Factors Affecting Growth and Developments of Child

Growth is an essential thing for the child.

The growth process starts from the conception of the fetus to mature adulthood.

The terms’ growth’ and ‘development’ are often used together but are not interchangeable because they represent different facets of the dynamic of change.

Growth and development depend upon so many external factors.


  • Growth is the physical maturation that increases in the size of the body and different organs by multiplication of the cells, and it’s substances. It is a quantitative change in the body that can be measure in inches or cm.
  • E.g., height.
  • Development is a physiological and intellectual progression of the individual, and it develops the skill and capacities of the child. 
  • Development may be varying from child to child, and it isn’t accessible to measures. 
  • E.g., milestone development, cognitive thinking, moral development, etc.
Factors Affecting Growth and Developments of Child
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Fetal growth factor

Fetal growth is the influence primarily by fetal placental and maternal factors in humans 40% of the variation in the birth weight is due to genetic factors. At the same time, the rest is due to environmental factors. 

The maternal placental – fetal unit acts in harmony to provide the needs of the fetus.

I also wrote a article on: How To Be Intimate With Placenta Previa? also you can read.

In that fetal growth, many factors like

Genetic potential

  • Parental traits transmitted to offspring. 
  • For e.g Tall parents have tall children. 
  • The head’s size is more closely related to that of parents than the size and shape of hands and feet. Similarly, the structure of the chest and fatty tissues has a better genetic association than other bodily characteristics.


  • Boys are generally taller and more substantial than girls at the time of birth.
  • Fetal hormones
  • The human fetus secretes thyroxin from the 12th week of gestation. Thyroxin and insulin have an essential role in regulating tissue accretion and differentiation in the embryo.

Fetal growth factors

  • A large number of growth factors are synthesized local in fetal tissues and act principally by autocrine and paracrine mechanisms

Placental factor

Maternal factor

  • The mother owns fetal, and childhood growth and her nutrient intake an body composition at the time of conception and during pregnancy. Play an essential role in determining fetal size.
  • There also obstetric complications.
  • E.g., pregnancy-induced hypertension, pre-eclampsia. 
  • It may influence fetal growth.

Also see: Premature Infant: Cause, Treatment, And Health Problem In Pregnancy

Postnatal period factor

Genetic factor

  •  In that, both chromosomal disorder and mutation in specific genes can affect growth. Chromosomal defects like Turner syndrome and down syndrome. Many fests as growth retardation. Mutation of single genes may result in inherited retardation of growth.
  • E.g., Prader –Willi syndrome 

Hormonal influences

  • Healthy development can not proceed without the right milieu of hormones in the body throughout childhood and adolescence


  • In that, the pubertal growth spurts occur earlier in girls. However, there mean height and weight in girls are usually less than those in boys at the same age.
  • The growth of children suffering from protein-energy malnutrition, anemia, and vitamin deficiency states is retarded. Calcium, iron, zinc, iodine, and vitamins A and D are closely related.


  • In a low resource setting, one of the most frequent contributors to weak childhood growth is infections. Persistent and recurrent diarrhea and respiratory tract infections are a common cause of growth impairment. Systemic disease and parasitic infestation may also retard the velocity of growth. 

Chemical agent

  • Administration of androgenic hormone initially accelerates the skeletal growth. However, androgens cause the epiphyses of bone to close prematurely, leading to early cessation of bone growth.


  • A fracture at the end of a bone may damage the growing epiphysis.

Social factors


  • Children from families with high socio-economic levels usually have a better nutritional state. They do not suffer from fewer infections because of better nutrition and hygienic living condition.


  • Hunger, undernutrition, and infections, often associated with poverty, cause weak growth.

Cultural factor

  • different methods of child feedings and child-rearing methods will also affect child growth and development.


  • The growth is also affected in season and is usually higher in spring and low in summer months. Infestation shared in a hot and humid climate.

Emotional factors

  • Children from broken homes and orphanages are not getting attention to love care and affection from the family side. It can also lead to growth and development problems.
  • A child can face anxiety, insecurity, and lack of emotional support.

Also read: Social Handicaps: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Types

Parental education

  • More education mothers are more likely to adopt appropriate health-promoting behaviors, which have direct and indirect influences on growth and development.

Here are couple of articles, which you should definitely read to learn more about child development:

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