Developmental theory is based on human growing up and progressive changes in behavior and abilities that Involves every stage of life from conception to death. Heredity (“nature”) and environment (“nurture”) also affect us through life. Heredity gives each of us a variety of potential as limitations. These are, in turn, affected by environmental influences, such as learning, nutrition, disease, and culture. Ultimately, the person you are today reflects a continuous interaction, or interplay, between the forces of nature and nurture.
As I reflect on my life experiences I live that both nature and nurture have played a huge role In my personal development. In this paper I will examine the lasting emotional and cognitive effects of two life experiences that Influenced my development. Heredity refers to the genetic transmission of physical and psychological characteristics from parents and their children. Our environment also exerts a profound influence on our development.
Environment refers to the sum of all external conditions that affect a person. Heredity imposes some limits on what a person can become. The possible home environment, education and nutrition are not enough to produce; For example; rental neglect, poor nutrition, Ill health, abuse, and lack of education can prevent even the brightest child from becoming the best his or her genes would allow. Still, many individuals have achieved normal or exceptional lives despite childhood deprivation.
Each child is also born with some protective factors interact with variables in the environment so that the same environment can have different effects, depending on the characteristics of each child; for example, a shy child who has few friends might be damaged more by parental emotional abuse than one who is more outgoing and has great number of relationships outside the family. Theories of development provide a framework for thinking about human growth, development, and learning.
Psychoanalytic theories of development began with the work of Sigmund Freud, who believed that early childhood experiences had lasting effect on the course of development. Fraud’s, work was enormously Influential and Inspired other psychologists to expand upon his work and develop theories of their own. One of the most famous theorists Influenced by Freud was Erik Erikson, whose eight-stage theory of human development remains one of the best-known psychological theories. According to behavioral perspective, all human behavior can be described in terms of environmental influences.
Some behaviorism, such as John B. Watson and 8. F. Skinner, insisted that learning occurs purely through process of association and reinforcement. Later, psychologist Albert Bandeau rejected this narrow perspective and demonstrated the powerful effect of observational learning. This knowledge has helped me to realize the effects that life experiences have had in my own development. As a child I developed Through my communication abilities my childhood experiences were beautiful because people always rounded me.
As a child, I loved to speak in public, I gave speeches at school and community, and I became very Involved socially. My interactions gave me emotional security because I was able to express myself In different forums. I felt loved by my cognitive experiences and my mental process that include attention, memory, producing and understanding language, learning, reasoning, problem solving, and decision-making. As I settled though my identity role and transitioned into young adulthood very important personality traits were established as I reached maturity and increased stability.
Although personality is defined by how the brain is wired and plays an important role in the development of the 10 years of life, the traits and habits you acquire tend to stay with you the rest of your life, I’m my opinion it’s all about exposure. For example if I had been brought up in a negative environment with abusive parent/siblings, domestic violence, a general bad moral setting in the home it would have had far more dramatic influence on my personality. My life took a complete toll in 1981 due to the civil war in my country.
The dangers of the war affected our well being causing my family to be split. My brother and I were forced to flee our country and immigrate to the United States of America. The idea of having to leave my home made me feel very sad. The uncertainty of the unknown had a great emotional impact on me. Being fourteen and having to move to a new country can be a devastating experience. During the whole trip I was sad crying. This experience had an emotional effect that influenced my human development. On July 3rd 1981, I arrived with my brother and uncle at the Kennedy airport in New York.
My dad picked us up from the airport. I saw the Joy in his face when he saw us, but I could to help but to feel sad and lonely. Once we arrived to our new home my dad had arranged for a welcoming party. The neighbors and friends greeted us cheerfully. The days went by and everyone tried to make me feel welcome but I could not help to feel sad and lonely. Being the new kids on the block was a harsh reality that I had to face. We lived in a predominantly Greek-Italian neighborhood so the language that was spoken in this area of Queens was English. The cultural shock affected me tremendously.
The language barrier affected me emotionally because it was hard to socialize with peers at home (neighbors) and any place that I was supposed to have social interactions. It physically affected me too because I couldn’t engage with peers, to interact in the different activities. During this time of my life I felt so lonely missing my mom, younger sister and little brother as well my friends whom I had left behind. Adjusting to my new life was very difficult without having the communication with others who didn’t speak Spanish. Frequently, I would sadly look into the horizon from outside my window remembering my childhood years.
Before we knew it September arrived and I was starting school. My brother and I were nervous about going to school. The scariest thing about the experience was, knowing that I did not posses the language to communicate with others. I felt that our new start in life was challenged by not being able to have access to others through communication. I wasn’t sure if I could continue to evolve cognitively during such an important stage in my development. The language barrier affected the social, emotional, physical and cognitive aspects of human development.
These changes of environment influenced my human transaction with the social environment. My first day of school went great, I felt a sense of Joy when I was placed in SSL classes and I met other foreign students from all over the world, I was especially fond of the ones from Latin American countries since I could communicate with them in my language. This helped me difficulties and concerns. The SSL classes and experiences during that phase in my life influenced my cognitive development as it helped to shape the adult I was becoming.
My experiences as an immigrant helped me view both positive and negative aspects that shaped my beliefs. The psychological impact of the experience of coming to a new country, learning a new language and being faced with the experience of coming to a new country, learning a new language and being faced with the decision of fully emerging into a new society while maintaining my own identity was intertwined in my development. I tried to adapt to the American culture as much as I could although I missed my roots. I felt that I needed to give up something that was deeply rooted inside of me in order to adapt to the American way of life.
The experience of discovering and adjusting to the new culture was difficult. The longing of my loved ones and the challenges of creating new relationships affected me psychologically. As I emerged into a new culture, I faced opposition and discrimination by some locals. The acquisition of English posed a major challenge in my development, as it was extremely difficult for me to learn. The outspoken girl who loved to communicate became inverted. On a positive aspect adapting to a new culture meant learning new things, the exposure to other cultures, and a change of life-style.
My experience in America provided me with social openness, fairness, freedom and choice. These social understandings helped defined who I became cognitively, socially, and psychologically. As the years passed and I as I became an dull I adapted more and more to the American culture, but I never gave up my roots. I chose the best aspects of what both world experiences had provided me. Slowly I gained more knowledge of my second language. As an immigrant, I feel that I have been blessed with opportunity to live in this country and to have freedoms that were not possible in my country.
I know America has given me the freedom and opportunity, and hence, I feel I have an obligation to pay back, to contribute to the community, and to help my adopted country become stronger and better. I have worked tirelessly for the last 30 years making a difference in my community by roving guidance and support to new immigrants. My cognitive, social, and psychological experiences helped me to accept myself. Through my experiences I believed that everyone has an opportunity to make choices as long as you work hard, pull your own weight, and contribute to society.
My experience with language was the most important factor when forming my individuality. My experiences have influenced my approach I life and how I am able to adapt to various situations. The experiences of acquiring a new language gave me the spirit and positive mental attitude. From the environment I was able to realize hat even if you have a difficult life you don’t have to stop doing what you know is good to live a better life, and to acquire your goal. Yes, life is made of obstacles that you have to move aside in order to accomplish your dreams.
As immigrants my family and I struggled through adapting to a new environment. The environment in which I lived when I came to New York help me to learn the language to be able to socialize with the kids in my block giving me an open mind to other languages and cultures. The negativity that I had was that learning to speak English was difficult, because I fife was challenged by not being able to have access to others through communication with others. I wasn’t sure if I could continue to involve connectively during such an important stage in my development.
The language barrier affected the social, emotional, physical and connective aspects of my human development. My experiences as an immigrant helped me to view both positive and negative aspects that shaped my beliefs. With the years I finally adapted to this country and its culture but having my culture with me too and never gave up my roots. I have grown up as a unman been Just by the exposure of cultures and languages that I faced in my adolescent time in which I maturated and saw life through a different lens.
As an immigrant, I feel that I have been blessed with the opportunity to live in this country and to have freedoms that were not possible in my country. In conclusion, theories of development provide a framework of the way we think about human growth, development, and learning. From the study of human development we learn and understand what motivates human through and behavior. An understanding of the theories provides useful information and insight about individuals and society.