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Chapter 11 Notes - Human Development Across the Lifespan

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Ayesha Khan

Notes From Reading C HAPTER 11: H UMAN D EVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFESPAN Progress Before Birth: Prenatal Development  Your life provides an illustration of two themes: transition and continuity  Psychologists study how people evolve through transitions over time  Children and their development are also affected by cultural and social forces  Development – the sequence of age related changes that occur as a person progresses from conception to death o Includes both biological and behavioral changes o Begins with conception and conceptions occurs with fertilization  Zygote – a one-celled organism formed by the union of a sperm and egg o Other cells develop from this single cell, each containing chromosomes in the nucleus which carry genes  Prenatal Period – extends from conception to birth, usually including nine months of pregnancy h The Course of Prenatal Development  Germinal Stage – first phase of prenatal development, encompassing the first 2 weeks after conception o Begins when zygote is created through fertilization o Placenta – structure that allows oxygen and nutrients to pass into the fetus from the mother’s bloodstream and bodily wastes to pass out to the mother. Takes place during implantation process  Embryonic Stage – second stage of prenatal development, lasting from 2 weeks until the end of the second month o Embryo – most of the vital organs and bodily systems begin to form in the developing organism o Structures like the heart spine emerge gradually as cell division becomes more specialized o All the basic physiological structures are being formed  Fetal Stage – the 3rd stage of prenatal development, lasting from 2 months through birth o Rapid bodily growth, muscles and bones begin to form (in first 2 months) o Now known as a fetus, and capable of physical movements as skeletal structures harden o Sex organs start to develop during the third month o Final three months of the parental period, brain cells multiply at a quickly o Age of Viability – the age at which a baby can survive in the event of a premature birth (i.e. 22-26 weeks) Environmental Factors and Prenatal Development  Maternal Nutrition – severe maternal malnutrition can lead to increases in the birth complications and neurological defects of a newborn o Mother and fetus are linked through the placenta mother’s habits can affect prenatal development and have long-term health consequences  Maternal Drug Use – major source of concern about fetal and infant well being, as many drugs consumed by a pregnant women can be passed on to the placenta  Impact of drugs on the embryo or fetus varies depending on the drug, dose and phase of prenatal development  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – collection of congenital (inborn) problems associated with excessive alcohol use during pregnancy o Ie. Microcephaly (a small head), heart defects, irritability, hyperactivity and delayed mental and motor development  Maternal Illness – fetus is defenseless against infections because its immune system matures relatively late in the prenatal period o May include AIDS, Flu, etc.  Prenatal Health Care – good quality medical care that begins early in pregnancy is associated with reduce prematurity and higher survival rates for infants  Recent studies suggest that prenatal development can “program” the fetal brain in ways that influence one’s vulnerability to various types of illness decades later 1/8 Notes From Reading C HAPTER 11: HUMAN D EVELOPMENT A CROSS THE L IFESPAN The Wondrous Years of Childhood Exploring the World: Motor Development  Motor Development – refers to the progression of muscular coordination required for physical activities o Include grasping and reaching for objects, manipulating objects, sitting up, crawling, walking and running  Basic Principles – o Cephalocaudal trend – the head to foot direction of motor development. i.e. children tend to gain control over the upper part of their bodies before the lower part. o Proximodistal trend – center-outward direction of motor development. i.e. children gain control of their torso before their extremities. o Early motor development depends on physical growth and maturation o Maturation – the development that reflects the gradual unfolding of one’s genetic blueprint. Product of genetically programmed physical changes that come with age. o Progress in motor development is attributed to infants’ experimentation and their learning and remembering of the consequences of their activities  Understanding Developmental Norms o Developmental Norms – indicate the median age at which individuals display various behaviors and abilities (Useful benchmarks)  Cultural Variations and Their Significance o Highlights the relationship between experience and maturation – i.e. practice o Early motor development depends on maturation o Later motor development acquire more specialized motor skills which may be unique to their culture Easy and Difficult Babies: Differences in Temperament  Temperament – characteristic mood, activity level, and emotional reactivity o Infants show variability in temperament  Longitudinal Design – investigators observe one group of participants repeatedly over a period of time o More sensitive to developmental influences and changes o Can extend to over many years o Alexander Thomas and Stella Chess have conducted a major longitudinal study of the development of temperament  Cross Sectional Design – investigators compare groups of participants of differing age at a single point in time o Quicker, easier, and cheaper  Cohort Effects – occur when differences between age groups are due to the groups growing up in different time periods  Thomas and Chess – found that “temperamental individuality is established by the time the infant is 2-3 months old.”  3 Basic Styles (that were apparent in most children): o Easy Children – tend to be happy, regular in sleep, eating, adaptable, not readily upset o Slow to Warm Up Children – tended to be less cheery, less regular in sleep and eating, slower in adapting to change. Wary of new experiences, and emotional reactivity is moderate o Difficult children – glum, erratic in sleep and eating, resistant to change, and relatively irritable o Child’s temperament at 3 months was good indicator of later temperament  Jerome Kagan – relied on direct observation of children in study of temperaments o Inhibited Temperament – shyness, timidity, wariness of unfamiliar people, objects and events o Uninhibited Temperament – less restrained, approaching unfamiliar people, objects, and events with little hesitation 2/8 Notes From Reading C HAPTER 11: H UMAN D EVELOPMENT A CROSS THE L IFESPAN o Reasonably stable Early Emotional Development: Attachment  Attachment – the close, emotional bonds of affection that develop between infants and their caregivers  Between 6-8 months, infants begin to show a preference for mom’s company and often protest when separated  Separation Anxiety – emotional distress seen in many infants when they have formed an attachment o Peaks around 14-18 months then begins to decline  Theories of Attachment – o Behaviorists argue that special attachment between infant and mother develops because mothers are associated with powerful, reinforcing event of being fed o Harlow removed monkeys from their mothers and replaced them with “substitute mothers”. One type of artificial mother was made of terry cloth and could provide contact comfort while the other mother was mad of wires to feed the babies. During the experiment, they introduced to the babies a strange toy to frightened monkeys. The results were not as predicted, the young monkeys scrambled for their cloth mothers, even f they were not fed by them. o John Bowlby argued that there must be a biological basis for attachment. Bowlby assumed attachment to be part of natural selection, as infants are biologically programmed to emit behavior that triggers an affectionate protective response from parents. o Analyzed attachment in terms of its survival value for infants, contemporary evolutionary theorists emphasize how attachment contributes to parents’ and children’s reproductive fitness o Belsky argued that the nature of children’s early attachment experiences depends on the character of their environments, and that these experiences chart the course of children’s social development in ways that are adaptive for their environmental circumstances.  Patterns of Attachment – o Research by Mary Ainsworth suggests that attachment emerges out of a complex interplay between infant and mother o Strange Situation Procedure – infants are exposed to a series of eight separation and reunion episodes to assess the quality of their attachment o Mothers who are sensitive and responsive to their child’s needs tend to evoke more secure attachments than mothers who don’t o Ainsworth found that infant mother attachments follow 3 patterns –  Secure attachment – play and explore with comfortably with mum present, become visibly upset when she leaves and are quickly calmed by her return  Anxious-Ambivalent Attachment – appear anxious even when their mum is near and protest excessively when she leaves, but they are not particularly comforted when she returns.  Avoidant Attachment – seeks little contact with their mothers and often are not distressed when she leaves  Disorganized Disoriented Attachment – was added years later and these children appear confused about whether they should approach or avoid their mother and are especially insecure  Type of attachment that emerges between an infant and mother may depend on the nature of the infant’s temperament as well as the mother’s sensitivity  Children can develop internal working models of the dynamics of close relationships that influence their future interactions with a wide range of people  Culture and Attachment – o Separation anxiety emerges in children at about 6 to 8 months and peaks to about 14 to 18 months in cultures around the world o Attachment is a universal feature of human development. 3/8 Notes From Reading C HAPTER 11: H UMAN D EVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFESPAN Becoming Unique: Personality Development  Freud – claimed basic foundation of a person’s personality is laid down by age 5  Erikson – concluded that events in early childhood leave a permanent stamp on adult personality, but continues to evolve over entire life  Stage – developmental period during which characteristic patterns of behavior are exhibited and certain capacities become established. Stage theories assume that: o i) Individuals must progress through specified stages in a particular order because each builds on the previous o ii) Progress through these stages is strongly related to age o iii) Development is marked by major discontinuities that usher in dramatic transitions in behavior  Erikson’s Stage Theory – o Partitioned life span into 8 stages which have a psychosocial crisis involving transitions in important social relationships o Personality is shaped by how individuals deal with these psychosocial crises (according to Eikson) o Trust vs. Mistrust – first stage occurs in 1st year of life when infant has to depend completely on adults to take care of their basic needs. If its caregivers meet an infant’s basic needs, the child should develop an optimistic, trusting attitude. o Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt – 2-3 yrs. When parents begin to regulate child’s behavior. Child must take some personal responsibility, and if successful, acquires sense of self- sufficiency. o Initiative vs. Guilt – 3-6 yrs. Children experiment and take initiatives that may conflict with parent’s rules. If successful, child will retain sense of initiative while retaining respect of rights and privileges. Over controlling parents may instill feelings of guilt. o Industry vs. Inferiority – 6-puberty. Challenge of learning how to function socially. Successful – learn how to value achievement and take pride in accomplishment  Evaluating Erikson’s Theory – o Strengths: accounts for both continuity and transition o Weakness: depends heavily on illustrative case studies and interpretations, idealized descriptions The Growth of Thought: Cognitive Development  Cognitive Development – refers to transitions in youngsters’ patterns of thinking, incl. reasoning, remembering and problem
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