Navigating Genetic Factors and Cognitive Development Through the Lens of Piaget's Theory - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-12-27
Navigating Genetic Factors and Cognitive Development Through the Lens of Piaget's Theory - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Genetics Science Healthcare
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1085 words
10 min read

For this essay, I selected obstetrician as my career, the prenatal period as the development period, prenatal care is my chosen topic, and Piaget's Cognitive Developmental theory as the preferable theory to guide me throughout this career. An obstetrician is essentially a specialist medical doctor who provides care to pregnant women during their pregnancy until birth. As an obstetrician, I will be providing health care to pregnant women and their unborn babies.

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In many cases, prenatal development normally occurs and follows the expected developmental patterns with little to no variations. Nevertheless, as an obstetrician, I am aware that several things are, in most cases, caused by environmental or genetic problems that can be wrong during this period, and I will have to counter them appropriately. First of all, it is worth noting that genetics plays a significant role during prenatal development. In some scenarios, there can emerge some genetic problems and may affect the current growth of the unborn child and its future development while still in the womb (Mazzoni, & Carter, 2017). Some of the most common genetic anomalies that I will have to grapple with are the Down syndrome and inherited diseases. Down syndrome is sometimes referred to as trisomy 21. Essentially, this anomaly comes due to extra chromosomes, which may affect about 1 of every 1000 infants (Park et al., 2020). As an obstetrician, I am well conversant that the increase in maternal age increases the chances of Down syndrome. Therefore I will be advising mothers not to conceive at an advanced maternal age.

On the other hand, several inherited diseases can be inherited during the prenatal development period. For example, without proper prenatal care, a baby can easily inherit HIV/AIDS at birth or during breastfeeding since the mother's blood carries the disease. Other examples of diseases that can be inherited are cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anemia, and Tay-Sachs disease (Wang et al., 2017). Being an obstetrician, I will be taking tests to both parents to determine whether one of them or both are carriers of some genes associated with specific diseases to know what prenatal care procedures to include during the entire period.

As I pointed out earlier in this paper, I will be using Piaget's Cognitive Developmental theory to guide me in this work. In this theory, Piaget posits that children exhibit different thinking than adults (Wang et al., 2017). Even though this may appear an obvious thing to some people, it is worth pointing out that Piaget's Cognitive Developmental theory was revolutionary. It has provided the basic foundations for other existing theories. It will continue to do so on many theories to come. Piaget's theory divides a child's lifecycle into four fundamental stages or categories, and in each stage, there are significant vulnerabilities and qualities (Mazzoni & Carter, 2017). Therefore, I chose this theory because it is age-specific, and it is normally marked by some significant characteristics of thought throughout the child’s developmental processes (Carter et al., 2016). I prefer this theory because it also specifies goals that children ought to achieve at every given stage in their developmental life cycle.

According to Piaget's Cognitive Developmental theory, babies are physically right from the womb and grow cognitively (McLeod, 2018). Even though this theory was only focused on a child's life from birth, I think it also applies to unborn babies. Essentially, babies interact with their mothers while still in the womb through "kicks" and some movements. These "kicks" and movements communicated to the mother and a prenatal caregiver that the baby is alive and well. With these movements, the babies are fundamentally establishing new pathways and connections between their nerve cells within their brains and between their bodies and brains (McLeod, 2018).

Whereas physical change and growth of the baby are easy to observe because you can simply weigh the mother and calculate the difference or can as well be determined by simply looking at the size of a pregnant woman’s stomach, cognitive change and development of the baby particularly that of the unborn baby is a bit difficult to determine. For this reason, more concerning what an obstetrician know about the cognitive and mental developments of a baby are fundamentally based on the careful reflection of the developmental theories such as Piaget's Cognitive Developmental theory (Hanfstingl, Benke, & Zhang, 2019). I believe that studying a baby's development bears abundant importance in my chosen work of prenatal care. Like other careers that require deep scientific knowhow, theories play a great role in understanding the task. To that effect, Piaget's Cognitive theory will be a great pillar in my chosen career as an obstetrician.

In conclusion, I would have to admit that regardless of the relevance of Piaget's Cognitive theory to my career and my chosen topic, I would have to point out that the theory is subject to limitations. As I mentioned earlier in this paper, the theory only dwells in a child's life from birth and mentions nothing about the unborn. As a result, it may be difficult for me to apply it fully since I just have to relate it to the unborn child because prenatal care starts from day one of the pregnancy until the baby is born. Secondly, researchers, particularly those of the 1960s and 1970s, claim that the theory underestimates a baby's ability by apparently using complicated and confusing terms in his explanations, and this makes it a hard-to-understand theory (Hanfstingl, Benke, & Zhang, 2019). Be it as it may, the theory bears much relevance to my career, hence my decision to apply its guiding principles in prenatal care.


Carter, E. B., Temming, L. A., Akin, J., Fowler, S., Macones, G. A., Colditz, G. A., & Tuuli, M. G. (2016). Group prenatal care compared with traditional prenatal care: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obstetrics and gynecology, 128(3), 551.

Hanfstingl, B., Benke, G., & Zhang, Y. (2019). Comparing variation theory with Piaget’s theory of cognitive development: more similarities than differences?. Educational Action Research, 27(4), 511-526.

Mazzoni, S. E., & Carter, E. B. (2017). Group prenatal care. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 216(6), 552-556.

McLeod, S. (2018). Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. Simply Psychology, 1-9. Retrieved from:

Park, J. E., Jardine, L., Gottgens, B., Teichmann, S. A., & Haniffa, M. (2020). Prenatal development of human immunity. Science, 368(6491), 600-603.

Wang, Z., Zhu, T., Xue, H., Fang, N., Zhang, J., Zhang, L., & Zhang, S. (2017). Prenatal development supports a single origin of laryngeal echolocation in bats. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1(2), 1-5.

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