Conception is the process by which a spermatozoon, which is a male germ cell, released from testis penetrates the ovum released from the ovary of a female and fuses with it fertilizing it. During fertilization, both the ovum and the sperm disintegrate and release their genetic content leading to formation of a new cell nucleus called a zygote. After the egg is fertilized, a biochemical reaction takes place and repels other sperms so that they do not fertilize the ovum again. This process of cells uniting and forming a fertilized egg takes about 24 hours. The zygote contains 46 chromosomes with each having many genes (Herbert, p. 20). The zygote move through the fallopian tube for about 3-4 days to uterus where it is implanted until birth and as it moves, it multiplies through cell division. During the cell divisions ,many cells are formed which forms bones,organs,muscles and other structures of the body by the time a baby is born. At about four days the mass of cells is called a blastocyst containing of about 16-64 cells. This period is called germinal period and take about 14 days and lead to the formation of embryo after which embryonic stage that lasts from the third to the eighth week begins. During this period, the embryo grows and organs and tissues are formed. The embryo floats in amniotic fluid and is connected to the placenta that nourishes it by the umbrical cord. From ninth week to birth, the unborn baby is called fetus and grow in length and weight leading to enlargement of mother’s abdomen and one can know its gender, Birth process take place in three stages (Herbert, p. 42).
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After birth, the child develops both physically and psychologically and develops knowledge of physical and social world. By the end of the first year, the child’s motor skills develop and its hair grows in addition to growing teeth. This period of child development is called childhood and last for about 11 to 13 years (Herbert, p. 137).After the onset of puberty that in most cases is between 11-13 years, adolescence stage begins. During this stage, both males and females grow in height and weight and develop secondary sex characteristics. For instance, the males increase in mass, their voice become deep and their sperms become fertile. On the other hand, females’ breast develops, hips widen and ovulation and menstruation begins. The body hair of both males and females grow and their genitalia mature. Moreover, the adolescents also develop intellectually, emotionally and psychologically.
The process of shaping children using classical and operant conditioning from conception until adolescence
As the child develops, one can shape their behaviors through operant and classical conditioning. Operant conditioning deals with introduction of stimuli that lead to occurrence of the behavior. When a stimulus is introduced, the behavior can be repeated or not depending on the nature of the stimuli. For instance, there can be positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement and extinction. For example, if a child does something that is bad the parents may punish her so that in future she will not repeat the same behavior. On the other hand, if a child has a negative behaviors such as is selfish and does not want to share her toys with other children, the parent can deny the child the permission to go to the field and this will lead to extinction of the behavior (Hasselt &Hersen, p. 87). Moreover, if the child or adolescence does something that is good the parents will use positive reinforcement to encourage it to continue with the behavior. For example, if a child performs well in class and is obedient at home the parent may buy the child some gifts and this will encourage the child to continue with the good behavior. Moreover, the child is shaped by making her interact with other children, parents and teachers. On the other hand, classical conditioning deals with associating of neutral stimuli with a stimulus that has an intrinsic meaning in a child. For instance, as children develop, they have many fears such as they fear the doctor because in the first instances they met the doctor, the doctor may have vaccinated them where they felt pain and cried. As a result, any time they see the doctor, they associate them with pain and may start crying.However, the child can be made not to fear the doctor, if the next time they meet the doctor, he does not vaccinate them and this happens repeatedly.
Positive attributes of adolescence
During this stage, adolescents develop intellectually. For instance, they understand their personal abilities, start thinking abstractly and participate actively in learning activities. Moreover, they develop morally such that they show compassion to those who are suffering and are able to learn a lot from their role models. Additionally, they develop emotionally and psychologically to a point that they become independent and are in a position to identify their gender roles.Lastly, the adolescents are able to relate well with other people and they are now able to understand who they are (Adams &Berzonsky, p. 169).
- Adams, Gerald and Berzonsky, Michael. Blackwell handbook of adolescence Psychology. New York: Wiley Blackwell, 2005. Print.
- Hasselt, Vincent and Hersen, Michael. Handbook of social development: a lifespan Perspective, Perspectives in developmental psychology Analysis. New York: Springer, 1992.Print.
- Herbert, Martin. Typical and atypical development: From conception to adolescence. New York: Wiley Blackwell, 2003. Print.