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Observation

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Studying Human Development

Studying human development is a good strategy that enables people to better understand themselves and others. It can also help the person or the parent prepare for the future. Knowing the aging process of a child is a sure way of preparing the person to issues related to growing older. Our subject for this study is Chris Martin, a boy just approaching adolescence.

Demographics

Chris Marti is a 12 year old boy who has a mixed parentage commonly known as the coloured. His father is native English, while his mother has some African lineage. The young boy speaks fluent English though there are some traces of his mother’s language. There are no observable disabilities from the subject.

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Appearance and Physical Development

The subject has an approximate height of 1.4 metres tall. He is well-built, weighing an average of 45 kilograms. He appears strong as compared to other children of his age and size. The specific location of study is in a playing field and the subject is well-dressed for the winter weather. He has a hooded black coat and leather boots in addition to his sporting gear. He has long hair, round head, brown with no much black pigmentation. In addition, his eyes are predominantly light. Socially, he is very interactive with other kids he comes across and has the required qualities of a team leader.

Cognitive Development of the Subject

This study will focus on the human development in terms of processing information, perceptual skills, conceptual skills, the learning of the language and other aspects of brain development. According to Jean Piaget and Wadsworth, (1971)), cognitive deelopment is the emergence of abilities to think rationally and understand concepts. This research is undertaken to understand how a child understands the world around him. The four stages of Piaget’s development are:

-  Sensorimotor- this stage of cognitive development that occurs between birth and two years of age. Behaviours move gradually from acting upon inherent reflex to interacting with the environment with the objective of interacting with the outside world.

-  Preoperational- this stage lasts from age of two years to seven. At this stage, the child develops structuralism theory of cognition governed by the principle of egocentrism, animism or other similar constructs. A preoperational child lacks cognitive structures possessed in concrete operational stage.

- Concrete operational – this stage lasts until the child approaches puberty. At this stage, cognitive structures are characterised by a group therapy, where the same principles have discerned a wide range of behaviours.  This is the stage, which our subject of study is at.

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- Formal operational- this is the last stage in childhood development and marks the transition from the ability to reason and think about a concrete visible event to thinking rather hypothetically and to entertain the possibilities of what-if in the world.

Emotional and Social Development (Erickson’s Stages)

Erickson developed eight stages that a healthily developing human being has to pass from infancy to adulthood with each stage confronting and hopefully mastering new challenges. Erickson’s eight stages functions are characterised by psychosocial presenting conflicting forces in the social life. The eight stages are:

(i)  Hopes- this stage occurs between birth and the age of two years, and this is the basic conflict between trust and mistrust. The basic event to such an infant is feeding. 

(ii)  Will- occurs at the age of 2-3 years with autonomy and shame as the conflicting concepts. The basic event in this stage is training on toilet use.

(iii) Purpose- it occurs at the age of 3-5 years where the main event is exploration. The basic conflict at this stage is initiative against guilt.

(iv) Competence- occurs at the age of 6-11 years when the child is at school and the basic conflict is industry versus inferiority.

(v)  Fidelity- this is the stage at which the kids begin to exercise social relationship (between 12- 18 years) and the basic conflict is role confusion versus identity. This is the stage, which the subject of the study is at.

(vi) Love- this occurs at the age between 19 and 40 years in relationships and the main conflict is between intimacy and isolation.

(vii)  Care- the main event at this stage is work and parenthood where generalisation and stagnation forms the basic conflict.

(viii) Wisdom- occurs from adulthood to death and the conflict is between ego integrity and despair. The important events are reflection on personal life (Erickson & Murphy, 1998).

Observation

The subject meets the above criteria in each stage and there are no signs of unusual development. He has undergone the necessary milestones in cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. However, in addition to those qualities, the subject outshines others in leadership as he is discovered to take the leading role in assuming responsibilities. This implies that the theories of Erickson and Piaget apply well to the subject.

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