Critical Paper – Child Development
Child development is an essential process that takes place in the life of an individual. This process commences immediately after birth when an individual highly relies on others for sustenance and ends towards the end of adolescence when the said individual approaches independence (Graham, 2010). In the process of, there are various factors that determine the cognitive and psychological development of an individual.
The genetic constitution and prenatal care are some of the factors that influence the development of an individual during this phase of development. Consequently, ecological factors also play a significant role in child development. This paper will therefore focus on the impact that ecological factors have on child development.
In the process of development, there are various factors that determine the rate of development in a child. According to Urie (2006), ecological factors play a significant role in the process of child development since a child responds to various environmental cues that surrounds him/her. Thus, there are various environmental systems that a child interacts with that are influential in his/her development.
The microsystem is the first environmental system that determines child development. This system comprises of the institutions and groups that immediately surround a child. The family is perhaps the most influential segment of this system. The behavior and personality of a child highly depends on the influence that arises from his/her family (Urie, 2006).
In this respect therefore, family members have always been encourage to offer support and positive guidance to children to support their process of development. Consequently, educational and religious institutions also play a significant role in the process of child development especially in setting up their values, morals, goals, and beliefs. The influence that a child gets from his/her peers also determines his/her process of development.
In most cases, children tend to imitate or adopt behaviors from their peers. For instance, the interaction that children have plays a significant role in speech development (Graham, 2010). Thus, a child who interacts more stands a high chance of learning how to speak fluently as compared to a child who does not interact with children of his/her age.
The macrosystem is another environmental system that affects the process of child development. The macrosystem highly concentrates on the culture in which a child is brought up in. The level of economic development in the nation/region that a child is brought up in plays a significant role in determining his/her level of .
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For instance, a child who is brought up in an industrialized country that is economically stable is expected to be different in terms of cognitive and psychological development as compared to a child who is brought up in a third world country. The child in a developed nation has a lot of resources and opportunities that will enhance his/her process of development.
Ethnicity and cultural background are also significant factors in the process of development. An African American child is expected to have different values and beliefs as compared to a White American child despite the fact that they might be living in the same neighborhood.
The chronosystems involves the transitions that a in the process of development. It has been identified that transferring a child to a new school or moving him/her to a different neighborhood, state, or nation will have a psychological effect that will definitely affect his/her development. Consequently, issues such as divorce, separation, and death will have effects that will affect the psychological and cognitive development of a child.
This paper has therefore identified that there are several ecological factors that affect the development of a child. It is therefore essential that necessary measures are taken to ensure that a child is exposed to the right environmental cues to ensure that his process of development is effective. This will play a significant role in ensuring that the child grows to be a morally and psychologically stable individual as an adult.
Graham, D. (2010). Environmental Factors Affecting the Growth of Children. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2(1), 44-50.
Urie, B. (2006). Ecology of the Family as a Context for Human Development: Research Perspectives. Developmental Psychology, 22(6), 723-742