Child development is often separated into 3 or 4 'developmental pathways', such as:
Examine the inter-relationship of such pathways, focusing on the implications for children's participation and performance in sport.
The different theories of child development all agree that there are critical pathways to optimal, positive growth in social and emotional competencies and psychological health. The healthy growth of a child is marked not only by physical development and the maturation of the brain and nervous system but also by the development of cognitive, social and relational, and psychological and emotional domains. When discussing the factors involved in children's development, the terms growth and maturation both must be understood. Growth can be defined simply as "an increase in the size of the body as a whole or the size attained by specific parts of the body." (Malina and Bouchard, 1991). Maturation on the other hand is more difficult to define.
It can be said that maturation is the period of process of becoming mature. "Maturity does however vary with the biological system considered." (Malina and Bouchard, 1991).
The primary regulators of growth and maturation are of a physiological nature, i.e. genetic, endocrine and nutritional factors. There are other additional factors, which
Child Development- Z0214322
may influence growth and maturation. The exact manner of their influence however is thought to be difficult to specify.
Numerous factors (both positive and negative) influence young people's level of participation in physical activity and the positive factors need to be highlighted. "It is also remembered that children weigh the costs and benefits of an activity according to personal criteria and compare them to the relative merits of other activities." (Gould, Petlichkoff, 1988). In summarising the factors influencing young peoples' participation in physical activity, Sallis suggests that there are two main...