Physical processes in human development involve the changes that occur in biological processes throughout a child’s development. This involves a large influence of the genes transmitted from the parents to the child. This is largely nature dependent. However, the nurturing of the child, especially as far as nutrition is concerned, is also affected by cognitive processes and socioemotional processes. Physical processes include biological aspects of development such as motor skills, weight and height gain, and development of the brain in terms of size.
Cognitive processes are less affected by nature as compared to physical processes. This is because cognitive processes comprises of the changes that occur in a child’s intellectual abilities, thoughts, and language use and proficiency. This is determined by the nurturing of the child as he or she grows up. In most cases, nurture may overwhelm the effect of nature on the development of cognitive processes in children as they grow up and develop their intellectual abilities. Talents develop from early exposure to certain activities in the child’s life. This includes music, sports and even poetic abilities found in people that later become stars (Shaffer and Kipp, 450). Repeated exposure to the same activities develops adept skills in the children, making them superior to the peers as far as those specific activities are concerned (Santrock, 170).
Socioemotional processes involve the changes that occur in a child’s social relations. This means a development of how the child converses and generally relates to other people in their lives. Children are able to identify family members and distinguish them from strangers from an early age. This means that children can respond to the love accorded to them by the people they feel related to or at least familiar with. The child’s character can be determined by a basic observation of how receptive they are to their peers. This means that one can tell whether a child is outgoing or an introvert from an early age.
However, these social relations change throughout the child’s life. Most people develop their own identities after adolescence. Before this time, the child’s social relations are not determinable. This is because of the effect of hormonal changes that come with teenage life. Socioemotional changes can, however, be managed through well planned and intentional efforts. Psychologists have found that social habits are subject to the control of the subconscious mind. This means that routine training of the subconscious mind can alter how we relate with other people.
The various forms of human development have a well-set interplay that varies depending on the specific stage of development of the human being. The development of a human being is split into several periods that are characterized by specific features. Physical changes and biological growth of the child is very rapid during infancy. However, between the ages of five to nine years, the rate of growth reduces. It is more expressed during adolescence, where it is most pronounced due to the onset of hormonal changes in the body of the child. As the child grows, he or she develops improved hand-mind coordination. The motor skills improve drastically and this enables the child to become more effective in the talents they are natural endowed with. This means that the cognitive and physical processes are related in the growth and development of a human being (Santrock, 190).
Motor skills start to become well pronounced at the age of three years. Motor skills may be gross motor skills or fine motor skills depending on the degree of accuracy involved in the movement. Fine motor skills also start developing at an early age. They involve making building blocks, filling out simple jigsaw puzzles and even drawing. Fine motor skills are closely linked to the development of cognitive processes. Physical development is affected by the mode of nurturing that the child is subjected to in the different development stages. The type and amount of food eaten has a direct effect on the body size (both weight and height) of the child.
The nutrition and nourishment of children between three to ten years may significantly affect their growth process throughout adolescence. However, the role of genes in growth cannot be underestimated. In most instances, children develop similar body structures to their parents. This is mostly evident after the child has become an adult. Nutrition may, in such instances, have a diminished role in the development of the human being. Nurturing may affect the growth of the child through regular exercise and routine check-ups to ensure the child is healthy. Exercises help to make sure the child burns any extra calories, hence keeping his or her weight in check (Santrock, 213).
Socioemotional processes also change, depending on the developmental period the child is experiencing. Most children are generally shy when young, but they become more confident and self expressed as time progresses. Children are able to learn how to make friends and to argue for themselves through the various experiences they encounter as they grow up. However, some are unable to acquire these skills or they are more pronounced in some children than in others. After adolescence, the young adult has distinct socioemotional processes. Most people develop their own identities hence having certain preferences over who they choose to be their friends and eventually lifetime partners (through marriage).
In view of the factors above, I believe that nurturing has a greater impact on human development and the processes involved in growth than nature. However, the effect of nature is also evident and cannot be completely ignored in the development process.
Santrock, J. W. Life-Span Development (Ed. 13th). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill (2011).
Shaffer, D. R., & Kipp, K. Developmental Psychology: Childhood and Adolescence (8th
ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning (2010).