1. will lose a lot of body fat

1. Introduction

report will cover the physical, cognitive, social and emotional stages of
development from birth through to adolescence. Focusing on physical development
from birth to adolescence the main features are growth, bone and muscle
development and puberty. Discussing the range of theories that will help
understand why children and young people behave differently to one another, the
way they physically develop and how the brain develops. Theorists that help
explain essential parts of development are categorised in to continuous
development and discontinuous development. Continuous is the process of slowly developing
skills, as opposed to discontinuous, which is developing skills through stages
.( Burk, L E, 2016) Key theories that help explain some of the main  elements in explaining behaviour, Behaviourist
theory , Social learning theory, Cognitive theory and Social- cultural theory.
An additional factor to development are an array of different transitions
babies to teens go through such as, starting nursery/ school, starting
university, moving area, loss of a loved one or parents divorcing. These
transitions can have an effect on an individual which can be seen as an
obstacle for development or can help improve development.

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2 Infancy :0-2 years

2.1 Physical development
Infancy: 0-2 years

Once a child is born they are
measured on the Apgar scale (Appendix 1),the higher the combined score the
better physical condition the new born is in. Approximately at the age of 5
months the weight of the baby will have doubled from the initial birth weight,
this ‘baby fat’ will peak at the age of 9 months, this function helps to keep a
stable body temperature. By the time the toddler is 2 they will lose a lot of
body fat  and begin to slowly increase
their muscle tissue, a toddlers strength is still very limited and coordination
is still being improved. By the age of 1 the toddler will have grown
approximately 50% bigger than the birth height and by the age of 2 the
percentage will increase to 75% taller than the initial birth weight. Due to
this, the toddlers body proportions grow in different patterns, these trends
are the, cephalocaudal and Proximodistal trends. The cephalocaudal trend ‘head
to tail’ is from birth as the head of baby is 20% of the total body and the
legs only being 1/3 of the length. The Proximodistal trend ‘near to far’ will
measure the body from the centre outwards, measuring the span of the arms and
legs, this is used through infancy to measure the continuous growth of the arms
and legs. (Burk. L ,E, 2016 ) Around the age of 1 ½ -2 years a toddler will
begin to develop motor skills and fine motor skills, they will begin to mature
closer to the age of 2.

2.2 Cognitive development
Infancy: 0-2 years

Piaget’s stages of cognitive
development (appendix 2) stage one, sensorimotor, new born babies learn from
the environment through the reflex behaviours and instincts, the senses and
motor responses synchronise together to get a better understanding of the
environment around them. Infants begin to become to be very egocentric and
begin to learn how to accomplish things and figure out what they want and learn
the ways to communicate this. Piaget’s theory would show this is due to schemas
that the infant has made through the adaptation of the environment, this helps
the infant to influence the current behaviour, so it is easy to adapt to the
environment around them, this development is accommodation.  (Hayes. N, 1997) A toddler will begin to
comprehend words and the meanings, language will continuously develop, by the
age of 18 months being able to produce up to 50 words. This will then start to
develop to a better coherent way of speaking, as by the age of 2 bring able to
produce up to 200 words. (Burk L E, 2016)

2.3 Social and emotional
development Infancy: 0-2 years

A new born will have the
ability to smile, smile back at familiar faces, recognise different facial
emotions and begin to laugh, they can distinguish the difference between voices
and understand the difference between positive and negative emotions. At
approximately 7-11 months attachments start to become clear with the caregiver,
seeing them as a secure retreat. Bowlby suggested that positive early
attachments to the caregiver (mainly mother) secures positive relationship
building in the future. At this time the tiddler will also begin to understand
other people’s emotional expressions and will be able to react to in the
correct way, a toddler will be able to control emotions better. ( Bowlby. J,
1969) From the age 19 months to 2 years a toddler will have self-conscious
emotions will begin to appear, showing the correct emotion to the behaviour.
Advanced speaking can lead to the correct vocabulary to tell the caregiver how
they are feeling and can use it to comfort or speak to others.
Self-gratification is controlled and subsidised and starts to show more empathy
to situations. A toddler can also begin  to categorize their self and others based on
sex, age, characteristics and much more. ( Burk, L E ,2016 )

3 Early Childhood :3-7 years

3.1 Physical development: 3-7 years

Within early childhood, growth
becomes a slower process, the average child will gain around 2-3 inches in
height a year, the average child will also gain around 5-7 pounds of fat a
year, depending on the lifestyle and environment that they are in. (Burk , L E
, 2013) Around the ages 3-5 gross motor skills improve, such as walking becomes
easier and fine motor improve having the ability to use a fork and knife well
without assistance.  At the age of 5-7
years they can run faster without falling over and able to use a pen/pencil to
write. At the same age, primary teeth ‘baby teeth’ begin to fall out and
replace with secondary teeth ‘adult teeth’.

3.2 Cognitive development: 3-7

Piaget’s cognitive stage theory,
at the ages 3-7 a child fits in to the preoperational stage. During this stage
a child will develop an understanding on how to think more abstract. this helps
the child come to terms with symbolic concepts and have a more sophisticated
vocabulary. A child will become very inquisitive and constantly ask questions
about a situation or everyday life. Also at this stage a child can hold
attention for a longer period, helping the child grasp basic knowledge of
numbers. during this time a child’s attention span will improve, helping a
child to then plan successfully.

3.3 social and emotional
development: 3-7 years

According to Kohlberg’s stage
theory (appendix 3)a child at the age of 3-4 will be at stage 2 ;
self-interest, during this stage a child seeks rewards for good behaviour
rather than committing bad behaviour and getting a punishment. A child will
begin to build up their self-esteem in different areas of their life, this
being learning new things and being confident with in them, getting along with
family members and being along side peers. Language will help a child to engage
with peers and take part on imaginative play, relying on langue to express how
they feel.  By the age of 5-6 a child
will reach stage 3 which is conformity and interpersonal accord, the ‘good
boy/good girl’ level is made on the idea of what other people will think about
the child/ action. At the age of 7, a child will reach stage 4 of Kohlberg’s
theory, authority and social order. This stage is focused on the idea of fixed
rules and a child obeying them, not only worrying what other people think of
them but what the whole society thinks of them.

4.Middle childhood 6-11 years

4.1 Physical development

Around this age, most children
should have lost or began to lose primary teeth, being replaced permanent
teeth. The growth and weight rate are still gradual, increasing small amounts,
depending on the environment and genetics. Towards the ages of 9-11, a child
may start to grow at a faster rate, it is evident that girls can begin the
adolescent growth spurt 2 years earlier than boys. (Burk, L E , 2016) During
this time a child’s attention span will improve, leading to more in depth
learning and a verity of knowledge.

4.2 Cognitive development 6-11

Piaget’s stage theory would
link children of the ages of 6-11 in the concreate operational stage. During
this time a child will have the ability to have a better understanding of more
abstract ideas and having the ability to think of  more complex ideas. At this time children
have a more logical thought process, helping a child to have a more organised
way of thinking. A child will have the ability to view a situation from two
different perspectives, maturing from the younger egotistical self. Piaget
believes that at this time a child has the ability to learn rules with ease,
but a child will struggle to understand the logic behind those rules. Memory
improves due to the memory strategies children will apply when learning new
things and expanding on old knowledge, long term knowledge then becomes more
organised meaning a child will have a better understanding. 

4.3 Social and emotional
development 6-11 years

During this age a child will
be going through stage 4 Industry vs Inferiority in Erikson’s Psychosocial
stages. At this stage schooling is a very important aspect of children’s life,
meaning the role of a teacher is very important to teach the skills that children
need throughout their life. Also, a child’s peer group becomes a priority to a
child, this helps a child self esteem build. Within peer groups children will
feel the need to try and gain approval from their peers so that they can feel
valued and confident. Throughout this time initiative must be praised and
reinforced to ensure children do not begin to feel inferior, then doubting the
skills they have achieved not being able to reach the child’s full potential. Bandura’s
Social Learning theory of modelling (Appendix 5) would argue that children
during this age can begin to model their peer’s behaviour that they aspire to
be like and retain the behaviour. For example, a child is the ‘class clown’ a
peer will then pay attention to the model, retain the information to imitate
the child, reproduction of the behaviour, other children may find this
behaviour funny therefore giving the child motivation to act in this way. 

5.Adolescence 11-18 years

5.1 Physical development 11-18

In early adolescence puberty
will begin, girls will reach the peak of the growth spurt whilst boys only
begin the growth spurt. Girls begin to start menstruation, contribution to mood
swings and gaining more body fat that muscle, breasts will begin to grow as
well as leg, under arm and pubic hair will grow. In boys, leg, under arm and
pubic hair will grow, voices will become lower and deeper and they will have
the ability to ejaculate, contributing to mood swings. Around this time phase
delay (sleep) becomes more common, meaning a teen will become tired more easily
and have urges to sleep during the day, a teens sleep pattern will be
approximately 2 hours later than the average bedtime (Appendix 6). At late
adolescence, boys will complete the growth spurt and will gain more muscle,
mood swings in boys and girls will begin to decrease and can deal will
stressful situations more appropriately.          ( Berk, L E, 2016)

5.2 Cognitive development
11-18 years

The 4th stage of
Piaget’s theory is Formal operations stage, starting at the age of 11. Early
adolescence has the ability to a more hypothetical and abstract way of
thinking. Adolescence can understand false premises that do not confuse them.
An adolescent’s logic becomes more formal and structured and can verbally
explain different concepts without using demonstrations. Also, an adolescent’s
decision making will improve, and priorities will become clear. Language
becomes sophisticated adding abstract words and has a clear understanding of
different speech styles and when to apply them. Reading gradually improves to
an adult standard, interpreting more sophisticated texts and uses the correct

5.3 Social and emotional
development 11-18 years

Stage 5 Identity vs role
confusion in Erikson’s psychosocial stages, begins at the age of 12 all through
adolescence. This stage is where an adolescent will look for a sense of self
and look for their own personal identity. (Berk, L E, 2016) The way an
adolescent teen will find a sense of self and personality is through their own
beliefs values and goals. During this stage, Erikson suggests that a teen will
feel uncomfortable with their bodies, they can either adapt to their body type
leading to fidelity or reject their body and state of mind and respond in
identity crisis.  During this stage parent – child conflict rises,
leading to spending less time with family and more with peers, it is usual at
this time a teen will have a small friendship groups rather than large, as
loyalty and mutual understanding is key. Near the end of adolescence
self-concept shows a better understanding of ones moral and personal standards
and values and parent- child conflict begins to decrease. An adolescent will
begin to want a romantic relationship with the opposite/ same sex.

The adolescent mind is essentially a mind or moratorium, a
psychosocial stage between childhood and adulthood, and between the morality
learned by the child, and the ethics to be developed by the adult (Erikson,
1963, p. 245).


Transition in to nursery can
be confusing and scary for a toddler, as the familiar faces of family and close
friends is what a toddler sees on a day to day basis. A child could react badly
to going to nursery and begin to cry and feel overwhelmed feeling a sense of
abandonment, due to the attachment a child will have with the care giver, this
in not uncommon. Other children may not be phased by the transition and slot in
very well with other children.

Divorce is a transition that
not all children go through, but can be one if the toughest transitions,
causing stress in to adulthood (Appendix 7). The consequences divorce has on
child development is very heavily based on the age of the child/young person,
children categorised as preschool will feel emotion towards the situation,
feeling upset, but will not understand the situation in full. Middle ages
children, will feel extremely emotional leading to fanaticises of the reunion
of their parents, and feeling disappointed when this does not happen.
Adolescence can have a sense of shame, feeling it is their personal
responsibility why their parents split, leaving an adolescent very emotional,
but hiding the emotion leading to more angry behaviour. This can affect
relationships between parent and adolescent as arguments can occur more
regularly which can lead to an adolescent siding with one parent (Kim, H.S. 2011). 
It is normal for a child/young person to have experienced emotional
distress within the first year, possibly leading to behaviour problems.
Approximately after 5 years a child/young person may feel they had to grow up
faster than the average person of same age, taking on responsibilities and
roles that may have matured the child/young person. Parenting can become more
laxed as the parents may feel guilt for causing emotional distress, leading to the
child/young person not following rules and bad behaviour is not punished as
strongly as it should be. (Kim, H.S.

into adulthood can be stressful for some adolescents, this can be because of
the responsibility and independence that comes with adulthood. Some adolescent
can find this transition difficult and lose confidence within themselves as
they feel like they may fail and become disappointed. Whereas, some adolescents
thrive of gaining independence and like to gain more responsibility within
their own life and not relying on parents or family members. 


To conclude, the report has
discussed the different stages of development from birth through to maturity,
looking at key approaches explaining the physical, cognitive, social and
emotional stages, as well as areas of transition. Key theorists including the Piaget,
Kohlberg and Erikson have been used throughout to further explain the different
stages and provide example. The areas of transition of each stage including education,
divorce and transitioning in to adulthood. have been discussed, mainly focusing
on the effects these could have on an individual’s development. Discussing the
development of children and youths is vital for parents to have the ability to
reflect and see if their own child is developing correctly.