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Lecture 2

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Child and Youth Studies
Lauren Mc Namara

2P10 Lecture Notes Tuesday Sept 18, 2012 Child Development Does birth order have an effect on children’s academic performance? Can talking to an infant encourage language development? Does the number and quality of friendships change with age for boys and girls? Are there differences in attention span between children whose mother’s smoked during pregnancy and children whose mothers did not smoke? How does caffeine effect neonatal development? Caffeine During Pregnancy Crosses placenta Baby can’t metabolize caffeine properly Affects sleeping and movement patterns But … Fetus to mom: your stressing me out! (reading) do you intake the caffeine or risk the stress from not having the caffeine … either way the baby is effective What is Development? What drives development? Systematic continuities and changes between conception and death Maturation: hereditary influences on aging process … biology, genes. Cells that migrate to your brain from spinal column to help it grow. A premature interruption of that migration can lead to a bulking up of cells in your brain which leads to a back up which leads to a reading disorder. What causes this? A Mutation on DCDC2. Learning: change in behaviour due to experience Genes Learning from Twins MZ twins share 100% of their genes DZ twins share 50% of their genes But it isn’t! 60% concordance rates If dyslexia was purely genetic we would expect both twins to be affected Why isn’t it 10%? Unsure - however it points us to the importance of thinking about if its not genetic then it must be environmental somewhere along the line The importance of environment - theories that count on the environment, not an ethological theory Ethological Theories of Development We are inherently biological and biological processes set the foundation for development Why do babies cry? – Ethological perspective: attention for their survival needs (food, diaper, sleep) What happens when babies cry? Do classroom hierarchies develop? “Alpha” kids? Children that take charge in the class, ethological approach: there can’t be too many alpha males. When there are the development is disrupted. Classrooms with alpha leaders do better. Could these hierarchies serve a purpose? Result in a reduction of social aggression and an increase in positive societal relationships - Are abused children more like to be a bully and abusive to their own children? Learning Theories Only overt behaviours should be measured and analyzed Behavioural Theories of Development Children develop by observing others - observational learning; stresses the importance of role models Observational Learning Children observe the consequences of their own and other’s interactions; that's how they learn to do things Stresses importance of role models Modern day implications Violence (games, movies) Parental disagreements Conflict resolution – learning theorist would say its good for a kid to watch and argument happen and be resolved effectively Etc. Violence Does watching violence lead to violence? General Research Designs General Research Designs Correlational Design Goal: to determine if two things are related ; Is one correlated with the other? Is viewing violence on TV related to aggressive behaviour in children? Gather data: interview about TV habits, make observations of aggressive behaviours Calculate correlation coefficient, r - a line is shown in the data that is represented as a percent General Research Designs What is r? Index of strength and direction of relation Varies from -1.00 → +1.00 (1 is strongest, -/+ depending on the relationship) 1 lines up perfectly on a straight line. 0 would look like a circle. Strength indicated by absolute value +.70 and -.70 are equally strong, and both are stronger than +.35 and -.35 Which is stronger: +.25 or -.64? General Research Designs More about r Direction indicated by sign + means that as one variable’s value ↑, the other variable also ↑ - means that as one variable’s value ↑, the other variable ↓ (an inverse relationship) stronger relationship r = 0.0 means no relationship exists - another experiment: the more TV you watch, the lower your
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