Section 7. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics >
Part 1. General Concepts >
Chapter 80. Fundamental Concepts of Child Development
Topics Discussed: adaptation, psychological; biological adaptation; child development; Growth and Development; homeostasis; psychological stress; stress response.
Sections: Attachment and Individuation, Mastery and Achievement, Continuities and Discontinuities in Developmental Trajectories, Environmental Supports and Adversities, Constitution and Context, References.
Excerpt:"No single construct has been more central in the development
of the biologic sciences than homeostasis. Although the term homeostasis was coined
in the 20th century, its conceptual origin can be traced to the
notion of a stable, relatively unchanging internal environment,
which was first described by Claude Bernard in the 19th century.
Bernard recognized the fragility of life, surrounded as it is by
a constantly threatening, aversive, and often pathogenic environment,
and he argued that viability in the face of external challenge depends
on an organism's capacity for protecting its internal milieu.
In this context, homeostasis is a dynamic, self-regulating process
that ensures constancy and permanence in the internal physiologic
state through complex, multilevel feedback systems that respond
to a deviation in one direction with a countering adjustment in
the opposite direction. Thus, the fundamental goal of a homeostatic
system is to maintain an inerrant "set point" that
assures stable and continuous biologic functioning. The regulation
of body temperature, cortisol suppression of adrenocorticotropic
hormone (ACTH) secretion, and glycogenolysis during periods of hypoglycemia
are all examples of feedback loops that protect the continuity and
equilibrium of an organism's interior...."
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