|DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE |CHARACTERISTICS | |Prenatal Period |The hereditary endowment, which serves as the foundation for later development, is fixed, once and for | | |all, at this time. While favourable or unfavourable conditions both before and after birth will affect to| | |some extent the physical and psychological traits that make up this hereditary endowment. | | |Favorable conditions in the mother’s body can foster the development of hereditary potentials while | | |unfavourable conditions can stunt their development, even to the point of distorting the pattern of | | |future development. | | |At few if any other times in the life span are hereditary potentials so influenced by environmental | | |conditions as they are during the prenatal period. | | |The sex of the newly created individual is fixed at the time of conception and conditions within the | | |mother’s body will not affect it; as is true of the hereditary endowment. Except when surgery is used in | | |sex transformation operations, the sex of the individual, determined at the time of conception, will not | | |change. Such operations are rare and only partially successful. | | |Proportionally greater growth and development take place during the prenatal period than any other time | | |throughout the individual’s entire life. | | |The prenatal period is a time of many hazards. Both physical and psychological. While it cannot be | | |claimed that it is the most hazardous period in the entire life span—many believed that infancy is more | | |hazardous—it certainly is a time when environmental or psychological hazards can have a marked effect on | | |the pattern of later development or may even bring development to an end. | | |The time when significant people form attitudes toward newly created individual. These attitudes will | | |have a marked influence on the way these individuals are treated, especially during their early, | | |formative year. | | Infancy |Infancy is the shortest of all Developmental Periods: it is the time when the fetus must adjust to life | | |outside the uterus walls of the mother where it has lived for approximately nine months. | | |Infancy is a time of Radical Adjustments: it requires adjustments on the individual’s part. It may be | | |easy for some infants to make these adjustments but so difficult for others that they will fail to do so.| | |Infancy is a plateau in development: characteristic of this plateau is due to the necessity for making | | |radical adjustments to the postnatal environment. Once,...
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