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Describe physical intellectual, motion and social development for each of the life stages of an  individual
Explain Potential effects of Five Different Life Factors and the Development on the Individual
Explain the influences of two predictable and two unpredictable major life events on the development of an individual.
Explain two theories of aging. (Disengagement theory and activity theory)
Explain the physical and psychological changes which may be associated with aging.
Discuss how these two theories of aging apply to an individual and the impacts they would have on their lifestyle.
Discuss the effects on self-esteem and self-confidence of the physical changes associated with ageing.
Evaluate the influence of the two major theories of ageing on the health and social care provision required for your chosen individual.
What effects influences of nature (biology: genetic inheritance) and influences of nurture (social factors:

Physical development

Life of humans has been divided into various stages starting from conception to death. The physical development begins prior to the birth of the child and continues until puberty. Humans develop different physical characteristics that include internal and external body organs. However, the development is different in males and females. The differences are visible in the sexual development where girls’ breasts enlarge, pubic hairs grow, menstrual period starts and fat layers occur under the skin. Males on the other hand experience the enhancement of testes and penis along with the development of pubic and facial hair (Salyers and McKee 2016). These developments occur between the ages of 11 to 13 years. This is followed by adolescence and adulthood.

Humans develop intellectual senses from birth that is characterized as sensory-motor stage beginning from birth until two years. In this stage, babies develop ability to sense objects and perform motor actions. This stage precedes the pre-operational stage where children start acquiring the ability to talk, however without knowing understanding the logical consequences. Then comes the concrete operational stage where practical situations help build logical thinking in children. The last is the formal operational stage that is characterized by logical thinking and ability to draw conclusions from abstract thinking.

Emotional development at infancy is typified by attachment with the carer. The emotional development at this stage defines how the children cope with uncertainties in life. In the next stage that is childhood, humans develop the sense of knowing who are they and their relationship with other members. This stage is vulnerable as the children might develop either confidence or sense of failure for the rest of their lives. Emotional development of identity, intimacy, staying involved and making sense of life are visible at adolescence, adulthood and older adulthood respectively.

The social development in humans at infancy is characterized by interactions with carers. They start reacting to human faces like smiling at them and responding to the words spoken to them by adults. In the childhood stage, humans start to learn and understand social roles within the confinement of their homes amongst their family members (Irner et al. 2014). Secondary social learning is the feature of the adolescence stage where humans develop a sense of self-worth. This stage also enables humans to develop a sense of freedom from family and explore their social identity. In the following stages of adulthood and older adulthood, friendship plays an important role. Sexual relationships also dominate the early adulthood stage. Older adulthood is typified by closer bonds with family and friends.

Intellectual development

The Five Life Factors that have an effect on an individual are:


This factor examines the affect economic activities can have on an individual’s social process. The individual’s development depends on the local and global economic condition as these determine the employment status, poverty, discrimination and other social factors of an individual (Pembrey, Saffery and Bygren 2014).


It deals with the means by which an individual inherits behavioral and physical characteristics. Development of genes determines an individual’s blood group, the color of their eyes and other such features.


Blood relations refer to the biological life factor of an individual. It has been stated that biological factors do not require parents to be susceptible to any disease or illness for their children to acquire it.


Environment plays an important role in the development if an individual. Having access to house, healthcare, social services, being affected by pollution, all affect an individual’s development.


When an individual decides to choose a lifestyle dominated by alcohol, smoking, drugs, he or she chooses to mar his or her development. Nutrition, religion, values and attitudes are also part of lifestyle that effects development.

Events that take place throughout an individual’s life may sometimes be predictable or unpredictable. These events play a major role in changing the direction and shaping an individual’s life (Heckman and Mosso 2014). The two predictable life events include marriage and starting school and unpredictable events involve domestic violence and death of a friend or relative.

Predictable life events

Marriage is predictable because every individual plans to get married at a certain stage in life. However, marriage plays an important role in an individual’s life as it decides how the rest of his or her life is going to span out. Apart from that, marriage also shapes how an individual handles responsibilities. Thus, marriage has both positive and negative influences on an individual.

Starting school is another predictable life event. After attaining a certain age when children begin to understand things, they are admitted to schools to have proper knowledge. Children discover their potential at school with gradual development. They start to learn new things that influence their lives throughout. Making new friends, socializing with people are some of the influences school has on an individual’s life.

Unpredictable life events

Domestic violence is an unpredictable life event that influences an individual’s entire life. It is not something that an individual plans to go through and hence it is an unpredictable event. Domestic violence, that involves physical exploitation, is the result of a predictable life event that is marriage and hence it is evident that these life events have visible influence. Victims of domestic violence are compelled to consider themselves as inferior and weak and this influences the rest of their lives (Falconier et al. 2015). Once happy and confident individuals, turn out to be morbid and lifeless.

Emotional development

The death of a close friend or relative is another unpredictable life event. Although death is a universal truth and cannot be averted, it still influences an individual’s life especially when it happens to their close ones. Accidental deaths are more unpredictable because no one can predict accidents. When an individual loses his or her close friend, it changes their lives completely. They lose hope in life and they are engulfed with negative feelings. It influences their physical well being as well.  

Disengagement Theory

Elaine Cumming and Earl Henry proposed the disengagement theory of ageing in 1961. According to this theory, older people tend to disengage from social activities; they shun every opportunity to interact with others. The authors argued that people in their old ages become isolated and are hardly concerned with others’ expectations. The theory received wide recognition during that time with many scholars agreeing with it. However, it also received criticisms for generalizing the attitude of older people. Collins (2014) argued that no statistical data was provided by the theorists to confirm their theory. He further stated that many older people do connect socially with others and do not always disengage from social life.

Activity Theory

This theory was proposed as a development to the disengagement theory. Rovert J. Havighurst developed the theory in 1961. The theory argued that older people although disengage with social connections; they also need to stay active. Remaining active would help them be in the limits and not go too far with disengagement. Aldwin et al. (2017) while supporting the activity theory stated that staying mentally active is vital for older people as it would help them develop interest in life and cherish others’ companies. He further pointed out that extreme disengagement might lead to stagnation and deterioration of physical and mental skills.

The Disengagement Theory states that when an individual attains old age, he or she tends to detach or disengage from social life. An individual gains experience with age, and with experience, disinterest. Many problems arise with age, which results in a reduction in the activity of the individual. These include amongst others, ill health that causes trouble for the individual to interact with others. An individual’s lifestyle transforms completely as he or she turns from being jubilant and active to morose and detached.  

Activity Theory states that older people could live a happy and satisfied life if they are allowed to stay active. It depends upon the individual whether he or she wants to live a life in isolation and feeling of unworthiness or a life filled with activities and engagement.

Social development

Every individual experiences ageing differently. Some develop severe problems related to the process of ageing at the turn of fifty or sixty while others spend healthy life even until ninety  (Bherer 2015). Two major changes with ageing are:

Physical changes

The physical changes that occur while an individual ages include, skin, bones, muscles, organs, senses and so on. Ageing makes an individual appear weak with wrinkled skin, less dense bones, stiff joints and reduced height due to compressed cartilage. The sense of hearing and visual also weakens with age. In females, menopause is one of the first signs of physical change that indicates ageing. Other physical changes that occur in an individual’s body are their respiratory, cardiovascular, cognitive and nervous system.

Psychological changes

Many psychological changes occur during the process of ageing. Erik Erikson, in his work on life stages talked about ‘ego-integrity’ in older people. Ego integrity means making sense of life even at older age (Dunkel and Harbke 2017). This largely defines the psychological changes associated with ageing. Older people often feel they no longer possess any worth and that they are a burden to others. This feeling is referred to as ageism. Role changes, loss of partner, increase in free time and retirement effects further affect ageing psychologically.

Physical changes that occur while ageing, cause various other related changes as well. The most visible change apart from physical wearing out is the psychological change. With growing age, an individual starts experience changes in his or her physical appearance and capability. To cite an example, the skin starts to get loose and wrinkled, the muscles become softer, and the bones become weaker. Old age also effects stamina that starts to decrease gradually. Once strong and tout, gorgeous and beautiful individual turns becomes weak and worn out (Steiger et al. 2014). This causes great damage to the self-esteem and confidence of an individual. The lives of celebrities provide good evidence of the effects on self-esteem and confidence that occur with physical changes while aging. It has been a trend that an actor who once held a top position in the industry and had huge fan base becomes unknown after getting old. This sometimes proves detrimental to their self-esteem and confidence, as they feel unworthy of love and fame.

Aging compels individuals to give up on certain things in life, as their physical strength disallows them to continue with the usual activities (Cameron et al. 2014). Older individuals then are left with choices to either disengage from social life or participate in activities to stay connected and active. According to the disengagement theory, as already mentioned, older people tend to isolate themselves from friends and families and develop a sense of unworthiness or inferiority. The activity theory presents a modified version of the disengagement theory where it says that older people must be encouraged to stay active so that they could get along with life as usual. Health and social care provisions have been developed for the older people to allow them choose their own way of life. Quality health and social care services do not force older people to engage in activities against their wishes. Some older people are also given the opportunity to choose services at home (Kvaal, Halding and Kvigne 2014). These services provide an atmosphere for the older people where they are free to choose any life they wish. This proves as an evidence of the influence of the two theories of aging on health and social care provision.

Explain Potential effects of Five Different Life Factors and the Development on the Individual (P2)

The debate whether nature influences human development or nurture is still ongoing with many experts arguing for and against the two factors. However, it needs mentioning that both nature – the genes and nurture – the environment have an evident influence of an individual’s development. The influence is sometimes positive and at times negative. Genetic inheritance that falls under nature has apparent influences on human development as it involves their skin color, sex, eyes and so on. Nurture however, influence human development in different ways (Witherington and Lickliter 2017). The environment, in which an individual grows, does have an impact on his behavior. Twins are perhaps the most evident example of nurture influence. Despite being biologically connected, twins have their own individuality. They think and act differently.

Experts although agree that nature and nurture both interact to influence human development; these two concepts are still to be studied separately. According to Zaky (2015), rather questioning whether nature has an influence or nurture, one should now ask which factor has more influence on human development. In order to track an individual’s personality, it is important to consider both nature and nurture factors.

The development of children begins the moment they come out of their mother’s womb. They inherit the genes of their parents that are visible form the way the look. Eyes, skin color, built- all these features are inherited by the children genetically from their parents. The broader environments in which children are brought up also have an influence on their behavior. To cite an example, when children start going to school, they observe their teachers and other classmates and inherit some of their features. Gradually, they develop habits and behaviors that are not inherent of their parents. In recent times, critics have argued that nature does have an edge of nurture when it comes to intellectual ( 2018).

In the adolescence stage, this nature-nurture interaction is exposed more clearly. Adolescence is the stage when an individual goes through the phase of being a child to attaining early adulthood. Nature influences some of their traits such as the way they walk or talk, and even their voice ( 2018). On the other hand, many characteristics are acquired from the environment they are exposed to, that influences their appearance as well as behavior. To give an example, an individual might inhabit drug or alcohol addiction despite the fact that his or her parents had no history of drug or alcohol abuse. In addition, he or she could be diagnosed with a disease that had no genetic connection with his or her parents.


Aldwin, C.M., Igarashi, H., Gilmer, D.F. and Levenson, M.R., 2017. Health, illness, and optimal aging: Biological and psychosocial perspectives. Springer Publishing Company. 2018. Grades 'more nature than nurture'. [online] BBC News. Available at: [Accessed 11 Jan. 2018].

Bherer, L., 2015. Cognitive plasticity in older adults: effects of cognitive training and physical exercise. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1337(1), pp.1-6.

Cameron, A., Lart, R., Bostock, L. and Coomber, C., 2014. Factors that promote and hinder joint and integrated working between health and social care services: a review of research literature. Health & social care in the community, 22(3), pp.225-233.

Collins, N., 2014. A brief introduction to the Social theory of Ageing and Ageism.

Dunkel, C.S. and Harbke, C., 2017. A review of measures of Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development: Evidence for a general factor. Journal of Adult Development, 24(1), pp.58-76.

Falconier, M.K., Nussbeck, F., Bodenmann, G., Schneider, H. and Bradbury, T., 2015. Stress from daily hassles in couples: Its effects on intradyadic stress, relationship satisfaction, and physical and psychological well?being. Journal of marital and family therapy, 41(2), pp.221-235.

Heckman, J.J. and Mosso, S., 2014. The economics of human development and social mobility. Annu. Rev. Econ., 6(1), pp.689-733.

Irner, T.B., Teasdale, T.W., Nielsen, T., Vedal, S. and Olofsson, M., 2014. Cognitive, emotional and social development in adolescents born to substance using women. Scandinavian journal of psychology, 55(4), pp.319-325.

Kvaal, K., Halding, A.G. and Kvigne, K., 2014. Social provision and loneliness among older people suffering from chronic physical illness. A mixed?methods approach. Scandinavian journal of caring sciences, 28(1), pp.104-111.

Pembrey, M., Saffery, R. and Bygren, L.O., 2014. Human transgenerational responses to early-life experience: potential impact on development, health and biomedical research. Journal of medical genetics, pp.jmedgenet-2014.

Salyers, F. and McKee, C., 2016. The young adolescent learner. Retrieved on Mei, 14, p.2016.

Steiger, A.E., Allemand, M., Robins, R.W. and Fend, H.A., 2014. Low and decreasing self-esteem during adolescence predict adult depression two decades later. Journal of personality and social psychology, 106(2), p.325. 2018. Genes are not destiny: environment and education still matter when it comes to intelligence. [online] The Conversation. Available at: [Accessed 11 Jan. 2018].

Witherington, D.C. and Lickliter, R., 2017. Transcending the Nature-Nurture Debate through Epigenetics: Are We There Yet?. Human Development, 60(2-3), pp.65-68.

Zaky, E.A., 2015. Journal of Child & Adolescent Behavior.

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