PSYCH211 Lecture Notes - Asthma, Nocturnal Enuresis

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16 Oct 2011
Chapter 11 Physical Development in Middle Childhood
Body Growth
Worldwide Variations in Body Size
o Heredity and environment both account for differences in body size
o Children who grow tallest usually reside in developed countries, where food is plentiful and
infectious diseases are controlled
o In contrast, small children usually live in less developed regions
Secular Trends in Physical Growth
o Secular trends in physical growth are changes in body size from one generation to the next
o they have taken place in industrialized regions
o gain in height has slowed in recent decades
o weight gain is continuing at a high rate
Skeletal Growth
o bones lengthen and broaden, but are not yet firmly attached to bones
o nighttime growing pains are common as muscles adapt to an enlarging skeleton
o between ages 6 and 12, all primary teeth are lost and replaced by permanent ones girls lose
earlier than boys
o dental health affects the child’s appearance, speech, and ability to chew properly
o most kids need help with flossing until the age of 9
o malocclusion
o upper and lower teeth do not meet properly; occurs in 1/3 of school-age children
o can be caused by thumb and finger sucking after permanent teeth come out
o another cause is crowding of permanent teeth
Brain Development
o white matter largely consists of myelinated nerve fibers
o increases steadily throughout childhood, especially in frontal lobes of cerebral cortex,
parietal lobes, and corpus collosum
o gray matter neurons and supportive material
o declines as a result of synaptic pruning, and lateralization increases
o over time, neurons become increasingly selective, and only respond to certain chemical
o when neurotransmitters are not present in appropriate balances, children may suffer serious
developmental problems, such as inattention and overactivity
o brain functioning may change in mid childhood due to hormones
o 7-8 there is an increase in androgens secreted by adrenals of both sexes
Affect brain organization and behavior in many animal species
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Common Health Problems
o Children from advantaged homes are at their healthiest in mid childhood, full of energy and play
o A substantial number lack such basic necessities as a comfortable home and regular meals
Vision and Hearing
o Most common vision problem is myopia
o Nearsightedness
o Nearly 25% of kids by end of school years; 60% by adulthood
o Identical twins more likely to share condition
o Those with one myopic parent have twice the risk, 2 parents have 5x the risk
o More frequent in Asian populations
o Early biological trauma can also induce myopia
o Also related to experience
Progresses more during school years, when children are reading or watching tv,
rather than summer months
o Few of the health conditions to increase with family income and education
o Otitis media middle ear infection
o Less frequent than before
o Still 3-4% develop some hearing loss from these infections
o Regular screening for both vision and hearing permits defects to be corrected before they lead
to serious learning difficulties
o Many children spend little time at the table during mid childhood
o Family dinnertimes have waned in general over the past two decades
o Eating an evening meal with parents leads to a diet higher in fruits and vegetables and
lower in fried foods and soft drinks
o Not many readily available healthy options at school and home; or if there are, they choose
those unhealthy if they have the option (chips over fruit)
o Between-meal snacks can help meet school-age children’s nutritional needs
o Many children suffer from serious, prolonged malnutrition
o Effects are apparent in retarded physical growth, low IQ, poor motor coordination, and
o Growth-stunted school-age children respond with greater fear to stressful situations, as
indicated by a sharper rise in heart rate and in saliva levels of the stress hormone
o Malnutrition that persists leads to permanent physical and mental damage
o In studies of economically disadvantages school-age children, quality of food strongly predicted
favorable cognitive deveolopment
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