3 Developmental Issues, Prenatal Development, and the Newborn Module 10
4 Two Major Developmental Issues Continuity and Stages Stability and Change Conception Prenatal Development The Competent Newborn
5 Developmental Issues, Prenatal Development, and the Newborn Development begins with the meeting of sperm and egg and continues throughout our lives. Developmental psychology studies our lifelong physical, mental, and social development.
6 Two Major Developmental Issues Developmental psychology considers three pervasive issues: IssueDetails Nature/Nurture How do genetic inheritance (our nature) and experience (the nurture we receive) influence our behavior? Continuity/Stages Is development a gradual, continuous process or a sequence of separate stages? Stability/Change Do our early personality traits persist through life, or do we become different persons as we age.
7 Continuity and Stages Researchers who view development as a slow, continuous process are generally those who emphasize experience and learning. Those with a biological perspective view maturation and development as a series of genetically predisposed steps or stages.
9 Stability and Change Lifelong development requires both stability and change. Researchers agree that: -The first two years of life provide a poor basis for predicting a person’s eventual traits. -As people grow older, personality gradually stabilizes. -In some ways, we all change with age.
10 Prenatal Development and the Newborn How, over time, did we come to be who we are? From zygote to birth, development progresses in an orderly, though fragile, sequence.
11 Conception A single sperm cell (male) penetrates the outer coating of the egg (female) and fuses to form one fertilized cell. Lennart Nilsson/ Albert Bonniers Publishing Company
12 Prenatal Development A zygote is a fertilized egg with 100 cells that become increasingly diverse. At about 10 days the zygote turns into an embryo (a). Over the next 6 weeks organs begin to form and the heart begins to beat. At 9 weeks, the embryo becomes a fetus (b and c) Fig 10.3
13 Prenatal Development At each prenatal stage genetic and environmental factors affect development. Although the placenta screens out potential threats, some teratogens, chemicals or viruses that can harm the developing fetus, can slip by. For example, fetal alcohol syndrom (FAS), can be caused by a mother’s drinking during pregnancy. FAS is marked by a small, misproportioned head and lifelong brain abnormalities.
14 The Competent Newborn Infants are born with reflexes that aid in survival, including the rooting reflex which helps them locate food.
15 The Competent Newborn In addition to this, we are born preferring sights and sounds that facilitate social responsiveness. Infants turn their heads in the direction of human voices and gaze longer at face-like images. Newborns gazed nearly twice as long at the figure on the right. (Johnson & Morton, 1991)