Healthy Growth for the Stages of Development

Identify and describe at least two common obstacles to and/or societal concerns about healthy growth for each the following stages of development (select obstacles that are of particular interest to you):

  • childhood
  • adolescence
  • adulthood

Provide potential solutions or strategies for promoting healthy growth at each of these stages.
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Development is defined as the pattern of change that begins at conception and continues through the life span. The traditional approach to life span development emphasizes change from birth to adolescents, little or no change in adulthood and a decrease in physical and cognitive ability as an individual grows older. The following stages of life-span development consist of the periods of childhood, adolescence and adulthood.


Childhood generally consists of infancy, early childhood, and middle or late childhood. Infancy is the period of birth to 24 months; early childhood is the period of infancy to five years; and middle or late childhood involves the period of six years to 11 years. Childhood is the period when development involves the recognition of the self-understanding and self-recognition, particularly early childhood. For instance, according to Santrock (2006), preschoolers become more adept at talking about their own emotions and the emotions of others. Thus, an obstacle for healthy growth could be associated with social interaction. Research shows that as children grow older, peer relations are important, and peers become important to the socio-emotional development of young children. Researchers suggest that in order to interact with other children a child must possess social competences such as: (a) being alert, (b) showing attention, (c) engaging in sustained activities, (d) maintaining focus on an activity, and (e) interacting with divided attention (e.g. engaging in a task while talking to another child (Brown, p, 20).

Santrock (2006) presents research that focus on children who have poor peer relations as either being withdrawn or aggressive. For example, children who are rejected or victimized are at risk for depression (Cillesen & Mayeux, 2004 as cited in Santrock, 2006). According to Santrock, socio-cultural and economic factors can affect children’s development. Another concern for children during this stage of development is that children are …

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