Journey of Human Development: Domains and Stages of Development
Self Help

Journey of Human Development: Domains and Stages of Development


Change is inevitable. Human beings change throughout their lifespan from conception to birth. The moment a child is born to the moment a person dies the development changes subsequently goes on. Development itself means a process that creates growth, progress, a positive change or addition of physical, economic, environmental and other important components. Development psychology deals with the changes that occur in a person during the time of development and provide them with essential care during these times. Human development is the branch of psychology that studies and strives to optimize, the elements that help people live healthy and fulfilling life the aim of the field is to understand the changes the individual go in different stages of life.

Let’s take an example of how a psychologist will determine that the child has some developmental problem, there are two families in which one child of the first family has some temperamental issues and usually deals with anxiety and other psychological problems and the other child of second family is calm and is generally happy in life this is because of the development that occurs in different stages. Development should always be as per the age of the person as it should be smooth process but there can also be the possibility that the person might be suffering from some ailments which can hinder the proper development.

Also Read: Can Disney Play a Major Role in Child Development?

Key issues in Human Development are:

1 Continuous Vs. Discontinuous:

Continuous Development is the principle which tells that growth and change occur gradually and smoothly throughout the lifespan. It starts from infancy till adulthood and goes smoothly throughout the span of life. For example, increase in height inch by inch every year.
Discontinuous Development is the principle in which development takes place in unique stages and occurs at a specific time or age. In this principle, the change can be sudden somewhere, for example the child’s ability to demonstrate awareness of object permanence. It can also occur that some skills may develop unexpectedly during infancy and childhood such as language acquisition. and also, some traits may remain stable while others fluctuate across the lifespan.

2. Nature Vs. Nurture:

Nature and nurture are two fundamental factors that play an important role in human development. It refers to the genetic and biological influences that one inherits from their parents. While nurture encompasses the environmental factors that shape one’s experience throughout life. Our genes provide the blueprint for our physical traits such as eye color, hair type, and body structure. Genes also provide a change in one’s temperament and personality. few studies have also shown that certain genes are associated with risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety or depression.

As genetics has important role in our development similarly environment also plays an important role in the development of human beings. This includes socioeconomic status, peer relationships, educational experiences and cultural influences. For example, children raised in a supporting and nurturing environment have better emotional regulation and self-esteem. Also, a child born in poverty will have its own negative effect on the development. Overall, we can say that human development is a complex system that includes both nature and nurture. and each of the aspects has its own justification to prove its point.

Also Read: Different Parenting Styles: How it Affects the Development of the Child

    Domains Of Human Development

    Human development is composed of four major domains: physical development, cognitive development, socio–emotional development, and language development. These domains determine development in different areas of the human body.

    1. Physical Development::

    Human beings have different physical characteristics which make them different from one another. These are also the physical attributes that make one attractive.
    Physical development is defined as the biological changes that occur in the body and brain, including changes in size and strength and different attributes of the human body. This starts from the period of conception and these changes occur throughout the lifespan of an individual. Physical development in children follows a directional pattern, it starts from muscles before the muscles of fingers and toes. and then as age grows changes occur throughout. To maintain proper physical development, one should have proper nutritious meals.

    2. Cognitive Development:

    The ability to think, perceive, and understand different things is known as cognitive development. One can also start to develop intellectual knowledge of in this period of development. Psychologist Jean Piaget developed great theories regarding the cognitive development of humans from infancy to adulthood.

    • The sensorimotor stage: The period between birth and two years of age is known as the sensorimotor stage in this the infant’s knowledge of world is limited to his or her sensory activities and motor activities. Behaviors are limited to their own world only.
    • The preoperational stage: The period between two to seven years of age is known as the preoperational stage. During this stage, children begin to develop the ability to think symbolically, which allows them to engage in pretend play and use language to represent objects and ideas. But still, they are not able to understand the perspective of others. They may be able to express their ideas openly and freely.
    • The concrete operational stage: The period between the ages seven and eleven years is known as the concrete operational stage in this the child is able to understand the mental problems easily in this stage, and they also develop the skills to see what’s happening in the world around them easily.
    • The formal operational stage: It is the last stage and is characterized by the period between the age of eleven to adulthood here the person is able to understand everything systematically and properly. From this stage, the person is able to interpret others’ thoughts.
    3. Socio-Emotional Development:

    It is the most crucial stage of human development encompassing the ability to understand, manage, and express emotions, build and maintain relationships and make responsible decisions. It is a lifelong process that begins in infancy and continues throughout adulthood and, it makes one self-aware about themselves it helps an individual regulate their emotions. As age increases emotions also increase like in infancy the emotion is highly towards their mother’s affection and as they grow their emotions also fluctuate.

    Also Read: The Psychology Behind Growth and Development

    4. Language Development:

      Communication is the key to maintain many relationships and it is also an important aspect of human development. The four different aspects of language are phonology the sounds that make up the language. Syntax, the grammer of language, semantics the meaning of words and pragmatics how we use language in social situations to communicate. Our brain also plays an important role in the production of language the two specific areas of brain are Broca’s area is important for the production of speech and Wernicke’s area is important for making sense out of the speech. it also changes from time to time the infants starts by cooing, babbling and making noises and as age increases, they learn to say short sentences and words and gradually develops fully speech.

      Human development, thus means the development of physical features, mental skills, social emotional skills and language development. Which occurs from infancy and throughout death. It is an important aspect of development as we are humans and having changes is necessary in the human body.

      Leave feedback about this

      • Rating