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Describe physical, intellectual, emotional and social development for each of the life stages of an individual.

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Unit 4 - Development through the life stages Unit 4 - Task 1 P1- Describe physical, intellectual, emotional and social development for each of the life stages of an individual. The human lifespan has been described in terms of life stages, which describes the path of the human life cycle. These stages are: Conception; pregnancy, birth and infancy (0-3years), childhood (4-9 years), adolescence (10-18 years), adulthood (19-65 years), older adulthood (65+) and then the final stages of life. Conception- Human life begins with conception. A fertile woman usually produces one egg cell each month. The egg cell travels from the ovary, along the fallopian tube towards the uterus. If sexual intercourse takes place while the egg is in the fallopian tube, there is a possibility of conception. Just one sperm may fertilise the egg. Fertilisation means that the genetic material in the sperm joins with the genetic material in the egg to start a new life. Birth and infancy- About nine months after conception the baby will be born. The newborn baby has to take easily digestible food such as mother's milk in the first weeks in order to grow. A newborn baby does not have a fully developed brain but can usually hear sounds, tell differences in the way things taste, and identify the smell of their own mother or carer. Infants are born with various temporary and primitive reflexes. When these persist longer than they should, it can indicate delayed development. Babies are helpless when it comes to muscle coordination and control. Babies cannot hold up their head, roll over, sit up or use their hands to move objects deliberately. They develop these abilities as they grow older and physically develop. On average infants develop the ability to lift their head slightly at 0-1 month, the ability to pass an object from one hand to another and roll over at 6 months, the ability to crawl at 9-10 months and the ability to stand alone at the age of 12 months. ...read more.


Children become increasingly independent as they grow older and begin to form friendships based on a sense of mutual trust. Friendships become increasingly important as a child grows towards adolescence. Children now have a much better understanding of the feelings of others and co-operate with other children in games and develop an understanding of rules and fairness. Now that they understand how others are feeling it becomes more important for them to have the approval from other children and by the age of 7 children become more aware of sexual differences and prefer to play with children of the same sex, this will continue until adolescence. Adolescence- Adolescence is a general stage of lifespan development that includes puberty. Puberty is a development stage which prepares the body for sexual reproduction. Puberty in girls often starts between the ages of 11 and 13, although it may begin earlier in some girls. Girls generally start puberty before 13 but boys generally start puberty later, often between 13 and15 years of age. It is triggered by the action of hormones that control sexual development. Both boys and girls may experience a 'growth spurt', where they grow taller at a faster rate than before. Girls' sexual development during puberty includes the enlargement of breasts, the development of pubic hair, increased fat layers under the skin and the start of menstrual periods. Boys will experience the enlargement of their testes and penis, the development of pubic and facial hair and increased muscle strength. Boys' voice boxes also grow causing their voice to 'break' and become deeper in tone. These major changes mean that adolescents look and behave very differently from children. The formal operational stage from 11+ years is thinking using logic and abstract thought processes (adult thinking). With formal logical reasoning, an adolescent/adult can solve complex problems in their head, learn to think in different ways and understand more difficult concepts than children. ...read more.


Reduced mobility and increased weakness often mean that the person leaves their home less often; this can lead to social isolation. This in turn leads to a loss of social skills, which can make social contacts less satisfactory and friendships harder to make. Services such as day centres can help to reduce isolation and help people form new friendships. The final stages of life- The longest any human being has been verified to have lived is just over 122 years. In round figures 120 years is often accepted as the maximum lifespan for a human being. A range of processes may limit our lifespan. It seems that our body cells have a limited ability to renew themselves. If cells cannot renew themselves, then we cannot repair ourselves and stay healthy. At this stage people think about death and dying in different ways. Some individuals are scared of death and try not to think about it at all, and others have strong religious beliefs which tell them not to worry about it and some individuals may get upset emotionally because they are scared of dying and leaving their loved ones and letting them go through the grief of the fact that they are going to die. Some older people may prepare for their death by achieving things in their lives that they have wanted to do all their life. Individuals who are facing death may want their family and friends around for comfort. To increase your potential lifespan you should avoid exposure to toxic substances such as tobacco smoke. Nicotine from tobacco smoke may directly damage cell DNA. Eat a healthy diet with a good balance of fruit and vegetables and fibre. A balanced diet may help to limit the impact of toxic substances that may damage body cells. You should also take regular exercise. Research suggests that people who exercise regularly have a lower risk of degenerative diseases such as heart disease. However so far scientific research has not yet provided a single simple definitive explanation of why there is a maximum lifespan. ...read more.

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