The environmental elements that influence our personality traits and childhood experiences are referred to as nurture. This includes how and where a child is raised. Social relationships and their culture. One of the most significant issues in the development of psychology is the relationship between the innateness of an attribute in one’s body and the environmental effects that could impact this attribute. Despite the fact that genetics determines particular human features such as the appearance of one eye and hair color, it also determines the occurrence of hereditary disorders. Most human features, including life expectancy, are influenced by both environmental and genetic factors. It is important to note that the parenting styles and the children learning experiences will determine how they behave and react to particular circumstances.
The environment can significantly influence individuals’ biological and psychosocial development in society. Our environment comprises the social determinant of health and the environment determinant that impacts our entire well-being (Ted Talks, 2017). For example, a child’s psychosocial environment includes their response to stressors in their lives, including experiences such as homelessness or significant diseases. As such, a child’s relationship with family members, friends, colleagues, and others impacts people in their lives determines how they respond to stressors they encounter. Even before birth, our stress system in the body responds to external factors, and it is more vulnerable in the early stages of development. As a result, our stress response is shaped by our early life experiences, which influence stress has on our health and lifespan. Supportive environments have been linked to better health and well-being outcomes in the child with improved decision making, social learning, and increased memory. Hostile environments lead to poor response to stress, linked to decreased life spans in the children at maturity.
In many ways, the DNA is limited to the environment, which determines the extent of its expression in the body. This is especially seen in gene mutations which refer to the changes in the protein sequence of our genetic makeup. Mutations contribute to the genetic variation that individuals encounter over time as they disrupt the gene activity in the body and can easily result in things such as Down syndrome and others. Among the common causes of these mutations is exposure to ionizing radiation, resulting in mistakes in the DNA sequence; these could consist of aspects such as sun rays, UV radiations, and X-rays. Also, exposure to chemicals which are known as mutagens. For example, one of the significant factors in the environment that can influence one’s development is the presence of drugs. Pregnant women who are drug abusers or smokers would greatly influence the outcome of their children. Most of these children will often be born preterm and at a lower birth weight, which influences their growth and overall development. In other cases, infection by viruses and other factors in the environment could also affect how genes are expressed in the body (Ridley, 2003). Certain diseases affect how the body reacts and responds to unavoidable circumstances, affecting how the genes are expressed. It is essential to monitor the environment to ensure that one doesn’t get exposed to mutant or other harmful radiation. These factors affect how genes are expressed in the body, which could also lead to adverse outcomes.
Ridley, M. (2003). Genes are so liberating. New Scientist, 178(2395), 38-38.
Ted Talks. (2017). The battle between nature and nurture | Irene Gallego Romero | TEDxNTU [Video]. Retrieved 5 February 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXIW_m0lo0U.