Developmental changes in human beings form a common aspect that runs through out their lives. Factors affecting physical, cognitive, social, moral, as well as personality of an individual determines his immediate ability to coexist and live harmoniously with other people and thrive in particular region (Erica, 2008). During infancy, environmental conditions, hereditary aspects and the immediate people involved with upbringing of the tender child act as the main basis of future development.
Therefore, great care should be taken to ensure strong cohesion and selective interplay of the correct stimulus for better ground work and developmental platform. Infants are the children whose age ranges between 1 day and twelve months. They are basically one year old and are entirely dependent on their mothers or the caregivers for all of their demands. This paper explores developmental psychology through evaluation of the factors that affect the physical and cognitive ability of human beings at the infant ages.
To add to that, the paper uses theoretical perspectives, to examine various aspects that affect personality, social and moral development of the child during the first one year. Towards the end, a conclusion with recommendations on the best possible practices of enhancing positive development is given. Physical development. Physical development denotes physical changes in the body of an infant. These changes are very rapid and affect the child’s senses, size and different organs in their body.
During this stage, physical development mainly revolves around the infant coordinating motor that assists to build physical strength and complimentary motor coordination. Reflexes. According to Amanda & Amy (2008), reflexes act as the sole physical ability for the infant. They are hereditary derived and happen involuntarily in the infant body. Some reflexes like blinking of the eyes happen through out an individual’s life. Presence of reflexes at birth is an indication of normal development. Some reflexes like rooting and sucking assist the infant only during the first few weeks before diapering.
They assist the child in finding food such as the nipple and cause them to turn toward an object that brushes against them. Robert & Peter, (2008) argues that moro reflex is startled by noise and sudden movements and makes the infant to react via flinging of arms and crying and also disappear after the first few months. Besides, Palmer and Babinski reflexes assist the baby in holding to objects firmly and curling the toes respectively. The baby also tends to lift one leg in a stepping motion due to walking reflex which disappears and reappears voluntarily after the 1st year (Richard, 2008).
Vision and hearing. Erica (2008) argues that during the early months of an infant, vision largely dependent on environmental factors that determine the ability of the child to see and hear the people and objects around it. Though first few weeks involve low vision ability for the child, the sense develops fast and is greatly boosted by bright colored objects. Therefore, the infants should be isolated from dark areas and extremely brightly lit sections. The ability to hear and appreciate smooth and soothing lullabies indicates their effectiveness to hear.
According to Eriksson’s theory, anything out of sight does not exist for them. The immediate people play an important role in ensuring that the infant development is cohesive by offering the correct materials necessary for audio visual development. Children realize the sound of their mothers and are able to distinguish them from other noises within the first few months. To add to that, they are also able to recognize immediate colors of their attendants and later imitate their vocalization (Robert & Peter, 2008). Increase in size and weight.
Just like the vision and hearing senses, size and weight are physical developments that depend strongly on the child’s genetic constitution as well as the environment he is growing in. Depending with the genes of the child some develop faster than others during the first year. However, the overall development is very rapid after the first two weeks (Mary & Michael, 2008). Availability of the correct balanced food that is easy to digest and utilize by the child system increases this growth. Besides, it is important that correct immunizations against major infectious diseases are undertaken to prevent diseases that stunt the baby’s growth.
To add to that, it should be prevented from harsh weather conditions as its systems are still very weak and not able to address majority of the world problems. Cognitive development. According to Kathleen & John (2008), this refers to the way a child reasons out to solve varying problems and gain knowledge. Infants are usually fast learners mainly though interacting with other people and their senses. Cognitive ability is therefore a mental role that is hereditary derived and therefore making the individual infants to develop at different speeds.
Of greater importance with this development is the immediate environment that serves to improve and decrease their perception on various aspects. Sensorimotor stage. At this stage, bright colored objects and materials, faces of the caregivers and soft sounds determine the ability of the child to appreciate them. These objects must be provided in constant and repetitive form in order for the child to have their clear pictures in mind. Continued interaction with the surrounding assist the child to learn about them.
Infants search for hit at, reach for and grasp objects that are on their reach like jewelry and long hair of their mothers. Naturally, the infants learn through crying for their needs (Mary & Michael, 2008). It is a hereditary aspect and develops from general to specific assisting to identify particular baby needs and wants. Then it develops into gestures which marks the beginning stages of language development and coordination. Bf Skinner theories of Operant Behavior and Conditioning indicate that parents and caregivers at this point form key pillars for effective and positive development.
They should therefore respond to their actions, carry them, play with them and hold them frequently for better bonding. Object permanence. Kathleen & John (2008) points out that at the age of six months, presence of objects and things exist in permanence even when they are asleep. Therefore, permanent objects assist them to build their memory. Immediate people like their mothers and caregivers become permanent in their minds and they cry understanding that they will be attended to by them. Communication should also be increased and nurtured to ensure fast and clear conception of different aspects.
Social, moral and personality development. Expression of feeling by the infant on self, others and things denote the social development. They include self esteem, trust, fear, confidence, pride and sense of security. Genetically, some aspects like temperament which denotes irritability, passivity and activity are inborn. On the other hand, caregivers form the key pillars to the social, moral and personality development through careful mentor ship of availing and carefully cautioning the infants. This is evident from the age of six months where infants become more specific on their needs and people around them.
Socially, the immediate caregivers and people around assist the infant in getting the correct attachment from where he can get assistance. At this age though the moral aspect are not fully developed, some infants may naturally develop defiance towards the end of the year (Richard, 2008). According to social cognitive theory of molarity, moral competences of a child depend on cognitive-sensory process. As indicated by this theory, caregivers must understand what the infants are capable of doing and achieving during this tender age (Kathleen & John, 2008).
To add to that, the theory emphasizes that cognitive ability to construct behaviors is mostly dependent on motivation, rewards and incentives to act in given moral way. Therefore, standards for right and wrong act as a major platform basically based towards the end of the year and projected to later periods. To add to that, Erikson’s theory of Psychosocial Development insist that infants’ initial assurance of security tends to be similar to those of the immediate people who tend him. Besides, the caretakers should approach the infants in a positive mode for positive development.
Therefore, actions like shouting and strong reprimanding not only scare away the child, but may act to instill fear, hate and antisocial thoughts in the infants’ mental development (Robert & Peter, 2008). Conclusion. Infants’ development psychology is highly dependent on genetic delineation that defines individual immediate physical and social capabilities during the first one year. Of greater importance is the immediate environment the infant is brought up in that interacts with the genetic makeup to define and determine the rate of the child development.
As discussed above, it is clear using the Erikson’s theory that environment of the child is the key aspect that makes a good or bad person since genetic consideration acts as a major constant that is rarely manipulated. Therefore, suitable early mentor ship through inclusive and selective observation, diet, company, play and bonding should be given to the infant for better early development.
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De-constructing Developmental Psychology. London: Routledge, 2008. Kathleen, M. & John, F. (2008). Growth and Development Through the Lifespan: Growth and Development Through the Lifespan. Washington: Jones & Bartlett Publishers. Mary, G. & Michael, C. (2008). Readings on the Development of Children. New Jersey: Publishers, Incorporated. Richard, A. (2008). Psychology: A Concise Introduction. Miami: Worth Publishers. Robert, A. & Peter, B. (2008). The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. San-Francisco: Butter worth Publishing press.