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PSYCH211 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Prenatal Development, Lanugo, Thalidomide

Course Code
Tom Ruttan
Study Guide

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Chapter Notes – PSYCH 211
Chapter 1
The Field of Child Development
oCommon goal for those studying this – to describe and identify factors
that influence the consistencies and changes in young people during
the first two decades of life
Combined efforts of people from many fields
oDomains of development
o3 broad domains – each influences and is influenced by the others
Changes in the body
Changes in intellectual abilities
Changes in interpersonal skills, emotional
communications, etc…
oPeriods of Development
Conception birth
oInfancy & toddlerhood
Birth 2 years
Beginnings of language, first intimate ties to others
oEarly childhood
2 6 years
Sense of morality, ties with peers
oMiddle childhood
6 11 years
New responsibilities that resemble those of adults
11 18 years
Puberty, autonomy from family
Define personal values and goals
oEmerging adulthood
18 25 years
In many contemporary places, transition to adulthood has
prolonged, hence this last stage that is beginning to be used
Basic Issues
oTheories are vital for two reasons
Guide and give meaning to what we see
Serve as a sound basis for practical action – understand and
oA theory’s continued existence depends on scientific verification

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oWith child development there is no ultimate truth because
investigators do not always agree on the meaning of what they see
oContinuous or Discontinuous Development?
oIf continuous, a child cannot perform skills with as much information
and precision as we can
Gradually augmenting the same types of skills that were there
to begin with
oIf discontinuous, their thoughts, emotions, and behavior differ
considerably from those of adults; will eventually reach highest level of
functioning through steps
A process in which new ways of understanding and responding
to the world emerge at specific times
These theories take place in stages
Qualitative changes that characterize specific periods of
Change is fairly sudden rather than gradual and ongoing
oOne Course of Development or Many?
oStage theorists assume people everything follow the same sequence of
oHowever children grow up in distinct contexts
Different circumstances foster different cognitive capacities,
social skills, etc…
oContemporary theorists regard contexts as many-layered and complex
Personal and environmental sides
Cultural diversity
oRelative Influence of Nature and Nurture?
oTheories vary in the emphasis of nature/nurture
Emphasized when theorists believe children who are high/low in
a characteristic will remain so at later ages
Stress the importance of heredity
Others believe that we are able to change
oA Balanced Point of View
oPositions of many theorists have softened
oMany acknowledge that development has both universal features and
features unique to the individual and his or her contents
Resilient Children
Resilience – the ability to adapt effectively in the face of threats to development
Historical Foundations
oMedieval Times
oClear awareness existed of children as vulnerable beings
oReligious writings – devil in need of purification, at other times angels
oThe Reformation
oChildren are born evil and stubborn
oModerate balance between severity and permissiveness

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oPhilosophies of the Enlightenment
oConceptions of childhood were more humane
oJohn Locke
Forerunner of behaviorism
Viewed child as tabula rasa
Blank slate who’s character is shaped entirely by
Continuous growth
Parents were rational tutors
Praise and approval as rewards
Nurture was important
Many courses of development, change at later ages
Do little to influence their own destiny
Contemporary theories however view children as active
purposeful beings
oJean-Jacques Rousseau
New view – view children as noble savages
Naturally endowed with a sense of right and wrong and an
innate plan for orderly, health growth
Harmed by adult training; adult should be receptive to
child’s needs
2 influential concepts
o Maturation
Genetically determined, naturally unfolding
course of growth
In contrast to Locke, thought children as
determining their own destinies
Discontinuous stagewise process that follows
a single, unified course mapped out by
oScientific Beginnings
oDarwin: Forefather of Scientific Child Study
oThe Normative Period
Hall regarded as found of child-study movement
Launched normative approach
Measures of behavior are taken on large numbers of
individuals and age-related averages are computed to
respresent typical development
Collected detailed normative information, done with
First to make knowledge about child development
meaningful to parents
Children are naturally knowledgeable about their needs
Recommended sensitivity to child’s cues
oThe Mental Testing Movement
Alfred Binet
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