The 3 Biological Factors Affecting Growth and Development in a Child

A child’s growth and development may be one of the most crucial moments in your life as a parent, and it starts as early as conception. Any parent would want to ensure that it will be as smooth-sailing as it can be, and try to be there every step of the way and take any necessary measures. After all, it is natural for parents to have their child’s best interests at heart. While some of these factors are within the parents’ control, biological factors are less controllable.

The 3 biological factors affecting growth and development are:

  1. Genetic Inheritance
  2. Gender
  3. Hormones

As the rest of the article unfolds, I shall further discuss in detail how these factors predetermined prior to birth play a vital role in your child’s growth and development. Furthermore, I will also tackle the necessary steps which may be taken should certain unfavorable circumstances arise. Hopefully, you may take these things into consideration as you observe your child’s progress during these momentous stages.

1. Genetic Inheritance

From the time of conception, a child has already acquired genes coming from both the father and mother. These genes are where the traits for physical characteristics originate. Curly or straight hair, big or small eyes, tall or short physique, lightweight or heavyweight, and a petite or large body structure. These are evident characteristics which unfold over time as a person grows and develops.

In addition, even certain social characteristics may be passed onto the offspring such as temperament and intellectual abilities. However, depending on the environment and upbringing of your child, these characteristics may be altered and developed accordingly. If your child is constantly surrounded by an encouraging atmosphere, he or she will be geared to be more outgoing and carefree in the long run. You may read more about it in this article.

Certain diseases are hereditary and are passed on from parent to child. These may have a detrimental effect on one’s growth and development. Some examples include cancer, heart disease and diabetes. While this may understandably sound worrisome, preventative measures can help reduce the chances of your child from acquiring these issues.

One way is for the expecting mother to undergo regular prenatal check-ups. During the early stages of pregnancy, doctors may be able to detect potential threats or problems, and can provide help to improve the situation.

2. Hormones

The human body is responds to different kinds of hormones which enable timely physical growth and development of the body parts. One notable hormone which is very essential in the growth of a child is called the pituitary growth hormone. It is responsible for the development of one’s height. There are also the sex hormones, namely testosterone and estrogen which are vital for the development of the male and female reproductive systems respectively. Meanwhile, the thyroid gland produces a hormone necessary for maintaining a normal rate of growth.

Hormonal imbalance may have a delaying effect on your child’s development. Worry not, however as this is actually treatable. Should your child suffer from a hormone imbalance, It is important and highly advisable to attend regular medical checkups. Treatments may come in the form of oral medicines and injectables. Diet also plays a crucial role in regulating one’s hormonal level. Being underweight or overweight may contribute to hormonal imbalance. As such, you may also consider consulting a nutritionist assist your child in maintaining a healthy diet.

3. Gender

Gender actually plays a big role in growth and development. Males and females manifest certain differences, especially when they are nearing puberty. In terms of body structure, there are a number of striking features in which they differ. Case in point, the reproductive system. Furthermore, females develop a more prominent and bustier chest than males who remain flat-chested. As for males, the formation of the Adam’s apple is one significant indicator of growth and maturity for them.

Not only is your child undergoing physical changes, they are also experiencing behavioral changes. Females tend to show physical and emotional maturation earlier than males during this pivotal period. This is also usually the time where there is a tendency for some acts of rebellion, or even identity crises. As such, it is important for parents to be well-versed during this moment of transition. Being understanding of the things your child undergoes during puberty may help you as a parent on how to handle your son or daughter accordingly.

Likewise, regardless of what your child’s gender is, promoting physical activities and a healthy lifestyle may further enhance their growth and development.


While there are some things which may be out of your control, there are still ways to improve your child’s growth and development. Since this is a very important phase in the lives of both the parent and child, understanding the underlying biological factors which affect the way they are is very helpful information. Your awareness brings you the advantage of determining the best approach to take in improving your growth and development plan for your child.

Related Questions

Our family has a history of diabetes, will this affect my child’s growth and development permanently? If given the right nurturing and necessary medical attention, you can lessen the chances of the disease affecting your child. Some ways are by keeping an eye on your child’s sugar intake, and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

My 9 year old daughter just had her menarche, while other girls her age still have not had theirs. Is this normal? While there may be a standard timelines, it is important to note that development among children still varies. In fact, menarche starts in females between the ages of 9 to 16, with age 12 being the average. There may be underlying factors to consider such as genetics, her hormonal levels, and even stress levels which may have sparked an earlier onset for her.

Related Articles On Child Development

Understanding an aspect of child development alone will not be enough. To develop a healthy and happy child, you must equip yourself with deeper knowledge on child development.

With the huge body of information on child development, you might feel overwhelmed. Below, our team have collated the essential articles on child development, so you will have all the essential understandings and know-hows to raise your healthy and happy child.

Do you know what is the most powerful idea to nurture in your child? That is the idea of a Growth mindset! Read these articles to understand and learn how you can nurture a growth mindset in your child.

An important part of your child development will be his or her learning. This can be affected by your child’s motivation. Below is an article to help you motivate your child to study.

Engage Your Child’s Growth & Development (Getting Edugaged)

>>Click Here to START your edugaged journey<<


biological, Children, growth and development, Kids


Joe is a biologist and amateur writer.

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