HP4 Lecture 9


Which ONE of the following statements about the relationships between maternal characteristics and in-utero development is INCORRECT?

  It may affect the exchange of oxygen and nutrients to the foetus

  Malnutrition of the mother plays a significant role in birth weight, especially in the first trimester

  Counselling is an effective way of countering the negative effects of maternal stress

  Maternal stress may result in physical problems with the child, including premature delivery and restricted growth

  Chronological age of the mother is factor, being ideally between 16 and 35 years

B is incorrect: Malnutrition is significant, but its effects are most evident during the third trimester


A young mother presents to her GP and is judged to be about 8 weeks pregnant. Which of the following statements about the state of the developing child is CORRECT?

  It is currently in the germinal stage of development

  The amnion is yet to develop

  It will have started to produce its own blood

  The embryonic disk will have differentiated into the ectoderm, mesoderm and ergoderm

  Its sensory systems will have already started to function

A is incorrect: The germinal stage refers to the period of the first two weeks of pregnancy (i.e. the zygote). B is incorrect: The amnion, chorion, yolk sac and umbilical cord all develop during the germinal stage. C is correct. D is incorrect: Should be ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm (notably, the ectoderm gives rise to the skin and nervous system). E is incorrect: Sensory systems are considered functional at around the 22nd week of development.


Which ONE of the following statements regarding teratogens is CORRECT?

  Teratogens may be easily identified by the specific defect they cause

  The postnatal environment is an important determinant of outcome

  Syphilis is considered a potent teratogen because it significantly compromises the maternal immune system

  Teratogens are defined as environmental hazards that can harm the developing embryo or fetus

  They have their greatest effect when the organ system or body part is already developed

A is incorrect: The relationship between teratogens and their effects is rarely 1:1. B is correct. C is incorrect: The danger of syphilis is primarily due to its ability to cross the placental barrier. D is incorrect: Teratogens are environmental hazards OR drugs OR diseases. E is incorrect: Greatest effect is when the organ or body part is developing most rapidly.


Which ONE of the following statements about development periods is INCORRECT?

  Between individuals, there is great variation in the progression of development

  The concept of developmental pathways is one reason a "good/bad start" is not the sole determinant of a person's development

  Some developmental periods are being 'pushed out' in modern society by expanding lifespans

  Infancy is the period of most rapid development

  Development is closely associated with the concepts of 'vulnerability' and 'resilience'

D is incorrect: The prenatal period is the most rapid stage of development.


Which of the following is NOT a benefit of the concept of developmental periods?

  It is useful for determining whether there is lag or delay in development

  It consistently provides a good 'fit' for individuals when comparing against normative expectations

  It can provide context for a observed changes functional domains

  It provides a model for understanding what a person's focus is at a particular time of life

  It provides a firm basis for communicating developmental expectations to patients and their families

Variations of 'normal' are often large (e.g. walking age), so normative developmental expectations may not always 'fit' an individual well; the concept should be applied with care and attention to context. This is a limitation rather than an advantage.