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Flashcards in Lifespan Deck (106)


Refers to a person's genetic make up; 



Refers to observable characteristics, which are due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors


Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Model

Described development as involving interactions btwn the indiv. & his/her context or environment.

This model distinguishes btwn 5 environmental systems or levels:

  1. Microsystem: The childs immediate env. & includes face-to-face rel. w/home, school & neighborhood.
  2. Mesosystem: Consists of interactions btwn the components of thr micorosystem (e.g., parents involvement in childs school exp. & interactions btwn the childs church & community).
  3. Exosystem: Consists of elements in the broader env. that affect the childs immediate env. & social setting that indirectly affect the childs devel. (e.g, the parents job, school board, media, local industry, comminity agency).
  4. Macrosystem: Includes the cultural beliefs, & practices, economic conditions, politics, values, laws, customs, etc. of the childs culture.
  5. Chronosystem: Consists of env. events that occur over an indiv lifespan & impact the indiv. in ways that depend on the indiv. circumstances & devel. stage.


Rutter's Indicators

Argued that the greater the number of risk factors a baby is exposed to, the greater the risk for negative outcomes. He concluded that the following 6 family risk factors are particularly accurate predictors of child psychopathology:

  1. Severe marital discord (Greatest risk factors) 
  2. Low SES,
  3. Overcrowding or large family size,
  4. Parental criminality,
  5. Maternal psychopathology,  
  6. The placement of a child outside the home/Foster care


Resilience (Werner and Smith)

Longitudinal research found that exposure to early (prenatal & perinatal) stress may be reduced when the baby:

  • experiences fewer stressors following birth,
  • exhibits good communication skills & social responsiveness, and
  • receives stable support from a parent or other caregiver


Critical and Sensitive Periods

  • Critical period is a time during which an organism is especially susceptible to positive & negative environmental influences.
  • Sensitive period is more flexible than a critical period and is not limited to a specific chronological age.

Some aspects of human development may depend on critical periods, but,

for many human characteristics & behaviors, sensitive periods are probably more applicable.


Prenatal Development

3 stages of prenatal development:

  1. Germinal Stage: (Fertilized ovum = zygote) in 1st 2 weeks.
  2. Embryonic Stage: Begining of 3rd week  to 8th week.
  3. Fetal Stage: Begins at onset of 9th week & goes till birth. 

Birth defects are caused by chromosomal D/O's, exposure to tetatrogens & poor maternal health.


Autosomal Disorders

When a D/O is carried on an autosome (22 pairs of chromosomes). All human cells (except sperm & ovum) contain 46 chromosomes arranged in 23 pairs.

  • 22 pairs are autosomes
  • 23rd pair contains the sex chromosomes 
    • Females = XX
    • Males = XY


Sex Linked Disorders

When a D/O is carried on sex chromosomes

Ex: Klienfelter Syndrome & Turner Syndrome


Disorders due to Dominant & Recessive Genes

Disorders related to chromosomes are the result of inheritance of a single dominant or 2 recessive genes or a chromosomal abnormality.

  • Dominant Gene D/O's:  Due to the inheritance of a single dominant gene from 1 parent.
    • Huntington's Disease: An autosomal dominant gene disorder bc the gene responsible is located on an autosome.
  • Recessive Gene D/O's: Due to inheritance of a pair of recessive gene's; 1 from each parent.
    • Cystic Fibrosis
    • Sickle-Cell
    • Tay-Sachs
    • PKU


Phenylketonuria (PKU)

Autosomal recessive condition (Homozygous, 2 recessive genes); 1 recessive gene from each parent.

Caused by a pair of recessive genes & produces mental retardation unless the infant is placed on a diet low in phenylalanine soon after birth.

Phenylalanine an amino acid found in milk, eggs , bread can cause MR unless the infant is put on a special diet soon after birth.


Down Syndrome

Autosomal Disorder

Caused by an extra number of 21 chromosome.

It is characterized by mental retardation, retarded physical growth & motor development, distinctive physical characteristics, & increased susceptibility to Alzheimer's dementia, leukemia, and heart defects.


Klinefelter Syndrome

Occurs in males & is due to the presence of 2 or more X chromosomes along with a single Y chromosome (due to an abnormal level of sex chromosomes).

Males with this disorder have:

  • A small penis & testes,
  • Long legs & short trunk
  • Develops breasts during puberty,
  • Has limited interest in sexual activity,
  • Often sterile, and
  • May have learning disabilities & behavior problems


Turner Syndrome

Occurs in females when 1 X chromosome is missing or incomplete (due to abnorm # of sex chromosomes).

Charateristics include:

  • Short stature
  • Drooping Eyelids
  • Webbed neck & other physical features
  • Retarted/absent devel. of secondary sex charaterisitcs.
  • May have hearing & vision problems & a learning disability


Prader-Willi Syndrome

Caused by a chromosomal deletion on the paternal side & includes:

  • Some degree of MR
  • Obese
  • May exhibit OCD behaviors



Env. agents that adversely affect prenatal devel. & cause birth defects in the developing fetus & include:

  • Drugs
    • Alcohol: 2nd half of 1st trimester = Severe structural physical abnormalities. 2nd & 3rd trimester = Assoc w/ behavioral & psychological deficits
    • Cocaine
  • Chemicals
    • Env. Hazards
    • Pollution
    • Radiation
  • Certain maternal conditions

Exposure during 3-8 weeks (embryonic period) most likely to cause major structural abnormalities.


Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol during 1st Tirmester

Exposure during the 1st Trimester likely to produce severe physical defects.

Res. shows that alcohol exposure during the 2nd half of the 1at Trimester is assoc. w/ most severe physical defects:

  • Low birth weight
  • Smaller-than-normal head circumference
  • Altered shape of eyes & lips



Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol during 3rd Tirmester

In the 3rd Trimester alcohol exposure can impact development of attention & other cognitive Fx's


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Effects

Prenatal exposure to alcohol can produce a variety of physical, behavioral, & cognitive Sx's that, in terms of severity, depend on the amount of alcohol consumed by the pregnant woman.

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS): Characterized by facial deformities, mental retardation, growth retardation, motor impairments, physical defects, CNS dysfx, LD's and behavioral problems.
  • Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE): are less severe and usually do not include facial deformities and mental retardation.
  • The symptoms of both disorder are largely irreversible.
  • Negative impact on the basal ganglia, hippocampus, frontal lobes, cerebellum, hypothalamus, corpus callosum


Maternal HIV

If Mom HIV+ the chances of transmitting it to her child is 35-60%, the risk is greatly reduced when she takes an anti-retroviral drug during pregnancy & delivery.

A minority of babies birn w/HIV devel. severe Sx's in 1st month after birth, while the rest have a later appearance & slow progression of Sx's

With Tx infants can survive to 8yrs and beyond

Infected children have delays in physical & cog. devel. & high rates of life-threatening opportunistic infections


Prenatal Exposure to Cocaine

Use of cocaine by a pregnant woman increases the risk for spontaneous abortion & stillbirth.

Infants born to cocaine users are at high risk for:

  • SIDS,
  • seizures,
  • low birthweight, and
  • reduced head circumference,  
  • often exhibit tremors,
  • Irritable
  • Difficult to soothe
  • an exaggerated startle response; highly reactive
  • a high-pitched cry, sleep and feeding difficulties, and
  • developmental delays
  • During the early school years these children have higher than norm rates of LD's & behavior probs.


Malnutrition During Prenatal Development

Malnutrition during prenatal devel. is associated with:

  • miscarriage,
  • stillbirth, and
  • low birth weight and
  • may result in suppression of the immune system,
  • Cog. deficits
  • Weak immune system
  • mental retardation, and
  • Defects in structure of liver, pancrease & other organs
  • other serious problems.

Severe malnutrition in the 3rd trimester (especially protein deficiency) is particularly detrimental for the developing brain & can lead to a reduced number of neurons, reduced myelinization, & neurotransmitter abnormalities.

Good nutrition after birth can reduce some of the negative effects


Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Type of herpes virus, infection during adulthood produces no or mild Sx's, but infection during prenatal devel./birth can be life-threatening.

2nd most common cause of Mental Retardation after Down Syndrome & likely to cause cognitive impairments in hearing & Vision.

Approx. 10% of infants infected w/CMV show Sx's at birth & about 10-15% of infants who are asymptomatic at birth devel. Sx's during 1sr few yrs of life.


Brain Development (Cerebral Cortex)

The cerebral cortex is largely undeveloped & least devel. part of brain at birth (25% of adult weight) but shows dramatic growth during the first 2 years of life (approx 80%) as the result of:

  • an increase in the size of existing neurons,
  • more extensive dendritic branching,& increasing myelinization.

Cerebral Cortex responsible for higher level cog. Fx, language, spatial skills & complex motor activities.

The frontal lobes continue to mature into adolescence and the early 20s.

Some neurogenesis (regeneration) occurs in adulthood, especially in hippocampus & brain also compensates for loss of neurons thru axon sprouting, dendrite branching & creation of new synapses

30 yrs of age the brain gradually starts to shrink as a result of loss of neurons & acceleration of brain loss after 60 yrs old in sensory & motor cortex.


Early Reflexes

Reflexes are unlearned responses to particular stimuli in the environment.

Early reflexes include:

  • Babinksi reflex (toes fan out & upward when soles of the feet are tickled)  
  • Moro reflex (flings arms & legs outward & then toward the body in response to a loud noise or sudden loss of physical support)
  • Rooting (Turn head in direction of touch applied to the cheek)
  • Stepping: (Makes coordinated walking movements when held upright w/feet touching flat surface)


Babinski Reflex

Produced by tickling the middle of the sole of the infants feet.


Moro Reflex

Startle Response

Flings arms & legs outward & then toward the body in response to a loud noise or sudden loss of physical support (being dropped).


Rooting Reflex

Turn head in direction of touch applied to the cheek


Perception in Newborns (Vision, Audition, Pain)

Of the senses:

Vision: The least well developed at birth.

  • At birth, the newborn sees at 20 feet what normal adults see at about 200-400 feet; w/in 2-5 days after birth infants pref. to look at human faces vs other objects.
  • 1-2 mos. Prefer/can distinguish faces of mother over face of unfamiliar woman
  • 1-6 mos. some degree of Depth Perception.
  • About 6 months, the infant's visual acuity is probably very close to that of a normal adult.
  • Visual Stimuli: Newborns prefer to look at high-contrast patterns (e.g. a bold black-and-white checkerboard), and their preferences for more complex patterns increases with increasing age.
  • Babies have some color vision by 2-3 months of age (red, green, blue & yellow)

Audition: Fetuses hear sounds in utero during the last months of devel.

  • Newborns only slightly less sensitive to sound intensity than adults & soon after birth can distinguish the voices of the mother from a stranger.
  • Auditory Localization: Ability to orient toward the direction of the sound is evident shortly after birth, but then disappears btwn 2-4 mos. & re-appears & improves rest of 1st yr.
  • Can distinguish btwn different vowel sounds w/in a few days after birth.
  • 2-3 mos. can distinguish btwn different consonant sounds

Pain: The research has confirmed that newborns are sensitive to pain.

  • Ex: Male newborns who are circumcised without anesthesia often react w/a loud cry, a facial grimace, & an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, &muscle tension.
  • There is evidence that exposure to severe pain as a newborn can impact later reactions (e.g., in some cases, can increase sensitivity to pain).


Visual Cues Infants use to percieve depth arise in a predictable sequence. Which is the last to develop?

Depth perception depends on devel. a sensitivity to 3 types of cues:

  1. Kinetic (Motion) Cues (1-3 mos)
  2. Binocular Cues (2-4 mos)
  3. Pictoral Cues (5 mos): Last to devel. & includes size, texture & shading.


Developmental Milestones

1-3 Months:

  • Able to raise chin from Ground
  • Turn head side to side
  • 3rd mo. play w/hands & fingers & bring objects in hand to mouth
  • 3-4 mos. Infant shows facial expressions interest, sadness, distress, disgust

4-6 Months:

  • 4 mos. roll from abdomen to back
  • 5 mos. sit on lap , reaches & grasps
  • 6 mos. sit alone w/support & stand w/help
  • 5-9 mos. 1st teeth appear
  • 6-8 mos. Infant expresses emotions anger, joy, suprise & fear.

​7-9 Months:

  • Show increasingly good coordination
  • 8-9 mos. sits alone w/out support & begins crawling & creeping
  • 9-10 mos. pull self to standing by holding onto furniture.

10-12 Months:

  • 10-11 mos. Stands alone & walks w/help
  • 12 mos. Takes 1st steps alone, 1st/single word & walks while holds onto furniture

13-15 Months: 

  • 13-14 mos. Walks alone w/wide based gait
  • 15 mos. creeps up stairs, scribbles spontaneously & uses up well

​16-24 Months: 

  • 18 mos. 2 word phrases, walks independently, run clumsily, walk upstairs w/hand held, use a spoon
  • 24 mos. Goes up & down stairs alone, kicks ball, turn pgs of book, multi-word phrases & 50% of kids use toilet during the day.

25-48 Months:

  • 27 mos. vocab 300-400 words
  • 30 mos. jumps w/both feet 7 has good hand-finger coordination
  • 30-36 mos vocab more than doubles
  • 36 mos. (3yrs) rides tricycle, dresses & undresses self w/simple clothes, usually completely toilet trained, speak short sentences
  • 48 mos. exhibits a stable preference for R or L hand


Development of facial expressions in babies after birth

3-4 months of age infants express at least 4 emotions thru their facial expressions:

  1. Distress,
  2. Interest
  3. Sadness
  4. Disgust

By 6-8 Month 4 more emerge, Anger, Joy, Suprise & Fear


Physical Maturation in Adolescence

The onset of physical & sexual maturation is earlier for girls (Onset 10.5yrs; peak 12 yrs) than boys (onset13; peak 14-15 yrs).

Research comparing the effects of early vs late physical maturation during adolescence has found that early maturation has a number of different consequences for:

  • Boys: Benefits for boys such as higher levels of self-confidence, self-esteem, better adjustment, greater popularity with peers, & superior athletic skills.
    • Late maturation assoc. w/lower levels of confidence & higher levels of attention seeking behavior.
  • Girls: Early maturation is assoc. w/ greater popularity w/boys but also w/emotional instability, low self-esteem, alcohol & drug use & academic probs. 

The + & - consequences diminish over time & usually no longer apparent in adulthood


Visual Changes in Adulthood

After age 65, most individuals experience visual changes that interfere with reading, driving, & other aspects of daily life.

  • Presbyopia (loss of near vision, need bi-focals; approx 40 yrs old),
  • common changes include loss of visual acuity,
  • reduced perception of depth & color,
  • increased light sensitivity & glare, and decreased ability to see in dim light
  • deficits in visual search,
  • Dynamic vision (perceiving the details of moving objects), and
  • peed in processing what is seen.

Hearing & vision are the 1st senses to show age related declines.

Hearing: Hearing probs are more common & significant hearing loss doesn't occur until age 75, but 1st sign of hearing loss is a decrease in ability to hear high frequencies around age 50.


Gender Differences in Motor Skills

Gender differences are apparent by early to middle childhood; girls are more physically mature than same age male peers.

  • Girls are superior on tasks requiring fine motor skills, flexibility, agility & balance
  • Boys are superior on tasks that depend on force & power

Differences become increasingly obvious during adolesc. w/boys excelling on most measures of motor ability.


Sexual Activity in Late Adulthood

The research has generally confirmed that sexual activity in mid-life & earlier is a good predictor of sexual activity in late adulthood.

Ex: Landau et al. (2007) found that sexually active adults 57 to 85 years of age reported a frequency of sexual activity similar to the frequency reported in an earlier study of adults ages 18 to 59.

However, their survey results also indicated that the number of older adults identifying themselves as "sexually active" decreased with increasing age.


Piaget's Theory of Constructivism Theory part of cognitive Development & Adaptation

(Assimilation & Accommodation)

According to Piaget, cog. devel. occurs when a state of disequilibrium brought on by a discrepancy btwn the person's current understanding of the world & reality (equilibration) is resolved through adaptation.

Adaptation involves building schemas as the result of direct interactions w/the env. & consists of 2 complementary processes: 

  1. Assimilation (Same Schemas): Incorporation of new knowledge into existing cognitive schemas.
  2. Accomodation (Change Schemas): Modification of existing schemas to incorporate new knowledge

Ex: Child will attempt to understand the toy by assimilating it into current repertoire of schemas. Then as the child begins to recognize the toys unique properties they will accomodate (modify) the pre-existing schemas & as a result will devel. new ways of interacting w/the toy.


Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development

Piaget's cog. development involves 4 universal & invariant stages (Stupid Pigs Can't Fly):

  1. SENSORIMOTOR STAGE (birth to 2 years), the child learns about objects & other ppl thru the sensory info. they provide & the actions that can be performed on them. 
    • Object Permanence (Object Concept): Objects & ppl continue to exist even when out of sight. 
    • Predominate type of learning is Circular Reactions (actions perf. in order to reproduce events that occured by chance). There are 6 substages:
    1. Reflexive Schemas (Brith-1m):  Involuntary responses to stimuli (Ex: sucking)
    2. Primary Circular Reactions (1-4m): Simple motor habits, pleasurable actions on or near body (Ex: bring thumb to mouth; thumb sucking)
    3. Secondary Circular Reactions (4-8m): Attempt to reproduce pleasurable actions in env. involving other ppl or objects (Ex: shake a rattle).
    4. Coordinated Secondary Circular Reactions (8-12m): Combo of secondary w/more complex action sequences (Ex: uncover object then grasp).
    5. Tertiary Circular Reactions (12-18m): Deliberately vary an action pattern to discover the consequences & see what happens (Ex: Drop ball from diff heights).
    6. Mental Representations (18-24m): Can solve probs. using (symbolic) representational thought.
      • Symbolic Thought: The ability to form internal representations of absent objects & past events & anticipate consequences of actions. Provides the basis for the preop. stage.
  2. PREOPERATIONAL STAGE (ages 2 to 7) Key accomplishment is the devel. of the symbolic (semiotic) Fx, once a child acquires lang. they are able to use symbols (words/picts) tp represent objects; symbolic representation. Which is an extension of representational thought & permits the child to learn through the use of language, mental images, & other symbols. Most active stage.
    • Egocentrism: Assume everyone else sees things from the same viewpoint as they do; inability to separate their perspective from others.
    • Transductive (pre-causal) Reasoning: Incomplete understanding of cause & effect.
    • Magical Thinking: Belief that thinking about something will cause it to occur.
    • Animism: The belief that inannimate objects have lifelike charateristics.
    • Limitations of this stage include centration (The tendency to focus on one aspect of an object/situation while ignoring all other aspects) & Irreversibility (Lack of understanding that operations/processes can be reversed).
  3. CONCRETE OPERATIONAL STAGE (ages 7 to 11) Child is able to see things from a different point ov view & imagine events that occur outside own lives. Are capable of mental operations, which are logical rules for transforming & manipulating info. As a result, they are able to classify in more sophisticated ways, seriate, understand part-whole relationships in relational terms, & conserve.
    • Conservation: Ability to understand that the physical charateristics of an object remain the same even when the otward appearance of the object changes.
    • The operations of these 2 permot conservation:
      • Decentration: The child is able to consider more than 1 charateristic of an object at a time.
      • Reversibility: The ability to recognize that processes can be reversed.
  • Depends on the operations of reversibility & decentration, w/conservation of number occurring first, followed by conservation of liquid, length, weight, & then displacement volume
  1. FORMAL OPERATIONAL STAGE (age 11+) is able to think abstractly and is capable of hypothetico-deductive reasoning.
    • Indiv. in this stage are capable of:
      • Hypothetico-deductive Reasoning: Ability to test hypothesis by varying one aspect of the situation at a time while holding all other aspects constant.
      • Propositional Reasoning: The ability to eval. the logic of propositins or verbal statements w/out a concrete example; when certain assumptions are true certain conclusions must also be true.
    • Adolescent Egocentrism: Characteristics include the:
      • Imaginary audience: Belief that one is always the center of attention.
      • Personal fable: Belief that one is unique & not subject to natural laws that govern others. 


Object Permanence

According to Piaget, an important accomplishment of the sensorimotor stage is the development of object permanence (the "object concept"), which allows the child to recognize that objects and people continue to exist when they are out of sight


Magical Thinking

As described by Piaget, magical thinking is characteristic of the preoperational stage of cognitive development and is the belief that thinking about something will actually cause it to occur



As defined by Piaget, conservation is the ability to understand that the physical characteristics of an object remain the same, even when the outward appearance of that object changes. Conservation depends on the operations of reversibility and decentration and develops gradually during the concrete operational stage, with conservation of number occurring first, followed by conservation of liquid, length, weight, and then displacement volume


Adolescent Egocentrism (Elkind)

Adolescent egocentrism appears at the beginning of the formal operational stage. As defined by Elkind, its characteristics include:

  • Personal fable: Belief that one is unique & not subject to natural laws that govern others.  

  • Imaginary audience: Belief that one is always the center of attention.




Information Processing Theories

Describe cognitive devel. as involving increasing information processing capacity & efficiency.

Ex: Improvements in memory are due to:

  • increased memory capacity,
  • enhanced processing speed, and
  • greater automaticity.

In contrast to Piagetians, information processing theorists focus on devel. w/in specific cognitive domains such as:

  • attention,
  • memory, and
  • reasoning

rather than on identifying global principles of development


Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory (Zone of Proximal Development/Scaffolding)

Proposes that cog. devel. is always:

  1. First, interpersonal (when the child interacts w/an adult or other teacher) & then
  2. Intrapersonal (when the child internalizes what he/she has learned).

Cog. devel. is facilitated when instruction falls w/in the child's:

  • Zone of Proximal Development: Refers to the discrepancy btwn a child's current devel. level (the level at which the child can Fx independently" & the level of devel. that is just beyond his or her current level). What the child can currently accomplish alone & what can do w/assistance of others.
    • Most effective when it emphasizes prompts & feedback vs correct answers & solutions
  • Scaffolding: Instruction, assistance, & support by teachers, parents, & others w/in the childs zone of proximal devel. can get the child to the level of devel. that is just beyod their current level. This can be reached when an adult or more experienced peer provides appropriate assistance. 
  • Symbolic Play: Provides children w/a ZPD that enables them to practice behaviors in a situation that req. less precision & accuracy than would be req. in reality.


Early Recognition & Recall Memory

Research shows:

  • By 3 mos. infants demonstrate recognition memory for a stimulus for 24 hrs. following exposure.
  • Imitation tasks indicate the ability to recall past events is apparent by 6-12 mos.; 75% of 6-12 mo. infants successfully imitated a sequence.


Human Memory


Explicit & Implicit Memory

In Long-Term Memory there are 2 types of memory:

  1. Explicit Memory (Conscious)
    • Declarative Memory (Facts & Events)
      • Episodic (Personally exp. events)
      • Semantic (Facts & concepts)
  2. Implicit Memory (Unconscious & Automatic; more stable)
    • Procedural Memory (Skills & Tasks)
      • Skill Learning (Instrumental learning; how to ride a bike)
      • Priming (More likely to use a word you heard recently)
      • Conditioning (Salivate when you see a favorite food)

Older adult CT's w/Depression or Schizophrenis & CT's w/organic amnesia exhibit greater impairments in Explicit Memory.


Memory Strategies of Children

  • Preschoolers (Before age 5) sometime use non-deliberate memory strategies but do so in an ineffective way.
  • Elementary School Children (Early Years), use somewhat more effective techniques but are often distracted by irrelevant information.
    • When taught rehearsal or other memory strategies, young children may apply them to the immediate situation but do not subsequently use them in new situations.
  • Age 9 or 10, children begin to regularly use rehearsal, elaboration, & organization.
  • Adolescence, these strategies are "fine-tuned" & used more deliberately & selectively.
  • Differences in memory are also due to differences & improvment in:
    • Metacognition: The ability to think about thinking.
    • Metamemory: Ability to reflect on ones own memory processes.


Childhood (Infantile) Amnesia

Studies investigating episodic (autobiographical) memory have found that adults are usually able to recall very few of the events they experienced prior to age 3 or 4. 

Bc areas of the brain (preefrontal lobe) needed for memory for events are not devel. prior to 4 yrs. old.


Reminiscence Bump

Adults aged 50 & older have the best recall for more recent events followed by events that occured from age 10-30 yrs old.

Explanation is that:

  1. Ppl exp. a large # of novel exp. during this period & are more likely to remeber them.
  2. Encoding info. is most efficient during this period.
  3. Ppl devel a personal sense of ID during these yrs & memories are more easily recalled since it becomes a part of the persons sense of self.


Effects of Age on Memory

Several aspects of memory show age-related declines, especially recent long-term (secondary) memory. Deficits in secondary memory are believed to be due primarily to a reduced spontaneous use of effective encoding strategies. This is followed by working memory aspect of short-term memory.

Baddeley's research has confirmed that working memory consists of 3 components:

  1. A Visuospatial Sketchpad that maintains visual images
  2. An Auditory/Phonological Loop that maintains auditory/verbal info.
  3. A Central Executive that directs attention & controls & coordinates the visuospatial & auditory/phonological subsystems. (Tasks requiring the reorg. of info. or coordination of info.. in sensory & auditory channels are most adversely affected by increasing age)

Increasing age primarily negativley affects the central executive


Nativist Approach to Language Acquisition (Chomsky)

Proposes that ppl have an innate capacity for acquiring language & emphasize universal patterns of language devel./acquisition.

Stresses the role of:

  • Biological mechanisms (e.g. Chomsky's language acquisition device - LAD)
    • LAD is a brain mechanism that enables children to acquire lang. just by being exposed to it. 
  • Universal patterns of development

Studies found thatchildren master the basics of lang. btwn 4-6 yrs. old regardless of complexity of native language, cultures & stages.


Behaviorist Theories of Language Development

Proposes that lang. is acquired thru imitation & reinforcement.

Children acquire by observing & imitating the lang. of others & being reinforced for doing so.


Interactionist Theories of Language Development

View language devel. as the result of interactions btwn biological & env. factors & proposes bio. factors provide a foundation for lang. acquisition & social context explains indiv. & grp differences in lang.

Res. have ID strategies used by parents & others to foster lang. devel.

  • Child-Directed Speech: Involves talking in simple sentences at a slow pace, speaking in a high-pitched voice, & frequently asking questions & repeating words.


Semantic and Syntactic Bootstrapping

Semantic and syntactic bootstrapping are mechanisms that facilitate early language development.

  • Semantic bootstrapping refers to using knowledge of the meaning of a word to infer its syntactical category
  • Syntactical bootstrapping refers to using syntactical knowledge to deduce the memory of an unfamiliar word.


Language Development 

Surface vs. Deep Structure

  • Surface Structure: Refers to the org. of words & phrases in a sentence.
  • Deep Structure: Refers to the underlying meaning of a sentence.


Phonemes Versus Morphemes

  • Phonemes: Are the smallest units of sound that are understood in language. The English language has 45 phonemes- for example, b, p, f, v, and th.
  • Morphemes: (e.g. "un" and "ing") are the smallest units of sound that convey meaning. Morphemes are made up of one or more phonemes


Stages of Language Acquisition (Crying, Babbling, First Words, Telegraphic Speech)

Language development occurs in a predictable sequence of stages.

  • Crying: Infants initially produce 3 distinct patterns of crying:
    • A basic (hunger) cry,
    • An anger cry, and
    • A pain cry.
  • Babbling: Begins at about 3-6 mos. of age & consists of the repetition of simple consonant & vowel sounds (e.g. "bi-bi-bi").
    • Early babbling includes sounds from all languages; but, between 8-9 mos. of age, babies narrow their repertoire of sounds to those of their native language.
  • 1st Words: Most infants speak their 1st word btwn the ages of 10 & 15 mos. &, by 18 months, speak about 50 words.
    • 1st words are most often nominals, or labels for objects, people, or events, although action words, modifiers, & personal-social words (e.g., please) also occur.
  • Holophrases: Btwn 12-24 mos. babies use single words that express an entire idea
  • Telegraphic Speech: 18-24 mos. of age, children exhibit telegraphic speech i.e., they string 2 or more words together to make a sentence (e.g., "me go" or "more juice).
    • While these phrases initially contain only nouns, verbs, & adjectives, by 27 months, prepositions and pronouns have been added.



During the course of language development, children exhibit a number of errors including underextension & overextension.

Overextension: Occurs when a child applies a word to a wider collection of objects or events than is appropriate.

Ex: Use the word juice to refer to all beverages the child drinks



During the course of language development, children exhibit a number of errors including underextension & overextension. 

Underextension: Occurs when a child applies a word too narrowly to objects or situations. 

Ex: Use word dish to refer only to the plastic dish they always use.



Occurs when the child extends grammatical rules to words that are an exception to the rule (e.g., adds "ed" to "go" to form the past tense; "goed")


Whorf's Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis

(Sapir-Worf Hypothesis) Language determines nature of thoughts & predicts that cultures have different ways of thinking about the world bc have a different language. 

The structure & lexicon of language influences how the individual percieves, interprets & reacts to the world.


Bilingualism and Bilingual Education

  • Bilingualism has been linked w/several benefits including higher scores on measures of cognitive flexibility, cognitive complexity, analytical reasoning, & metalinguistic awareness.
    • There is some evidence, however, that these benefits are temporary and that, by adolescence, bilingual and monolingual speakers are indistinguishable in terms of these characteristics
  • Code Switiching: Alternating btwn languages  during a convo. serves several Fx's such as to better express themselves, est. rapport w/listener, & more effectively express attitude toward the listener. 


Behavioral Inhibition

Kagan (1989) found evidence of both a biological contribution & stability for the temperament trait of behavioral inhibition.

His study demonstrates that children identified as either inhibited or uninhibited at 21 months of age can be similarly categorized at 5 1/2 & 7 1/2 years and that level of inhibition is related to physiological responsivity.


Goodness-of-Fit Model (Thomas and Chess)

Behavioral & adjustment outcomes are best for children when parents' caregiving behaviors match their child's temperament.


Werner's Study on High Risk Infants

Werner's longitudinal study of high risk infants found positive outcomes were assoc. w/resilience which is most assoc. with:

  1. Fewer stressors following birth
  2. Stable support from parent or other caregiver
  3. An easy temperment


Freud's 5 Stages of Psychosexual Development

Theory of personality devel. proposes that devel. involves 5 invariant stages in which the Id's libido is focused on diff. parts of the body: (Orangutangs Always Play w/Little Gorillas).

1. Oral (birth - 1yr.) Focus on mouth sensation & stimulation/Breastfeeding (Erogenous Zone); 

  • Primary conflict = Weaning
  • Fixation results in:
    • Dependence
    • Passivity
    • Gulibility
    • Sarcasm
    • Orally focused habits (smoking, nailbitting, overeating)
  • Erickson = Trust vs. Mistrust

2. Anal (1-3 yrs) Main issue control of bodily waste & focus on Bowel/Bladder (Elimination); 

  • Primary conflict = Issues related to Potty Training\
  • Fixation results in:
    • Anal retentivness: (Stingy, selfish, OCD behaviors)
    • Anal explosiveness: (Cruelty, destructive, messy)
  • Erickson = Autonomy vs Shame & Doubt

3. Phallic (3-6 yrs) Focus on genitals; 

  • Primary Task: Resolution of Oedipal/Electra Complex (Desire for opposite sex parent & rival w/same sex parent)
    • Successful outcome = Success Id w/same sex parent & devel superego
  • Fixation results in:
    • Phallic character
    • Sexual explotation of others
  • Erickson = Initiative vs. Guilt

4. Latency (6-12 yrs.) Libidinal energy id diffuse rather than focused on 1 part of the body. Dormant sexual feelings.

  • Primary conflict = Devel. social skills vs. achieve sexual gratification (Fixation)
  • Erickson = Industry vs. Inferiority

5. Genital (12 yrs. +) Libido center on genitals again. 

  • Primary conflict - Sexual desire blended w/affection to produce mature sexual relationship
  • Erickson = ID vs. Role Confusion

He belived the personality is well-established by 5-6 yrs.



Erikson's 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development

Erikson's theory of personality development proposes that the individual faces 8 different psychosocial crises at different points throughout the life span that must be approp. resolved in order for healthy growth & maturation to occur. These are:

  1. Trust vs. Mistrust (Birth-2yrs): Children develop a sense of trust when caregivers provide reliability, care, & affection.
    • A lack of this will lead to mistrust.
    • Freud = Oral
  2. Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt (1-3 yrs): Children need to develop a sense of personal control over physical skills & a sense of independence.
    • Success leads to feelings of autonomy,
    • Failure results in feelings of shame & doubt.
    • Freud = Anal
  3. Initiative vs. Guilt (3-5yrs): Children need to begin asserting control & power over the environment.
    • Success in this stage leads to a sense of purpose.
    • Children who try to exert too much power experience disapproval, resulting in a sense of guilt.
    • Characterized by increasing locomotion, imagination, curiosity & exploration.
    • Freud = Phallic
  4. Industry vs. Inferiority (6-12yrs): Children need to cope w/new social & academic demands.
    • Success leads to a sense of competence,
    • Failure results in feelings of inferiority.
    • Freud = Latency
  5. Identity vs. Role Confusion (13-19yrs): Teens need to develop a sense of self & personal identity.
    • Success leads to an ability to stay true to yourself,
    • Failure leads to role confusion & a weak sense of self.
    • Freud = Genital
  6. Intimacy vs. Isolation (20-39yrs): Young adults need to form intimate, loving relationships w/other people.
    • Success leads to strong relationships,
    • Failure results in loneliness & isolation.
  7. Generativity vs. Stagnation (40-64yrs): Adults need to create or nurture things that will outlast them, often by having children or creating a positive change that benefits other ppl.
    • Success leads to feelings of usefulness & accomplishment
    • Failure results in shallow involvement in the world. 
  8. Integrity vs. Despair (65+ yrs): Older adults need to look back on life & feel a sense of fulfillment.
    • Success at this stage leads to feelings of wisdom
    • Failure results in regret, bitterness, and despair.


Levinson's Seasons of a Man's Life

Developmental theory emphasizes transition from one period to the next.

  • Mid-life there is a deflation of the dream & shift in perspective from time since birth to time left to live.


Parenting Styles (Baumrind)

Framework for understanding the impact of parenting on development. Distinguish btwn 4 parenting styles that reflect various combos of:

  • Responsivity - Acceptance & warmth
  • Demandingness - Control

​The style is predicitive of specific personality & behavioral outcomes for children & adolesc.

4 Parenting Styles:

  1. Authoritarian (High Demand, Low Responsivity): Parents are restrictive, directive & punitive. They rigidly enforce but do not explain rules & regukarky express anger. Impose absolute standards of control, stress obideience & are willing to use force to obtain compliance.
    • ​​Child tends to be dependent, passive, submissive & has a ltd. sense of responsibility.
    • Asian American adolesc. even do well w/this parenting style
  2. Authoritative (Combo demand = responsivity; rational control): BEST OUTCOMES - Parents are acceping & responsive toward children, warm & nurturing, allow give & take discussions, combine rational control w/warmth, receptive, encourage independence & age approp. behaviro. Associated with the best outcomes for children & adolescents.
    • Child is independent, greater self-confidence & self-reliance, assertive, achievement-orientation, social responsibility, high self-esteem & obtain higher grades in school.
  3. Permissive (Low Demand, High Responsivity): Parents provide few controls or demands & display moderate levels of warmth, non-punitive, child makes own decisions about chore completion, bedtime, etc.
    • ​​Child exhibits little self-reliance or self-control, immature, impulsive, dependent, easily frustrated, low academic achievement & independence.
  4. Rejecting-Neglecting (Low Demand, Low Responsivity): WORST OUTCOMES - Parents are rejecting & unresponsive, undemanding & uncontrolling, not strict, but not involved, pay little attention to child making them feel less important than other things in parents life, overtly hostile toward child.
    • ​​Child has low self-esteem, poor self-control, impulsive, moody & aggressive; at risk for antisocial behavior.


Maternal Depression

Children of depressed mothers are at higher risk for emotional & behavioral problems, but the exact nature & severity of the probs. depend on several factors including:

  • genetic predisposition and
  • the quality of early mother-child interactions.

There is evidence that the physiological signs of distress in children associated w/maternal depression (e.g., elevated heart rate, greater right frontal lobe asymmetry) are apparent by the time the child is 3 months of age.

Studies of toddlers have linked maternal depression (especially chronic, severe depression) to passive noncompliance & higher-than-normal rates of aggressiveness when interacting with peers.


Gender Role Identity (Kohlberg)

Kohlberg's cognitive-developmental theory, the development of a gender-role identity involves a sequence of stages that parallels cognitive development:

  1. Gender Identity (2-3yrs): Children recognize that they are either male or female.
  2. Gender Stability (4-5yrs): Child realizes that gender is stable over time.
  3. Gender Constancy (6-7yrs): Children understand that gender is constant over situations & know that ppl cannot change gender by superficially altering their external appearance or behavior.


Gender Schema Theory (Bem)

Attributes the acquisition of a gender-role identity to a combo of social learning & cognitive development.

Children develop schemas of masculinity & femininity as the result of their sociocultural experiences.

These schemas then organize how the individual perceives and thinks about the world.


Identity Statuses (Marcia)

Marcia proposes that the achievement of an identity (including values, beliefs, & goals) involves 4 identity stages (statuses) that reflect the degree to which the individual has experienced an identity crisis & is committed to an identity:

  1. Diffusion: Indiv. not yet exp. an ID crisis or explored and alt. ID & not committed to a particular ID.
  2. Foreclosure: Indiv. not yet exp, and ID crisis but has chosen an ID (Career) that has been imposed/formulated by a parent or influential person. 
  3. Moratorium: Indiv. is exp. an ID crisis & is actively exploring alt. ID (exhibits a high degree of confusion, discontent & rebellion)
  4. Achievement: Indiv. has resolved the ID crisis & is committed to an ID.


Relational Crisis (Gilligan)

Gilligan proposed that, in early adolescence (11-12yrs), girls experience a relational crisis due to pressure to conform to cultural stereotypes (norms) of femininity.

As a result, they become disconnected from themselves (e.g., they experience a "loss of voice"). When realize women's opinions are not highly valued.

Primary task is to provide adolesc girls w/exp. that help them resisit disconnection from themselves & help them stay connected to themselves & others.

Ex: Parents encourage daughters to explore ideas & opinions, maintain ID & value indiv. strengths & accomplishments.

The different moral orientations of men & women can be traced to the early mother child relationship. There are 2 different orientations for men & women:

  1. Morality of Care (Women): Girls attach to & ID w/Mom which leads to a sense of interconnectedness & interdependence.
  2. Morality of Justice (Men): Boys become detatched from MOM & ID w/Dad which leads to a sense of separateness & independence.


Stages of Grief (Kubler-Ross)

Kubler-Ross (1969) concluded that people progress through the following 5 stages of grief when facing their own death or other important loss:

  1. Denial & Isolation: ("No, this isn't happening to me!")
  2. Anger ("Why me?");
  3. Bargaining ("Yes me, but not until my grandchild is born");
  4. Depression ("Yes, me");
  5. Acceptance ("My time is close and that's alright").

Stages do not necessarily occur in order & may be repeated.


Contact Comfort (Harlow)

Research by Harlow with rhesus monkeys indicated that an infant's attachment to his/her mother is due, in part, to contact comfort, or the pleasant tactile sensation that is provided by a soft, cuddly parent


Imprinting (Lorenz)

Lorenz, an ethologist, found that the critical period for imprinting in geese is during the first 2 or 3 days after birth.

Bowlby subsequently applied the notion of critical period to human attachment & proposed that exposure of an infant to his or her mother during this period results in a bond between them.


Internal Working Model (Bowlby)

Bowlby distinguished between 4 stages of attachment development that occurs during the first 2 years of life:

  1. Preattachment
  2. Attachment-in-the-making
  3. Clearcut attachment
  4. Formation of reciprocal relationships.

According to Bowlby, as a result of experiences during these stages, a child develops an internal working model, which is a mental representation of self & others that influences the child's future relationships.


Signs of Attachment

Obvious signs of attachment to a primary caregiver are usually not apparent until about 6 months of age.

These include:

  • Social Referencing (6 mos): Infant looks to caregiver to determine how to respond to a new or ambiguous situation (Visual Cliff).
  • Separation Anxiety (6-8 mos.): Refers to sever distress that occurs when a child is separated from its primary caregiver. 
  • Stranger Anxiety (8-10 mos): Infant becomes vaery anxious & fearful in the presence of a stranger especially if the caregiver is not close or does not respond positivly to the  stranger; continues till 2yrs then diminishes.


Patterns of Attachment (Ainsworth)

Research using Ainsworth's Strange Situation has revealed 4 patterns of attachment:

  1. Secure: Baby explores room, plays w/toys in room while mom is present.
    • Baby becomes mildly upset when  mom leaves 
    • Actively seeks contact w/mom when she resturns
    • Mothers are emotionally sensitive & respond to babies cues.
  2. Insecure/Ambivalent: The baby alternates btwn clingy & resisting w/mom
    • Baby becomes very disturbed when left alone w/stranger
    • Baby is ambivalent when the mom returns & may become angry & resist her attempts for physical contact.
  3. Insecure (Anxious)/Avoidant: Baby has very little interaction w/mom
    • Baby avoids or ignores mom when she returns
    • Mothers are very impatient & unresponsive or privide too much stimulation.
  4. Disorganized/Disoriented: Baby exhibits fear of the caregiver, dazed & confused facial expression.
    • Variety of disorg. attach behaviors
    • 80% of babies mistreated by caregiver show this pattern
    • Infants at increased risk for aggressive behavior probs in childhood.

Each pattern is associated w/different caregiver behaviors & different personality & behavioral outcomes.

Ex: Infants who exhibit a disorganized attachment pattern are at an increased risk for aggressive behavior problems in childhood.


Adult Attachment Interview (AAI)

Research using the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) has confirmed a relationship between parents' own attachment experiences & the attachment patterns of their children.

3 types of adults:

  1. Autonomous: Give coherent descriptions of childhood relationship w/parents.
    • Child of these adults have secure attachments in strange situation.
  2. Dismissing: Give positive descriptions of childhood relationships w/parents but descriptions are either not supported or contradicted by memories.
    • Child of thes adults have avoidant attachment patterns in strange situation
  3. Preoccupied: Adult becomes very angry or confused when describe childhood relationship w/parents or seem passively preoccupied w/a paremt.
    • Children of these adults exhibit resistant/ambivalent attachment patterns in strange situation.

Ex: Children of adults classified as dismissing on the AAI often exhibit an avoidant attachment pattern in the Strange Situation


Early Emotions

  • Soon after birth infants express interest, sadness, disgust & distress thru facial expressions
  • 6-8 mos infants express anger, joy, suprise & fear.
  • Self-Conscious Emotions (2yrs): Child begins to display these emotions which reflect the ability to use social standards and rules to eval. own behaviors.
  • 18-24 mos. show outward signs of jealousy, empathy & embarrasment
  • 30-36 mos. shame, guilt, pride.


Coercive Family Interaction Model (Patterson)

Patterson et al.'s model proposes that children initially learn aggressive behaviors from their parents who:

  • rarely reinforce prosocial behaviors,
  • rely on harsh discipline to control their children's behavior, and
  • reward their children's aggressiveness w/approval & attention.

Over time, aggressive parent-child interactions escalate.

They developed a parent intervention that is designed to stop this coercive cycle by teaching parents effective child management skills & providing them w/therapy to help them cope more effectively with stress.


Social-Cognitive Factors and Aggression

Perry, Perry, and Rasmussen (1986) found that aggressive children differ from their less aggressive peers in terms of two beliefs:

  1. Self-efficacy beliefs: They are more likely to say that it is easy to perform aggressive acts but difficult to inhibit aggressive impulses.
  2. Beliefs about the outcomes of their behaviors They expect that aggression will be followed by positive consequences including reduced aversive treatment by others.

Other studies have linked aggression to a tendency to misinterpret the positive or ambiguous acts of others as intentionally hostile


Heteronomous versus Autonomous Morality (Piaget)

Piaget distinguished between 3 stages of moral development.

The 3 stages are:

  1. Premoral Stage (Prior to age 7): Children exhibit little concern for rules.
  2. Heteronomous Morality/Morality of Constraint (7-10yrs): During this stage, children believe that rules are set by authority figures & are unalterable.
    • When judging whether an act is "right" or "wrong," they consider whether a rule has been violated & what the consequences of the act are.
  3. Autonomous Morality/Morality of Cooperation (11yrs): Children in this stage view rules as being arbitrary & alterable when the people who are governed by them agree to change them.
    • When judging an act, they focus more on the intention of the actor than on the act's consequences.


Kohlberg's Levels of Moral Development

Kohlberg's cog.-devel. theory coincides w/moral devel. w/changes in logical reasoning & social perspective-taking.

3 levels that each include 2 stages: ("CHARLE"s)

1. Preconventional Level (4-9 yrs) Lowest level of moral reasoning & morality is not internalized.

  • Punishment & Obedience Stage (C=Consequences): Reflects a desire to avoid punishment & stisfy ones own needs.
    • Bad behavior is punished
    • Good behavior is rewarded
    • Shapes childs concept of good & bad; right & wrong.
  • Instrumental Hedonism (H=Hedonism): Consequences still guide moral judement but are based on obtaining rewards & satisfying personal needs rather than avoid punishment.

2. Conventional Level (10-11 yrs): Charaterized by support for & adherence to existing social rules & laws. Internalization of morality in middle stage. (Ex: child applys moral standard but is provided by others; parents, gov. etc.)

  • Good boy/good girl Stage (A=Approval): The right action is the one that is approved by others.
    • Interpersonal expectations, rel., & conformity
    • Valued foundations for moral devel. include trust, loyalty & care for others.
  • Law & order orientation (R=Rules): Social system morality; moral judgements based on understanding of social system, justice, laws & duty est. by legit authorities.

3. Postconventional Level (Late Adolesc/Adulthood): Usually not reached; highest level moral standards fully internalized, based on abstract moral principles. Indiv. ID's various alt. among moral choices, explores them & chooses their own personal set of moral beliefs (moral codes). Based on social contracts, democratically accepted laws & indiv. consciience.

  • Morality of (Social) contract: (L=Laws) (individual rights, & democratically-accepted laws) The moraly right action is the one consistent w/democratically determined laws & can change if it interferes w/basic rights.
  • Morality of individual (E=Ethics; principles of conscious): Indiv based moral judgements on universal human rights, following their indiv. consciences to resolve conflicts w/law.
    • Moral judgements based on self-chosen principles considered universal in application.


Gilligan's Theory of Moral Development

Criticized Kohlber on grounds that it applies more to men who focus on justice & indiv. rights whn make moral judgements than women who focus more on caring, compassion & responsibility to others.

3 levels:

  1. Orientation of individual Survival: Focus is on what is best for oneself.
    • Transition: From selfishness to responsibility (Recognize that one is connected to others)
  2. Goodness as Self Sacrifice: Sacrifice own desires  for those of others.
    • Transition: From goodness to truth (Focus on coordinating one's responsibilites to self & others)
  3. Morality of Non-violence: Focus on avoiding harm to self & others; others is primary


Effects of Divorce on Children (Child's Age, Sleeper Effect, Parental Conflict)

The effects of divorce are moderated by several factors including the child's age & gender.

Preschool children exhibit the most probs immediately after the divorce, but long-term consequences may be worse for children who were in elementary school at the time of the divorce. 

Boys exhibit more problems than girls initially, but there may be a:

  • Sleeper Effect: for girls who may develop symptoms in adolescence.
  • Parental conflict: The negative consequences of divorce are reduced when the conflict between parents is minimized.


Divorce and Diminished Capacity to Parent

Divorced parents often experience emotional distress & changes in functioning that include a diminished capacity to parent.

Ex: Custodial mothers may be uncommunicative, impatient, & less warm & loving toward their children (especially sons), & they monitor their children's activities less closely and are less consistent but more authoritarian in terms of punishment


Remarriage (Child's Age, Stepfathers)

There is evidence that, when compared to children in intact biological families, children in stepfamilies have more adjustment problems, the differences btwn the 2 groups of children are generally small.

Problems are often most severe when:

  • Remarriage occurs when children are in early adolescence, & this is particularly true for girls residing with a biological mother and stepfather.
  • In terms of parenting style, the typical stepfather tends to be distant and disengaged from his stepchild.
  • Boys adapt to stepfathers better than girls & often eventually show better adjustment than male peers whose mothers did not remarry.


Effects of Maternal Employment

Research investigating the effects of maternal employment has found it to be associated with:

  • Greater personal satisfaction for the working mother (especially when she wants to work) and,
  • In terms of the children, w/fewer sex-role stereotypes and
  • Greater independence.

For lower-SES boys, maternal employment is associated w/better performance on measures of cognitive development; but for upper-SES boys, it may result in lower scores on IQ and achievement tests.


Gay and Lesbian Parents

The research on gay and lesbian parenting suggests that the nature of the parent-child relationship is more important than a parent's sexual orientation.

Overall, children of gay and lesbian parents are similar to children of heterosexual parents in terms of social relations, psychological adjustment, cognitive functioning, gender identity development, and sexual orientation.


Child Sexual Abuse

Studies on outcomes of child sexual abuse have not produced consistent results. Worse outcomes are associated with:

  • Earlier age of onset of the abuse
  • Abuse by a family member (parent, parent-figure or other family member)
  • Female gender
  • Abuse by a much older perp

When differences are found, the outcomes are worse for females than for males.

The effects of sexual abuse tend to be less severe when the abuse was committed by a stranger than by a family member or other familiar person.


Sibling Relationships

Most interactions btwn young siblings involve prosocial, play-orientated behaviors.

Middle-childhood is usually marked by a paradoxical combination of closeness/conflict & cooperation/competition.

  • During this period, sibling rivalry increases & is most intense among same-gender siblings who are 1.5 to 3 years apart in age and whose parents provide inconsistent discipline.

Pre-Adolescent sibling relationships are described as close & conflictual

Adolescence, siblings spend less time together, their relationships becomes less emotionally intense & more distant, and the friction between them usually declines as they begin to view one another as equals. (Distant but egalitarian)


Rejected and Neglected Children

A distinction is made between rejected & neglected children.

The studies have found that, overall, outcomes are worse for children who are actively rejected by their peers:

  • Rejected/Neglected Children  Worst outcomes & express greater loneliness & peer dissatisfaction and are less likely to experience an improvement in peer status when they change social groups.
  • Rejected-Aggressive Children: Are hostile, hyperactive & impulsive 7 have trouble regulating negative emotions & taking the perspective of others
  • Rejected-Withdrawn Children: Have a high level of social anxiety, are submissive, have negative expectations about how others will treat them, & are often the vistims of bullies. 


Socioemotional Selectivity Theory (Carstensen)

An assumption underlying socioemotional selectivity theory is that social goals have 2 primary functions:

  1. The acquisition of knowledge and
  2. The regulation of emotion

It predicts that social goals correspond to perceptions of time left in life as being limited or unlimited.

According to this theory, older adults perceive time as limited and, consequently, tend to prefer emotionally close partners.


Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Effect

Research by Rosenthal and Jacobson found that teachers' expectations about students can have a "self-fulfilling prophecy effect" on their academic performance, motivation, and self-esteem of students


Teacher Feedback

The research indicates that teachers tend to respond differently to boys and girls.

  • Boys generally receive more correction, criticism, praise and help than girls do.
  • Moreover, the nature of the feedback is gender-related;
    • boys are more often criticized for sloppiness and inattention,
    • girls for inadequate intellectual performance.


Compensatory Preschool Programs

Research evaluating the effects of Head Start and other compensatory preschool programs has found that, while initial IQ test score gains produced by these programs are often not maintained, children who attend these programs tend to:

  • obtain higher scores on achievement tests,
  • have better attitude toward school, and
  • are less likely to be retained in a grade,
  • be placed in special education classes, and
  • drop out of high school than their peers who do not attend such programs.


Montessori Method

The Montessori Method is an approach to education that emphasizes child-centered, experiential learning and sense discrimination; sensory stimuli

(i.e., learning through seeing, hearing, smelling, and touching; multi-store modalities).


It is not until about _____ years of age that most children express more favorable attitudes toward members of their own ethnic/racial group than toward members of other groups?

A. 4

B. 6

C. 8

D. 10

Early studies on in grp perf. found that children typically demonstrate pref. for members of own ethnic/racial grp & gender by about 4-5 yrs.

A. 4 yrs is correct

Clark, Hocevar & Dembo found that by age 4 children typically express more favorable attitudes toward members of own ethnic grp than members of other ethnic grps.


Parenting Styles that forster Conscience Development

(Kochanska, 1995) Identified temperament as one of the factors that contributes to the development of conscience in toddlers & determines which parenting style is most likely to be effective.

Distinguishes btwn 2 types of children:

  1. Fearful: Gentel discipline that emphasizes reasoning & providing encouragement promotes conscience development.
  2. Fearless: High degree of attachment scurity & responsivness to the childs cues are more predictive of conscience development.


10.96 Based on their analysis of the data from the Child Development Supplement, Vandewater, Bickham & Lee (2006) concluded that, across different age groups, the amount of time children spend doing which of the following is MOST negatively related to the amount of time they spend watching television?

A. Time spent reading or being read to
B. Time engaged in creative play

C. Time spent doing homework

D. Time engaged in active play

Results of the study confirmed previous research finding that the amt. of time children spend watching television has a negative impact on the time they spend engaged in some (but not all) other developmentally appropriate activities.

B. Time engaged in creative play CORRECT The results of this study indicated that time spent  watching television was associated w/decreased time in creative play and decreased homework time, with the negative relationship being greatest for television time and time engaged in creative

In contrast, the results did not find a significant relationship between television time and time spent reading or time engaged in active play.


Erickson's * Stages of Psychosocial Development

(Basic Mnemonic)

"Bare Ass Four Eyes and a G.I."

  • B = Basic Trust vs. Mistrust (0-1 yrs)
  • A = Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt (1-3 yrs)
  • Four Eyes (4 I's):
    • Initative vs. Guilt (3-6 yrs)
    • Industry vs. Inferiority (6 to Puberty) - School children should not work in industry.
    • Identity vs. Role Confusion (Adolesc.) - Teenage ID Issues
    • Intimacy vs. Isolation (Early Adulthood)
  • G = Generativity vs. Stagnation (Mid-Adulthood, 40)
  • I = Integrity vs. Despair (Late Adulthood, 65+ yrs)


Piaget attributed the animistic thinking characteristic of children in the preoperational stage to:

A. decentration. 
B. lack of object permanence. 
C. relativistic thinking. 
D. egocentrism.

D. egocentrism - Correct

Familiarity with the characteristics of Piaget’s preoperational stage would have helped you choose the correct answer to this question. According to Piaget, animism and magical thinking are attributable to precausal reasoning that, in turn, is due to egocentrism which underlies many of the limitations of the preoperational stage.