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Psych 212- Studying A Child's World Chapter 1 Notes

by: Jordan Notetaker

Psych 212- Studying A Child's World Chapter 1 Notes Psych 212

Marketplace > Pennsylvania State University > Psychlogy > Psych 212 > Psych 212 Studying A Child s World Chapter 1 Notes
Jordan Notetaker
Penn State

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These notes cover some of what's on the quiz as well as the exam.
Developmental Psychology
Dr. Hunt
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jordan Notetaker on Sunday February 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 212 at Pennsylvania State University taught by Dr. Hunt in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 39 views. For similar materials see Developmental Psychology in Psychlogy at Pennsylvania State University.


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Date Created: 02/21/16
PSYCH 212 Chapter 1­ Studying a Child’s World The Study of Child Development: Then & Now - Individuals grow in patterned ways & they show consistency over time with respect to  their unique characteristics.  - The field of child development focuses on the scientific study of systematic processes of change and stability in human children.  Early Approaches - It was Charles Darwin, originator of the theory of evolution, who first emphasized the  developmental nature of infant behavior.  The Study of Child Development: Basic Concepts  The process of change & stability that developmental scientists study occur in all domains of the  self & throughout all of childhood & adolescence.  Domains of Development - Developmental scientists study 3 domains of the self:   Physical development­ growth of the body and brain, sensory capacities, motor  skills, and health.  Cognitive development­ learning, attention, memory, language, thinking,  reasoning, and creativity.  Psychosocial development­ emotions, personality, and social relationships.  Periods of Development - Division of the life span into periods of development is a social construction: a  concept/practice that may appear natural & obvious to those who accept it, but in reality  is an invention of a particular culture/society.   - Our understanding of childhood itself can be viewed as a social construction - The concept of adolescence as a period of development in industrial societies is quite  recent; until the 20  century, young people in the U.S. were considered children until  they left school, married/got a job, and entered the adult world. Typical Major Developments in Five Periods of Child Development Age Period Physical  Cognitive  Psychosocial  Developments Developments Developments Prenatal Period  Conception occurs by Abilities to learn,  Fetus responds to a  (conception to  normal  remember, & respond mother’s voice &  birth) fertilization/other  to sensory stimuli are  develops a preference means.  developing. for it. The genetic  endowment interacts  w/ environmental  influences from the  start. Basic body structures  & organs form; brain  growth spurt begin. Physical growth is the most rapid in the life  span. Vulnerability to environmental  influence is great.   Infancy &  All senses & body  Abilities to learn &  Attachments to  Toddlerhood (birth  systems operate at  remember are  parents & others  birth to varying  present, even in early  form. to age 3) degrees. weeks.  Self­awareness  The brain grows in  Use of symbols &  develops. complexity & is  ability to solve  Shift from  highly sensitive to  problems ndvelop by  dependence to  environmental  end of 2  year. autonomy occurs. influence.  Comprehension &  Interest in other  Physical growth &  use of language  children increases.  development of motor develop rapidly.  skills are rapid. Early Childhood  Growth is steady;  Thinking is  Self­concept &  (ages 3 to 6) appearance becomes  somewhat egocentric, understanding of  more slender &  but understanding of  emotions become  proportions more  other people’s  more complex; self­ adult like. perspectives grows.  esteem is global.  Appetite diminishes  Cognitive immaturity Independence,  & sleep problems are  results in some  initiative, & self­ common. illogical ideas about  control increase. Handedness appears;  the world.  Gender identity  fine & gross motor  Memory & language  develops skills and strength  improve. Play becomes more  improve. Intelligence becomes  imaginative, more  more predictable.  elaborate, & usually  more social. Altruism, aggression,  and fearfulness are  common. Other children  become more  important.  Middle Childhood  Growth slows. Egocentrism  Self­concept becomes (ages 6 to 11) Strength & athletic  diminishes more complex,  skills improve. Children begin to  affecting self­esteem. Respiratory illnesses  think logically but  Coregulation reflects  are common; health  concretely gradual shift in  generally better than  Memory & language  control from parents  at any other time in  skills increase to child. life span.  Cognitive gains  Peers assume central  permit children to  importance. benefit from formal  schooling Some children show  special educational  needs & strengths Adolescence (ages  Physical growth &  Ability to think  Search for identity,  11 to about 20) other changes are  abstractly & use  including sexual  rapid & profound. scientific reasoning  identity, becomes  Reproductive  develops. central. maturity occurs Immature thinking  Relationships w/  Major health risks  persists in some  parents are generally  arise from behavioral  attitude & behaviors. good. issues (e.g., eating  Education focuses on  Peer group may exert  disorders & drug  prep. for  a positive/negative  abuse) college/vocation. influence.    - Although individual differences exist in the way children deal w/ the characteristic events & issues of each period, developmental scientists suggest that certain basic needs must be met & certain tasks mastered for normal development to occur.  Influences on Development - Students of development are interested in universal developmental processes experienced by all children; they must also consider individual differences in characteristics,  influences, & developmental outcomes.  Heredity, Environment, & Maturation - Some influences on development originate primarily w/ heredity, inborn  traits/characteristics inherited from a child’s biological parents - Other influences come largely from the inner & outer environment, the world outside the self­beginning in the womb, & the learning that comes from experience – including  socialization, a child’s induction into the value system of the culture.  - The nature (heredity) vs. nurture (environmental influences both before & after birth)  debate.  - Typical changes of infancy & early childhood, such as the emergence of the abilities to  walk & talk, are tied to maturation of the body and the brain – the unfolding of a  universal natural sequence of physical & behavioral changes. - To understand child development, we need to look at the inherited characteristics as well  as the environmental characteristics.  Contexts of Development Family: The nuclear family is a household unit generally consisting of one or two parents and  their children, whether biological, adopted, or stepchildren. Historically, the nuclear family has  been the dominant family unit in the U.S. and other western societies. However, this type of  family is different today; instead of a large rural family (in which parents and children worked  side by side on family farm) we now see smaller, urban families in which both parents work  outside the home & children spend much of their time in school/child care.  - In many societies in Asia, Africa, & Latin America & among some U.S. families, the  extended family – a multigenerational kinship network of grandparents, aunts, uncles,  cousins, and more distant relatives – is the traditional family form.  Culture & Race/Ethnicity: Culture refers to a society’s/group’s way of life, including customs,  traditions, laws, knowledge, beliefs, values, language, & physical products, from tools to  artworks – all of the behavior & attitudes that are learned, shared & transmitted among members  of a social group; constantly changing (often through contact with other cultures) - An ethnic group consists of people united by a distinctive culture, ancestry, religion,  language, or national origin, all of which contribute to a sense of shared identity & shared attitudes, beliefs, & values. By 2050, due to rising immigration & high birthrates among  immigrant families, ethnic minorities in the U.S. are expected to become the majority.  - The proportion of minority children is increasing & is predicted that minority children  will make up more than half of the child population by 2023.  - In time, immigrants tend to acculturate or adapt by learning the language, customs &  attitudes needed to get along in the dominant culture, while trying to preserve some of  their cultural practices & values.  - A term such as African American, Hispanic, or white can be an ethnic gloss: an  overgeneralization that obscures or blurs such variations.  Socioeconomic Status & Neighborhood: A family’s socioeconomic status (SES) is based on  family income & the educational & occupational levels of the adults in the household. SES  relates to developmental processes (such as mother’s verbal interactions w/ their children) and  developmental outcomes (such as health & cognitive performance). - More than half of the world’s population (53%) lives on less than the international  poverty standard of $2 a day and 19% live on less than $1 a day.  - Child poverty in the U.S. has increased since the 1990s & poorer children throughout  North America have become poorer in comparison w/ the rest of the child population.  - Poverty rates vary by geographic region & are highest among racial & ethnic minorities;  - Poverty is stressful & can damage the physical, cognitive & psychosocial well­being of  children & families. Poor children are more likely to go hungry, have frequent illnesses,  lack access to health care, experience accidents, violence, & family conflicts, and to show emotional/behavioral problems. - Threats to well­being multiply if several risk factors – conditions that increase the  likelihood of a negative outcome – are present.  - Composition of neighborhood affects the way children develop. Normative & Nonnormative Influences - Normative influences – biological/environmental events that affect many or most people in a society in similar ways.   Normative age­graded influences are highly similar for people in a particular age  group.   Normative history­graded influences are significant events (e.g., the great  depression or World War 2) that shape the behavior & attitudes of a historical  generation: a group of people who experience the event at a formative time in  their lives.   Cohort: a group of people born at about the same time; not the same as a  historical generation.  Nonnormative influences are unusual events that have a major impact on  individual lives b/c they disturb the expected sequence of the life cycle; either  typical events that happen at an atypical time of life (e.g., death of a parent when  a child is young) or atypical events (e.g., surviving a plane crash).   Timing of Influences: Critical or Sensitive Periods - Konrad Lorenz (1957) founded the phenomenon of imprinting – the instinctive form of  learning in which during a critical period in early development, a young animal forms an  attachment to the first moving object it sees, usually the mother; Lorenz said that  imprinting is the result of a predisposition toward learning: the readiness of an  organism’s nervous system to acquire certain info during a brief critical period in early  life. - A critical period is a specific time when a given event, or its absence, has a specific  impact on development. If a necessary event doesn’t occur during a critical period of  maturation, normal development won’t occur; & the resulting abnormal patterns may be  irreversible. - Since many aspects of development, even in the biological/neurological domain, have  been found to show plasticity, or modifiability of performance, it may be more useful to  think about sensitive periods, when a developing person is especially responsive to  certain kinds of experiences.  An Emerging Consensus 1. All domains of development are interrelated. 2. Normal development includes a wide range of individual differences. 3. Children help shape their development & influence others’ responses to them. 4. Historical & cultural contexts strongly influence development. 5. Early experience is important, but children can be remarkably resilient.  6. Development in childhood affects development throughout the life span. 


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