Is development the result of genetics or the result of the love, guidance and
the upbringing one receives? That is a very interesting and personal question.
In reviewing Table 4.1 in the textbook regarding where the main developmental
theories stand on the six themes in development, it appears that most of the
theorists involved believe that both nature and nurture have an impact on the
development of the child (Child Development Essay: A Thematic Approach (3rd. ed.) (Bukato,
Daehler, 1998, p.
29). The Ethological theme reports that although behavior is
biologically based the environment has an impact and influences behavior
patterns. Most of the other themes such as the Learning Theory and the
Socioculture Theory are based on nurture or environmental experiences with some
biological experiences. An article on the Internet titled Quotations about
Nature, Nurture, and Nature via Nurture (1998), reports that there are in fact
three ‘nature vs. nurture’ issues rather than just one. They concern what is
innate, what is inherited, and what is important? What is innate to the species,
in this case, Homosapiens? Features of human behavior and experience arise from
the genes that are shared and without most of which a human child is unlikely to
be born with? What is inherited? We can look at genetically similar or even
identical twins that grow up in different environments, thus allowing us to
learn whether environmental differences, between families, contribute to final
observable differences in behavior and personality.
Not all physical factors
appear to be genetically inherited. For example, the best-known example of this
is the case of eye colors in Homosapiens; two brown-eyed parents can have a
blue-eyed child if each of them carries the recessive gene for blue eyes as well
as the dominant gene for brown eyes. Finally, what is important? With genetic
cloning a fact, not a possibility, a society has to determine what is important
to them in today▓s culture. Discussion such as ⌠Is it more important
to have smart or good-looking children?■ Or, ⌠As a society will we
allow genetic defects such as dwarfism?■ There is much controversy
regarding this developing topic and I am sure much more to come. The previously
cited article reports that most current psychologists admit that it is
impossible to prove nature vs. nurture outcomes because there are such complex
interactions that effect all development processes in a child.
Growing up within
the larger scheme of things is the concept of the Socioculture theme. This
theory indicates that the community one grows up in has a great impact on what
experiences, beliefs and values they will have. Every society changes over time.
Some change rapidly; others seem to stay virtually unchanged for generations.
But, however slowly, change does occur. Communication and language are two
important aspects that play major roles in the socioculture development.
Functions of communication such as, actions, words, behaviors, settings, topics
and/or events all envelope the different forms and styles of communication that
members of the group or culture utilize. Factors such as proximity, the space
people need or use for themselves within a community, and the poverty cycle are
very important in the development of an individual and a culture. Children are
biologically predisposed to develop language and the environment triggers rather
than serves as a stage of development. A child learns most and is most
impressionable during the first five years of his life. Therefore, a child in
poverty is exposed to his environment, and that is what they know, even before
entering into the educational system. This has a lot to do with the continuation
of the poverty cycle.
An example that I am familiar with at work is with
families involved with Child Protective Services (CPS) and the subject of
discipline or communicating through the use of corporal punishment. In some
cultures spanking is perfectly acceptable. When a person is CPS involved because
of neglect due to addiction, it is not conducive to the goal of reunification to
hit or spank child. Teaching CPS participants can be challenging because it is
sometimes very difficult for them to understand different concepts when corporal
punishment is what their culture and society has deemed the norm. A child plays
an active role in his or her development by the way he responds to being taught.
In each of the theories described in the textbook it is apparent that the child
plays an active role.
Even in the learning theory where the child is not active
in behavior analysis but engages the environment to determine what is learned in
social cognitive theory (Child .