The nature verses nurture debate has been going on for many years and at present there is no clear winner, as both seem to play a vital and important role in human development.
Nature is genetic inheritance or genetic make-up which a child inherits from parents at the time of conception and carries throughout life. There are several aspects of an individual which are clearly genetically inherited such as gender, eye colour, risks for certain diseases and exceptional talents.
The issue of nature having a great impact on a child's development can be illustrated in the studies of twins. Flanagan (2002) explored the Minnesota study where a set of twins was raised separately. In one case, a ...view middle of the document...
An example of an environmental influence in behaviour comes from France in 1799. A boy of 12 or 13 was found living with wolves. When he was discovered he was brought back into society. He never developed as a normal human and had tremendous difficulties in society ("Nature vs. Nurture", 2001). This suggests that much of what we consider human behaviour is socially learned
Children enter the world with an in built system of functions; they are primed to a certain extent due to their genetic make-up or genotype. Factors such as illness, disability and disease all influence child development which includes their physical, intellectual, emotional and social development.
A child’s physical development is greatly influenced by their genotype and maturation. Both determine when a child may master certain skills: such as potty training. In potty training it may take time for the central nervous system to develop to recognise the impulses from nerves in the bladder – the child just can’t respond yet.
It is hard to know how much of a child’s cognitive ability is inherited. The brain develops in response to stimulation and which allows the brain to trebles in weight in the first year of life. Children who are born to intelligent parents are often also intelligent, but it is difficult to tell whether this is inherited or due to an encouraging environment.
Like intellectual development, it is difficult to tell how much of our social and emotional development or personality is inherited or if it is because of environmental experiences. There are parts of the brain that are responsible for recognising emotions, and there are hormones and chemicals responsible for making us feel happy, angry, depressed etc.
Disease and illness can affect children’s development in a variety of ways depending on the severity and duration. Medical conditions such as Asthma or sickle cell diseases which are due difficulties delivering oxygen throughout the body. This can affect a child’s gross motor skills and treatment for diseases may cause the child to lack in energy which will affect their participation in physical activities. Children who are unwell have a lack of concentration and medication for condition may cause them to be drowsy. They may need to take more absences from school due to their illness, this can cause them to miss out on learning and they could fall behind their peers which will primarily affect their intellectual development. A child’s social and emotional development can also be affect by illness and disease, this can cause them to miss out on relationships due to absence but also they may not be able to mix with others to prevent the risk of infections. A child’s self-esteem can also be affected due to their illness as they see themselves as being different because they cannot take part in the same activities as everyone else, but they may also have overprotective parents which mean they miss out on becoming independent.
Some children may...