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Chapter 11

Chapter 11 .docx

21 Pages

Course Code
PSYC 1010
Ravi Naimpally

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Chapter 11 Human Development across the Life Span 489545Your life provides an interesting illustration of the two themes that permeate the study of human development transition and continuity In investigating human development psychologists study how people evolve through transitions over time In looking at these transitions developmental psychologists inevitably find continuity with the pastDevelopment Is the sequence of agerelated changes that occur as a person progresses from conception to deathIt is a reasonably cumulative process that includes both the biological and behavioural changes that take place as people grow Development is a lifelong processDividing the life span into four broad periods 1 the prenatal period between conception and birth 2 childhood 3 adolescence and 4 adulthoodProgress before Birth Prenatal DevelopmentDevelopment begins with conception Conception occurs when fertilization creates a zygote a onecelled organism formed by the union of a sperm and an eggAll the other cells in your body developed from this single cell Each cell contains messages from your parents carried on the chromosomes that lie within the nucleus Each chromosome houses many genes the functional units in hereditary transmission Genes carry the details of your hereditary blueprints which are revealed gradually throughout lifeThe Prenatal Period extends from conception to birth usually encompassing nice months of pregnancy Development is rapid in this periodThe Course of Prenatal DevelopmentThe prenatal period is divided into three phases 1 the germinal stage the first 2 weeks 2 the embryonic stage 2 weeks to 2 months and 3 the fetal stage 2 months to birthGerminal StageThe germinal stage is the first phase of prenatal development encompassing the first two weeks after conception This stage begins with the zygote that is created through fertilization The cell division begins within 36 hours and the zygote becomes a microscopic mass of multiplying cellsThe mass of cells migrate along the mothers fallopian tubes to the uterine cavity On about the seventh day the cell mass begins to implant itself in the uterine wallMany zygotes are rejected at this point During the implantation process the placenta begins to form The Placenta is a structure that allows oxygen and nutrients to pass into the fetus from the mothers bloodstream and bodily wastes to pass out to the mother This critical exchange takes place across thin membranes that block the passage of blood cells keeping the fetal and maternal bloodstreams separate Embryonic StageThe Embryonic Stage is the second stage of prenatal development lasting from two weeks until the end of the second month During this stage most of the vital organs and bodily systems begin to form in the developing organism which is now called an embryo Although the embryo is typically only about 25cm long at the end of this stage its already beginning to look human Arms legs hands feet fingers toes eyes and ears are already discernible This stage is a period of vulnerability because virtually all of the basic physiological structures are being formedIf anything interferes with normal development during the embryonic phase the effects can be devastating Most miscarriages occur at this stage as well as major structural birth effects Fetal StageThe Fetal Stage is the third stage of prenatal development lasting from two months through birth The first 2 months of the fetal stage bring rapidly bodily growth as muscles and bones begin to form The developing organism now called a fetus becomes capable of physical movements as skeletal structures harden Organs formed in the embryonic stage continue to grow and gradually begin to function Sex organs start to develop during the third month During the final three months of the prenatal period brain cells multiply at a brisk pace A layer of fat is deposited under the skin to provide insulation and the respiratory and digestive systems mature All of these changes ready the fetus for life outside the cosy supportive environment of its mothers womb Between 22 weeks and 26 weeks the fetus reaches the age of viabilitythe age at which a baby can survive in the event of a premature birth
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