examine environmental and genetic influences on fetal development.

Both environmental and genetic influences impact fetal development. Some substances (e.g., folic acid, hormones, etc.) have the biggest influence at sensitive periods during gestation. Early in gestation, when neurological development is at its peak, folic acid is most important. Hormones, such as androgen and estrogen, are necessary for external genital differentiation between 9 and 12 weeks of gestation. Prenatal alcohol exposure, however, can impact fetal growth at any time during gestation. On the other hand, environmental influences such as maternal genetics, nutrition, health, and immunization can have a positive impact on fetal development, mitigating the impact of substances and other negative influences. In addition to environmental influences, you must also consider the impact of genetic influences. Genes determine not only an individual’s physical features at birth—they also contribute to hormonal processes throughout the lifespan. The interaction of environmental influences and genetic influences impacts the development of a fetus.

For this Discussion, you will examine environmental and genetic influences on fetal development.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Select one genetic influence and one environmental influence on fetal development and think about how these influences might impact each other.

By Day 4

Post a brief description of the genetic influence and the environmental influence you selected. Then, explain how the environmental influence might positively or negatively affect the development of a fetus with the genetic influence you selected. Be specific and provide examples. Use your Learning Resources to support your post. Use proper APA format and citations.

Articles to view

 

Berk, L. E. (2014). Development through the lifespan (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Chapter 2, “Genetic and Environmental Foundations” (pp. 44–77)
Chapter 3, “Prenatal Development, Birth, and the Newborn Baby” (pp. 78–117)

Charness, M. E., Riley, E. P., & Sowell, E. R. (2016). Drinking during pregnancy and the developing brain: Is any amount safe? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 20(2), 80–82. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2015.09.011
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Entringer, S., Buss, C., & Wadhwa, P. D. (2015). Prenatal stress, development, health and disease risk: A psychobiological perspective—2015 Curt Richter Award Paper. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 62, 366–375. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.08.019
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Tzouma, V., Grepstad, M., Grimaccia, F., & Kanavos, P. (2015). Clinical, ethical, and socioeconomic considerations for prescription drug use during pregnancy in women suffering from chronic diseases. Therapeutic Innovation & Regulatory Science, 49(6), 947–956. doi:10.1177/2168479015589820
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Grace, T., Bulsara, M., Robinson, M., & Hands, B. (2015). The impact of maternal gestational stress on motor development in late childhood and adolescence: A longitudinal study. Child Development, 87(1), 211–220.
The Impact of Maternal Gestational Stress on Motor Development in Late Childhood and Adolescence: A Longitudinal Study by Grace, T., Bulsara, M., Robinson, M., & Hands, B., in Child Development, 2015/October. Copyright 2015 by John Wiley & Sons-Journals. Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons-Journals via the Copyright Clearance Center. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tegan_Grace/publication/282873739_The_Impact_of_Maternal_Gestational_Stress_on_Motor_Development_in_Late_Childhood_and_Adolescence_A_Longitudinal_Study/links/56244b7d08ae70315b5db881.pdf

March of Dimes Foundation. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.marchofdimes.org

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Birth defects. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/index.html

Discussion: Environmental and Genetic Impact on Fetal Development

Both environmental and genetic influences impact fetal development. Some substances (e.g., folic acid, hormones, etc.) have the biggest influence at sensitive periods during gestation. Early in gestation, when neurological development is at its peak, folic acid is most important. Hormones, such as androgen and estrogen, are necessary for external genital differentiation between 9 and 12 weeks of gestation. Prenatal alcohol exposure, however, can impact fetal growth at any time during gestation. On the other hand, environmental influences such as maternal genetics, nutrition, health, and immunization can have a positive impact on fetal development, mitigating the impact of substances and other negative influences. In addition to environmental influences, you must also consider the impact of genetic influences. Genes determine not only an individual’s physical features at birth—they also contribute to hormonal processes throughout the lifespan. The interaction of environmental influences and genetic influences impacts the development of a fetus.

For this Discussion, you will examine environmental and genetic influences on fetal development.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Select one genetic influence and one environmental influence on fetal development and think about how these influences might impact each other.
 

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