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Unit 2 – Life Span Development

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1 Unit 2 – Life Span Development
Module 4: Prenatal and Childhood Development

2 Prenatal Development Prenatal is defined as “before birth”
The prenatal stage begins at conception and ends with the birth of the child

3 Prenatal Development: Day 1 to Day 51

4 Zygote A newly fertilized egg
The first two weeks are a period of rapid cell division Attaches to the mothers uterine wall At the end of 14 days, it becomes an embryo

5 Embryo Developing human from about 14 days until the end of the eighth week Embryo at 45 days

6 Embryo Stage Most of the major organs are formed during this time
Critical period of maturation At the end of the eighth week the fetal period begins

7 Prenatal Development at 2 months

8 Fetal Period The period between the beginning of the ninth week and birth

9 Teratogens Substances that pass through the placenta’s screen and prevent the fetus from developing normally Include: radiation, toxic chemicals, viruses, drugs, alcohol, nicotine, etc.


11 Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
A series of physical and cognitive abnormalities in children due to their mother drinking large amounts of alcohol during pregnancy

12 The Newborn Newborn infants are not completely helpless
Senses are developed at birth, though not to full potential Reflexes are automatic and unlearned Rooting reflex

13 Temperament A person’s characteristic emotional “way of being”
Present from birth – generally continues through life Often defined as “easy” or “difficult” in reference to babies

14 Maturation Biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior Maturation follows a distinct series of “steps” in typical human development

15 Cognitive Development in Infancy and Childhood
Piaget’s Cognitive Stages

16 What is Cognition? All the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, and remembering Do children think differently than adults do? YES!!

17 Jean Piaget Developmental psychologist who introduced a stage theory of cognitive development Piaget’s theory consisted of four stages

18 Schemas Concepts or mental frameworks that people use to organize and interpret information Your “picture” of the world

19 Assimilation You try a new food and people always say “Tastes like chicken.” Why? We interpret new experiences within the concept of our existing experiences or schemas.

20 Accommodation Interpreting a new experience by changing or adapting one’s existing schemas If you can’t “fit” or assimilate a new idea into your schema, you must change or accommodate your schema

21 Piaget’s Stages at a Glance
Sensorimotor – birth to age 2 Preoperational – age 2 to 6 or 7 Concrete operational – age 7 to 11 Formal Operational – age 12 and up

22 Now it’s your turn… You will explore the cognitive stages in this interactive activity Log on to your computer and type in this URL:

23 PsychSim online Click on “Cognitive Development” and complete the worksheet as you progress through the program Worksheets will be collected

24 The Stages Defined Sensorimotor – birth to age 2
Child gathers information through senses and motor functions Object permanence – “out of sight, out of mind”

25 The Stages Defined Preoperational – age 2 to 6 or 7
Children can understand language, not logic Egocentrism – it’s all about me, right? Inability to understand symbols as representations of other objects

26 The Stages Defined Concrete Operational – age 7 to 11
Child learns to think logically and understands concept of conservation Remember the “glass of juice experiment?” Conservation can apply to mass, volume, and numbers

27 The Stages Defined Formal Operational Stage – 12 and up
Child can think logically and in the abstract Ability to understand/solve hypothetical problems (What if?)

28 Challenges to Piaget’s Theory
Underestimated the child’s ability at various ages Cultural and social differences are not factored into the theory Can you think of any other challenges?

29 Social Development in Infancy & Childhood
Life Span Development Module 4

30 Attachment An emotional tie with another person
Shown by seeking closeness on a regular basis and distress at separation Stranger Anxiety/Separation Anxiety Occurs around 8 months in infants Infant schema only includes familiar faces

31 Three Elements of Attachment:
Body contact Holding or cuddling Familiarity Who is around the child frequently Responsiveness Attentiveness to child’s needs

32 Types of Attachment Secure Attachment
A good predictor of social competence Results in confident, more outgoing child Insecure Attachment Can result in withdrawn, frightened behaviors in children

33 Research on Attachment
Konrad Lorenz’s imprinting studies Newborn ducklings would attach to the first moving object they saw Harry Harlow’s “monkey experiment” Concluded that body contact was more important to the infant (monkey) than feeding

34 Parenting Styles Directly affect attachment Three main categories:
Authoritarian Permissive Authoritative

35 Authoritarian Parenting
Low in warmth Strict in discipline, often physical Communication: Parent to child – high Child to parent - low Maturity expectations are high Compare to a dictatorship

36 Permissive Parenting High in warmth
Rarely discipline, often overly indulgent Communication: Parent to child – low Child to parent - high Maturity expectations are low Compare to laissez-faire government

37 Authoritative Parenting
High in warmth Moderate discipline, often negotiate and explain rules Communication: Parent to child – high Child to parent - high Maturity expectations are moderate Compare to democratic government

38 Which Style is Best? There is no “one-size fits all” in parenting
Authoritative parenting often produces children high in self-esteem and competence Different children require different approaches – bolder children need more restrictive parenting Fearful children need gentler parenting

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