Presentation on theme: "Infancy & Childhood Chapter 10. Early childhood experiences affect people as adolescents and adults. Developmental psychologists use two methods to study."— Presentation transcript:
Infancy & Childhood Chapter 10
Early childhood experiences affect people as adolescents and adults. Developmental psychologists use two methods to study change: longitudinal and cross-sectional. Two general issues are studied by these psychologists: the ways in which heredity and environmental issues contribute to human development, and whether it occurs gradually or in stages.
Psychologists have long debated the extent to which human behavior is determined by heredity (nature) or environment (nurture). Some aspects of behavior originates in the genes people inherit from their parents. Heredity manifests itself primarily in the process called maturation which happens automatically and can’t be taught.
Arnold Gesell believed that maturation played the most important role in development. Behavioral psychologists, such as John Watson, disagreed. They believed that “nurture”, or the environment, will have the greatest effect on a newborn’s development.
Nurture influences are found in factors such as nutrition, family background, culture, and learning experiences in the home, community, and school. Today, most psychologists would agree that both nature and nurture play key roles in a child’s development.
Certain aspects of physical development appear to take place in stages. One of the most famous stage theorists was Jean Piaget, who specifically studied cognitive development. J.H. Flavell argued that cognitive development is a gradual process.
Babies grow at an amazing rate, but the most dramatic gains in height and weight take place even before birth. During the first eight weeks of pregnancy, the embryo develops fingers, toes, eyes, ears, a nose, a mouth, a heart, and a circulatory system.
At 8 weeks, the embryo becomes a fetus and is about 1 ½ inches long. The fetal stage lasts until birth. During the fetal stage, the organs develop to the point at which they can sustain the life of the baby after it is born. In 9 months, the embryo grows from a microscopic cell to about 20 in. long; weight increases about a billion times more than at conception.
During infancy (birth to 2yrs), children usually double their birth weight in about five months and triple it by one year. They grow about 10 inches in height in the first year, and gain another 4- 6 inches in the second. Their weight is increased by 4-7 pounds in the second year, as well.
In the period of childhood (2 years to adolescence), children gain 2-3 inches in height and 4-6 pounds in weight each year. Motor development occurs in stages, but the point at which these stages occurs differs from infant to infant and even from culture to culture.
Reflexes are inborn, not learned, and they occur automatically without thinking. Some reflexes include: Grasping Rooting Sucking Swallowing Moro (startle) Babinski (fanning)
As children develop, many reflexes disappear. Others come under voluntary control. Researchers have discovered that infants’ perceptual preferences are influenced by their age. Infants tend to prefer new and interesting stimuli.
Depth perception has also been studied in infants. Sometimes a “visual cliff” is used. Very young infants seem to be unafraid when placed face-down on the edge of the apparent drop-off. By 9 months, however, infants respond with fear and most will refuse to move over the glass, even when called by their mothers.
Infants’ hearing is much better developed than vision is at birth. Most newborns will turn toward unusual sounds, especially high- pitched ones. They tend to prefer low-pitched tones. Newborns immediately distinguish strong odors. They spit, stick out their tongues, and wrinkle their noses. They also prefer sweet- tasting liquids.
As babies get older, they tend to cling less to their mothers and venture out to make contact with other people. Many factors affect social development. They include: 1.Attachment – these feelings are necessary for survival since infants are basically helpless and totally dependent on others.
By about the age of eight months, some infants may develop stranger anxiety and separation anxiety. Infants become attached to their primary caregiver for two reasons: contact comfort – babies crave the body contact from their mothers because it gives them a sense of security. imprinting – children do not imprint on the first person they see or are held by, but it may still be an instinctive response.
2. Styles of parenting – Warm parents show a great deal of affection to their children; cold parents may not be as affectionate toward their children or appear to enjoy them as much. 3. Strict or permissive – Parents may be strict or permissive for different reasons. Strictness can have positive and negative results, depending on how it is used.
4. Child care – Studies of the effects of child care have found that children who become accustomed to being cared for by people other than their parents are less upset when their mothers leave them temporarily. 5. Child abuse and neglect – In a national poll of 1000 parents, 5 % admitted to physically abusing their children. Child neglect is even more common – failure to give adequate food, shelter, clothing, emotional support, or schooling.
Why do parents abuse? The following factors have been associated with child abuse and neglect: Stress (unemployment, poverty) History of being abused as a child Acceptance of violence as a way of coping Lack of attachment to the children Substance abuse Rigid attitudes about child rearing
Not all children who were abused as children will become abusers themselves. In fact, most do not. They may have had support from a non-abusive adult as a child, participated in therapy, or have chosen a non-abusive mate. 6. Self-esteem – This develops in early childhood and it helps protect against the stresses and struggles of life. It is influenced by secure attachments, parents’ reactions to their children, and a sense of competence.
Parents give their children two types of support: unconditional positive regard – parents love and accept their children for who they are, no matter how they behave. These children usually develop high self- esteem. conditional positive regard – parents show love only when the children behave in certain acceptable ways. These children tend to develop low-self esteem because they are constantly seeking the approval of others.
By the ages of 5 – 7, children begin to value themselves on the basis of their physical appearance and performance in school. Girls tend to display greater competence in reading and general academic skills, while boys tend to show competence in math and physical skills.
Even though children gain in competence as they grow older, their self-esteem tends to decline during the elementary school years. It reaches a low point at around 12 or 13 years old. They begin to compare themselves to other peers and see themselves as less competent, or they realize that others don’t seem them as the way they see themselves.
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Assimilation and Accommodation – humans organize new information in one of these two ways. New information is placed into a category that already exists (assimilation), or the categories are adjusted to fit (accommodation).
Stages of Cognitive Development: Sensorimotor Stage (birth to 2 years) – Infants begin to understand that there is a relationship between their physical movements and the results they sense and perceive. Preoperation Stage (2 years to 7 years) – Children start to use words and symbols to represent objects, but the thinking is one-dimensional.
Concrete Operational Stage ( 7 years to puberty) – Children begin to show signs of adult thinking, yet they are usually only logical when thinking about specific objects, not abstract ideas. The Formal-Operational Stage (puberty through adulthood) – People in this stage think abstractly. They realize that ideas can be compared and classified mentally just as objects can. They are also capable of dealing with hypothetical situations.
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development Kohlberg was a stage theorist like Piaget. He believed that the stages of moral development followed a specific sequence. Children advance at different rates, and not everyone reaches the highest stage
1. The Preconventional Level (through the age of 9 years for most children) – moral judgments are based on the consequences of behavior. –Stage 1 – children believe that what is “good” is what helps one avoid punishment. –Stage 2 – “good” is what satisfies a person’s needs.
The Conventional Level – judgments are made in terms of whether an act conforms to conventional standards of right and wrong. (family, religion, society) –Stage 3 – “good” is what meets one’s needs and the expectations of other people, or what most people would do in a given situation. (most often found among 13 year olds) –Stage 4 – moral judgments are based on maintaining the social order, a high regard for authority. (occur most often among 16 year olds)
The Postconventional Level – moral judgments reflect one’s personal values, not conventional standards. –Stage 5 – this reasoning recognizes that laws represent agreed-upon procedures, that laws have value, and they should not be violated without good reason – only in exceptional circumstances. (mostly found in adults) –Stage 6 – this reasoning regards acts that support the value of human life, justice, and dignity as moral and good. People at this stage rely upon their own consciences and do not necessarily obey laws or agree with other people’s opinions. (mostly found in adults)