Concept of Growth and Development

 Concept of Growth 

Let's understand the concept of Growth and Development. Growth refers to a physical increase in some quantity over time. It includes changes in terms of height, weight, body proportions, and general physical appearance. In Encyclopedia Britannica, growth is defined as “an increase in size or the amount of an entity”. It means growth involves all those structural and physiological changes that take place within an individual during the process of maturation. For example, growth of a child means the increase in weight, height and different organs of the child‟s body. Hurlock has defined Growth as “change in size, in proportion, disappearance of old features and acquisition of new ones”. Growth refers to structural and physiological changes (Crow and Crow, 1962). Thus, growth refers to an increase in physical size of whole or any of its part and can be measured.

Concept of Development 

Development refers to the qualitative changes in the organism as a whole. Development is a continuous process through which physical, emotional, and intellectual changes occur. It is a more wider and comprehensive term than growth.

 It is also possible without growth. In Webster‟s dictionary development is defined as “the series of changes which an organism undergoes in passing from an embryonic stage to maturity.” In Encyclopedia Britannica is the term development defined as “the progressive change in size, shape, and function during the life of an organism by which its genetic potential are translated into functioning adult system.” So, development includes all those psychological changes that take in the functions and activities of different organs of an organism. Development is a continuous and gradual process (Skinner).

 According to Crow and Crow (1965) development is concerned with growth as well as those changes in behavior which results from environmental situation.” Thus, development is a process of change in growth and capability over time due to the function of both maturation and interaction with the environment.


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