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Human Growth and Development

Life Stages

stages of growth and development experienced by an individual from birth to death.


birth to 1 year

Early childhood

1 to 6 years

Late childhood

6 to 12 years


12 to 20 years

Early adulthood

20 to 40 years

Middle adulthood

40 to 65 years

Late adulthood

65 years and up


refers to body growth and includes height and weight changes, muscle and nerve development, and changes in the body organs.


refers to development of the mind and includes learning how to solve problems, make judgements, and deal with situations.


refers to feelings and includes dealing with love, hate, joy, fear, excitement, and other similar feelings.


refers to interactions and relationships with other people.


development of the sexual organs and the secondary sexual characteristics.

Anorexia nervosa

is a psychological disorder in which a person drastically reduces food intake or refuses to eat at all.


a psychological disorder in which a person alternately binges and then fasts, or refuses to eat at all.


when a person induces vomiting or uses laxatives to get rid of food that has been eaten.

Chemical abuse

is the use of substances such as alcohol or drugs and the development of a physical and/or mental dependence on there chemicals.


found in many life stages, is one of the leading causes of death in adolescents.

Alzheimer's disease

irreversible loss of memory, deterioraton of intellectual functions, speech and gait disturbances, and disorientation.


a thickening and hardening of the walls of the arteries, can also decreases the bllod supply to the brain and cause a decrease in mental abilities.

Terminal illness

a disease that cannot be cured and will result in death, the patient may react in different ways. Some patients react with fear and anxiety.


is the " No, not me!" stage, which usually occurs when a person is first told of a terminal illness.


occurs when the patient is no longer able to deny death. Statements such as "Why me?" or "It's your fault" are common.


occurs when patients accept death but want more time to live.


occurs when patients realize that death will come soon and they will no longer be with their families or be able to complete their goals.


is the final stage. Patients understand and accept the fact that they are going to die.


play an important role in meeting the needs of the dying patient. Care that provides support and comfort.


are frequently defined as "a lack of something that is required or desired."

Physiological needs

are required by every human being to sustain life. They include food, water, oxygen, elimination of waste materials, sleep, and protection from extreme temperatures.


include the need to be free from anxiety and fear and the need to feel secure in the enviornment.


a warm and tender feeling for another person, occupies the third level of Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs.


defined by peoples feelings concerning their masculine/feminine natures, their abilities to give and recieve love and affection, and, finally, their roles in reproductionof the species.


Maslow's fourth level that includes feeling important and worthwhile. When others show respect, approval, and appreciation, an individual begins to feel esteem and gains self-respect.


means that people have obtained their full potentials, or that they are what they want to be.


stimulated to act


or a feeling of pleasure or fulfillment, occurs.


or frustration, an uncomfortable inner sensation or feeling, occurs.

Defense mechanisms

unconcious acts that help a person deal with an unpleasant situation or socially unacceptable behavior, are the main indirect methods used.

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