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  • Posted By: zoeysampson
  • Date Posted: 10/25/2010
  • Category: Psychology
  • Words: 751
  • Pages: 4
  • Views: 669
  • Rank: 763

The Importance of Family in Human Development

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The Importance of Family in Human Development

From birth, each person’s contact with others — within the family, community and society in general — has a significant effect on the individual. Perhaps most profound of all are the interactions among family members. Physically, emotionally and cognitively, the importance of family in human development is intrinsic to individual identity and self-concept throughout all stages of life.


From a physical standpoint, biology, as it relates to heredity, is the key element in human development, with the most obvious manifestation of family’s importance being physical features. Virtually everyone who sees a newborn notes the similarities of physical traits shared by the baby and its parents. Yet, while eye and hair color, facial features and expressions, and even the baby’s gestures are familial characteristics usually immediately assessed, the physical influence of family on human development encompasses far more.


Based in large part on heredity, the timetable for physical development has an impact on the rate and extent of growth, the age at which developmental milestones are achieved (such as talking, walking, etc.) the onset of puberty, even whether and the extent to which one develops grey hair. Clearly, the effect of family on physical aspects of human development is quite significant.


Likewise, emotional development is bolstered or impeded, as the case may be, by family. Dating back to World War II when orphaned babies failed to thrive after placement in orphanages, it was determined that the lack of touch — normally provided by families — stunted the growth of these orphaned babies and further caused them to become ill, develop emotional and intellectual deficits and, in some cases, to die. Albeit a very drastic circumstance, even without such extreme situations, families (or the lack thereof) have an enormous emotional effect on human development.


For instance, aside from the six basic ...

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