Factors Affecting Human Growth and Development

Subhajit Chanda

Factors Affecting Human Growth and Development

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Human Growth and Development are very closely related to each other. Growth and Development is a continuous and elderly process.

Difference of Growth and Development


➦ Growth:

Growth is change in size, in proportion, disappearance of old features and acquisition of new ones.  
--- (Hurlock)


Development means a progressive series of changes that occur in an orderly predictable pattern as a result of maturation and experience.
--- (Hurlock)

Difference of Growth and Development:





Increase in size and mass of an organism.

Improvement in complexity and functionality.


Quantitative (height, weight, size).

Qualitative (skills, capabilities, maturity).


Physical changes only.

Includes physical, cognitive, emotional, and social changes.


Limited to a certain period (e.g., childhood).

Continuous process throughout life.


Increase in height, weight, organ size.

Learning new skills, emotional maturity, social relationships.

Factors Influencing

Nutrition, genetics, health conditions.

Education, environment, life experiences.

Focus Area

Biological aspect.

Holistic aspect (biological, psychological, social).


Generally irreversible after a certain point.

Can be reversible (skills can be lost or regained).

Impact on Individual

Affects physical body.

Affects overall personality and capabilities.


Can occur without significant cognitive changes.

Often requires cognitive and emotional involvement.


Height, weight, organ growth charts.

Milestones in learning, emotional responses, social skills.

Factors that Affect Groth and Development:

Major factors are involved that affect human growth and development those can be biologically, environmentally or on the bases of human lifestyles. All the factors are explained in the points below-

1. Biological Factors:

    A. Genetics:

    Genetic inheritance plays a significant role in determining physical traits such as height, eye colour, hair type, and even predisposition to specific health conditions.

    B. Hormones:

    All the hormones play a crucial role in the development of the body, like Growth Hormone (GH), which is responsible for the growth of the body by effecting metabolism, Gonadotropin Hormones (GTH) effects the growth during puberty etc.

    C. Parenteral  Factor:

    The nutritional status of a mother, the size of the womb and exposure to any harmful substance during pregnancy can have a lasting effect on growth and development.

2. Environmental Factors:

    A. Nutrition: 

    Nutrition provides the necessary raw materials for growth. A balanced diet is essential for supporting immune function, cognitive development, and overall health.

    B. Environmental Conditions:

    Environmental factors such as pollution, climate, and housing conditions can significantly impact the growth and development of a human.

    C. Physical Activity:

    Regular physical activity helps to gain muscle strength, bone density, and cardiovascular fitness, while also providing an outlet for energy release and stress reduction

3. Socioeconomic Factors 

    Social Status:

    Socioeconomic factors like living conditions, education, income, and access to healthcare can strongly influence growth and development. Higher socioeconomic status often translates into better access to nutritious food, safer living environments, quality education, and healthcare.

4. Other Factors 

    A. Sex:

    The sex of an individual can influence physical growth and development, with boys generally being taller and physically stronger than girls, and girls maturing faster during adolescence. 

    B. Family Dynamics:

    Family relationships and dynamics can impact a child's emotional and socio-emotional development.

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