Human development is a lifetime process starting from birth until up to death. At each stage in life, every person is found in a state of personal evolution. Physical changes greatly enhance the process, while our cognitive abilities advance and decline in response to the brain’s growth in childhood and reduced functions in old stage. Physiological development is as well influenced by physical growth, as our varying body conditions, brain and our environment determine our identity and relationship with others as stated by (Blanchard et al, 2009).
Physiological development is divided into eight stages which include infancy; early, mid and late childhood; adolescence; early adulthood, middle age and old age. At every stage, different physical changes occur which has impact on the individual’s cognitive and psychological development. On the other hand, cognitive development refers to the capability to reason and solve problems. Childhood cognitive development is divided into four stages from birth through adolescence. A child who passes through these stages progressively responds to the ability to reason.
Psychological development is divided into eight stages which match with the stages of physical development. An individual encounters psychological conflicts at every stage which must be resolved so as to progress well. Moving from childhood to old age, these conflicts are industry versus inferiority, trust versus mistrust, autonomy versus shame and doubt, initiative versus guilt, identity versus role diffusion, intimacy versus isolation, generatively i.e. Creativity and productivity versus stagnation and ego integrity versus despair (Newman et al, 2011).
The significance of physical, cognitive and psychosocial development becomes obvious when a person does not effectively master one or more of the developmental stages. For example, a child who fails to attain basic milestones of physical development may be diagnosed with a developmental setback. Likewise, a child with a learning disability may fail to understand the difficult cognitive processes of a typical teenager. A middle-aged adult who does not effectively resolve stage of generativity versus stagnation may experience thoughtful personal stagnation, covered by a variety of escapisms, such as alcohol and drug abuse and sexual and other infidelities. Thus, the risks are high for all human beings as they undertake the developmental errands they confront at every age.
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