Friday, January 14, 2011


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 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 Mother’s 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 doctor’s 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 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 doesn’t 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 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 mother’s body antibody system recognizes the baby’s blood as foreign material or bacteria that trigger the formation of antibody against child’s blood. This doesn’t bother the first born as the antibody of the mother isn’t that strong but if the second born is with Rh negative the child might causes miscarriage or anemia as the mother’s body reject the baby’s 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 mother’s 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 baby’s blood. The not suppose to exist hormone in the baby’s 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 fetus’s death with the mother’s 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.

2.3 Nurture Factor

2.3.1 Child’s Nutrition and Fitness
Food has been put into a very important role in a child’s growth. That is when various brains of healthy food for baby and children sprung up at the supermarket’s shelf. The main food source for baby is milk. What is the best milk for baby? Of course the mother’s milk is the best. Comprising all nutrients and supply antibodies needed by babies where can you get better as cow or goat milk don’t provide the instant antibody. Mother’s milk comes with the correct temperature and it’s free. When the baby is getting older enough protein and calcium is needed to make sure the child will grow up healthy with strong bones and teeth. Of course balance meal is required too. Correct food amount helps child to grow in the correct rate and size. Malnutrition on the other hand causes many problems such as slow growth and many deficiency diseases (J.L Brown & Pillot, 1996, McDonald et al. 1994) .Sufficient amount of exercise is important too. (Wolf et al.,1993). Playing basketball and skipping rope can help the child to grow taller.

2.3.2 Family
         Family is important as they are the person that support and educate the child. Parent’s choice for suitable parenting method is significant in molding up a child’s character. (Developmental Psychology, 1998)Autocratic is a method where the parent decides everything for the child and the child must follow strictly. Democratic method is the opposite of autocratic where the child is given the freedom to whatever they want. Child is said to be feel neglected and not having the enough attention or love by the parent and lower self esteem. So it seems like neither both of the method is good enough. Like what Buddha said take the middle way where don’t give either too many freedom or no freedom to the child in this context. Thus authoritative method a combination of both is born. The child is given freedom but with limitation. The child can have the freedom to test out their ideas and have a better communication but when the child fails the parent is there to support. Using this method it is said the child will be independent, assertive, friendly, cooperative, high self esteem and achievement oriented.

     2.3.3 Peer
Besides parent who accompany the growth of a child. It is the friend and peer. Peer here refers to friend of the same age. This is the first step taken by a child to the society. Here is the place where the child will try and acquire skills to adapt themselves in a society. Peer is also a place where the child can safety test out their idea. There is also a higher tendency that child find that peer is a more comfortable group to play with. To play in a group there is something such as rules and regulations that need to be learned and obey so that the child will be accepted. This is where the influence of the peer where the child will try to gain acceptance and will act according to the group. At the same time they also learn to respect other’s right as they learned to socialize.

     2.3.4 School
Furthermore school also plays a very important role as the school also functions as second educator to the child besides the parent. Providing the knowledge required for the child the school also prepared as a socializing medium for the students. Thus school is also known as agent of socialization. Here the student will get the exposure with adults and also friends where the socialization between these two parties will enable the child to learn the norm. School rules and regulation enable to discipline the student. Rules of schools serve as a basic where the child learns there is limitation of actions, speech or words. The environment of the school also support and encourage child to interact with one another under discussion and activities that are held by school. Of course moral values are also instills in the students where teachers tried to shape the child’s behavior or through motivational wordings that are display at school. Subject such as moral education and civic are also taught to student. Lastly the school culture also affects greatly on the child.

     2.3.5 House and Neighborhood
Providing a shelter is the main basic of a house. Under the roof filled with rooms for many purposes but how is that affects the child. The environment of the house can be decorated in some ways that motivate the child’s interest in learning and culture. Appropriate decorated room with studying table and shelf of books provide a comfortable environment to study. Collection of books or little library in the house can help in instill the interest in reading among children. Besides the decoration the location of the house is also important as various neighborhoods have different culture and style. It is said that children living in urban area are more individualistic compared with children from rural area. Rural area has culture that creates a cooperative and closer relationship between families. The child will try to suit the environment through adaptation. 

     2.3.6 Mass media
Globalization is what that is happening nowadays. The rapid development of science and technology makes things faster and the distance shorter. Where with a simple click on the mouse many information can be gathered through the internet. All these information and technology is a influencing our daily life. They are the electronic media and mass media. They cover a wide range of sources in our daily life such as television, newspapers, radio, internets. These media plays a wide range of function in our life as giving information, updating us with the latest things or events in the world and source of entertainment. Hence they can have a very big influence in our daily life. Useful as they can be but they are able to affect the cognitive development of child. One study found that TV viewing before age three slightly hurt several measures of later cognitive development, but that between ages three and five it slightly helped reading scores (Zimmerman FJ,2005). Kids growing up in families in which the TV is on always or most of the time spend less time reading and being read to, and are less likely to be able to read (Vandewater, EA ,2005). According to an extensive research evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed. (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2001). The stunts showed in television gave the child some kind of fantasy to the child. Repetition of violent scenes on the screen in television also results child being insensitive towards violent. Children have the tendency imitate the violence they see on TV.  Children under age eight cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy, making them more vulnerable to learning from and adopting as reality the violence they see on TV (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2001).

    2.3.7 Religion
Believe in god. That is the first thing mentioned in Rukun Negara. God is said to be the most important and influential in a person’s life. The teachings of the God must be followed. Religion varies in the world and the four main religions in the world are Jesus Christ, Hindu, Buddha and Islam. But behind all the religion their teachings are all based on good values that all human beings should have in the life and immoral act should be avoided in all cases. In Ten Commandments it is say that should not steal murder, commit adultery and many others. So do other religion that forbids the immoral act. In the teaching of Buddha can be simplified as avoid evil, do good and purify one’s mind.

2.4 Conclusion
 Since back to the ancient civilization the topic of which factors have a greater effect on a child development is often debated even until now. But it is a matter of fact that both play a very important role in child’s development.

Overall the nature factors always come from the genetic factors, genetic compatibility and also the mother’s overall condition. Regarding the genetic factors there is much of the norm of disallowing sibling to married. One of the reason is the chances or probability to gain a unhealthy child is higher compared to others as the both parent are probably having similar recessive gene that contribute to born of unhealthy child. That is why it is advisable to avoid intermarriage to lessen the chance of having unhealthy children. We can see that mother plays a very important role in contributing the developing of a child. As a mother she should be take care not only her physical body such as fitness and fitness but also mentally and emotionally. Also she has to beware of the environment. Hence the mother’s action has a very great impact of the child’s wellness besides the gene factor.

Meanwhile the nurture factor is more to the environment and the people around the children. They hold a great factor as mention in the principle of child that development and learning occur as a result of the child interacting with people and objects in his or her environment. They learn through interaction with the surrounding. From interaction they gain experience that helps them to mould their own understanding of the world around them based on their own point of view. 

1 comment:

  1. thank you for these helpful points, although i'd like to point out that the four main religions are CHRISTIAN, Hindu, Buddha and Islam.. :D


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