Growth and development is an umbrella term for everything that happens to an organism after a certain period of time that leads to maturity. Human growth and development are two terms that are usually misinterpreted and at times, interchanged. It would be important to know as early as now that these two terms do not carry the same meaning and are therefore not interchangeable. Growth refers to the process wherein part of an organism’s body increases in size, diameter, or length. One practical example of growth that typically occurs in humans is the increase in the size, diameter, and length of long bones, usually during an individual’s late childhood and early adolescent years. Various literatures suggest that growth is more quantitative than qualitative. Human Development on the other hand refers to the process related to physical, cognitive, emotional, and social changes that occurs as an individual ages. Development is a quantitative as well as a qualitative process. Growth gradually slows down and stops after a certain point in an individual’s life cycle. Generally, growth stops at 21 for males and 18 for females. Growth spurs the highest during an individual’s early years. Development on the other hand lasts a lifetime and takes place until death. The objective of this paper is to investigate on the recent best evidences from literatures in the field of growth and development of children aged around four to five years. Only academic journals published in no less than 5 years will be used in this literature review to ensure the validity and reliability of the findings.
Features of Mental Development and Self-Development in the Preschool Child
This paper focuses on the effects of two general types of children activities. The first type is the group of activities that the children initiate and perform by themselves while the second type is the group of activities that are stimulated and are sometimes facilitated by adults. Because of these two general types of children activities, the author presumed that such would lead to two interrelated lines of development which as the children grow up, would lead to evident differences. A child who was more exposed to self-activities during his childhood would, for example, behave differently compared to a child who was exposed to activities stimulated by adults more. This was a qualitative study that focused on the synthesis of previously published academic sources. At the end of the review, the author suggested that there can be a direct correlation between the activities that a child was exposed to during his preschool years and his behavior, emotional management, and even creativity in the future. The author favored the exposure to self-activities more because children tend to react negatively whenever there are any interferences made by an adult, especially when they are in the middle of a particular activity, and loads of other factors. Also, “it is important to note the phase nature of the child’s own activity since, in everyday life and during kindergarten lessons, the preschoolers’ own activity alternates with his or her own joint activity with an adult and subsequently, the child again acts as the subject of the child’s own activity, and so on”.
Associated between early childhood exposure to diseases and children’s pre-school development: Evidence from the Zambia early childhood development project
An individual’s immune system could be weakest during infancy and even up to the late childhood years. This is one of the major reasons why children aged 0-5 are the most susceptible both to communicable and non-communicable diseases. Their body is less resistant to infections compared to adults and adolescents and so the rate of transmission in their population tend to be the highest compared to other population groups. Miller et al. (2012) suggested that one of the most common diseases affecting children who are in their pre-school years is Malaria, and despite being a non-progressive disease, Malaria, according to the authors, could possibly affect a child’s cognitive and behavioral development. In this study, the researchers reviewed 1,410 children grouped into 70 clusters in cooperation with the Zambian Early Childhood Development Project. The outcomes or the data they were trying to find out were measured using linear and logistic models, specifically using anthropometric measurements, which decidedly provided the researchers with an objective means to identify associations, if there were any. After the implementation of the research strategies, it was ruled out that “no statistically significant associations were found between parasite exposure and children’s height and weight” but was however associated with lower ability to cope with external cognitive demands and with socio-emotional impairments.
Interaction: A Comparative Study of Interaction in Preschools between Children with Intellectual Disability and Children with Typical Development
The aim of this study was to identify various factors that influence the different reactions and interactions among two groups of preschool children. The first group is comprised of children with intellectual disability while the other is comprised of those characterized by typical development. In a way, this study also tries to compare the types of interaction that exist among these two groups of preschoolers. The authors at the end of the study suggested that preschool facilitators usually dictate what the interaction should be more for preschoolers with intellectual disabilities while children with typical development usually enjoy the liberty to move and play more freely. Also it has been noted that children with intellectual disability responded more during free play while those without responded more during structured activities.
The Development of Family Alliance from Pregnancy to Toddlerhood and Child Outcomes at 5 years
This was a longitudinal study that aimed to describe the different possible effects of the development of family alliance from pregnancy to toddlerhood within a community on the emotional and cognitive development of children aged less than 5 years. The total sample used in this study was 38; all of whom were observed at the 5th month of pregnancy, and after 3, 9, and then 18 months post-partum. The researchers have concluded that both individual and family-level of interactions or alliances are important because these are some of the biggest factors that shape a child’s social and cognitive development.
Pretend Play, Coping, and Subjective Well-being in Children
In this research paper, the authors tried to examine the relationship and possible effects of play in the cognitive and affective aspect of a child’s development, and also their impact on the child’s overall well-being. Thirty girls who are in their kindergarten years were observed within a span of eight months. At the end of the study, the authors concluded that positive and negative-ness of the activities a child becomes involved in could directly affect his everyday moods, coping abilities, imagination, and other social and cognitive aspects of development.
Quality of Family Interactions and Mental Development of Preschool Children
Home-based Child Development Interactions for Preschool Children from Socially Disadvantaged Families
Social-handicaps or disadvantages will always be present in the society. Social disadvantage is one of the main problems causing developmental disturbances among children, especially the ones who are in their preschool years. These children are in a critical stage both in terms of growth and development and it is highly essential that they get the nutrition and care and attention that they need in this period. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of the different home-based programs designed to provide aid for and improve developmental outcomes of preschool children who are from socially-disadvantaged families. The paper was a systematic review which means it is simply a collection of all researched studies having similar or related research questions. In the end, the authors have concluded that “the early years of life are extremely important in terms of development and growth” ; and that other more specific factors such as the type of family and the interaction of family members and the overall environment inside the house could have a large impact on the children’s growth and social development, although the data and results obtained from this review would not be sufficient enough to generalize the effectiveness of home-based social programs for preschool children.
Favez, N., Lopes, F., Bernard, M., Frascarolo, F., Scaiola, C., Warnery, A., et al. (2012). The Development of Family Alliance From Pregnancy to Toddlerhood and Child Outcomes at 5 years. Journal of Family Process.
Fiorelli, J., & Russ, S. (2012). Pretend Play, Coping, and Subjective Well-being in Children. American Journal of Play.
Iakov, N. (2012). Features of Mental Development and Self-Development in the Preschool Child. Journal of Russian and East European Psychology.
Luttrop, A., & Granlund, M. (2010). Interaction - it depends - a Comparative Study of Interaction in Preschools Between Children With Intellectual Disability and Children with Typical Development. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research.
Miller, J., Fink, G., Olgiati, A., Moonga, H., & Matafwali, B. (2012). Association Between Early Childhood Exposure to Malaria and Children's Pre-school Development: Evidence fro the Zambia early childhood development Project. Malaria Journal.
Miller, S., Maguire, L., & Macdonald, G. (2011). Home-based Child Development Interventions for Preschool Children from Socially Disadvantaged Families. Campbell Systematic Reviews.
Milovanovic, R., & Ninkovic, G. (2012). Quality of Family Interactions and Mental Development of Preschool Children. HealthMED.