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Stages of Human Development

Discuss about the Report for Nursing of Human Development Process.

Every living organism change and grow and during this process become more diversified, competent and capable in dealing with the external world. Every human being is different and thus they grow or develop in a unique way depending on the physical, cognitive and spiritual growth through various stages from infancy to adulthood. But the order of development remains the same for every individual. This progression is termed as human development. The human development stages are categorized into four distinct stages and they are infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood (Bornstein & Bradley 2014). In each stage the individual confronts, and hopefully experience, new challenges and explore and they gradually develop a sense of recognizing new things. Human beings, at the initial stage unable to crawl or walk, but quickly become competent at these skills, and move on to running and beyond. When an individual grows they start to develop new habits, learn new things and their interdependency increases (Kogan 2013). In this essay I am going to present the human development facts based on the physical, social-cultural and cognitive issues. In addition to this the process of development of self-identity and self-esteem of an individual’s life and incorporation of relevant standards of practice into the nursing practice will be discussed.

Human development is the process of physical, cognitive and spiritual expansion and transition of a human being. One of the early childhood stages, the toddlers are commonly termed as preschooler. In terms of the preschoolers the physical growth is little slower than the infants and toddlers, but the development is steady and also continuous. By the age of 6 years the size becomes close to an adult and the body becomes more coordinated. Motor abilities gradually develop such as throwing, catching and skipping Spodek & Saracho (2014). A complete set of temporary teeth appears that are again replaced by the thirty two permanent teeth with time. Addition to this the average weight of a five to six years child has been estimated as 20.4 kilograms. According to Jean Piaget this stage is termed as the pre-operational stage. The cognitive development is characterized by learning of signs and symbols, imagination to enhance the play, improvement in verbal communication, increased socialization and better reasoning capability Gottfried (2013). Moreover, increased language and picture skills are also observed in preschoolers. The behavioral or psychological development in this particular age is biologically opposite-sex oriented. At this stage the behavioral aspect is mediated through social interactions. Children of this stage are quite prone to the fears of nightmares, new locations and their own imagination or fantasies. As predicted by Kohlberg’s this particular stage is dominated by moral reasoning. The children of this age obey rules in order to avoid punishment. In accordance to this age the concepts of god, spirit, hell or heaven are inexplicable and sometimes frightening. The growth of the preschoolers re highly impacted upon by the social dimensions (Gottfried, 2013).

Physical, Social-Cultural and Cognitive Issues

With the advent of the early childhood stage numerous normative and non-normative transitions take place (Hershkowitz et al. 2012). At this stage the children become active explorers of their environment. According Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, the early childhood stage is divided into two parts the pre-conceptual stage which involves children of the ages 2 to 4 years and intuitive stage which involves children of age 4 to 7 years. The children between the ages of 3 to 6 years think symbolically and their thinking is mostly egocentric.  The normative transitions in these children involve increased size, changes in physical appearance, language development, emotional and spiritual development (Fisher et al. 2013). As per the theory of attachment of Bowlby, the attachment patterns that starts with infancy exerts a huge influence and find expression in a variety of sociological behaviors that continues throughout the lifespan. The difference in the child attachment patterns is due to the distinct pattern of responses towards the social interactions. The non-normative transitions are the unpredictable changes that take place depending on certain situations. Non-normative changes can cause physical as well as emotional changes. For example, death of parents can traumatize a child of this age. Bowlby stated that, the relationship between the children and their parents aids in the development of a child’s internal world. Therefore, sudden demise of the parents of a child of this age can impact negatively on a child’s psychological health (Hershkowitz et al., 2012).


Erikson stated that, very stages of development is highly influenced by an individual’s interactions with the environment. The concept of self-identity requires a constant thought and intentional decision making (Charlesworth, 2013). By the age of 3 years a child develops the idea of concrete self and could distinguish him or her as a separate life. The self-concept can be defined as the sense of belongingness and being accepted by the world. The self-concept develops from the birth and it gets a form with time. Children within the age of 3 to 6 years have the ability to distinguish them as separate entities. The self-image of such children is more descriptive than being judgmental. At the age of five the children become aware of the requirements of his or her group (Kreppner & Lerner, 2013). A five to six years child develops the power of words and communicates effectively in order to establish their own needs within the group. Self-esteem in preschoolers develops from several factors such as relationship, friendship and helping and playing task. In children of this age have high self-esteem and remains optimistic while learning, finishing a task and achieving success (Charlesworth, 2013).

Development of Self-Identity and Self-Esteem

The development of the feeling of independency in preschoolers becomes deceptive by new things. The self-concept of children between the ages of 3 to 6 years is governed by many factors such as the social factors, emotional connections cultural factors and environmental factors. The normative and non-normative transitions among these children are significantly affected with the realization of the self-concept (Kreppner & Lerner 2013). Certain studies have focused on the fact that the preschoolers develop the healthy ability to be assertive and they are seen to take initiative in tasks. Encouragement of these children in doing new tasks can positively impact on their self-concept. On the contrary certain non-normative transitions also affect the self-concept. For example, inability to start a new project or feeling of guilt can negatively impact on the self-concept. However, children of these ages are not aware of the opposing characteristics in a person. They also cannot typically link the different self-description into an integrated self-portrait (Gottfried, 2013).

Moorhead (2013) stated that, psychologists and nurses seek to realize and understand the health requirements of others and accordingly change their own behaviors, feelings and thoughts in order to enhance the well-being of those people. According to the NMBA, 2016 nursing practice standards, nurses should think critically and analyze the nursing practice and also engage in therapeutic and professional relationship. Preschoolers are of the early developmental stages in human beings. Therefore, it is very important to implement the NMBA, 2016 nursing practice in their lives but critically analyze their complications and incorporate it into clinical treatment of them. Firstly, understanding of their development and critically analyzing their illness and consequences is a significant part of the nursing practice in accordance to the NMBA standards. Secondly, as stated by NMBA standards one of the key parts of the nursing practice is to develop a therapeutic and professional relationship. Thus, as a nurse it is important to communicate with the child’s parents about their reactive pattern and treat the diseases clinically (Ball et al., 2013).

The pre-operational stage in human development as referred by Piaget is a significant developmental stage which involves several normative and non-normative transitions. These stage experiences several physical, cognitive and socio-cultural developments which ultimately helps in the growth of self-concept, self-identity and self-esteem. Thus, through careful assessment and family education nurses can aid in proper child development and enhance their own professional practice according to the NMBA standards.

References:

Ball, J. W., Bindler, R. C., & Cowen, K. J. (2013). Child health nursing. Prentice Hall.

Bornstein, M. H., & Bradley, R. H. (Eds.). (2014). Socioeconomic status, parenting, and child development. Routledge.

Charlesworth, R. (2013). Understanding child development. Cengage Learning.

Fisher, K. R., Hirsh‐Pasek, K., Newcombe, N., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2013). Taking shape: Supporting preschoolers' acquisition of geometric knowledge through guided play. Child Development, 84(6), 1872-1878.

Gottfried, A. W. (Ed.). (2013). Home environment and early cognitive development: Longitudinal research. Academic Press.

Hershkowitz, I., Lamb, M. E., Orbach, Y., Katz, C., & Horowitz, D. (2012). The development of communicative and narrative skills among preschoolers: Lessons from forensic interviews about child abuse. Child development,83(2), 611-622.

Kogan, N. (2013). Cognitive Styles in Infancy and Early Childhood (Psychology Revivals). Psychology Press.

Kreppner, K., & Lerner, R. M. (Eds.). (2013). Family systems and life-span development. Psychology Press.

Moorhead, S. (2013). Nursing Outcomes Classification (NOC), Measurement of Health Outcomes, 5: Nursing Outcomes Classification (NOC). Elsevier Health Sciences.

Spodek, B., & Saracho, O. N. (2014). Handbook of research on the education of young children. Routledge.

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