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In the context of social development which of the following stages is characterized by ‘Intense self Awareness’ ?
1. Infancy
2. Childhood
3. Adolescence
4. Adulthood

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Correct Answer - Option 3 : Adolescence

Stages of life in context to social development

Infancy:

  • Infancy is the period from birth through the completion of the 12th month of life. Infancy is defined as the first year of life and is the period of most rapid growth after birth. At birth, infants display a set of inherited reflexes involving such acts as sucking, blinking, grasping, and limb withdrawal.
  • By two months of age, all normal infants show a social smile that invites adults to interact with them, and at about six months of age, infants begin to respond socially to particular people to whom they have become emotionally attached.
  • They begin to develop trust as their parents fulfill their need for hunger and comfort.
  • Virtually all infants begin to comprehend some words several months before they themselves speak their first meaningful words. By 11 to 12 months of age, they are producing clear consonant-vowel utterances.
  • According to Piaget, During the sensorimotor stage (birth to age 2) infants develop their ability to coordinate motor actions with sensory activity. At the start of this stage, children's behavior is dominated by reflexes, but by the end of it, they can use mental images.

Childhood stage

  • In developmental psychology, childhood is divided up into the developmental stages of early childhood (preschool age), middle childhood (school age), and adolescence (puberty to legal adulthood).
  • Early childhood (usually defined as birth to year 8) is a time of tremendous physical, cognitive, socio-emotional, and language development.
  • Middle childhood (usually defined as ages 6 to 12) is a time when children develop foundational skills for building healthy social relationships and learn roles that will prepare them for adolescence and adulthood
  • Between the age of four and five, children start to gain a greater awareness of their own individuality. They are self-centered. In the late childhood stage, they think about friends, team, etc.
  • A child's sense of self in these early stages can set a pattern for the rest of his or her life. At this stage, most children typically begin to develop friendships with other kids.

Adolescence:

  • Adolescence is the transitional stage from childhood to adulthood that occurs between ages 13 and 19.
  • The physical and psychological changes that take place in adolescence often start earlier, during the preteen or "tween" years: between ages 9 and 12.
  • Display a more developed social conscience.
  • Social changes are particularly notable as adolescents become more autonomous from their parents, spend more time with peers, and begin exploring romantic relationships and sexuality.
  • Self-awareness especially during the teenage phase has the power to help prepare young minds to face life ahead.
  • Friendships, cliques, and crowds become increasingly central contexts for adolescent socialization.
  • As adolescents work to form their identities, they pull away from their parents, and the peer group becomes very important. Despite spending less time with their parents, most teens report positive feelings toward them.

Adulthood:

  • Derived from Latin word Adutus meaning grown to full size and length or matured.
  • Adulthood, the period in the human lifespan in which full physical and intellectual maturity has been attained.
  • Adulthood is commonly thought of as beginning at age 20 or 21 years. Middle age, commencing at about 40 years, is followed by old age at about 60 years.
  • At this stage they have to play a large number of roles, hence their attitude, interest, and values of life change.
  • It is considered a period of commitment, social isolation, emotional tension, dependency, etc.
  • Middle adulthood is considered a time of transition, boredom, awkward stage, time of evaluation, and achievement.

Conclusion:

From the above discussion we come to the conclusion that during the infancy stage, a child’s social world is his parents. During early childhood, the child is egocentric means self-centered. In later childhood, he starts making friends, in adolescence the attention of the child shifts from parents to peer group and more towards the opposite sex but at the same time the adolescent is very much concerned about his career, relationship, sexuality, etc. In adulthood, the person is overburdened by work and personal relationships. Hence option (3) is correct.

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