Chapter 1 - History, Theory, and Research Strategies Flashcards Preview

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Child development

an area of study devoted to understanding constancy and change from conception through adolescence


Developmental science

an interdisciplinary field which includes all changes we experience throughout the lifespan


Research conducted in child development is _______ and __________

Much of the research being conducted in child development is applied and is interdisciplinary


Domains of Development

1. Physical: changes in body size, proportions, appearance, functioning of body systems, perceptual and motor capacities, and physical health 2. Cognitive: changes in intellectual abilities, including attention, memory, academic and everyday knowledge, problem solving, imagination, creativity, and language 3. Emotional and social: changes in emotional communication, self-understanding, knowledge about other people, interpersonal skills, friendships, intimate relationships, and moral reasoning and behaviour


Periods of Development

1. The prenatal period: conception to birth 2. Infancy and toddlerhood: birth to 2 years 3. Early childhood: 2 to 6 years 4. Middle childhood: 6 to 11 years 5. Adolescence: 11 to 18 years 6. Emerging adulthood: 18 to 25 years


The prenatal period: conception to birth

Most rapid time of development


Infancy and toddlerhood: birth to 2 years

  • • Dramatic changes in brain and body
    • Emergence of a wide array of motor, perceptual and intellectual capabilities
    • Beginnings of language
    • First intimate ties to others
    • Infancy: year one
    • Toddlerhood: year two
    • Attachment extremely  is important during this stage


Early childhood: 2 to 6 years

• Body becomes longer and leaner • Motor skills are refined • More self-controlled and self sufficient • Make believe play • Language shows much growth • Morality becomes evident • Ties with peers


Middle childhood: 6 to 11 years

• • (Apprenticing themselves) across cultures at this age start engaging in activities designed to prepare them for adult life.

• Master responsibilities that resemble adult ones
• Improved athletic ability
• Participation in organized games with rules
• More logical thought prosses
• Better at following rules
• Literacy
• Master at fundamental reading, writing, math
• Advances in understanding of self, morality and friendship


Adolescence: 11 to 18 years

• Not hard and fast start and end date – start at sexual maturity, ends when you take your full adult place in society
• Physical changes – more adult like
• Sexual maturity
• Change in formal education – more future directed
• Abstract thinking
• Idealistic
• Preparation for adult roles
• Autonomy
• Personal values and goals


What do Theories do

• provide organizing frameworks for our observations • serve as a basis for practical action



an orderly, integrated set of statements that describes, explains, and predicts behaviour


basic issues in child development

Continuity Versus Discontinuity
One Course of Development Versus Many
Nature Versus Nurture
Active Versus Passive 


Continuity Versus Discontinuity

• Concerns whether a particular developmental phenomenon represents a smooth progression throughout the life span (continuity) or a series of abrupt shifts (discontinuity)
• Qualitative v Quantitative changes
• Is the difference entirely new abilities or just amount and complexity of the same abilities?
• Stages or slope of development
• Stability v plasticity– how a trait is the same or changing across development


Nature Versus Nurture

• Involves the degree to which genetic or hereditary influences (nature) and experiential or environmental influences (nurture) determine the kind of person you are
• Formulas to determine the degree of nature and nurture this are not good because they require them to be separable


One Course of Development Versus Many

Universal stages or context dependent development


Resilience Four Factors

The ability to adapt effectively in the face of threats to development 1. Personal characteristics – intelligence, socially valued talents, temperament, emotional control, 2. Parental relationship – warmth, appropriate expectations, monitoring, organized home environment 3. Social support outside family – strong bonds with caring adult, 4. Community resources and opportunities – good schools, available health care, social services, libraries, recreation centers, activities outside of school, community involvement.


In the medieval times

Childhood was considered a different stage of life and not just little adults. • Children dressed differently from adults. Looser more comftable clothing. • Manuals existed offering advice on child care; health, feeding, clothing, games • Laws recognized that children needed protection from mistreatment • Courts were more lenient with youths than with adults • Contradictory religious depictions existed, portraying children as innocent or as in need of purification


In the sixteenth century Reformation

The Puritan belief in original sin led to a dominant view of children as evil and stubborn • Children were dressed in stiff clothing to hold them in adult like postures • Children were beaten • Parents had a hard time sticking to extreme puritan practices dew to love and affection


In the seventeenth century Enlightenment

a period of ‘enlightenment’ brought new views of children and childrearing. Human dignity, respect, more humane treatment. • John Locke - Tabula rasa (blank slate) • Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the noble savage


John Locke

o Tabula rasa (blank slate) o Parents as rational tutors, carful instruction, good example, and rewards o Apposed physical punishment o Kindness and compassion not harshness o Theories of continuous, nurture, many path, focused development that has high plasticity at later ages. o He saw kids as having little impact on their own development. o Ahead of his time


Jean-Jacques Rousseau

o noble savage – naturally endowed with a sense of right and wrong o harmed by adult training o four stages of development – infancy, childhood, late childhood, adolescence o Discontinuity, nature (maturation), one path



A genetically determined, naturally unfolding course of growth. Jean-Jacques Rousseau


Toward the turn of the twentieth century Scientific Beginnings

Study of child development rapidly evolved. Improved methods of research and theories. Darwin o theory of recapitulation o contributed to developmental theories G. Stanley Hall o founder of the child-study movement G. Stanley Hall With Arnold Gesell o launched the normative approach Binet and Simon o the first successful intelligence test



• Darwin noted that early prenatal growth is strikingly similar in many species • Others form theory of recapitulation based of Darwin’s observations • Darwin’s focus on the adaptive value of both physical and behavioural characteristics has contributed to developmental theories


G. Stanley Hall,

founder of the child-study movement Influenced by Darwin’s ideas of evolution


G. Stanley Hall With Arnold Gesell

launched the normative approach Gesell – parenting advice, children are naturally knowledgeable about their own needs and parents should respond to their cues


normative approach

Measures of behavior are taken on large numbers of individuals and age related averages are computed to represent typical development.


Binet and Simon

• The government asked Binet to help place children in classes when they when to a public education system
• In the early 1900s, Binet and Simon developed the first successful intelligence test
• Interdisciplinary, worked with teachers
• In 1916, updated to the Stanford-Binet in the US
• Designed for school placement, but not always used that way



where we see the development of some of the theories that continue to be influential today Psychoanalytic perspective o Freud o Erikson Behaviourism o John Watson o B.F. Skinner o Albert Bandura (Social learning theory) Cognitive-developmental theory o Piaget