Developmental History Analysis Life-Span Development Developmental History Analysis Often in human services, compiling a developmental history is an essential part of gathering information that will provide critical details to assist providers in making choices that will help clients receive assistance with health and psychological issues. This paper will analyze the developmental history of four-year old Quaushia Bolden. Quaushia is a compilation of several clients that this author has worked with.
While the names involved are fictional, the history is one that realistically illustrates the challenges that occur during a child’s physical and psychological development. Demographics Demographic data is gathered to give providers information on a client’s age, address and reason for seeking services. This data can identify environmental factors that can impact a child’s development. In this section of the developmental history form, the provider can learn that Quaushia is from an area of the city that is considered more volatile and violent than other areas.
Many youth in these types of areas witness acts of violence on a frequent basis. The neighborhood can become an unsafe place where a child develops a sense of fear rather than a sense of community. Dr. Bruce Perry explains that “persisting fear and the neurophysiological adaptations to this fear can alter the development of a child’s brain, resulting in changes in physiological, emotional, behavioral, cognitive an social functioning” (Perry, 2001). The fact that Quaushia has been recommended for services because she is exhibiting physically aggressive behaviors may be a result of where she is living.
Primary Caregiver/Parent Information Parents may have the single largest impact on a child’s physical and psychological development. The genes that are passed down provide not only physical characteristics, but also the temperament that will lay the ground work for the child’s personality development. In Quaushia’s case, the developmental history shows that her father does not live with her mother and is unemployed. This can tell the provider that the family may struggle financially. Quaushia’s development may have suffered by the lack of her father’s involvement.
He did not complete high school, so may not provide the motivation that Quaushia’s young mind needs to develop a desire to achieve educationally. The developmental history for Miss Bolden also shows that her mother is unemployed. Today’s economy is creating more families that fall into poverty due to their inability to find jobs that pay a living wage. Poverty can impact a child’s physical development if a parent cannot afford to provide healthy foods, proper health care and basics such as running water and heat. Children of poverty may have to move from place to place due to unstable or unaffordable housing.
Conditions they live in can impact their education and achievement. A child that has to move can face emotional, social and cognitive delays from the overwhelming stress. In an article on how poverty can impact a child’s educational process, Karen Pellino states that the social world of school operates by a different set of rules and norms than the world that children who experience poverty live in. Social contexts can have a significant impact on their development. Blending needs to occur that will allow the child to learn the values emphasized in school with respect to their culture and day to day reality (Pellino, 2007).
Fortunately for Quaushia, her grandmother has stepped in to provide primary care. The developmental history does not address why this was necessary, but it does indicate that Quaushia’s grandmother appears stable with employment tenure of 15 years. The clinician can also see that both Quaushia’s mother and grandmother reside at the same location. This can be an indication that the family is supportive of each other, which is a very positive factor in a child’s development. Quaushia’s grandmother may be able to provide the stability and consistency that is lacking from her parents.
Family History Quaushia’s family history shows that she has two female siblings, both younger than her. This provides data that tells the providers that there are three children in the family dynamic, all age four or younger. All three children are girls. The birth order places Quaushia first. Birth order can have an effect on how a child sees herself. While parents hope to help each child see themselves as unique, many first born children are more likely to achieve more and go on to college (Child Development Institute, 1998-2009).
The Child Development Institute also explains that a first child often feels they must gain and hold superiority over other children. This information may give insight to the dynamics that have led Quaushia to become physically aggressive with her peers. Child Care This section of the developmental history form speaks to where and how the child spends the bulk of his or her day if the primary care giver is employed. Often children who live in poverty have numerous adults that provide care or spend the majority of their day with adults other than family.
This can cause instability and inconsistency for a child who already has many developmental challenges. The explanation for Quaushia’s case tells the clinician that mother has a problem with drugs and alcohol. The impact of an addict on their child’s development can be tremendous. The clinician will have to be sensitive to the financial, emotional and psychological factors that Quaushia’s mother may have on the problems that have surfaced with Quaushia. Pregnancy, Birth and Medical History Before a child even enters the world, how their parents care for her in the womb can hurt or help physical development.
The food the mother eats the drugs she ingests and her emotional state can determine whether the baby will begin life with as healthy a start as possible. Several factors in the Development History form indicate that Quaushia has a high risk of developmental problems. Her father beat her mother during the pregnancy. This could cause brain damage, organ damage and even death if severe enough. The dynamics of the relationship can be seen, in that Quaushia’s mother did not seek medical attention and did not report the abuse to the police.
She was only 19 when she gave birth to Quaushia, so now is age 23 with three small children. Quaushia’s mother used alcohol and cigarettes during pregnancy. Many health issues could develop in the womb due to this abuse. At the very minimum, Quaushia’s low birth weight could be a result of her mother’s inability to abstain from alcohol and cigarettes during pregnancy. The developmental delays that Quaushia is experiencing in her walking, standing and talking clearly could be results of the alcohol ingestion while in the womb.
The medical history speaks to a child that has bedwetting issues, thumb sucking and sleep problems that could be a result of witnessing violence in the home or perhaps even being a direct victim of the abuse. Fortunately for Quaushia, she does not have any life-threatening medical problems that will further impact her development. Conclusion The use of a Developmental History can aid the clinician in gathering information that will paint a picture of what the client has experienced in his or her life. There are so many factors that can impact a child’s development.
Abuse, nutrition, poverty, neglect, positive role models and family connections can all play significant roles in a child’s life and what type of adult they will become. This paper has briefly examined the developmental history of Quaushia Bolden. The information gathered on the developmental history form gives a small picture of the factors that have led this child to require intervention. Becoming educated on the impact of all the various factors on a child’s development will help today’s professional guide and provide help for the child and those who will help her become a responsible, healthy adult.
References Child Development Institute. (1998-2009). Birth Order. Retrieved December 17, 2009 from http://www. childdevelopmentinfo. com/development/birth_order. htm Perry, B. D. (2001). The neurodevelopmental impact of violence in childhood. Chapter 18: In Textbook of Child and Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry, (Eds. , D. Schetky and E. P. Benedek) American Psychiatric Press, Inc. , Washington, D. C. Pellino, K. (2007). The effects of poverty on teaching and learning. Retrieved December 17, 2009 from http://www. teach-nology. com/tutorials/teaching/poverty/print. htm
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