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Factors Affecting Mental Development of a Child | Mental Development of Child

Childhood and Growing Up b.ed notes 

Mental Development of Child 


At the time of birth, the child is in a helpless state and it is also completely underdeveloped in mental capacity. 

Along with the growth and development of age, the mental ability of children also increases. It is strongly influenced by both heredity and environment.

According to J.S Ross- "The development of our brain is organized as a whole as a result of a mixture of transfer of hereditary influence and acquired influence."


"Our mind grow as a result of innate dispositions, acquired dispositions, are formed and these in turn and welded into an organized whole."

Mental Development in Infancy


Changes in children during infancy have to depend on growth and development. Changes are very rapid and sudden, due to which there is a feeling of individual difference in children.

According to Sorens- "As the child grows day by day, month by month, year by year, so does the change in his mental powers."

With birth, the infant automatically exhibits certain actions such as sneezing, hiccups, thumb sucking, hand movements, crying, startling etc. 

With this his mental development depends on the sense organs. The child develops his mental development considering the object as the basis, so different types of models are given to the children.


Seeing these, they make an image in the mind according to the object. It is only through mental development that they start using the body parts properly. 

According to psychologists, in the first year, the infant concentrates, expresses emotions, changes in body parts, produces different types of sounds, holds objects, expresses its likes and dislikes, Starts using verbs etc. 

At the end of the first year and at the beginning of the second year, babies start speaking two or four words. By the end of the second year, he starts speaking 100 to 200 words.

In the third and fourth years, the child learns to speak and write. At this point begins to control his hands.

In the last days of infancy, the development of naming, writing, using numbers, and repeating complex sentences etc. takes place.


So we can say that in this stage the child moves from the gross to the subtle, from obscurity to clarity, and from uncertainty to certainty.

According to Crow and Crow- "At this stage, time in itself is of no importance to children. The child does not clearly see any difference between today, yesterday and the week. All words indicating the duration of time seem to him to be mere words.

Mental Development in Childhood


The pace of mental development is very rapid in childhood. At this time, the child's instincts and basic instincts help in his learning, which calms his curiosity. 

In him the qualities like interest, thinking, memory, decision making and problem solving develop automatically.

According to Crow and Crow- "When the child is about 6 years old, his mental powers and abilities are almost fully developed."


In the early years of childhood, the child learns the vowels and consonants of the mother tongue and counting. 

In this stage, he starts telling the parts of the body and establishing difference between objects. 

In the middle years of childhood, the power of cramming and reception in children increases rapidly. 

He learns to repeat short lines, tell stories etc. 

He learns to behave daily and starts getting complete knowledge of day, date, year and coins. 

He begins to describe clearly what he saw.


In the last years of childhood, the child can tell short stories. His speaking speed is up to 60-70 words in 3 minutes. 

He starts becoming aware of socializing. 

At this time the child believes in introspection and testing. 

He reveals the mental consciousness by using the powers of curiosity, observation, logic etc. 

In this stage, children also start having worldly knowledge. 

He succeeds in narrating the story of the film he has seen till 3/4th part.

Mental Development in Adolescence


The state of mental development in adolescence develops in the following ways:

  • Stability in intelligence
  • Mental powers
  • Reality in thinking
  • Sharpness in imagination power
  • Differences in interest 

1. Stability in intelligence


In adolescence, the full development of intelligence takes place. That's why this state is also called the state which brings stability in the intellect.

According to Terman Jones, Konai and Spearsman- "The full development of intelligence is believed to be between 14 and 16 years. According to psychologists, development of sharpness in intelligence is possible only because intelligence is innate.

2. Mental powers


In this stage, there is complete development of mental powers like sensation, perception, attention, memory, forgetfulness, imagination, thinking, reasoning and problem solving etc. of boys and girls. He can use them easily in different situations.

3. Reality in thinking 


In this age, newness and naturalness starts coming in thinking. Adolescent opposes social conventions, traditions and customs and superstitions etc.

and uses new parameters. Hence his thinking gets a new direction.

4. Sharpness in imagination power


There is abundance of imagination in adolescence. Teenagers daydream to fulfill their desires. Originality can be demonstrated in art, music, sports, literature and other creative works by giving proper guidance to their imagination. It is clear from the studies that girls have more imagination than boys.

5. Differences in interest


Interests develop rapidly during adolescence. Adolescents and teenagers choose their interests in different ways. Female interests develop in adolescent girls while male interests develop in boys. So it is natural to have diversity in interests.

Factors Affecting Mental Development of a Child 


Following are the major factors affecting mental development:

  • Heredity
  • Physical health
  • Family
  • Social status of parents
  • Economic status of parents
  • Environment of school
  • Interesting teaching methods
  • Mental health of teacher
  • Society 

1. Heredity


Psychologists have proved that some mental qualities and abilities of the child are derived from heredity only.

Environment does not affect it. In the process of development of the child, some of his mental qualities come hereditary.

2. Physical health


The physical health of the child affects his mental development. The mental development of a healthy child is faster than that of an unhealthy child.

3. Family

The loving and cordial behavior of the family helps in the mental development of the child. If the relationship between husband and wife is good in the family, then they can pay more attention to their children, as a result of which the mental health of children develops properly.

4. Social status of parents


The social status of parents also affects the mental development of children.

Children whose parents have high and good social status, their mental development is more rapid. 

Many resources are easily available to such children for good mental development.

5. Economic status of parents


The economic condition of the parents also matters in the mental development of the children. 

The mental development of the children of poor families is not done properly while the children of rich families fulfill all their needs. 

Children of poor families lack food, clothes and books, due to which their mental development slows down.

6. Environment of school


The school environment also affects the mental development of children.

If the school environment is disciplined then the mental development of the children is done well. 

A good school caters to the educational needs of its students and thus helps in their mental development.

7. Interesting teaching methods


Famous philosopher Aristotle had said that- "Education develops man's power especially his mental power."

Therefore, interesting teaching methods have special importance in the mental development of the child.

8. Mental health of teacher


If the mental health of the teacher is good, then he can make a special contribution to the mental development of his students. 

Teacher has an important place in the mental development of the child.

If children get enough inspiration and sympathy from their teachers, then the child's mental development takes place at a rapid pace.

9. Society


The facilities that the society of a country provides to the children, their mental development takes place in the same way. 

It is society that determines the pace and extent of mental development. 

Apart from the above mentioned factors, some other factors like library, reading room, means of entertainment, online means of education etc. also affect the mental development of the child.

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