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Chapter 1 notes

by: Leah Lindak

Chapter 1 notes HGFS 2410

Leah Lindak
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history, theory, and research strategies
Child Development
Theresa Settle
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This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Leah Lindak on Friday January 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HGFS 2410 at Ohio State University taught by Theresa Settle in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 104 views. For similar materials see Child Development in Human Development at Ohio State University.

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Date Created: 01/22/16
Chapter 1 History, Theory, and Research Strategies  Child development: an area of study devoted to understanding constancy and change from conception through adolescence o Part of a larger group  developmental science: includes changes we experience throughout life  All that study throughout these fields want to explain and understand the changes a person goes through in the first 20 years of life Field of Childhood Development  The general observations made about childhood development is not just for scientific data o All data has practical importance  Can help doctors and educators o Info is interdisciplinary  Gathered by different studies over time Domains of Development  Domains are set to separate and organize the study of human constancy and change o Physical  Change in body size and proportions  Functioning of body system  Perceptual and motor capacities  Physical health o Cognitive  Changes in intellect abilities  Attention, memory, problem solving, and everyday knowledge  Imagination, creativity o Emotional and social  Changes in emotional communication  Knowledge about other people  Interpersonal skills  Friendships  Moral reasoning and behavior o These domains overlap and can influence each other Periods of Development  How to make a time-line regarding the development of a child  Categories were made and are used to break up the developmental age of a child o Each has new milestones and expectancies common for that age  The prenatal period: from conceptionbirth  Most rapid time of change  Changes to prepare infant for the outside world  Infancy and toddlerhood: birth  2 years  Dramatic changes in body and brain that can support motor, perceptual, and intellectual capacities  Basis Language is formed here  Intimate ties  Infancy takes the first year and toddlerhood the second  Early Childhood: 2 years  6 years  Body grows in length and becomes leaner  Refined motor skills  Child becomes more self-sufficient and self- controlled  Imagination grows  Thought and language grows immensely  Morality and ties with peers  Middle Childhood: 6 years 11 years  Learn about the world beyond them  Responsibilities that prepare them for adulthood  Athletic abilities in games and understanding and following of rules  Logic  Reading, writing, math, and logic problem solving skills become second nature  Understanding self, morality, and friendship  Adolescence: 11 years  18 years  Starts transition to adulthood o Adult sized body and sexual maturity  Education starts preparing for the future as a whole  Thoughts change to independent and abstract ideas  Personal values and goals  Because it seems that true adulthood is being prolonged in industrialized nations, scientists are starting to identify a new category called emerging adulthood: from 18-25  Take more time while pursuing a high education to explore and identify wants and goals Basic Issue  Theory: an orderly, integrated set of statements that describes, explains, and predicts behaviors o Provide organizing frameworks for observation of children  Guide and give meaning to what is seen o Serve a sound basis for practical action o A better understanding allows for better application when trying to make improvements  Because children are complex, many do not agree on a single theory and there is not one theory that can completely explain childhood development  Can be organized o Course of development: is it continuous or discontinuous? o Course of development: does it characterize all children or are there multiple possible courses o Roles in development of factors such as genetic and environment or nature and nature? Continuous or Discontinuous  Explanation for the differences in behavior between small infants to adolescents and everything in between o One view claims younger children view the world in much the same way that adults do  Can account for differences with amount or complexity of information or thought  This development would be continuous: process of gradually adding more of the same types of skills that were there to begin with o Second view claims views of younger children are different from those of adults  Not able to distinguish and recognize  Move through series of developmental steps until highest level is reached  Discontinuous: a process in which new ways of understanding and responding to the world emerge at specific times  Development happens in stages: qualitative changes in thinking, feeling, and having that characterize specific periods of development One Course of Development or Many  Stage theorist think that each child follows the same developmental milestone  Beginning to learn that each child is different o They grow up in distinct contexts: unique combo of personal and environmental circumstances that can result in different paths of change  Different cities, experiences, cultures, biological makeup, and cultural diversity can alter development  Contemporary theorists view these contexts as multi-layered Relative Influence of Nature and Nurture  Continues with the questioning of the underlying causes in childhood development o Nature-nurture controversy: whether genetic or environmental factors are more important in influencing childhood development o Nature means the hereditary info received from our parents at the moment of conception o Nurture means the complex forces of the physical and social world that influences our biological makeup and psychological experiences before and after birth  The position of the theory depends on the way it describes characteristics  Stability that people who high levels of anxiety will experience similar levels later on in life and it can be, in part, related to heredity  Plasticity views development being subject to change depending on influential experiences Balanced Point of View  Many theorists aren’t one way or another o Have found a balance and believe some developments can be continuous or discontinuous or a little of each o New ties between heredity and environment are being used to answer developmental questions Biology and environment  Because some environmental factors cannot be controlled by the child, scientists are looking for ways to study and promote resilience: the ability to adapt effectively in the face of threats to development o Four broad factors offer protection  Warm parental relationship  Social support outside that immediate family  Community resources and opportunities  Personal characteristics Historical foundations  Medieval Times o Definite line drawn between adults and children by medieval Europe  Playing games  Different clothes  Advice books on how to raise them by 14 century  Protection from the government  Abuse laws and juvenile laws  The Reformation o Believed children were born with evil and had to be tamed and purified  Beatings, uncomfortable clothing o Puritan parents learned a mix between discipline and teaching children right from wrong with reasoning  Philosophies of the Enlightenment o Conceptions of childhood were more humane o John Locke  Viewed child as tabula rasa  Blank slate  Look to parents as a tutor  Use of verbal reinforcement  Regarded development as continuous and believed in nurture o Jean-Jacques Rousseau  Believed children were noble savages  Sense of right and wrong o Can only be harmed by adult training  Had a philosophy with two influential concepts  Stage  Maturation: refers to a genetically determined, naturally unfolding course of growth Scientific Beginnings  Darwin: Forefather of Scientific Child Study o Noticed no two individuals are alike and went on to create the Theory of Evolution  Emphasizes:  Natural Selection: certain species survive because of specific characteristics  Survival of the Fittest: some species die off because they are not as well-suited to their environment as another o Found prenatal growth is similar in many species o Scientific child study stemmed from Darwin’s findings and beliefs  The Normative Period o G. Stanley Hall: founder of the child-study movement worked with student, Arnold Gesell  Theories made off evolutionary ideas  Development was a maturation process, a series of events that systematically unfold  Together launched normative approach: in which measure of behavior are taken on large numbers of individuals and age-related average are computed to represent typical development  This theory tried to explain child development as a whole  Let parents know what to expect at each age  The Mental Testing Movement o Alfred Binet was asked in the early 1900s to create an intelligence test  Evaluated abilities and categorized  Known as Standford-Binet Intelligence Test Mid-Twentieth Century Theories  Child development expanded and importance on the child’s inner thoughts and feelings contrasted with original focus The Psychoanalytic Perspective  Emotional problems were becoming a concern  Psychoanalytic perspective: children move through a series of stages in which they confront conflicts between biological drive and social expectations o How the conflicts are resolved determines the person’s ability to learn, to get along with others and to cope with anxiety  Freud’s theory o Sought for cure for emotionally troubled patients  Constructed psychosexual theory: which emphasizes that how parents manage their child’s sexual aggression and drives in the first few years is crucial for healthy personality development  Used id, ego, and superego o Said parents walked fine line between too much and too little gratification of child’s basic needs o Criticized because:  Overemphasized influence of sexual feelings in development  Based off problems of sexually repressed  He did not study children directly  Erikson’s Theory o Expanded picture of development with his psychosocial theory: in addition to mediating between id impulses and superego demands, the ego makes a positive contribution to development, acquiring attitudes and skills that makes the individual an active, contributing member of society  Took cultural influences into account Behaviorism and Social Learning Theory  Behaviorism: directly observable events-stimuli and responses- are the appropriate focus of study o John Watson pioneered behaviorism  Traditional Behaviorism o Used in Pavlov’s dogs  Discovery of classical conditioning: a stimulus alone could produce a reaction o Watson used with baby Albert experiment  Afraid of rat when noise wasn’t even presented because he associated the rat with the scary noise  Unethical o Operant conditioning theory  Behavior could be reinforced or stopped with reward or punishment  Social Learning Theory o Social Learning Theory: emphasizes modeling, aka imitation or observational learning as a powerful source of development  Repetition of what the see  As they grow, they show self-efficacy and decide what they want to repeat  Contributions and Limitations of Behaviorism and Social Learning Theory o Applied behavior analysis: consists of observations of relationships between behavior and environmental events, followed by systematic changes in those events based on procedures of conditioning and modeling. The goal is to eliminate undesirable behaviors and increase desirable responses. o Scientists think that behaviorism and social learning offer too narrow of a range on environmental influences  Piaget’s Cognitive-Developmental Theory o Did not believe in reinforcers o Believed in cognitive-developmental theory: children actively construct knowledge as they manipulate and explore their world  Piaget’s stages o Used the belief of adaptation to form main stages:  Sensorimotor  Preoperational  Concrete operational  Formal operational  Contributions and Limitations of Piaget’s Theory o Sparked research on children’s conception o However, he underestimated the competencies of infants and preschoolers Recent Theoretical Perspectives Information Processing  Information processing: the human mind might also be viewed as a symbol-manipulating system through which information flow o Input stimulates a specific behavioral response (output)  Developmental Neuroscience o Developmental cognitive neuroscience: Brings together researchers from psychology, neuro, and medicine to study the relationship between changes in the brain and the developing child’s cognitive processing and behavior patterns o Research is now moving to a new area called developmental social neuroscience: devoted to studying the relationship between changes in the brain and emotional and social development  Study negative effects on brain developments cognitive skills  Ethology and Evolutionary Developmental Psychology o Ethology: is concerned with the adaptive, or survival, value of behavior and its evolutionary history o Can be traced back Darwin  Imprinting  Led to the discovery of the critical period: limited time span when children are biologically prepared to acquire certain adaptive behaviors o Sensitive period: a time that is biologically optimal for certain capacities to emerge because the individual is especially responsive to environmental influences  Boundaries less defined than that of a critical period o Many of our emotions are linked to our primate relatives o Evolutionary developmental psychology: seeks to understand the adaptive value of species-wide cognitive, emotional, and social competencies as those competencies change with age  Interested in genetics, biology, and learning  Evolutionary developmental psychology aims to understand the entire personal environmental system  Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory o Examines the relationship of culturally specific beliefs and practices to development o Used Vygotsky’s contribution of sociocultural theory: how culture, the values, beliefs, customs and skills of a social group is transmitted to the next generation  He believes that cognitive development is a socially mediated process where children depend on assistance from adults and more-expert peers for new challenges  Ecological Systems theory o Created by Urie Bronfenbrenner to show contextual influences on children’s development o Ecological Systems Theory: views the child as developing within a complex system of relationships affected by multiple levels of the surrounding environment  Characterizes perspective as a bioecological model  Levels:  Microsystem: innermost level that consists of activities and interaction patterns in the child’s immediate surroundings o Can be affected by third parties  Mesosystem: second level of Bronfenbrenner’s model, which encompasses connections between microsystems, such as home, school, neighborhood, and child-care center  Exosystem: consists of social setting that do not contain children but that nevertheless affect children’s experiences in immediate settings  Macrosystem: outermost level that consists of cultural values, laws, customs, and resources o Ever-changing system  Environment is not static and everything can affect it  Birth of a sibling  Change of schools  Chronosystem: the temporal dimension of Bronfenbrenner’s model to say that life changes can be put on the child or they can experience them as they develop  Development as a Dynamic System o Dynamic System Perspective: says the child’s mind, body, and physical and social worlds form an integrated system that guides mastery of new skills  Dynamic because it is constantly changing and child changes their behavior to respond Comparing Child Development Theories  Most views have a blend of different theories Studying the Child  Start with hypothesis  Use different research strategies  Use different research designs Common Research Methods  Systematic Observation o One approach is a naturalistic observation: goes into the field, or natural environment and observe behavior or interest  Limits the observer because not all people have the opportunity to display the behavior in everyday life o Structured Observations: used to combat problems with naturalistic observation in which the investigator sets up a lab situation that evokes the behavior of interest so that every participant has an equal opportunity to display the response  Self-Reports o Have participants provide information on their perceptions, thoughts, and abilities o Can use a clinical interview: to have a flexible, conversational style interview to probe for the participant’s point of view  Permits people to displays their thoughts similar to everyday life  Can provide a large amount of info in a brief time  Problem is accuracy of account o Structured Interviews: ask the same questions in the same way  Clinical, or Case Study, Method o Brings together a wide range of info on one child, including interviews, observations, and sometimes test scores o For those that are few in number but vary widely in characteristics  Methods for Studying Culture o For observations that seems to be universal but may vary through culture o Uncover cultural meanings with Ethnography: descriptive, qualitative technique  Directed toward understanding a culture through a participant General Research Designs  Correlational Design o Researchers gather info on individuals and make no effort to alter their experience  Look at relationships between participants characteristics and behaviors o Use correlation coefficient: a number that describes how two measure or variables are associated with one another  Experimental Design o Permits inferences about cause ad effect because researchers use an evenhanded procedure to assign people to two or more treatment conditions  Independent variable: variable causing change  Dependent variable: thing being changed  Random assignment: chance of being assigned to a specific group is evenly distributed  Modified experimental designs o Field experiments capitalize on rare opportunities to assign participants o Natural experiments: manipulate conditions so they can be studied but make it as close as possible to normal  Participants are carefully chosen Designs for Studying Development  The Longitudinal Design: participants are studied repeatedly and changes are noted as they get older o Problem is the Cohort effects: in which longitudinal studies examine the development of Coherts-children born at the same time, who are influenced by particular cultural and historical conditions  Results based on cohorts may not apply to children developing at other times  The Cross-Sectional Design o Behaviors take so long to have noticeable change o Cross-sectional design: groups of people differing in age are studied at the same point in time


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