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Describe the potential influences of 5 life factors on the development of individuals

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When a person is developing there are many different factors in which can affect the way that a person acts and develops. When a person is going through their different stages of development, factors that are around them can determine the way they are. In this assignment I have been asked to talk about 5 factors that play a part in an individual’s development. The first factor I am going to be talking about is family. A family is a social group of people who are related genetically or by marriage.

Families have a huge impact on the way that individuals develop. The most important function of a family is to provide for a person’s needs. These needs include food, water, warmth, shelter, love and companionship, clothing, etc. If these needs aren’t met, the person could end up seriously ill or they could grow up with behavioural problems, such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder). This shows that a person’s development is quite dependant on the way their family treats them and the way that they are brought up.

Our first emotional attachment and relationship are formed through a family, for example, breast feeding helps to form a bond between a mother and her newborn baby. Within a family context, we also begin to learn about social roles and behaviour that is expected of us. Family members can also support each other emotionally and also protect people from stress, as well as helping each other financially or practically. For example, grandparents looking after a child, while their parent is ill in hospital. (B. Stretch, M. Whitehouse, 2007) Every family is different in some way.

Some families suffer from emotional stress for a variety of reasons including poor housing, health problems, low income or unemployment. This kind of environment can disadvantage children. For example it may be hard for them to focus on homework in an over-crowded house and it may be harder to develop self confidence if there are constant emotional tensions at home. The second factor I am going to be talking about is biological influences before birth. Biological influences before birth are another factor which can affect an individual’s development.

If the expectant mother has a tendency to smoke or drink alcohol during pregnancy, the nicotine or the alcohol can affect the development of the foetus. When a pregnant woman smokes, some of the chemical substances in the smoke pass from her lungs into the bloodstream and after time, these chemicals reach the baby’s bloodstream. These chemicals are called nicotine and carbon monoxide. The nicotine can cause the baby’s heart too beat too fast and the carbon monoxide takes the place of the oxygen in the blood, meaning the baby would receive less oxygen and won’t grow as well as expected.

Expectant mothers who smoke have an increased risk of having a miscarriage, a pre-term baby, a low weight baby or a still born baby. Those that are born pre-term or low weight are more likely to catch illnesses and infections. Mothers who drink vast amounts of alcohol when pregnant can pass down foetal alcohol syndrome. Children who are born with this condition tend to have a smaller head than normal. They also may suffer from heart defects and learning difficulties. As well as these, the child can grow up being addicted to alcohol.

Another factor which can affect the foetus of pregnant women are infectious diseases, such as rubella or chicken pox. Most minor infections, such as colds do not harm an unborn baby, but a few infectious diseases can cause serious problems and appropriate action should be taken to avoid them during pregnancy. The earlier in pregnancy that infection occurs, the more serious the effects on the foetus are. If a pregnant women was to catch an infection, than the baby may be born hearing or sight impaired, have heart disease, have skin problems or have a learning disability.

This is why it is important for expectant mothers to be vaccinated against these diseases to prevent the risks. The extent of these biological influences before birth affect the quality of a person’s life, will depend on the way in which deaf or disabled people are treated to others. (P. Minett, 2001) The third factor I am going to be talking about is housing. The link between housing and health status is probably best explained as housing being an indicator for income deprivation or social class.

Those on low incomes are more likely to be living in poor housing conditions experiencing overcrowding, poor washing and cooking facilities, damp and disrepair. Children who live in damp houses are known to have higher than usual rates of respiratory conditions like asthma. Older properties are often less well insulated than modern flats and houses, therefore this means that individuals on lower income might receive higher heating bills than people in more insulated homes. (B. Stretch, M. Whitehouse, 2007) A home is meant to be a place in which babies can develop into young adults.

The home environment affects all aspects of a child’s development such as; the development of the body, their social skills, their ability to control their feelings, their development of the mind, and their speaking skills Different stages of a child’s development are encouraged when the home provides the facilities and opportunities which include; * A place which the child can call his or her own- which can normally be in form of a room, where the child can have a place when they need some time to them self * Praise and encouragement- this helps the child to carry on developing different skills, such as reading or drawing.

Opportunities for parent or guardian and child to play or read together- this forms a bond between the child and parent/guardian and also the child’s listening and understanding skills can develop. * Opportunities to help- which helps the child to feel useful and wanted. * Opportunities to play with other children and meet other people- this encourages the child to co-operate and share and also helps to build their self confidence. (P. Minett, 2001) The forth factor I am going to be talking about is education.

It has now been well-established that educational success is associated with better health. There are a few explanations for this; Educational success is tied into higher earnings, lower rates of unemployment and higher social economic status. Higher income tends to allow for a healthier lifestyle, this means being able to afford more nutritious food as a well as being able to afford better housing and studies suggest that people with higher levels of education and higher qualifications tend to look after themselves better by exercising more, smoking less and eating a well balanced diet.

Children from low-income households tend to leave full time education much earlier and with less formal qualifications that those from a higher income households. This means that children turn to other things to distract them from boredom, such as crime, which damages their future because they may end up getting a criminal record, which only allows them to do certain jobs which probably won’t pay very well. Crime isn’t the only thing they would turn to, instead they may turn to drugs and/or binge drinking which damages their body. They may not even end up getting a job, meaning they remain unemployed which could then lead to depression.

The Acheson report noted that schools in deprived areas were more likely to suffer problems than schools in more wealthy areas. Schools in disadvantaged areas are likely to small in size and have the environment degraded by litter, graffiti and vandalism. This contributes to more stressful working conditions for staff and pupils. Stress, depression and social exclusion may reduce parent’s capacity to take part in their children’s education. There is quite a bit of research and evidence to show the close link between social class and educational achievement.

This is measured in terms of examination grades and progression to higher education and associated professional employment, so basically the higher the social class, the higher achievements are recorded. The last factor I am going to be talking about is access to health and social care services. In some areas access to different health and social care services, such as Gp or dentists are limited. These areas are normally those with a large amount of low income households. Studies have shown that life expectancy is considerably shorter in deprived areas, compared to those living in more affordable areas of housing.

The NHS (National Health Service) provides free health care for everyone; however there are concerns that some groups of people may not receive the same quality of access to GP services and to preventative health services as others. Deprived areas also have a great deal of difficulty in recruiting nurses, dentists and GPs. A low income may make it difficult to get to health and social care facilities. Problems in accessing these services, such as GPs are reflected in the fact that urban residents with a car and telephone use their GP, three times more than remote rural residents who don’t have a car or phone.

Evidence for this can be found on the National Statistics (2006) which reports that 11% of households without access to car said they had difficulty in seeing their local GP, compared with only 4% of people with cars. Also people without home access to the internet will have limited access to services such as NHS Direct. Not having access to health and social care can affect an individual’s development in quite a few ways. People living in deprived areas are more prone to infections, such as measles, chicken pox, rubella and mumps because they haven’t been given the right vaccinations to protect them.

Also if there were no health and social care services in the area, there would be no support for disabled people and also those who are sight and hearing impaired, which could affect the way they go about their everyday life. Also there would be nowhere for advice to given out to those who seek it, for example if a teenager, from a deprived area wanted advice on how to give up smoking or drinking, he/she wouldn’t have anywhere to ask for help if they didn’t have access to a health centre or they didn’t have access to the internet for online information. (B. Stretch, 2007).

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