Back to: Childhood and Growing Up – Unit 1
in general terms, people often consider growth as a synonym for development. However, both terms have a different meaning from different points of view particularly, from the psychological perspective. Undoubtedly, there is a major and broad difference between growth and development.
The Meaning of Growth
Growth is a term that is used to denote the physical changes in the human body. It is considered as the structural changes which are occurred in respect to mass, height, number, kind, position, color, width, weight, and the size of a child in physical structure with the passage of time.
Therefore, all the changes which are occurred in a human body such as the size of the head, fingers, and body Limbs are considered to be the growth of a child. These kinds of physical changes take place from birth till the end of adolescence. Hence, growth can be considered as the quantitative change that happened in a human body. It is perceivable and it can be measured as the growth can be perceived through senses.
However, these physical changes take place for a limited period of time and the pace of physical growth stops after maturation. Ergo, it is evident that the physical changes that take place in a human body are called growth.
The Meaning of Development
Development is a term that is used to denote the physical as well as mental growth of a child. it is a much wider term than growth because it does not only contains the physical structural changes but it is also referred to the physical, mental, social, intellectual, moral, lingual, psychological, sexual, and emotional changes in a child.
Apparently, development does not only refer to the changes in the size of the hands of a child but also focuses on the functioning and the workability of the hands. With the passage of time, development takes place. Therefore, it is the name of continuous progress as it does not stop after a certain age. It continuously takes place even after maturation. Hence, development is a much more advanced term than growth.
Development is qualitative and cannot be perceived through senses which makes it unlikely to be measured. Not only that, growth itself can be regarded as a part of the development which makes development a more comprehensive term than growth.