Home Family and Home Science – Stages of the Life Span, Growth and Development in early Childhood, Physical Development & Cognitive Development

Doorsteptutor material for UGC Library-Science is prepared by world's top subject experts: fully solved questions with step-by-step explanation- practice your way to success.

Download PDF of This Page (Size: 221K)

  • Development of a human being from a zygote to a full grown adult is a subject that has fascinated people over generations.

  • Not only is this knowledge useful as a tool for understanding self, but also for guiding the growth of children.

  • Some of you may be young parents with very young children and definitely most of you will become parents in the future.

Stages in the Life Span

Human development can be better understood if we focus on its different stages while relating to the whole. The human life span can be divided into the following stages:

Image of Stages of Life
Image of Stages of life

S. No.

Stages of life



Prenatal period

Conception to birth


Period of the neonate

Birth to one month



1 month to 2 years


Early Childhood

2 to 6 years


Middle Childhood

6 to 11 years



11/12 to 18/19 years


Early Adulthood

18/19 to 40 years


Middle age

40 to 60 years


Old age

60 and above

Image of Patterns of Development

Image of Patterns of Development

Growth and Development in Early Childhood

  • Growth and development are complementary processes. Growth indicates the quantitative changes in the body, that is height and weight, while development refers to both the qualitative and quantitative changes, for example language acquisition.

  • Development can be defined as a ‘progressive series of orderly, coherent changes’.

Factors Affecting Growth and Development

  • Heredity

  • Prenatal environment

  • Nutrition

  • Intelligence

  • Emotional climate of home

  • Health of the child

  • Level of stimulation

  • Socio-economic status

  • Sex

Physical Development

  • Increase in Height and weight

  • Change in Body Proportion

  • Development of Teeth, Bones and Muscles

Cognitive Development

  • Realises that the world exists even if he/she cannot see it (object permanence)

  • Unable to see the perspective of others (egocentric)

  • Unable to think logically

  • Believes all things (livings and non-living) to be possessing life and feelings

  • Indulges in fantasy and make belied play

  • Easily confused by surface appearances

  • Has uneven attention

  • Has limited memory

  • Confused about causal relationships

  • Acquires basic concepts of colour, shape, size, number, days etc.,

  • Has high level of curiosity

Developed by: