Child development refers to the biological and psychological and emotional changes that occur in human beings between birth and the end of adolescence, as the individual progresses from dependency to increasing autonomy. Because these developmental changes may be strongly influenced by genetic factors and events during prenatal life, genetics and prenatal development are usually included as part of the study of child development. Related terms include developmental psychology, referring to development throughout the lifespan, and pediatrics, the branch of medicine relating to the care of children. Developmental change may occur as a result of genetically-controlled processes known as maturation, or as a result of environmental factors and learning, but most commonly involves an interaction between the two. It may also occur as a result of human nature and our ability to learn from our environment. Human beings have a keen sense to adapt to their surroundings and this is what child development encompasses. Every child would struggle to find their culture and identity in child development.
There are various definitions of periods in a child's development, since each period is a continuum with individual differences regarding start and ending.
Some age-related development periods and examples of defined intervals are: newborn (ages 0–4 weeks); infant (ages 4 weeks – 1 year); toddler (ages 1–3 years); preschooler (ages 4–6years); school-aged child (ages 6–13 years); adolescent (ages 13–20). However, organizations like Zero to Three and the World Association for Infant Mental Health use the term infant as a broad category, including children from birth to age 3.
The optimal development of children is considered vital to society and so it is important to understand the social, cognitive, emotional, and educational development of children. Increased research and interest in this field has resulted in new theories and strategies, with specific regard to practice that promotes development within the school system. In addition there are also some theories that seek to describe a sequence of states that compose child development.
Read more about Child Development: Continuity and Discontinuity in Development, Research Issues and Methods, Developmental Milestones, Aspects of Child Development, Risk Factors For Poor Child Development
Famous quotes containing the words child and/or development:
“The warped, distorted frame we have put around every Negro child from birth is around every white child also. Each is on a different side of the frame but each is pinioned there. And ... what cruelly shapes and cripples the personality of one is as cruelly shaping and crippling the personality of the other.”
—Lillian Smith (18971966)
“For decades child development experts have erroneously directed parents to sing with one voice, a unison chorus of values, politics, disciplinary and loving styles. But duets have greater harmonic possibilities and are more interesting to listen to, so long as cacophony or dissonance remains at acceptable levels.”
—Kyle D. Pruett (20th century)