Personal factors are about inherited traits and also what may have occurred during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Some physical traits are linked to genetic inheritance such as height, strength, face shape and eye colour. Children may be unhappy with their appearance causing them to lack in confidence but children who are taller for example, may be perceived as being older than they actually are and are given more responsibility leading to more opportunities (Tassoni, Burnham, 2017). Physical traits will also affect other aspects of development as children who lack in physical strength may not be as good as their peers at sports activities which affects physical development and also social and emotional development as they will be less inclined to join in with these activities and socialising.
Motivation can have a huge impact on how well a child develops at school. Children are naturally motivated to learn until the age of about seven, after this they will need to be able to motivate themselves, which is vital for them to succeed. This self- motivation can be supported with encouragement from parents and teachers. Rewarding them for their efforts, encouraging interests, optimism and also teaching them how to deal with failure (Enright, 2015).
Personality and temperament will also influence a child’s development. Children who are more outgoing may be more interested in making friends which improves social development. Curious children will be more likely to try new things and explore more, supporting intellectual development. This will be the opposite for shy, timid children who lack the confidence to meet new people and attempt new tasks (Tassoni, Burnham, 2017).
Medical conditions such as diabetes or asthma have an impact on all aspects of child development. A child with poor health may not be able to join in outdoor activities, running around or any other active play, affecting their physical development and also social development as children tend to make friends through active play in the playground or after school activities (Debbie65, 2012). They may feel different from other children causing them to segregate themselves from children of similar age. It will also affect their intellectual development as having a lot of time off school due to illness, they will fall behind with their schoolwork (Tassoni, Burnham, 2017).
Learning difficulties are more likely to be genetically inherited, such as autism or dyslexia and will affect all areas of development as they will be many developmental years behind other children their age (Debbie65, 2012). They will find it hard to interact and communicate with other children and need one-to-one lessons to master certain skills as their education may not be at the same cognitive stage as others in their year group causing them to feel left out and harder to make friends (Tassoni, Burnham, 2017).
Some disabilities are linked to genetic inheritance and some occur during pregnancy. Different disabilities may include, deafness, visual impairment, cerebral palsy, spinal bifida and Down’s syndrome. They will need additional support or equipment such as a wheelchair (Tassoni, Burnham, 2017). If a child is in a wheelchair for example, physical activity will be quite difficult to participate in which means the gross motor skills will be much less developed and their fine motor skills affected if they have little or no use or control over their limbs (Debbie65, 2012).
How healthy the mother is during pregnancy can also affect a child’s later development. Problems during pregnancy and birth can cause medical conditions and disabilities affecting how easily children learn and grow (Tassoni, Burnham, 2017). For example if a mother is an alcoholic and continues to drink during her pregnancy, a child may develop fetal alcohol syndrome which will cause a wide range of physical, behavioural and learning problems. They will develop poor growth, possible birth defects, neurological and behavioural problems. These are then linked to poor social skills, lack of coordination and poor fine motor skills, poor memory, difficulty in school and poor problem-solving skills (Kids Health, 2016).