Despite Our Increasing Knowledge and Understanding of Human Development, the Argument for the Relative Impact of Nature and Nurture on Human Development Continues. Which Has the Greatest Impact, Nature or Nurture?

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Despite our increasing knowledge and understanding of human development, the argument for the relative impact of nature and nurture on human development continues. Which has the greatest impact, nature or nurture? Human development is defined as the changes that occur in all individuals throughout the life span; from inside the womb to death (Doherty and Hughes, 2009). Lifespan development can be divided into eight periods; prenatal development, infancy which is from birth to the use of language, early childhood is pre-school age, middle childhood is primary school years up to puberty, adolescence, early adulthood is from eighteen years old, middle adulthood is from forty years old and late adulthood is from sixty years. There are various contested arguments on growth and development. For example is development continuous or discontinuous throughout life. Continuous development is a gradual process which success of one level develops on those of previous levels (Feldman, 1997) such as height and weight (Slater and Muir, 1999) On the other hand; discontinuous development often arises in distinct stages. Each stage is distinctly different to previous stages (Feldman, 1997). Such as the development of mobility (Slater and Muir, 1999). There are several factors that influence development including genetics. A human’s genetic inheritance is a mixture of mothers and fathers genes and is called a genotype. A genotype can be defined as a plan of what a human will be like as they grow (Davenport, 1994). A human’s genotype can affect physical development including eye, hair and skin colour, height, personality, disabilities and emotional well-being. However it is not always the genotype that can influence growth and development. If a mother has certain diseases, smokes heavily, drinks alcohol or has an accident, any of these things whilst pregnant can lead to her baby

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