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Social Sci LibreTexts

5: Growing and Developing

  • Page ID
    40774
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    • 5.1: Conception and Prenatal Development
      onception occurs when an egg from the mother is fertilized by a sperm from the father. In humans, the conception process begins with ovulation, when an ovum, or egg (the largest cell in the human body), which has been stored in one of the mother’s two ovaries, matures and is released into the fallopian tube. Ovulation occurs about halfway through the woman’s menstrual cycle and is aided by the release of a complex combination of hormones.
    • 5.2: Infancy and Childhood- Exploring and Learning
      If all has gone well, a baby is born sometime around the 38th week of pregnancy. The fetus is responsible, at least in part, for its own birth because chemicals released by the developing fetal brain trigger the muscles in the mother’s uterus to start the rhythmic contractions of childbirth. The contractions are initially spaced at about 15-minute intervals but come more rapidly with time.
    • 5.3: Adolescence - Developing Independence and Identity
      During adolescence, the child continues to grow physically, cognitively, and emotionally, changing from a child into an adult. The body grows rapidly in size and the sexual and reproductive organs become fully functional. At the same time, as adolescents develop more advanced patterns of reasoning and a stronger sense of self, they seek to forge their own identities, developing important attachments with people other than their parents.
    • 5.4: Early and Middle Adulthood- Building Effective Lives
      In this section, we will consider the development of our cognitive and physical aspects that occur during early adulthood and middle adulthood—roughly the ages between 25 and 45 and between 45 and 65, respectively. These stages represent a long period of time—longer, in fact, than any of the other developmental stages—and the bulk of our lives is spent in them. These are also the periods in which most of us make our most substantial contributions to society.
    • 5.5: Late Adulthood- Aging, Retiring, and Bereavement
      We have seen that, over the course of their lives, most individuals are able to develop secure attachments; reason cognitively, socially and morally; and create families and find appropriate careers. Eventually, however, as people enter into their 60s and beyond, the aging process leads to faster changes in our physical, cognitive, and social capabilities and needs, and life begins to come to its natural conclusion, resulting in the final life stage, beginning in the 60s, known as late adulthood
    • 5.S: Growing and Developing (Summary)