Describe physical, intellectual, emotional and social development through the life stages

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P1: Describe physical, intellectual, emotional and social development through the life stages

The life stages we are going to be discussing are:

  • Conception (Fertilisation)
  • Pregnancy  (Before birth, which can take up to 9 months)
  • Birth and infancy (0-3 years)
  • Childhood (4-9 years)
  • Adolescence (10-18 years)
  • Adulthood (19-65 years)
  • Older adulthood (65+)
  • The final stages of life (death)

The physical, intellectual, emotional and social development of a child is known as P.I.E.S

P-Physical development is the process of becoming mature biologically

I-Intellectual development is the development of thinking language skills

E-Emotional development if the development of feeling towards other people and ourselves

S-Social development is developing relationships with people


The male sex cell (gamete it also called) is the sperm and the female sex cell (which is also called a gamete) is known as the ovum. Fertilisation occurs when the sperm enters an ovum, however every single ovum may not be fertilised.  The female’s sex cell is bigger than the male’s sex cell, with a tail for the male sex cell so that it can move. The front of the sperm is called the acrosome, which contains enzymes which digests the ovum’s coating.  The large amount of cytoplasm in the ovum contains yolk droplets which had protein in them along with lipids; all of this helps the embryo grow initially.


After being conceived there’s not a lot of physical development as it is all done during pregnancy.


Again, because it is mainly done during the pregnancy so there’s not a lot of development emotionally.


Due to the fact that the baby is inside the woman’s womb and there are not a lot of people that know about the pregnancy.


Intellectual development only starts developing during pregnancy.


There are two main definitions of what pregnancy is and these are

  • Condition of having an embryo or foetus developing in the body
  • The process in which a female human carries a live offspring from conception until childbirth

The time it takes from conception to birth is known as gestation period which lasts for around 40 weeks, it can be earlier or longer than that depending on complications, the time starts from the mother’s last period. For people who have used artificial insemination or vitro fertilisation (IVF) it only lasts 38 weeks.

There are three stages to pregnancy these are called trimesters, which lasts three months each. The name embryo is used to describe the human developing in the first eight weeks of gestation. After eight weeks, in which all the parts of the embryo has been developed then it is known as the foetus.


During the first three months of the baby’s growth bones begin to harden and some of the baby’s organs begin to form. After third month going onto the sixth month the air sacs are formed in their lungs and the eyes have been developed. Six month until birth which is around nine months the nervous system is developing and the lungs are maturing so that the baby can breathe when born.


During pregnancy there is not a lot of emotional development happening because the baby is not born.


Social development start when the baby forms a bump in the mother’s belly, as the baby’s parents will talk to the bump and therefore the baby should recognise their mother/father, some father’s don’t talk to the bump, all mother’s do.


Intellectual development is not rapid because there’s not a lot of information apart from recognising their parents.

Birth and infancy (0-3 years)

It takes around 38 weeks for a foetus to be developed enough for the mother to give birth and for the baby to survive outside the mother’s womb. Babies are most likely to be born head first but there is a thing called breech presentation in which the baby gets born bottom first. If the baby is in distress then a caesarean section in necessary.

There are three stages to labour

  1. The cervix is stretched around ten centimetres which is also called ten centimetres dilated, which means the head can pass through the vagina.

  1. The baby gets expelled, which means normally head first facing backwards, and then the baby rotates so that the shoulders can be delivered one at a time
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  1. The placenta or afterbirth is expelled.

After the birth of their baby it is up to the parents to look after the baby, this is because they are now dependant on their parents for care.  The mother of a child can be sent home from hospital within six hours as long as there are no complications, after birth a midwife will come and check on the mother and the baby.


During the first three years of a baby’s life, this is where they grow in all aspects in life.


Not all children will do ...

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

This is an essay that starts really well. Like many others that discuss development through the life stages - it is stronger on infancy and childhood. It doesn't really discuss the later life stages too well and there are areas for improvement. It could be enhanced by looking at more theories to do with cognitive development and discussing this area - particularly in childhood. It also needs more discussion in teenager and adults with regard to self esteem and developing identity. A good start with potential to develop.