Posted at 11.03.2018
To look at life-span development, we have to be familiar with what it is, although this is is at the name. It talks about how a normal person develops throughout the life-span. This process starts between conception and birth, the miracle of pregnancy where a one-celled organism advances into a foetus and lastly a newborn baby emerges into the world. The development of the growing child is influenced by the planet around them. Affecting growth and at critical points can transform their genetic characteristics, which are developed within the womb, and the expression of these characteristics.
"our exploration commences at delivery, where who our company is and will ultimately become is a life-long endeavour. " (http://www. learner. org/discoveringpsychology/development/ 2001)
In this project I will look at the infant period of the life-span. Development occurs across three separate yet overlapping domains. Biological, which talks about how the body matures, increases and changes. Psychosocial talks about a person's personality and thoughts and also their social expectations and relationships. Cognitive includes the mental processes of knowing which includes problem dealing with, imagining, reasoning and perceiving.
According to Erikson (1950) there are 8 stages of development beginning with 0-1 season old, basic trust versus basic mistrust. This calls for trusting that things may happen either through the child's own potential or trust that the child's attention giver will provide what is needed. An integral factor in Erikson's theory is dependant on a secure connection being made.
This fits in with Bowlby's attachment theory (1969), as he is convinced a secure bottom must be produced in early years through attachment. He is convinced this connection will impact future romantic relationships. For example, connection in adult intimate connections can mirror preceding attachments
in childhood, leading to negative or positive parts throughout the life-span.
Erikson's second stage of development is perfect for 2-3 12 months olds, autonomy versus shame, doubt. As of this age children's natural development includes learning to understand, walk and other physical skills which finally lead to free choice. The child begins showing control, for example with bathroom training. However they may also develop a feeling of pity if the training is not completed adequately. Children have to be enabled to say some control over their environment. Success with this leads the child to feeling a sense of purpose. However this must be well balanced as the kids who exert too much vitality can experience disapproval of their care giver that will result in the kid sensing guilty.
In interpersonal work practice some ideas have influenced public work over the years. One example is psychosocial casework which in lots of ways is a development from psychodynamic theory specifically the ego psychology of freelance writers such as Erikson. However Thompson criticises Erikson's work on real human development as he seems it
"does have a tendency to lack awareness of broader public issues (the importance of gender, for example)" (Thompson, 2009, p89)
A key theory I touched on briefly is attachment. In 1970 Ainsworth and Bell conducted a study which viewed the individual variations in connection. They used a test called "the strange situation" to carry out the test; it involved mothers and 12 months old infants being noticed by researchers in a play-room by way of a two way mirror. This study is pertinent used as the public employee is the stranger. That is why the problem should be observed and record manufactured from what occurs. As being a public worker's experience grows up they may relate with what they see on an connection style.
According to Bowlby's research there are several issues affecting attachment, for example, a mother experiencing post-natal depression may have trouble bonding with her child. This can have long-term results on the child. Nevertheless the child can develop an connection with another good care giver. Although Bowlby insists on it being the mom this does not have to be the circumstance, as children can conform and attach to any attention giver, so long as all needs are sufficiently met.
Attachment is valid throughout the whole life-span not simply in infancy. Every person has an attachment style that is unique to them. However a secure platform is still needed as early on attachment is crucial. When a child has a good early on attachment they will figure out how to trust a fresh care and attention giver because the child has previously learnt to trust. This again web links Bowlby and Erikson's ideas together, both putting connection and trust as key issues in infancy.
The intimacy of attachment is greatest at this early level of infancy. It's difficult to obtain additional intimate, when compared to a vulnerable child with the primary health care giver. You can find 3 different varieties of attachment styles, ambivalent, secure and avoidance. Some attachment styles work very well together while others don't. A social worker's diagnosis in connection styles is vital especially in adoption. As an ambivalent parent or guardian, who is very needy for love, this would clash with an avoidance child, whose reaction would be 'get away from me'.
Although Bowlby's theories are widely well known some feel his specs of the health care giver being the mom as sexist. However his theory is valid and can be used with any good care giver the kid has and it is vital in public work theory.
"Several theorists have reconceptualised Bowlby's 'interior working model' of attachment, which regulates communication with significant others, as a form of regulatory implicit logical memory space" (Bremmer and Slater, 2004, p208)
This shows how Bowlby's attachment theory can be used as basics to support other theorists.
Another key theorist because of this level of development is Freud. Freud (1905) feels that as soon as of labor and birth the infant's activities are motivated by their desire to have sexual and physical pleasure. In infancy there are 3 phases to undergo, the 'dental' stage, the 'anal' stage and the 'phallic' level. The original 'dental' level is satisfied through sucking, for nourishing. The next 'anal' stage is released through the act of defecation. The ultimate level in infancy, the 'phallic' level is released through the infant's involvement in their sexual organs.
Freud himself recognises the universal outrage that his theory was achieved with.
"Few of the findings of psychoanalysis have satisfied with such common contradiction or have aroused such an outburst of indignation as the assertion that the intimate function starts at the start of life and shows it's occurrence by important signs or symptoms even in childhood. And yet no other conclusions of analysis can be demonstrated so easily therefore completely. " (Freud, 1925a: 216-217 cited in Thurschwell, 2009, p40)
Looking at all the theorists and the life-span development generally speaking presents you a standard of the 'norm'. This enables us through the diagnosis procedure for any potential abnormalities that may be occurring. The ideas are each relevant as they allow us to view why children display certain behaviours. Theory can be an vital part of cultural work, and the necessary tools needed are knowledge skills and beliefs. Having satisfactory knowledge means knowing the relevant information, which when skilfully applied makes capable communal work practice.
Social workers need to be aware of folks as ever growing individuals, with a former, present and future. It really is vital to understand that service users are constantly changing and adapting to their adjoining environment. Children are not simply miniature adult's, they are really their own individuals with separate desires and needs. We have to take this into consideration when interacting with children, and not talk around them. When this isn't possible their best interests need to be in the centre of each decision made.
"Much of the distinction that we can make between adult and child owes a lot to how our modern culture and the many ethnicities within it have produced notions of what is appropriate for a child as opposed to what is befitting an adult. " (Thompson and Thompson, 2008, p87-88)
Although children need to be treated differently than people we always need to be aware of the future of possibilities they may have in front of them. A whole lot of who we become is mapped out in our child years, so behaviours have to be noted and recognized to help the average person in later life.
One drawback the life-span development does not take into account is the planet around us. This with regards to the specific factor can result in Anti-Discriminatory Practice (ADP) or Anti-Oppressive Practice (AOP), for example. too little understanding and understanding of different ethnic issues. Societal issues have just as much of an impact on infants as on adults. The composition of society often places people at a downside, for example, society's a reaction to disability or contest can lead to poverty and even social exclusion.
However despite having these issues people can sill build-up resilience. Resilience enables some individuals to attain satisfactory final results despite their disadvantaged backgrounds. This is seen through a good school compensating for a delinquent neighbourhood. Even newborns show resilience, low labor and birth weight poses a risk to the child, due to the child being unable to grow at the rate required to which in exchange could have an effect on its immune system, leaving the baby more vulnerable. Therefore overcoming this shows great resilience at a very early era.
Another concern this boosts is modern culture labelling those who are considered to be outside the 'norm'. Labels have a tendency to influence the way people view and respond to what's labelled.
"Labelling theory identifies the response and expectations of others to a work labelled deviant. This may create a situation in which the labelled person can do no other than respond in the ways expected. " (Davies, 2000, p181)
The labelling will impact the care giver and therefore on the infant as well.
When looking at infants you should be aware of the encompassing family. Who as of this early and vulnerable level in development will have a substantial impact? So although poverty is not at all something the infant will be familiar with, the good care giver will be all too aware. There are a variety of circumstances that could affect just how a kid is brought up; poverty is merely one societal implication that can have an effect on the complete family. These circumstances can result in unnecessary stress that will then also effect on the infant.
A different factor that can affect expansion and development is disease and health issues. One example of any condition that influences a child's development is autism. It is considered that autistic children show too little fascination with people and therefore neglect to show the 'normal attachment' to their care giver. Autistic children have varying degrees of communication problems and because learning through play can be constrained, the child's design of development will be affected. In autistic children the entire development is poor plus they do not reach the same mental milestones as the child who is 'normal'. However autistic children are known to reach 'islands' of brilliance. For example, although their communication with other children is very limited they may show significantly better power of ram or drawing skills. So although development process is very different from the 'norm', they adapt to their environment as other children do. In the first years it is merely a subject of persevering and learning to get to know the infant exactly like any other treatment giver would. Regarding an autistic child the life-span development wouldn't normally be very helpful, nor would the theories that contain been suggested in this assignment.
The social worker working with the infant will have to do their first preliminary assessment. Here they may be laying the foundation for future assessments. They'll be looking at the infant's development and progress but as stated before the family will also effect on the infant in various ways. This is where knowledge of the whole lifespan pays to. As every person who is associated with the infant performs a part in their development. So a knowledge of what's normal for that person is an edge. The social worker may also be considering the cultural implications which have an effect on the family, both negative and positive. So dealing with the family as a device, with the babies well-being in the centre of everything, the sociable worker can concentrate on reducing the risk and negative effects and raising awareness of the positives. This will have a positive have an effect on on the well-being of the child.
In finish a good knowledge and knowledge of the life-span development benefits social individuals, as it shows what is regarded as normal development throughout life. This can help social personnel recognise when someone is not on focus on and therefore raises knowing of potential problems. However the disadvantage to this could it be doesn't consider any exterior factors that make a difference development. These factors include population issues that can lead to ADP and AOP if not taken into account with users and completed appropriately.