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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 1, Lesson 3


In previous lessons, we have identified typical child development and theories that describe child development. This lesson will focus on the many factors that can affect a child's development. Some factors can affect a child's development prior to birth, during birth, and/or after birth and can consist of biological, environmental, and/or cultural influences. This lesson will provide an overview of the various factors that can affect child development.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Explain the concept "nature vs nurture"
  • Identify and explain three factors that may lead to atypical development
  • Identify factors that affect attachment/emotional security of a child
  • Describe various prenatal environmental influences that affect child development (teratogens, maternal factors, prenatal health care)
  • Describe how environment and culture can influence child development
  • Discuss the effect of child abuse/neglect on child development
  • Explain how heredity affects early physical growth (genetic disorders, etc.)
  • Identify biological factors that affect the overall developing child
  • Discuss the importance of good nutrition and its effect on child development
  • Identify birth complications/trauma that effect child development (e.g., oxygen deprivation, preterm/low-birth weight, post term infants)
  • Discuss how parental and caregiver influence/interaction can affect the developmental outcome of a child.


The following resources are necessary for the completion of this lesson. Learners may wish to access and print a hard copy of the resources prior to beginning the lesson and for future reference. Some resource documents can be found in the Resource Bank. Others are available online.

Census Data:

Health Care Disparities

Key Words

Definitions of key words are found in the glossary.

  • Amniocentesis
  • Teratogen


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