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Lecture 11

Lec.11: Emotional Development: Part Two: Chapter 10: Lecture 11 from child psychology Wendy Ellis at kings

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Wendy Ellis

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Child Development- Chapter 1
The study of human development is often categorized into 3 distinct categories: Physical,
emotional/social and cognitive.
Periods of Development
Prenatal: the most rapid time of change- a one celled organism is transformed into a human
Infancy and Toddlerhood: birth to 2 years: emergence of motor, perceptual and intellectual
capacities, beginnings of language and first intimate ties to others.
Early Childhood: 2 to 6 years: the body becomes longer, leaner and motor skills are refined,
make believe and play and thought and language develop at a rapid pace, morality becomes
evident and children make ties with peers.
Middle Child: 6 to 11 years of age: learn about a wider world and begin to accept
responsibilities that increasingly mimic those that they will perform as adults. Improved athletic
ability, participation in organized games with rules, basic literacy skills, morality, and self
Adolescence: 11 to 18 years: period initiates the change to adulthood and puberty. Young
people begin to develop autonomy increases; education becomes aimed at prep for higher
“Emerging adulthood” 18 to 25 years: period of time where individuals are not quite adults but
deal with their own separate set of issues.
Basic Issues
Theories: describe, predict, and explain
They are vital reasons that theories are important
1. They provide an organizing framework for our observation of children- give meaning to
what we see
2. Theories that are verified by research often serve as a sounds basis for practical action
The main difference between belief and theories are that theories continued existence
depends on scientific verification.
Continuous or Discontinuous Development?
Continuous- a process of gradually adding the same types of skills that there was to begin
Discontinuous: a process in which new ways of understanding and responding to the world
emerge at specific times
Stages: qualitative changes in thinking feeling and behaving that characterize specific
periods of development
One Course of Development or Many?
Contexts: unique combinations of personal and environmental circumstances that can
result in different patterns of change
Relative Influence of Nature/ Nurture?
Nature: inborn biological given- hereditary info that we receive from our parents at birth
Nurture: complex forces of the physical world that influence our biological makeup and
psychological experiences before and after birth
Some theories rely on Stability:- the children who are high or low in a certain characteristic will
remain so at older ages
And some typically stress the importance of heredity
- Most theories nowadays support a balanced view and see heredity and environmental
development as interwoven
Historical Foundations
-history regarded childhood as a separate period of life as early as medieval Europe- 6th or 15th
- Medieval painters often depicted children in loose comfortable gowns with a need to be
- clear awareness of children as vulnerable beings, however religious reading often depicted
them as being possessed by the devil and in need of purification
“ the reformation”: sixteenth century: Puritan belief gave way to the fact that children were
born evil and need to be civilized
-first to develop moral and religious books for their children, tried to teach them the difference
between right and wrong.
Biology and Environment: Resilient Children
-Resilience the ability to adapt effectively in the face of threats to development
Four factors offer protection from the damaging effects of life
1. Personal characteristics of children
2. A warm parental relationship
3. Social Support outside the immediate family
4. Community Resources and Opportunities
“the enlightenment of the 17th century”
John Locke: viewed the child as a tabula rasa- Latin for blank slate and believed that the child
began as nothing and was completely moulded by their experiences.
-praise and approval as reward and opposed psychical punishment
- Nurture, continuous development, many courses of development and possibility of change at
later ages due to new experiences
John Jacques’ Rousseau: saw children as “ noble savages, naturally endowed with a sense of
right and wrong.
- He also believed in the concept of maturation
- - he took a different stand on basic development than Locke as he viewed development
as discontinuous, stage wise, following a single unified course that is mapped out by
“Scientific beginnings”
- A century after Rousseau he came up with the famous theory of evolution which
emphasized two basic principles: survival of the fittest and also natural selection
- Said that child development followed the same pattern as human evolution although
this theory was eventually proven wrong it assisted in prompting researchers to make
careful observations of all children’s behaviours.
“The baby biographers”
-too emotionally invested in the children that they observed and many of the records were
dismissed as biased- However the baby biographers gave us a crucial start and the child
became a common focus in scientific research
the normative period”
- G Stanley Hall: generally regarded as the founder of the childhood study movement
- Launched the normative approach in which measures of behaviour are taken in large
numbers of individuals and age related averages are computed to represent typical
- Hall constructed elaborate questionnaires asking children almost everything they could
possibly tell about themselves and also obtained info through observation of motor
skills, social behaviours and personality traits of the infants