Growth and development refers to the physical, mental, social and emotional changes that occur in human beings over their lifespan. Throughout this process of growth and development, people make progress in terms of their abilities such as communication skills, cognitive thinking, motor control and overall adaptability (Kail & Cavanaugh 2020). A thorough understanding of these changes is important for individuals to reach their full potential.
The stages of growth and development are known as the life cycle which includes three different phases: infancy, childhood/adolescence and adulthood (Fogarty 2020). During infancy, babies learn how to interact with others through smiling or crying which makes them aware of their environment. Growth during this stage involves rapid changes in physical characteristics such as height, weight gain skeletal maturation. The period from early childhood through puberty marks the second phase where children develop self-awareness by recognizing themselves in a mirror (Fogarty 2020). They also form relationships with peers at school or in child care settings while developing fine motor skills needed for writing or drawing.
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