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Government
Define the topic of the day:
Nature plays a greater role in influencing the growth and development of the
child
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Nature genetic material (genes, chromosomes) that control ones


appearance, temperaments & abilities which cannot be altered & inherited
from both the paternal & maternal side
Influencing affects/give impact
Growth & development the process of the upbringing & the
improvement in the aspects of physical, mental & emotional
Child a young human who is not yet an adult (around age of birth to 18
years old according to UNICEF The United Nations Childrens Fund)

Thus, the topic of the day can be simplified as:


The genetic materials give a much greater impact in the process of upbringing
& the improvement in the aspects of physical, mental & emotional within a
young human
-

As the 1st Minister representing the Gov. I can give a 100% assurance that
I am in an agreement with this topic.

Point: Nature pre-programmed the development of a child.


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Pre-programmed here means being programmed in advanced.

One of the earliest signs of genes showing through is the first emotions. Only
hours after being born, babies in the nursery will feel sympathy and empathy for
each other and when one starts to cry, others start to cry too (Sarah Begley,
American journalist). They are not taught to do this, they have only barely had
contact with adults & thus its just natural.
Language is another of the many things affected by nature. Before a baby is
even an hour old it will recognize his native language and respond differently to
that versus other languages [According to Golinkoff & Hirsh-Pasek in their
book entitiled How Babies Talk]. An example of this would be a study done
on Japanese babies. Babies of various language exposures were tested to see
whether they could tell the difference between an r and an l sound which
Japanese adults have difficulty with pronouncing those words. However, babies
with regular exposure to English distinguish one from the other. (Lise Eliot,
neurobiologist).
This significantly shows that humans are born with the ability to understand a
great range of language, & thus, this also occurs naturally.
Another way to investigate the influence of nature in the growth process of
children was conducted on identical twins. Identical twins, particularly those who
are raised separately, are a natural way to view nature versus nurture because
they are exactly the same genetically.

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When raised separately they do not feel the need to make themselves different
and thus would let nature to take control of their development.
The most famous case of twins of this sort that have been studied is known as
the Jim Twins. This is a case where the identical twins were separated and then
adopted one week after birth. Both families were told that the other twin had
died at birth, but 39 years later one of the twins looked into his adoption and
found, that was untrue. They were then reunited at the age of 39 for the first
time ever. This pair had an amazing number of similarities.
-

Both of them had a dog in their childhood who they named Toy.
Both twins took family vacations to the same little beach in Florida while in
high school.
Both twins had worked part-time in law enforcement.
Both twins drove light blue Chevrolets.
Both twins also smoked Salem brand cigarettes
They bit their fingernails constantly.

Now, let me give you a moment to ponder on these facts. Are they merely
coincidence? Of course not! This is obviously an extreme case, but it is a good
example of the effect of nature. Nature indeed has its own course in shaping &
building man genetically.
Before I end speech, once again I would like to emphasize that Nature plays a
greater role in influencing the growth and development of the child. TQ.

2.0 FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE CHILD DEVELOPMENT


2.1 Introduction
Anything that contributes causally to a result is known as factor. (WordWeb) In the matter of
factors that influence the child development varies. But they can be mainly divided into two
main factors which is nature and nurture factors. Nature factors are factors that carried by
the individual from conception to birth. On the other hand nurture factors are factors that
affect the individual from after birth often regarding with the environment. All the following
information is gain from lecture by Miss Kamalawati, 2007.

2.2 Nature factor


2.2.1 Genetic
It is what that have been half inherited by the mother and the father in the form of gene. This
gene is a segment of DNA that actually controls the physical, mental and many attributes in
the body. The height, type of hair or color, skin color, blood groups are actually being control
by the DNA. When it comes to gene you can do nothing about it to change it especially the

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internal factors such as blood group and also inherited diseases. Besides physical attributes,
gene is also affects the character and mental intelligence or IQ of an individual (Whitaker et
al, 1997). If the parents are temperament it is said that the child might also inherited it and
so the IQ. However to those parents who have mental disability or when there are mutation
occurs during the multiplication of gene or cross of gene during the fertilization of egg and
sperm might causes mental disability. Mental disability is an abnormal condition that causes
significant distress or dysfunction that can involve with cognitive, emotional, behavioral and
interpersonal impairment. Example is Down Syndrome.

2.2.2 Maternal nutrition.


The second factor is the maternal nutrition. What the mother consume during pregnancy is
very important to the health and well being of the baby. Mother should have a well balanced
diet that has all the food classes that are required in the correct amount and portion for the
needs of the mother and the baby. A pregnant mother should ingest more acid folic, iron,
zinc and calcium besides the usual daily food. Acid folic play an important role in the creation
of baby nervous system and iron is required because more blood is needed to send the
supply to the baby through placenta. Zinc and calcium is needed for the development of
embryo. If the mother has a poor nutrition it may affect the growth of the baby physical body
and brain cell. Hence when the baby is born the size of the baby is not healthy and
deformities might occur. The cognitive development also slows down.

2.2.3 Mothers health


What a mother does during pregnancy can affect the growth of the baby overall. So a
mother should take care of herself well by having a well balanced diet. Food that contains
high level of sugar and salt should be avoided. Going for medical check-up according to the
doctors schedule is a must to ensure the condition of the baby is perfect. Personal hygiene
is also very important to avoid getting ill. Try to wear comfortable clothing that does not
obstruct the growth of the baby so tight clothes is not advisable. Finally exercise regularly
and have enough rest. Unlike before pregnant a mother should sleep more and have more
rest because pregnant women is easier tired out and the baby also needs a good rest.

2.2.4 Teratogens
The forth factors are teratogens which refer to any agent that interferes with normal
embryonic development: alcohol or thalidomide or X-rays or rubella are examples. These
teratogens can actually cause abnormalities to the baby because they affect the preventing

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or modifying normal cell division and differentiation of the baby. By taking drug the baby can
suffers from deformation and mental retard. Excessive alcohol consumption causes fetal
alcohol syndrome where the baby will suffers from poor growth, distinct patterns of unusual
facial characteristic, small head and brain dysfunction. Meanwhile mother should also avoid
from smoking or being a passive smoker because the smoke can decrease the amount of
oxygen received by the baby. This will cause the rise in fetal heart rate and premature
delivery. Prematurely delivered baby usually suffers from low birth weight and are apt to
have impairments in cognitive, sensory and motor capabilities.

Ever heard that pregnant mother are disallowed to go near or even worse working in the
area where radioactive is. It is very important to let the pregnant mother to know that high
radioactive level can cause the death of a few moths old baby in the womb. While places
with lower radioactive level should be avoided such as photostatting machine and x-rays.
Laser rays from the x-rays can caused the deformities of the baby. So be well aware.

Other than that for future mothers please be well aware that there is a type of germs called
German measles that are not harmful to adults but it is fatal for baby. Therefore the
government takes a preventive measure even before the misfortune can take place. Under
the measure taken Ministry of Health send doctors and nurse to provide injection named
BCG to the female student at the age of 12 besides the one taken during baby. The injection
id needed as it provide so immunity to the person that taken the injection. Sometimes a
couple before married or planning to have baby also takes this preventive measure. This
German measles can cause Congenital Rubella. Infected in early pregnancy can lead to
fatal death, premature delivery, congenital defects, spontaneous abortion, deafness, heart
defects or mental retardations.

Mothers that are HIV positive should be prepared as the baby born has a big chance to be
infected by HIV. If this occurs child whole life will be a HIV patient. This usually happens in
country where HIV disease is rampant such as Africa that has a high rate of HIV and other
examples are Cambodia and Ukraine.

2.2.5 Rh blood factor


Rh a type of protein in the blood that contributes to the existence of Rh positive and Rh
negative in the blood type. It doesnt contribute much trouble if both the parent of the child
belongs to the same type of Rh either both positive or negative. But when it happens that

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both parent have different Rh blood factor the problem happens. As an example mother with
Rh positive carries a baby that is Rh negative due to the heredity from the father. The
difference of blood type causing the mothers body antibody system recognizes the babys
blood as foreign material or bacteria that trigger the formation of antibody against childs
blood. This doesnt bother the first born as the antibody of the mother isnt that strong but if
the second born is with Rh negative the child might causes miscarriage or anemia as the
mothers body reject the babys blood.

2.2.6 Emotional stress


Emotional stress is also identified as one of the nature factors. What ever the mother feels
will bring the effects. A stress mothers body will stimulate the production of adrenaline which
alters the blood flow. When a pregnant mother is often stressed the baby will have a
shortage of oxygen and nutrient supply. Somehow this will implement to the prematurely and
low birth weight. Lack of oxygen and nutrient supply is a matter but excessive adrenaline in
the blood may enter into the babys blood. The not suppose to exist hormone in the babys
body causing the baby having newborn irritability and behavioral problems.

2.2.7 Maternal age


According to Dessner, 1973 there is a relation between the risks of fetuss death with the
mothers age. It is said that teenage mother having a higher risk of miscarriage than the
early twenties mothers. Although teenage is said to be fertile but the condition of the womb is
said that have not been perfected for the carriage of the baby. Women older than the age of
35 to have first born will have a higher probability to experience chromosome abnormality.
One of the good examples is Down syndrome that is caused by presence of three copies of
the 21st chromosome instead of two. This situation is also known as Trisomy 21. Down
syndrome effect is mental retardation.

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Opposition
Nurture, the environmental conditions that influence development. Childrens experiences in
the environment affect all aspects of their being, from the health of their bodies to the
curiosity of their minds. Nurture affects childrens development through multiple channels:
physically through nutrition, activity, and stress; intellectually through informal experiences
and formal instruction; and socially through adult role models and peer relationships. With
good environmental support, children thrive. Unfortunately, the conditions of nurture are not
always nurturing. For example, children who grow up in an abusive family must look outside
the family for stable, affectionate care.
Historically, many theorists saw nature and nurture as separate and rival factors. Some
theorists believed that biological factors are ultimately responsible for growth. Other theorists
assumed that children become whatever the environment shapes them to be. Increasingly,
developmental theorists have come to realize that nature and nurture are both important and
that they intermesh dynamically in the lives of children. Consider these principles of how
nature and nurture exert separate and combined effects:
The relative effects of heredity and environment vary for different areas of
development. Some abilities are strongly influenced by genetically controlled systems in the
brain. For example, the ability to distinguish among speech sounds develops without training
and under a wide range of environmental conditions (Flavell, 1994; Gallistel, Brown, Carey,
Gelman, & Keil, 1991). In contrast, abilities in traditional school subject areas (e.g., reading,
geography) and advanced artistic and physical skills (e.g., playing the piano, playing
competitive soccer) rest heavily on instruction and practice (Gardner, Torff, & Hatch, 1996;
Olson, 1994; R. Watson, 1996).
Inherited tendencies make children more or less responsive to particular
environmental influences. Because of their genetic makeup, some children are easily
affected by certain conditions in the environment, whereas others are less affected (Rutter,
1997). For example, children who are, by nature, inhibited may be quite shy around other
people if they have few social contacts. If their parents and teachers encourage them to
make friends, however, they may become more socially outgoing (Arcus, 1991; J. Kagan,
1998). In contrast, children who have more extroverted temperaments may be sociable
regardless of the environment in which they grow up: They will persistently search for peers
with whom they can talk, laugh, and spend time.
Environment may play a greater role in development when environmental conditions
are extreme rather than moderate. When youngsters have experiences typical for their
culture and age-group, heredity often plays a strong role in their individual characteristics.
Thus, when children grow up with adequate nutrition, a warm and stable home environment,
and appropriate educational experiences, heredity affects how quickly and thoroughly they
acquire new skills. But when they have experiences that are quite unusualfor instance,
when they experience extreme deprivationthe influence of environment outweighs that of
heredity (D. C. Rowe, Almeida, & Jacobson, 1999). For example, when children grow up
deprived of adequate nutrition and stimulation, they may fail to develop advanced intellectual

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skills, even though they had the potential for such development when they were born
(Plomin & Petrill, 1997; D. C. Rowe, Jacobson, & Van den Oord, 1999). Similarly, when
malnourished, children tend to remain short in stature regardless of their genetic potential to
be tall (J. S. Kagan, 1969).
Timing of environmental exposure matters. When children are changing rapidly in any
area, they are especially prone to influence by the environment. For example, early in a
mothers pregnancy, her use of certain drugs may damage the quickly growing organs and
limbs of the developing fetus. Just prior to birth, exposure to the same drugs may adversely
affect the babys brain, which at that point is forming the connections that will permit survival
and the ability to learn in the outside world.
In a few cases environmental stimulation must occur during a particular period for an
emerging ability to become functional (Blakemore, 1976; Hubel & Wiesel, 1965). In such
cases there is a critical period for stimulation. For example, at birth, certain areas of the brain
are tentatively reserved for processing visual patternslines, shapes, contours, depth, and
so forth. In virtually all cases, infants do encounter adequate stimulation to preserve these
brain circuits. However, when cataracts are present at birth and not removed for a few years,
a childs vision is obstructed, and areas of the brain that otherwise would be devoted to
vision lose some of this capacity (Bruer, 1999).
In many and probably most other developmental areas, however, children may be most
receptive to a certain type of stimulation at one point in their lives but be able to benefit from
it to some degree later as well. Tonya, in the introductory case study, may have encountered
only limited exposure to language as a result of her mothers weakened condition. Immersed
later in a rich verbal environment, Tonya would have a second chance to expand her verbal
talents. Thus educational experiences at a later time can often make up for experiences
missed at an earlier period (Bruer, 1999). Many theorists use the term sensitive
period (rather than critical period) when referring to such a long time frame of heightened
sensitivity to particular environmental experiences.
Childrens natural tendencies affect their environment. In addition to being affected by
nature and nurture, childrens own behaviors influence their growth. Youngsters make many
choices, seek out information, and, over time, refine their ideas (Flavell, 1994; Piaget, 1985).
For example, children often request information (What cooperate mean, Mommy?) and
experiences (Uncle Kevin, can I play on your computer?). Children even help create
environments that exacerbate their genetic tendencies. For example, children with irritable
dispositions might pick fights and provoke others to lash back at them, creating a more
aggressive climate in which to grow.
As children get older, they become increasingly able to seek stimulation that suits their
tendencies. For example, imagine that Marissa has an inherited talent for verbal skills
learning vocabulary, comprehending stories, and so on. As a baby, she relies on her parents
to talk to her. As a toddler, she asks her parents for particular kinds of stimulation (Read
book, Daddy!). In elementary school she reads to herself from books supplied by her
teachers. As a teenager, she takes the bus to the library and selects her own books.
Marissas experience would suggest that genetic tendencies become more powerful as
children grow olderan expectation that is in fact consistent with genetic research (Scarr &
McCartney, 1983).

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