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The Human Lifespan Add in library

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1: Describe physical, intellectual, emotional and social development for each of the life stages of an individual .
1.1: Discuss the nature-nurture debate in relation to the development of an individual .
1.2: Evaluate how nature and nurture may affect the physical, intellectual, emotional and social development of two stages of the development of an individual .
2: Explain the potential effects of five different life factors on the development of an individual .
3: Explain the influence of two predicable and two unpredictable major life events on the development of an individual .
4: Explain two theories of ageing .
4.1: Discuss two major theories of ageing in relation to the development of the individual .
4.2: Evaluate the influence of two major theories of ageing on health and social care provision .
5: Explain the physical and psychological changes which may be associated with ageing.
5.1: Discuss the effects on self-esteem and self-confidence of the physical changes associated with ageing.



1.) From many centuries the human lifespan has been described in stages.  The physical, intellectual, emotional and social development for each of the life stages of an individual can be understood first by understanding the life stages. The life stage of an individual includes infancy that ranges from the birth till two years of the individual life. In this stage the individual’s physical ability is limited as a baby, as they can sit without help and can walk for short distances. Intellectually the child is learning new tasks and things. They even try to communicate with their parents in words. Emotionally a child starts to bond with family members and people around them. They are most attached to their siblings and parents as they get a sense of security around them. This sense of security is important for them to experience as this will help them in their growing years and rest of their life. Socially they will start integrating with kids of their own age as their ability to recognize names and faces develop. They will start to share things and intermingle with kids around them. Early childhood that is the age between 3-8 a child has developed a lot physically and can do tasks like climbing stairs without any help. They are able to draw, write and speak clearly. Around the age of 8 they are able to catch and throw objects and have developed a good sense of balance. Intellectually they would communicate in full sentences and can even count the numbers. They will start developing a personality and will constantly learn from the behavior of people around them. Emotionally and socially they would get happy and excited around kids of their own age. They would love to play and show their excitement and sadness related to everyday life. Adolescence is ages between 9-18, it is when the teens hit as they are called “Teenagers” and will show major body changes. These changes occur do to hormonal release that turns a child into a reproductive adult. Intellectually they start thinking about their aims and goals in life. Their ability to logically solve problems on their own develops. Emotionally it is a hard time for the teenagers as the raging hormones will make them cranky, frustrated, and confused. They are attracted to the opposite sex and want to explore their sexuality. Socially it is a time of their life when they are most comfortable with people of their own age as they are meet new friends and have relationships. Early Adulthood is the time from age 19-45 through this age the physical changes have led to a deepened voice. Emotionally they have developed themselves around relationships such as marriage. They have a stable social life with relationships, long time friends etc. Middle Adulthood is the time between ages 46-65 when the physical capability of the body starts declining as skin loses elasticity, and wrinkles are visible. Muscles lose their tone and therefore slackness develops. Hearing and sight issues are experienced by an individual. Intellectually a person is still developing as many tend to turn things they have missed out in their early adulthood like returning to education etc. They have an advantage of experience which helps them to be wise with their decisions. Emotionally it is again a challenging time as the hormones are creating havoc. Social development grows as many have no responsibilities as kids have left the homes and they are retired from their jobs. These people tend to mix with their peers to enjoy life and causal talk. Later adulthood is the life after age 65+ at this stage the aging process has taken its toll. The skin becomes thin and the muscles grow even weaker. Bones are brittle and stiffer. Intellectually a person has developed and lot. So it does not result in reduction. Emotionally these people love to spend time around their kids and family. Socially they spend time with their friends and families.

1.1) Nature is responsible for the development of a fetus into an adult. The genetic makeup that results a person to have certain traits and features is all a part of “nature”. But these inherited genes only influences their appearance, their behavior is influenced by their environment and upbringing. Both of these factors are a part of “Nurture” as it directly affects a child behavior.

1.2) The two stages that we would see the affect of nature and nurture are childhood and adolescence. Physical development is affected by both nature and nurture. In childhood almost all children show the capacity to walk, imitate and use simple tools. Their stature, eye color and facial structure are all part of nature giving them their appearance due to their inherited genes. Nurture is the environment conditions that partner with nature to influence their development. Nurture also affects the physical appearance of the children as stress; nutrition and activity all influence their growth. Intellectually a child grows depending on both nature and nurture collectively. As research as shown that children are less productive if they are too shy and do not have friends. Socially this could be the result of parents not encouraging them to make new friends. These kids are not socially outgoing and therefore have no one to talk and spend time with. During adolescence nurture plays a great part as youngsters who have a typical environment during growing up, show a strong reflection of their environment in their behavior. If the child is from a stable, warm and loving family that has given him adequate nutrition nature steps in and ensures whether he has inherited the ability to acquire new skills quickly or not. But if it is the opposite as the child is genetically blessed with good genes but is from a family where he was not given adequate nutrition they usually fail to develop intellectual skills, even when they have the potential to develop them.

2) The 5 different life factors that can affect an individual in case of bullying are:-

  1. Socially a person who is getting bullied will not talk to others and would tend to be limited to himself.
  2. Genetic factors are related to inherited genes that influence the development of the individual eg: stunted growth which can result in the individual getting bullied
  3. Physical factors are the physical abilities of an individual that can affect the individual development eg: being handicapped, scars
  4. Intellectual factors are some like bullying which can stop individual ability to learn
  5. Emotionally:-bullying can result in lower self esteem and can result in an individual suffering from anxiety and depression.

3 ) Predictable factors:-

  1. Joining school:- Physical development is occurring as in school nutrition and exercise is taken care of at utmost priority. Intellectually they will grow as they have to learn about their classes. Emotionally a person is more independent which can lead to happiness. It can even result in emotions such as loneliness and being scared.
  2. Leaving home: it is a predictable factor and can cause a change in their diet and nutrition. It can be socially enriching as a person can go out more but can also result in him getting into alcoholism. Intellectually they can grow as now they have to learn about new things like mortgages, gas and water expenses etc.

Unpredictable factors:-

  1. Serious accident/illness:-illnesses like diabetes cause a person to have emotional, physical and intellectual changes. They are limited to certain conditions and places which hampers their overall development
  2. Relationships changes:- people grow apart in relationships which causes individuals to become weak emotionally and even physically if they are not taking care of their nutrition.

4) Social disengagement theory states that aging is an inevitable which can cause a mutual withdrawal of a person from its social system.

Another theory is activity theory that states that there is a direct relationship between the amount of activity a person does with the satisfaction he or she gets. It related to the disengagement theory as many believe that older people give up their role in the society. According to this theory if older people remain active mentally and physically and maintain their social life they can prevent disengagement.

4.1) Social disengagement theory states that aging people disengage from the society and tend to separate themselves from others.

Activity theory states that older people sometimes need to disengage but should always have a active lifestyle.

4.2) Social disengagement theory states that ageing is inevitable which results in mutual withdrawal among older people from the social system they belong to. We all know that relationship change with age therefore as a person ages their social engagement decreases. But this theory garnered a lot of criticism as it gives a vague and bleak outlook about “ageing”. This theory does not account about the various “Personality” types in individuals which can result in various levels of disengagement or maybe no changes in a person’s social life. Sometimes it is possible that the person remains active in their social circle even after they age. According to “Activity theory” people who are active in participating and interacting socially at an older age tend to be happier than people who have secluded themselves. This theory supports the belief that staying active while aging results in satisfying life. But even this theory gathered criticism from people who believed that people’s expectations and attitudes change with changing circumstances.

5) Aging causes many physical changes some of these changes are :-

1) Hormonal changes:- levels of hormones like estrogen in women and testosterone in males decreases with age causing people to go transition. This irregularity causes menopause in women which gives them night sweats, hot flashes and mood swings. Men also suffer from irregular testosterone levels that result in insomnia, palpitations, low libido, poor memory and urinary problems.

2) Degeneration of senses:- Sense of hearing decreases with age. Hearing loss occurs due to the cells that do not regrow resulting in permanent damage in hearing. Old people have difficulty in hearing people around them which leads to frustration. They are not able to understand properly and often face the issue of continuous ringing in the ear. Many face issues with sight as well, as they are not able to see clearly and would need prescription lenses.

Psychological changes that occur while aging are:-

1) Role changes:-older people tend to spend more time with their family. Loss of income, partner and job results in major life changes that can be difficult to cope up with. This results in decreasing self confidence and self esteem.

2) Ageism is the unfair treatment that older people get from others. It impacts their confidence, financial situation and job prospects. This discrimination leads them to feel worthless and vulnerable often leading to anxiety and depression.


5.1) Physical changes that occur due to aging like loss of teeth, wrinkles, and brittle bones results in loss of confidence and self esteem. They are embarrassed about their looks and lose their integrity. This can lead to depression and anxiety. Incontinence is another issue that arises with aging. Urinary incontinence can limit them to freely move around and experience life in a normal way. Deafness is common among old whom can develop gradually as we age and can be sudden as well. This result in people feeling frustrated as they are not able to understand others properly. Older people tend to feel that they are a burden to others as they are worthless. Loss of hearing and sight causes them to be dependent on others as they lose their independence to move freely on their own. However the support of family and friends can lead them to live a normal and satisfying life.


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