For this assignment, I will prepare a PowerPoint on one of the Life factors to share with the class. We will be looking at five main factors that influence the individual development. From the note taken in class, I will then write a report by describing each of the four life factors.

As an individual, there are many life factors that influence our development. These life factors are:

* Genetic factors

* Environmental factors

* Socio-economic factors

* Life style

The general topic that is related to these life factors are nature and nurture. We can be genetically and environmentally influenced.

Genetic factors and biological influences before birth

Every individual has a gene, which is the basic unit of heredity. We all depend on genes. It holds the information to build and maintain an organism's cells and also passes genetic traits making a new person. Genetic is passed on to us from our parents. For example, nature could be eyes colour, hair, and IQ. Even though, half of our gene comes from our mother and half from our father, still our genetic patterns can be different from our parents. However, regardless of any serious genetic conditions being incurable can be maintained in order to live a healthy. For example, people who are born with PKU in the UK can go on to leave healthy lives.

Recently, babies are being tested for PKU due to the fact that there are alternatives which could be used in order to control the condition. This is done by giving them a control diet, which will maintain the condition for it not to result in danger. For example if two parents carry the gene of cystic fibroses, their child will inherit the gene, making the child prone to the illness. This shows how we are genetically influenced.

As an individual, we are influenced by the environment of our mother's womb during the stage of pregnancy. This has a great impact on a child's development. The lifestyle of a mother, who smokes or drinks during pregnancy have effect on foetus development. Children who are born by mother who smokes and drinks tend to weigh less at birth. They may have difficulties regarding attention and learning school. Drugs can also have the same effect on development.

Sometimes pregnant women who are immune to infections, such as rubella can attack the foetus if the mother becomes more infected. It can be a very dangerous illness during first month of pregnancy. When mother is highly infected, this is the period when the baby is the born with impairment. For example, hearing and eye sight damage.

Environmental influences

The environment affects as in so many ways. It can influence development and contributes towards ill health. Poor sanitation and air pollution in some areas results in life threatening diseases, such as cholera. Recent, outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwean has risen due to poor sanitation and inadequate access to safe drinking water. there was concerns that lead that pollution in the air might affect the brain development of a child. This shows how the environment can have a great impact on our development. In 8 November 2006, it was stated by America research that, many 202 chemicals used in household products may be leaking into the environment, which could be causing developmental disability in children.

Socio-economic influences

Media- The media have a great effect on the society and in our life development. We sometimes try to apply these concepts to our everyday life. As an individual; we are seriously influenced by information and opinions which are communicated by the media. For example, newspaper, radio, TV, adverts, internet, magazines and posters. Our life time choices such as choosing a healthy diet may be influenced by opinions and information in the media.

Culture and beliefs- our culture consist with collection of values, beliefs, customs and behaviours that might make one group of people different from others. As children we learn from the customs associated with our family's culture during childhood. During the late centuries, children tend to learn the culture, which is associated with their local community for example, every particular state, street or village might share similar beliefs and values about religion, work and social roles. However, due to the fact that nowadays we live in a multicultural society where, people who live in the same area may belong to various different cultures.


Our lifestyle choices can sometimes influence our development in positive or negative way. It can be limited by the money that we have and influenced by our culture and the people in our life. For example, people on low income have limited choice in life. This affects development as people with low income may have less healthy diet than people with high income. "Acheson report 1998 stated that people on low income eat less healthy food because of cost rather than lack of concern or information". They are more prone to obesity thus increase the risk of ill health.

Exercise -We need exercise in order to develop healthy but with less exercise we are unable to live a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise helps prevent heart disease, prolong life, helps prevent illness and depression. Nowadays, most people spend more time at work leaving them less time to exercise, however others may not exercise due to their culture beliefs. According to the NHS only 20% of people in the UK get enough time to exercise.

Stress- stress is another factor, which can influence an individual's development. As an individual sometimes in life we lose control of aspects of our life, which leads to has feeling under pressure. Most people on low income experience pressure, when budgeting for food and clothes because they are unable to afford them.

Some can also be stress because of the level of debt, whiles others become stress because of work or pressure of getting a good qualifications. Relationships also make people become stress due to the fact that they might not be able to control their relationship problem, which then circulates in to stress, as can poor health. The NHS direct stated that 12 million adults see their GP about mental problems each year. 'Most of these suffer from anxiety and depression, much of it is stress related.

Substances abuse:

* Alcohol

According to the Department of Health, men should not drink more than four units of alcohol and women should not drink more than three units. The National statistics in 2006 states that 39% of men and 225 of women go beyond this recommendation. It also shows that 22% of men and 9% of women have a lifestyle that involves heavy drinking.

* Drugs

A report shows that 14 per cent of men and 8 per cent of women said that they had taken illegal drugs in the past year (National Statistics 2006). One in three young men and one in five young women reported that they had used cannabis.

* Smoking

Smoking is one of the serious risk to health because is results with health conditions such as heart and lung diseases. Most people in manual occupations smoke than in high in the higher social class. The reasons for them smoking could be stress related problems at work. However, an individual in a higher social class might smoke more than an individual in a low social class due to the fact that they can afford to smoke more.

Reciprocal influence

In 1986 Leonie Sugarman argued about the theory of 'reciprocal influence'. Which mean it 'goes both ways'. Both biology and environment influence us, however we also influence our biology and the environment. As human beings we are created to respond to the environment that we find ourselves in. For example, an individual may respond to the stress of poverty and overcrowded housing by getting into the habit of smoking, drinking and taking drugs, which may affect damage their physical health. The outcome of being ill will then result problems of low income and negative life events. Therefore we need to understand how factors interact with each other and as an individual the choices that we make also interact with life factors. We can influence our own environment and even our own biology.