The development of a person in the early stages of life is essential. A person’s development is influenced by family relations, peer relations and also culture. Research has shown that a person’s growth in behavior is majorly affected by the way his/ her family operates. In the early developmental stages, children are very dependent on adults to assist them in fulfilling and satisfying their needs.
Similarly, the development of an individual is also strongly influenced by their peers. The kind of relationship a person exhibits in his/her early developmental stages with his/her peers either affects their development positively or negatively. The promotion of social as well as social competencies in difficult cases at early life stages is beneficial in adopting positive relationships among growing children. Culture being another aspect also plays a vital role in the development of a person. As an individual grows up, s/he can acquire various cultural inputs that the environment will have to offer. This, therefore, generates diversity in culture among individuals’ behavior and beliefs. The study will show how family, culture and peer influence affect the development of a person in early stages either positively, negatively or both.
Keywords: Development, Self-esteem, Influence
Family influences play a vital role in ensuring that a child or an individual develops positively are negative. In my case having a supportive family as a factor, has enabled me to develop positively. Since the people in my family are the ones I interact with the most, the kind of feeds and views I always received from them have built me up. Family relations influenced my development positively in the sense that, the positive attitudes of my parents towards me were passed to me. These positive attitudes played a role in my concept enhancement, and I was able to gain skills that were the critical foundation in my development. Having supportive older siblings also enabled me to develop well, knowing that I have people to look up to as role models. It is for these reasons that I feel my family has played a vital role in helping me develop positively.
On the other hand, a family can interfere with the development process of an individual. For instance, if a child comes from a family where the parents are abusive and vulgar, the child is more likely to emulate that character and will develop as a rude person (Sampson, 2017). Negative comments from the parents and siblings to a child are also likely to lower the child’s self-esteem and may even affect the overall performance in academic levels and professional competence levels.
Peer influence is another aspect that strongly affects the way a person develops. In most cases, peer influence affects the development of a person in both, i.e. on the negative and the positive. In my case, peer influence has enabled me to develop positively as well. The reason is that I was able to surround myself with people who improved my development right from the early stages of life. As people develop, they are more likely to emulate some traits from their peers. Having a supportive and competitive peer group, upright in character and morals influenced my development. They always propelled me to work harder and be competent just like they were. They also changed my overall academic performance for the better through consistent group discussions. However, the kind of group a person associates with is likely to realize negative attributes in his/her emotional and social development. Peer pressure in adolescents may subject an individual to unethical vices such as drug and substance abuse and violence. They may also play a role in the facilitation of an individual’s antisocial behavior (Cutrín, Gómez-Fraguela, and Luengo, 2015). Just like in the case of family, associating with a peer group that views an individual as inferior and incompetent may also affect their self-image and overall performance. An aggressive person is more likely to undergo rejection from his/her peers.
Finally, culture is also another aspect that has broadly influenced the development of individuals in the early stages. Culture has influenced my progress on the negative more than on the positive. Nowadays, there is a diversity in a culture where people adopt various practices in the society such as religious beliefs, fashion and dressing music among others. All these are cultural elements that play a role in a person’s development. The use of language is one of how culture has influenced my development especially in the early stages of life. The language that is used in society and even in the media content has affected the kind of language I use in expressing myself. The use of slang language has changed my verbal expressions. Dressing codes among adolescents and even grownups have been affected in my community by embracing new cultures. The process of embracing more modern cultures has resulted in the erosion of our original cultural practices. At early stages of development, when a child is brought up in an environment with weird cultural traditions, the child is more likely to develop as a weird person (Cronbach, and Drenth, 2018). The kind of culture a particular society embraces primarily defines the way a child will grow.
The development of a person entirely depends on family relations, cultural practices, and peer relations. It is therefore essential to be mindful of the various attributes that are likely to enhance the development positively other than negatively.
Cutrín, O., Gómez-Fraguela, J. A., & Luengo, M. Á. (2015). Peer-group mediation in the relationship between family and juvenile antisocial behavior. The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context, 7(2), 59-65.
Sampson, R. J. (2017). Family management and child development: Insights from social disorganization theory. In Facts, frameworks, and forecasts (pp. 63-94). Routledge.
Cronbach, L. J., & Drenth, P. J. D. (Eds.). (2018). Mental tests and cultural adaptation (Vol. 7). Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG.