Is human development affected by genetic factors, environmental factors, or a combination of both? One study that sheds some light on this question, and that I found very interesting, was at the beginning of this chapter about the Genain sisters. These quadruplets all have schizophrenia, yet the timing and severity of this disorder differed for each girl. This study is a prime example of how genetic and environmental factors both play a role in human development.
Human development is a complex process that depends on a gene-environment interaction. One part of human development is the body which includes physical and motor development. This section starts out with the formation of a baby at the prenatal stage of development and then follows with the physical and motor development of infants, children, adolescence, adulthood, and old age.
The next section talks about cognitive development (or development of the mind) which is how we acquire the ability to learn, think, communicate, and remember over time. Two famous theories are offered that are aimed to show the cognitive development process: Piaget's Stages of Development and Vygotsky's idea of scaffolding.
Finally this chapter talks about social and moral development (development of the personality). This part deals with how we learn between what is right and wrong and how we learn to interact and form relationships with others. Each stage of social and moral development, from baby to adulthood, has its own challenges along the way.
In the end, each part of development in humans (physical and motor, cognitive, social and moral) is affected by a mixture of both genetic and environmental factors, however the degree to which these factors play a role in this development is different for each person.