Human development tracks the methodical psychological process that occurs in humans over their lifetime. This field aims to study the development of a person from infancy to adulthood. It examines the changes in all aspects of a human being's development, from the time he was born up until old age. Here, these changes will be discussed and different 8 stages of human development will also be given light.
8 stages of human development > The Pre-natal
Primitive reflexes are said to have been present even before birth. Some of these reflexes have no use when a child is born. However, some of them are also the foundation of an infant's sensorimotor development. An ultrasound has revealed that an infant exhibits an array of movements inside the mother's womb. Some of these movements have shown characteristics of more complex reflexes. By the time an infant is born, he can already identify his mother's voice and long for it more than the other voices surrounding him. This shows that a kind of pre-natal development such as voice recognition has already occurred inside the womb.
8 stages of human development > The Infancy
From the time a child is born until he starts to learn how to talk, the child is called an infant. Most of an infant's time is used up in sleep. During the first couple of months, an infant spends his sleeping time evenly during the night and day. After that, he is awake most of the time during the day, and relegates most of his sleeping time during the night.
Vision in infancy stage is poorer than in any age during childhood. During the earlier stage, an infant's sight is blurry but gets better as he gets older. An infant's hearing is well-developed even before he was born and he can already recognize his mother's voice, even her heartbeat. Infants have an amazing ability of being able to recognize the source of a sound. By the time an infant reaches 18 months, his hearing ability is as good as that of an adult's.
Meanwhile, smell and taste are inherently present in infants. They can already show an indifference or enjoyment over their foods or milk. Evidence shows that infants favor the smell of their mothers than other people. Six-month old infants already have a grasp on their own language as they can distinguish the phonemes and start to babble. Their sense of touch is also advanced as this gets developed first than any other senses when they are still inside the womb.
8 stages of human development > The Early Childhood
When children start going to preschool, they begin widening their social environment. At this stage, they start socializing with children of their own age. They also start becoming more impulsive, adventurous, and curious. This requires a caretaker that would teach a child how to balance his self-expression and his sense of responsibility. Giving a child constant disciplines molds him into a more responsible person. At this stage, a child should be allowed to make his own decisions or he will grow dependent and without initiative.
8 stages of human development > Late Childhood
Children at this stage start exploring the world outside his home through his peers in school. They start learning different things, experimenting on tools, and obtaining abilities that would enable them to become good workers and possible providers. They are now more aware of the comments they receive from other people. If they will learn how to gain satisfaction from intellectual stimulation and success, they will grow into more competent human beings. If they fail to appreciate success, they might feel inferior and inadequate over others.
8 stages of human development > Adolescent Stage
Adolescence is a stage that begins at the onset of puberty. An adolescent person has a commitment to fulfill an adult social function. This is when a person starts developing his personal and social identity. He is also now aware of his moral responsibility. He demonstrates intelligence by reasoning out. The egocentric thought, which diminishes sometimes in childhood, shows up again at this stage. A meager 35% of adolescents are able to acquire logical reasoning ability. An adolescent starts exploring different aspects of his personality and how he envisions himself in the future. It is normal for an adolescent to explore, expand his boundaries, become independent, and develop his own personality.
8 stages of human development > Early Adulthood Stage
At one point in a person's life, he is able to establish intimate relationships. He gain friends and develop love relationships. To be able to get to this stage successfully, his earlier developments must also be carried out properly. Intimacy might become elusive if his sense of self is not well-established. If he fails to develop this skill, he will become isolated and will develop fear in committing to a relationship. In addition, he will likely develop distrust in other people.
8 stages of human development > Middle Adulthood Stage
Middle age starts at the age of 40-60. Most middle age people are caught between being productive and being stagnant. It's either they would feel that they have accomplished their purpose and have become an important figure for the next generation to follow or they would develop a sense of purposelessness.
Their physical aspect at this stage also starts to decline. They will lose some of their muscular strength, agility, and sensory keenness. Women will also get to a menopausal stage and their estrogen starts dropping rapidly. Men will also undergo their own version of menopause, which is the Andropause. The effects of Andropause are like that of menopause, where the hormones fluctuate and manifest in their physical and psychological state. Men's testosterone levels will also go down, resulting in mood swings, lesser sperm count, and lesser ability to ejaculate and get an erection. However, both sexes are still able to experience sexual satisfaction past this age.
8 stages of human development > Old Age Stage
This stage starts when a person reaches the age of 60-80. Aged people are torn between integrity and hopelessness. When they take a look at the years that passed, they will either feel proud or feel like a failure. Old people experience more decline in their physical state. They have lesser stamina and their sense of hearing and smell are less perceptive. They are also more prone to sickness because their immune system is weaker. Their mental ability also gets affected. However, it is not yet known whether their intellectual powers experience deterioration or improvement.