Nature and Nurture

Explore and define the terms nature and nurture, and list ways in which nature and nurture may be intertwined in a child’s development

Nature is the specific combination of qualities that defines a person. It comprises of someone’s origin, class, and character, intellectual and emotional attributes. Nurture, on the other hand, is the upbringing of a person in the process of his development. The nature theory as per scientists has expressed one’s behaviors as having originated from heredity, while the nurture theory explains that behavioral change as a result of environmental factors (Leigh, 1999).

List Ways in Which Nature and Nurture be Intertwined in a Child’s Development Including Examples From General Observations of Birth to Grade 3 Children

The way, in which nature and nurture may be intertwined in a child’s development, particularly in a child’s aggressive and sexual urges (Akram, 2010). For children having homosexuality genes, this nature may be greatly influenced by the environment they live in. If, for example, the child is a boy and has a sister, the boy may be caught a lot of times wearing the sister’s clothes or mother’s earrings, changing the way he talks to how a girl talks and such interactions of being with girls even if they are classmates may make him develop his sexuality based on nature and the environment.

Many characteristics develop from a result of mix of genes and the environment interacting, for example, IQ levels. IQ genes are enhanced by education, for instance, when two children measured to be born with the same IQ, if one goes to school and the other one does not, the one who goes to school develops a higher IQ level. Personality, height, weight, motivation to intellect among others are based on the nature and nurture intertwining based on the available resources and diet of a child from birth (Leigh, 1999). The best explanation to explain this is a child born of the same weight with another and fed on junk from birth. At Grade 3 the child is likely to be of a larger weight than the one who is fed otherwise.

Nature defines our physical size and appearance, but nurture can shape this on adverse environmental effects like pollution, which has made children who were born physically impaired. Nature moulds the movement skills of a child from birth, but after gaining the basic skills, nurture plays an important role as the child develops to Grade 3. For instance, children who are driven to school have low motor skills than those who walk to school. The influences that nature and nurture has on children’s characteristics as they develop are always extremely intertwined.

We cannot determine which of the two aspects is more important, as personal interactions and experiences teach a lot in the biological development of a species. Nature is nourished by nurture. One cannot change the genes of a child neither can the child be kept away from the environment. The developments of the personality of children are a conjunction of heredity and environment (Akram, 2010).

Children who were born of the same genes, the best example being identical twins are mostly subjected to the same environment causing nature and nurture to intertwine. The environment, therefore, reacts similarly to those who are genetically similar as they have the same resources and even teachers are likely to treat them similarly (Net Industries and its Licensors, 2012). Maternal effects such as alcohol or cigarette smoking may contribute negatively leading to unhealthy development of children from birth.

Theorists Who Believe In Dominance of Nurture, Nature and Influence of Era They Lived


Influence of Era They Lived

Henry Murray

1893-1988,this was a personality theory that discussed needs, presses and motives

Alfie Kohn

1979, this was an educational theory which discussed value, knowledge, human nature, transmission among others


1969,this was an attachment theory discussing how a person connects with people

Charles Darwin

1809, this was an evolution theory based on natural selection


1920, this was a cognitive theory that describes the behavior of children in different ages

Wolfgang Kohler

1887-1967, this was a developed theory of associations and nature. He made tests with chimpanzees explaining that they solve problems by understanding