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Flashcards in Life Span Development Deck (29)
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Infancy (chrono)

Birth to 1 yr


Toddler Phase (chrono)

12-36 mo


Preschool Age (chromo)

3-5 yr


School Age (chromo)

6-12 yr


Adolescence (chrono)

13-18 yr


Early Adulthood (chrono)

19-40 yr


Middle Adulthood (chrono)

41-60 yr


Late Adulthood (chromo)

61 yr & older


Infancy Physiological Characteristics

• 3.0–3.5 kg (6.6–7.7 lb) at birth
• Weight doubles by 6 months; triples by 12 months
• Head 25% of body weight
• Airway narrow; easily obstructed
• Nose and diaphragm used for breathing
• Antibodies passed from mother to child in pregnancy
• Antibodies also passed through breastfeeding
• Sleep patterns
– Begin to regulate after 2–4 months
– Then sleeps through night
• Extremities grow from a combination of growth plates and epiphyseal plates
• Fontanelles not fused at birth—still soft until 9–18 months
• Sunken fontanelles: indicate dehydration
• Bulging fontanelles: indicate increased pressure inside skull


Moro Reflex

Startle -– Throws arms out, spreads fingers, grabs with fingers and arms


Palmar Reflex

– Grasps objects placed in palm


Rooting Reflex

(hunger)– Turns toward side of head touched


Sucking Reflex

– Sucks when lips are stroked


Infancy Psychosocial Characteristics

• Bonding
• Trust vs. mistrust
• Scaffolding
• Temperament


Toddler Phase Physiological Characteristics

• Pulmonary system
• Nervous system
• Musculoskeletal system
• Immune system
• Teeth


Toddler Phase Psychosocial Characteristics

• Begins to understand cause and effect
• Highly curious and investigating
• Separation anxiety
• Begins to develop “magic thinking,” imagination, and ability to role play


Preschool Age Physiological and
Psychosocial Characteristics

• Physiological
– Body systems continue to develop
• Psychosocial
– Developing interactive and social skills


School Age

• Physiological
– Loss of baby teeth
• Psychosocial
– Less general supervision
– Developing decision-making skills
– More awareness of self-esteem
– Values opinions of peers (positive or negative)


Adolescence (13-18 years) Physiological and Psychosocial Characteristics

• Growth spurt
• Sexual maturity
• Strives for independence
• Concern about body image and peer pressure
• May be prone to self destructive behaviors
• Developing personal code of ethics


Early Adulthood (19–40 Years) Physiological and Psychosocial Characteristics

• Physiological
– Lifelong habits formed
– Reaches peak physical condition
• Psychosocial
– Job and family stress
– Marriage, childbirth, child rearing
– Accidents leading cause of death


Middle Adulthood (41-60 Years) Physiological and Psychosocial Characteristics

• Physiological
– May need vision correction
– Cancer, heart disease often develop
– Weight control more difficult
• Psychosocial
– Empty-nest syndrome
– Caring for elderly parents


Late Adulthood (61 Years & Older) Physiological and Psychosocial Characteristics

• Physiological
– Body systems less efficient
• Psychosocial
– Living environment
– Self-worth
– Financial burdens
– Death and dying


Chapter Review Life Stage

• Understanding basic physiological and psychosocial development for each age group will assist you in communicating with and assessing patients of various ages.
• Communicating with patients will depend on their stage of development: could be fear of strangers, separation anxiety,
embarrassment, denial, depression.


Chapter Review Life Stage

• Physiological differences between ages will affect your care (for example: differences in respiratory systems; effects
of pre-existing conditions).
• Infants and young children have less developed, smaller respiratory structures which can worsen respiratory conditions.


Life Stage Development - Remember

• Infants present massive bursts of anatomical and psychosocial development in the first year of life.
• Although preschoolers begin to develop independence and reason, in many ways they still resemble the psychosocial development of toddlers.


Life Stage Development - Remember

• School-age children often are independent and logical, but that may crumble with illness or injury.
• Adolescents are reaching physiological maturity, but they often face difficult psychosocial challenges.


Life Stage Development - Remember

• Early, middle, and late adults vary greatly in terms of physiological development and
conditioning; they also face psychosocial challenges unique to adulthood.


Questions to Consider
• How do I approach a patient most effectively based on developmental characteristics?
• Does the age of my patient pose any assessment or care challenges based on physiologic development?



• You are called for abdominal pain in a 16- year-old girl. She is with friends at the park. She seems hesitant to answer any of
your questions. What characteristic of adolescent development is most likely the
cause of this? How could you overcome it?