

Linguistic intelligence: It’s the
ability to understand and use
intelligence: includes the ability
to use logic and understand and
apply linear type of mathematics
Types of Intelligence

 Emanate from Right hemisphere of the brain:

Musical Intelligence: It refers to the
ability to use and to conceptualize in
musical terms.
Spatial intelligence: It involves the
ability to work in two-and three
dimensional terms, dealing with size,
shape, perspective etc.. Students who do
well in geometry would tend to score
high in this type of intelligence.
Types of Intelligence

The body has an intelligence of its own

called Kinesthetic Intelligence: It refers to
the body’s ability to learn and master
physical skills. Eg; performance of
professional dancers & athletes.
Interpersonal Intelligence: Ability to
function in social situations.
So what are you
the Left or the Right
Nature – Nurture Issues
 Heredity and Environment influence measured
intelligence. Its is in large part inherited but can be
affected negatively and positively by environmental
 How much intellectual power a person uses at any given
time is of more significance than the level of the
measured intelligence.
 Having high intelligence does not guarantee success any
more than low intelligence ensures failure. Other factors
like motivation may play a very important role in
determining Success or Failure.
Piaget’s Stage Development Theory

There is an organised pattern of behaviour or

thought, which he labeled Schemas.
Children adapt to their environment, assimilate new
information into existing schemas, and
accommodate new experiences by revising existing
His theory states that thinking processes develop in
the same fixed sequence of stages.
Piaget’s Stage Development Theory

 At fairly specific points of time in the

developmental process, characteristic behaviour
and abilities to conceptualize occurs.
 Each stage builds on the accomplishments of
the preceding one in a hierarchical fashion and
heredity has in effect, programmed the
unfolding of these stages.
 Physical & Social environment, however, may
affect the age at which specific abilities evolve
or the degree to which the abilities are
Guidelines for each age

 Sensorimotor stage (birth -2 years):

 Here the child acquires knowledge as a
result of sensory impressions & motor
activities. It begins as the newborn infant
explores his or her body & uses his or her
 The child is able to distinguish between
parents and animals, has rudimentary
sense of direction & purpose, and is
beginning to use representational
Guidelines for each age

 Preoperational stage(2-8 years):

 Here the child is able to think about their
environment by using symbols and words to
represent their surroundings.
 Accomplishments include development of
language, differentiate between animals,
and use of imagination.
 At this age its very difficult for the child to
take others point of view as they believe that
others see things the same way as they do.
Guidelines for each age

 Concrete-operational stage (7-11

 At this age the child is able to deal
logically with objects but still not able to
work with abstract ideas.
 Can perform such operations as
classifying, combining, separating,
ordering, multiplying, dividing,
substituting, reversing their thinking and,
understand the relationship between time
and speed.
Guidelines for each age

 Formal operational stage (11-15 -20

 Develop the skill of using abstract logic
to think about the process of thinking.
 Able to generalize & formulate
hypothesis and test them mentally.
 Able to propose alternative solutions to
a problem and think about the future.
 Can synthesize materials, creating new
and unique ideas.
Psychological Development

Thinking about human behaviour and the

development of personality stems from the
pioneering work of Sigmund Freud &
Accordingly personality development is
the result of a combination of external
factors that affect the development of Ego,
Superego and internal factors such as
biological needs and appetites represented
& affected by Id.
Psychological Development

Erikson believed in epigenetic

development, where the person in-
exorably moves form one stage to
another, confronting age-specific
crises along the way. Successful
resolution of these conflicts in a full
mature, emotionally healthy
Emotional Development

Affective development,
which includes our
feelings, emotions, and
values, is something we
all experience in life at
all stages.
Stages in Emotional Development Process

Egocentric-impersonal stage (0-2 years):

Here children are not able to differentiate
between themselves and the world around
Heteronymous stage (2-7 years): Child
differentiates between themselves and
significant adults, mainly their parents.
Here they experience and learn the names
for the basic feelings of fear, anger,
happiness, and sadness
Stages in Emotional Development Process

Impersonal stage (7-12 years): Children

evidence feelings of mutual respect and
reciprocity as relationships with peers
increase and those with the adults
Psychological-Personal stage (12-15
years): Adolescents develop a system of
values.” these values are usually concerned
with universal justice, equality, patriotic
sense, and alliance to an abstract code of
Stages in Emotional Development Process

Autonomous Stage: Here individuals

become aware of and appreciate how they
are personally responsible for their own
Integrious stage: Has a fully developed
philosophy of life, integrity itself is
invested with affect. Integrity refers not
only to consistency conduct in accordance
with principles, but also to a feeling of
wholeness that the individual prizes.
To Here …. And Beyond