What is Child Development?
Child development is the observation of psychological and emotional changes that occur in human beings between birth and the end of adolescence. Child development, thus, is the growth process from dependency to a state of increasing autonomy.
As a result of the numerous influences during this stage of growth, particularly genetic factors and events during prenatal life, the field of genetics and parental development are considered fundamental studies of child development. Other related terms include developmental psychology and pediatrics, which is the branch of medicine relating to the care of children.
Changes to a child’s development may occur as a result of a genetically controlled process, known as maturation, or as a result of environmental fluctuations or factors, including what the child learns from school or his or her friends. Furthermore, influences in the child development stage may arise as a result of human nature and the ability to learn from the environment around us; all human beings are in possession of a keen sense to adapt to their surroundings—this is what child development most astutely encompasses.
Classifications of Child Development
The field of child development, as a result of the all-encompassing nature of information this stage possesses, is broken into specific areas experienced during the maturation phase.
Some age-related development periods and examples of a solidified interval include: newborn (ages 0-1 month); infant (ages 1 month to 1 year)l toddler (ages 1-3 years); preschooler (ages 4-6 years); school-aged children (ages 6-13 years); adolescent )ages (13-20).
With these classifications in mind, some organizations will alter the naming or groupings depending on the particular objective or course of study. For instance, some institutions, such as the World Association for Infant Mental Health, will use the term infant to encompass a broad category, including all children ages zero to three.
Child development is painstakingly researched and studied as a result of the importance of the cycle; the optimal development of a child is considered vital to society. As a result of this importance, it is crucial to understand the social, emotional, cognitive and educational development of children.
The increased efforts, in regards to overall interest and research in the field of child development, has resulted in the creation of new theories and strategies, with specific regard to practice that promotes development within the educational system.