Human Growth: Physical, Psychomotor, Cognitive Development Anthropology YouTube Lecture Handouts

Glide to success with Doorsteptutor material for competitive exams : get questions, notes, tests, video lectures and more- for all subjects of your exam.

Title: Human Growth

Human Growth: Physical, Psychomotor, Cognitive Development | Anthropology


Growth refers to the increase in the size of size of a child, and development refers to the process by which the child develops his or her psychomotor skills.


The period of human growth from birth to adolescence is commonly divided into the following stages:

  • Infancy: From birth to weaning.
  • Childhood: From weaning to the end of brain growth.
  • Juvenile: From the end of childhood to adolescence.
  • Adolescence: From the start of growth spurt at puberty until sexual maturity.

Physical Development

During the growth period, all major body systems also mature. The major changes occur in the following systems:

  • Skeletal system
  • Lymphatic system
  • Central nervous system (CNS)

Psychomotor Development

  • During the first year of life, a baby goes through a series of crucial stages to develop physical coordination. This development usually proceeds cephalocaudally, that is from head to toe. For example, the visual system reaches maturity earlier than do the legs.
  • Following are the series of crucial stages to develop physical coordination:
    • control of the head
    • trunk (sitting up)
    • body (standing)
    • legs (walking)

Stages of Motor Development in Children

  • First year: good head balance & vision.
  • Second year: At 24 - 36 months, turn the pages of a book, scribble with a pencil, build towers & toilet training.
  • Third year: draw circles, squares, and crosses & toilet independence.
  • Four years: stand heel to toe for a good 15 seconds, finger-to-nose test, jump in place on both feet.
  • Five years: balances on tiptoe for a 10-second period, part his lips and clench his teeth.
  • Six years: balance on one foot for a 10-second period, hit a target with a ball from 5 ft.
  • Seven years: balance on tiptoes for a 10-second period, bend at the hips sideways, and walk a straight line.
  • Eight years: arms extended, able to touch the fingertips of one hand with his thumb.

Cognitive Development

The development of motor skills in the child goes hand in hand with the development of cognitive skills, a process called cognitive development.

Divided into Four Stages

  • Sensorimotor stage: sensory impressions (sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch) and motor activities.
  • Preoperational stage: use images and symbols, Speech development begins.
  • Concrete operational stage: elementary logical principles, sort things,
  • Formal operational stage: at adolescence, own thinking activities.

Function and Role

The function of postnatal growth and development is to bring the individual to the stage of healthy adulthood, physically characterized by the end of growth with full sexual maturity and fertility for the individual.

Role in Human Health

Successful growth and development promote health, providing not only physical but also emotional and psychological well-being.

Disorders Affecting Growth & Development

  • Neonatal disorders
  • Feeding and gastrointestinal disorders
  • Inadequate nutrition
  • Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • Human growth hormone (hGH) deficiencies
  • Diseases affecting the kidneys
  • Disorders of the nervous system
  • Genetic or chromosomal abnormalities
  • Severe stress or emotional deprivation

Developed by: