Stages in Human Development

Stages in Human Development















Stages in Human Development

When one is born, they are subjected to various influences depending on the environment. As clearly stated by Captain (1984), all these changes contribute to the growth and maturity of an individual and are essential in shaping various traits that form the character of a person. From birth, there are different changes that occur in the development of a person. Just as Craig & Dunn (2007) state, the stages of growth are gradual and are accompanied by specific habits that make a person acquire a certain behavior. This is what makes people judge someone and they associate that individual with a specific personality. Normally, so many factors contribute to the overall growth of a person but mostly the surroundings play a big role.

The very first stages of birth are marked by a longing for basic needs. A child is so attached to the parents especially the mother and depends on them entirely for the supply of food and other needs to satisfy his or her desires. After a while, they become curious and want to discover more about the environment around them. However, still the parents provide a strong sense of security thereby enabling the child to pursue other interests some of which are dangerous to their health. The parents are advised to maintain the good rapport with their child in order to avoid truancy and a feeling of mistrust to creep in. Furthermore, if the bond between them breaks, the child might begin doubting their ability to handle problems. This is consistent with Kelcourse’s (2004) thoughts.

As the child grows, so does their sense of judgment. They start to believe in themselves and are not afraid to try new things. They also seem to set goals for themselves and are not ashamed to miss their targets. Yelling or throwing objects are common at this stage. With time, they become more responsible and confident in their own abilities although disobedience and rebellion is a common feature. Thereafter, they become teenagers and begin to express their wishes more openly. They also know what they want but undergo an identity crisis in which they are adventurous even sexually.

Consequently, they reach an age of intimacy and get in to relationships. This leads to marriage since a person has now reached adulthood. It is also a time when according to Alexander and Langer (1990), a person is very active, for example, in their place of work. As one grows older, he or she becomes less productive and analyses the accomplishments made. Incase there are goals that were never met in life, the person starts to despair but if someone was successful they become happy and look forward to seeing the next generation through their grandchildren. At this stage, a person is very old, is approaching the end of his life, and may die due to an illness or by accident .The cycle then repeats itself.

            I come from a family that has a quick temper and this I inherited from my parents. Growing up, we used to hang around the nearest basketball court with my friends especially during weekends. Usually, we played against boys of a different neighborhood and whoever won had the bragging rights because it was a big deal. I remember out of frustration since we were losing the game, picking a fight with one of the boys. The fight that ensued was so brutal and I had several bruises. That experience taught me to be patient and never provoke anyone. Another summer, we had gone on a vacation with my parents and at the airport, I witnessed a man being harassed by one of the customs officials simply because he was a Muslim! That ordeal was traumatizing. Indeed, I agree with Papalia (1978) when he states that we should be neither stereotypical nor discriminative.





Papalia, D. E., & Olds, S. W. (1978). Human development. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Alexander, C. N., & Langer, E. J. (1990). Higher stages of human development: Perspectives on adult growth. New York: Oxford University Press.

Craig, G. J., & Dunn, W. L. (2007). Understanding human development. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Captain, P. A. (1984). Eight stages of Christian growth: Human development in psycho-spiritual terms. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall.

Kelcourse, F. B. (2004). Human development and faith: Life-cycle stages of body, mind, and soul. St. Louis, Mo: Chalice Press.





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