Chapter 1 Reading Notes
Chapter 1 Reading Notes 4220
Popular in Developmental Psychology
Popular in Psychology (PSYC)
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Leslea Motley on Monday August 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 4220 at University of Georgia taught by Vratanina-Smoot in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Developmental Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at University of Georgia.
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Date Created: 08/29/16
08/15/2016 ▯ CH 1: Introduction to Child Development (“CD”) ▯ I. Intro Study (1955-85) – 698 children born in Kauai, Hawaii Results illustrated ways in which biological and environmental factors combine to produce CD Those with prenatal/birth complications are more likely to experience physical handicap, mental illness, and/or learning difficulties. IF & TO WHAT DEGREE depend on the home environment (parental income, edu, mental health + quality of relationship b/w parents) Serious problems stem from a combination of BOTH biological and environmental challenges * About 1/3 of these “at-risk” type children proved to be resilient to adversity. Developmental Research asks: “Why do individual children differ so much in response to similar environments and how do we apply these findings?” II. Reasons to learn about CD a. Raising Children Almost all parents ask how to control child’s anger and negative emotions Spanking (positive correlation with later behavior problems) Expressing sympathy (help child to cope) Find positive alternative to expressing anger Time outs EXAMPLE: Curriculum designed for angry 3 & 4 y/o’s – teachers helped kids recognize their emotions and other kid’s emotions, taught techniwues for controlling anger, and guided them in conflict resolution with others EX: “Turtle technique” b. Choosing Social Policies CD research informs the discussion on public policy EXAMPLE: Asking biased questions skews case in child abuse/neglect cases where the child testifies c. Understanding Human Nature EXAMPLE: Studies of how kid’s ability to overcome the effects of early maltreatment is affected by timing (age of occurrence) EX: Romanian orphanage, communist rule maltreatment/malnourishment Fall of comm. party Adoption of Romanian orphans A study of these orphans at age 6 revealed similar weights among those adopted earliest and regular (non mal-treated children of 6 y/o) and intellect, but were all lacking emotional development due to a part of their brain (the amygdala) being under-distinguished BASIC PRINCIPLE OF CD: “Timing of experiences influences their effects” III. Historical Foundations of the Study of CD A. Early Philosopher’s Views of CD o Plato and Aristotle th classic Greek philosophers living in the 4 century BC – particularly interested in how CD is influenced by their nature and by the nurture they receive, believed that the long-term welfare of society depended on the proper raising of children Basic nature led to unruly and rebellious children without careful upbringing Plato emphasized self-discipline and self-control as most important goals of edu; believed children had innate knowledge Aristotle: agreed that discipline was necessary, but was more concerned with fitting child-rearing to the needs of the individual child; believed that all knowledge comes from experience and the infant mind is a blank slate. o John Locke (~2000 years later; 1632-1704) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) Locke - English philosopher BOTH - refocused attention on the question of how parents and society in general can best promote children’s develop. Locke (like Aristotle) – children were “tabula rasa” – a blank slate – and their develop. reflects the nurture provided by the child’s parents and broader society; believed most important goal was “growth of character” – to do this parents need to set good examples of honesty, stability, and gentleness, avoid indulging the child (early), but once discipline and reason have been instilled, authority should be relaxed as fast as age, discretion, and good behavior could allow it Rousseau – parents and society should give children maximum freedom from beginning, saying kids learn primarily from their own spontaneous interactions with objects and other people, rather than through instruction – argued that children should not receive formal edu until age 12, or when they reach the “age of reason” and can judge for themselves the worth of what they are told o These positions continue to underlie many contemporary debates B. Social Reform Movements o A precursor to the contemp. field of Child Psych. was early social reform movements that were devoted to improving children’s lives by changing their living conditions o EX: first child labor laws in Britain o These and other movements provided some of the earliest descriptions of the adverse effects that harsh environments can have on children. C. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution o 1877 – published “A Biographical Sketch of an Infant” – careful observations of the motor, sensory, and emotional growth of his infant son (referred to as his “baby biography”) represented one of the first methods for studying children (continue to be a distinct feature of the modern field of CD) o His evolutionary theory influences the thinking of modern developmentalists on topics including: infant attachment to the mother, innate fear of natural dangers (spiders, snakes, etc.), sex differences, aggression and altruism, and the mechanisms underlying learning IV. The Beginnings of Research-Based Theories of CD a. Sigmund Freud - psychoanalytic theory proposed that biological drives (esp. sexual) are a crucial influence on development b. John Watson, American psychologist – behaviorist theory – children’s develop. is determined by environmental factors, esp. rewards and punishments following the children’s actions V. Enduring Themes in CD ▯ *Modern study of CD begins with a series of questions, everything else (concepts, theories, research methods, etc.) is part of the effort to answer these questions 1. Nature and Nurture: How do Nature and Nurture together shape development? o Nature: biological endowment, genes received from parents (influences every aspect of our make up) o Nurture: wide range of environments, both physical and social that influence our develop. (includes womb, homes, schools, broader communities, and many people an indiv. interacts with) o EITHER/OR phrasing = MISLEADING all human characteristics created through the joint workings of nature and nurture – constant interaction of our genes and our environment o ASK – How do nature and nurture work together to shape develop.? o EX: Development research on schizophrenia Genetic predisposition to schizo. exists (parent child) If one identical twin is schizo, the other has a roughlt 50% chance of also having schizo. – as opposed to the 1% probability of general population o Genome: each person’s complete set of hereditary information, includes DNA, proteins that regulate gene expression by turning gene activity on/off These proteins change in response to experience, and without structurally altering DNA, can result in enduring changes in cognition, emotion and behavior. o Recent study: found that just as the genome influences behaviors and experiences, behaviors and experiences influence the genome o This discovery gave rise to the study of epigenetics – study of stable changes in gene expression that are mediated by the environment o Methylation: biochemical process reducing gene expression in a variety of genes and involved in regulating stress reactions o Development outcomes emerge from the constant bidirectional interaction of nature and nurture – one is no more important than the other – or that the two are equally important drastically oversimplified the developmental process 2. The Active Child: How do children shape their own development? o First begin deciding what to pay attention to o Speak (~9-15 months) o Internally motivated activity contributes to their develop. o ~2 y/o children sometimes pretend to be different people in dramas – appears to teach children valuable lessons (how to cope with fear, interact with others, etc.) o Older children’s play is usually more organized, rule-bound, teaches additional valuable lessons – self-control needed for taking turns, adhering to the rules, and controlling emotions in the face of setbacks o Children’s contributions to their develop. strengthen and broadens as they get older. 3. Continuity/Discontinuity: In what ways is develop. continuous, and in what ways is it discontinuous? o Continuous: idea that changes with age occur gradually, in small increments, like a pine tree growing taller o Discontinuous: idea that changes with age include large shifts, like the transition from caterpillar cocoon butterfly Most who agree start from the observation that children of different ages seem qualitatively different o “Conservation of liquid quantity problem” – technique designed to test children’s level of thinking o Stage theories: propose that develop. occurs in a progression of distict age-related stages (like butterfly example) o Cognitive Development: Jean Piaget, develop. of thinking and reasoning – theory holds that between birth and adolescence, children go through four stages of cognitive growth, each characterized by distinct intellectual abilities and way of understanding the world o Many stage theories (ex: Freuds’s, Erikson, Kohlberg, etc.) proposes that children of a given age show broad similarities across many situations and that children of different ages tend to behave differently 4. Mechanisms of Development: How does change occur? o Interaction of genome and environment determines both when and what changes occur o Effortful attention: voluntary control of one’s emotions and thoughts, includes: inhibiting impulses, controlling emotions, and focusing attention Difficulty doing this is associated with behavioral problems, weak math and reading skills and mental illness. o Connections between brain areas – anterior cingulate and the limbic area develop considerably during childhood, appearing to be one mechanism underlying improving effortful attention o Neurotransmitters (“NT’s”): chemicals involved in communication among brain cells o Specific genes influence production of key NT’s 5. The Sociocultural Context: How does the sociocultural context influence develop.? o Sociocultural context: constituted of physical, social, cultural, economic, and historical circumstances – influence every aspect of CD o Urie Brofenbrenner (a979) – bioecological model – o General characteristics of a child’s society o Cross-cultural comparisons – comparing the lives of children who grow up in different cultures o Socioeconomic status (“SES”): measure of social class that is based on income and education o Virtually all aspects of children’s lives differ with ethnicity, race and SES. o Poor children more likely to have serious health problems during infancy; social, emotional, and behavioral problems throughout childhood, smaller vocab, lower IQ’s, lower math and reading scores on standardized tests; in adolescence – more likely to have a baby or drop out of school due to an accumulation of disadvantages o Resilient children tend to have 3 characteristics: 1. positive personal qualities (high intelligence, easygoing personality, optimistic outlook on future) 2. close relationship with at least one parent 3. close relationship with at least one adult other than parent 6. Individual Differences: How do children become so different from one another? o Scarr (1992) – four factors that may be part of the reason that children are so different (“diff”) from one another even if they are in the same family 1. “Genetic Diff” Genetically – identical twins share 100% of genes, all other siblings share 50% of genes 2. Diff in the way parents and others treat them 3. Child’s subjective interpretation of treatment 4. “Diff choices of environments” 7. “Research and Children’s Welfare: How can Research Promote Children’s Well-being?” VI. “Methods for studying CD” A. Scientific Method (“SM”) Remember – the “basic assumption” of the SM is that all beliefs or theories are wrong/false and should be seen/referred to as “hypotheses” until tested and supported by evidence that can be reproduced by other researchers. Involves steps: Question Hypothesis Method [for testing] Conclusion a. “The Importance of appropriate measurement” o must use measures directly related to your hypothesis o Good measures should also have: 1. Reliability def: “degree to which independent measurements of a behavior under study are consistent” Inter-rater Reliability: consistency between observers’/experimenters’ results Test-retest reliability: consistency between the sample results on multiple occasions; consistency between scores on one test and scores on the same test, by same sample group at a different time 2. Validity def: in experiment, validity of the test is the level of accuracy of the test’s measurement; does it measure what it is intended to measure? Internal Validity: “degree of effects observed within experiments can be attributed to the experimental factor” External Validity: the generalizability of your results to a larger population B. “Contexts for gathering data about children” CD Researchers use the following methods to obtain meaningful data in their research: a. Interviews o Two types: Structured: all participants asked same questions Clinical: questions change based on the previous answers of the person being interviewed; useful for gaining more/deeper info about a child o Positive factors: get a lot of [detailed] data [about individual children] quickly o Negative: often answers are biased b. Naturalistic observation o used primarily for obtaining info on how children behave in their normal environments, “illuminate everyday social interactions” that otherwise may not be seen by therapist o researcher does not control environment, watches ‘unobtrusively’ c. Structured observation o controlled environment and observe resulting behavior o may take those behaviors and attempt to relate them with characteristics about the indiv. (i.e., age, sex, personality) o this method ensures that all test subjects receive an identical test , allows direct comparisons, also may be able to generalize behavior across multiple tasks C. “Correlation (“Corr”) and Causation (“Caus”)” Variables Correlational design – determine how two variables are related; association b/w two variables = “correlation” REMEMBER: Correlation ≠ Causation o Two reasons to back this up – direction-of-causation problem – a correlation can not define variables as “cause” or “effect” third variable problem – the apparent correlation may in fact be the result of a ‘third’ confounding variable that was not tested Experimental Designs o Should include Random Assignment Experimental Control (experiments usually include an experimental and a control group) o Independent Variable – control group does not receive, but the experimental group receives this treatment/manipulation o Dependent Variable – behavior that you are measuring in experiment D. “Designs for examining develop.” To observe development over a period of time, researchers may use one of the following: o Cross-sectional designs most common/simplest design diff age children tested over a period of time do not infer stable results over a period of time or give info about the patterns of change that indiv. show o Longitudinal designs following a group and tracking results over a long period of time (usually at least a year) used primarily for issues of stability and change o Microgenetic designs same groups studied repeatedly over a short period of time Typically used when basic pattern of age-related change has already been established and goal is to understand how the change occurred E. “Ethical (“Eth”) Issues in CD Research” “Society for Research on Childe Development” (SRCD) – devoted to researching children, formed a ethical ‘code of conduct’ – listed in book (PG 35) o Paraphrased: Do not harm subjects Obtain written consent Maintain complete confidentiality Tell parent of any info resulting from experiment that would be important for child’s welfare Attempt to oppose any neg. consequences during exeperiment Correct any ‘innacurate impressions’ that the child may gain from the study ▯ ▯
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