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Developmental Psychology Class Notes– PS275.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Diane Glebe

Developmental Psychology – PS275 Monday/Sept/9 - INTRO CLASS  Introduction to development of infancy to childhood (up to age 12)  Skip over all adolescence sections in the textbook  20 hours of CSL, have placement arranged by the end of the month  30 hours over the term for combined courses  When handing in the sheet at the end, give a copy and write who has the original  Midterm 30%, Paper 35%, Final 35%  MIDTERM OCTOBER 23 rd  No computers during audio-visuals  Midterm 1-8 chapters  Final is not cumulative!!! WOOO!! Infancy and Childhood  Branch of psychology that deals with human change throughout the entire life cycle  Differentiate the stages of dev.  Child DV is concerned with change from conception to adolescence o Prenatal stage (conception to birth) o Infancy and toddlerhood (birth to 2 yrs) o Early childhood (2-6) o Middle childhood (6-11) o Adolescence (11-20) *not really important to this course*  DV refers to changes over time in the structure thoughts or behavior of people as a result of biological and environmental factors  This change happens in 3 major areas (domains) o Physical (biological) *changes in body, sensory capacities, motor skills o Cognitive *mental abilities, thinking and problem solving, perception, reasoning, memory, creativity, language o Social/emotional *personality, interpersonal skills, self-concept  DV happens in an integrative manner (three overlapping circles representing the domains) this is the holistic nature of DV, meaning growth in the domains is interdependent  Studying one domain in isolation of others is called modular or segmented study  Earliest formal research on children began in early 1900’s  Theories help us: o Organize large amounts of data o Formulate relevant questions o Focus research o Put individual findings into broader framework o Gain greater insight as theories evolve o Make better predictions  What we believe directs how we search for causes of behaviour, gives us a bias  Controversial issues of DV theories: o Nature vs. nurture  Which factors are most significant in determining development? o Continuity vs. discontinuity  Development is a gradual process with small changes in amount, building on a base (this is the continuous view) (growing tree)  Development involves qualitative change, changes make the person very different (discontinuous view) (stage theories) (caterpillar to butterfly) o Active vs. passive development  Humans are active participants in their own development (active)  Learn from experiences and can act on them to further our own development (active)  Humans are passive recipients of events (passive)  React/respond to internal drives and motivations (passive) (behaviourists) Wednesday/Sept/11 Historical foundations of child development  Preformationism o Children are fully formed miniature adults o Medieval Europe o “arrived preformed in the adult mold” o this was visible in art, social life and embryology (it was believed that there was a tiny fully formed human inside the womb) o by age 12 children were carrying out full adult responsibilities o some awareness that kids 0-5 were more vulnerable o eventually views changed thanks to the invention of the microscope and the shift in the type of work available o these new jobs required education o keep in mind unrealistic expectations for children as traces of preformationism in placement  2 Pioneers in Child Psychology o John Locke, father of environmentalism and learning theory, strong ‘nurture’ bias  Until Locke we believed knowledge was innate  He advocated that ideas are learned  The mind is ‘tabula rasa’ AKA a blank slate  Mind develops through experience and environment  Mind is most pliable during early years  Associations, repetition, imitation, rewards and punishment shape the mind  The early years set the child’s nature for the rest of his life according to Locke o Jean-Jacque Rousseau, developmental tradition, strong ‘nature’ bias  Agreed that children were different from adults  Children have their own unique ways of thinking and feeling  Natural innate plan for healthy growth that leads us to develop different capacities at different times  Saw children as noble savages  They are essentially good and ready to develop  They have an innate sense of right and wrong Monday/Sept/16  G Stanley Hall o Founder of the child study movement o Saw children’s development as a genetically predetermined series of events that unfolds automatically o Attempted to gather extensive info about all aspects of child dev o Structured, systematic study called the normative approach o Indicates the typical or average dev of that behaviour Research in developmental psychology  King Psamtik wanted to prove the Egyptians was the most ancient race on earth o Assumed children unexposed to language would speak most instinctive and therefore most ancient language which he thought would be Egyptian o Isolated 2 children to study o Sometimes considered to be the first developmental experiment in recorded history  The scientific method o Formulating theories o Developing hypotheses o Testing them  Ways to collect data o Observe people in real life situations o Test people in controlled situations o Give written test o Questionnaires or interviews  3 most commonly used research methods o naturalistic observations o correlations o experiments  naturalistic observations o observe children in their natural environment o observe and record o no attempt to control the situation  studying age-associated changes o developmental studies focus on change over time  3 types of designs o longitudinal designs  study the same individuals at different points throughout a time period  shows the rate and pattern of development if it is occurring  drawbacks include, too time-consuming, people drop out, subjects acclimatize to the tests o cross-sectional designs  study children of different ages at one point in time  compare different age groups  much quicker, less expensive and more manageable data  will tell us about ages differences but cannot tell us about age changes since we are comparing different children o sequential designs  combo of both  take different aged groups and follow them over time  applicable to distinguish changes to a specific age group and changes that apply to a particular group of children  can investigate the effects of environmental changes  Ethical issues in research with children o Children are a special group of research participants o Developmental immaturity o Dependence on adults o Makes them a particularly vulnerable group  Principles/guidelines for conducting research with children o Protection from harm  No treatment or experimental condition given to a child should be mentally or physically harmful (sometimes often to determine) o Informed consent  Must obtain consent from the child if old enough to understand or from the parents  Assumes the parents have the best interests of the children in mind  Generally children over age of 7 or 8 should give consent  Given the dependency issue we must be careful about subtle forms of coercion and influence (children are not comfortable saying no to adults)  The child may not realize there is a choice to say yes or no o Privacy and the right to knowledge of results  All information must be kept confidential  Have the right to be told the results of the research in language they can understand  Problematic when misinterpreted  Labels may become self-fulfilling o Beneficial treatments  Each child who participates has the right to profit from beneficial treatments given to other participants  Should be some positive benefits to children in return for their participation  At the very least participation should be fun, interesting, educational, respectful o Debriefing  Explain what the study was REALLY about  If deception was used, they may feel lied to, can lead to mistrust of adults  3 Methods for studying genetic and environmental influences o Adoption studies  Adopted children are compared with members of the adopted family  This means they share the environment but not the genes  Also compared with members of the biological family  This means different environment but share genes  Where the similarities lie indicates which factor is exerting most influence  Children must have been adopted shortly after birth because it means they will have experienced only one environment o Twin comparisons  Identical twins (2 people with the same genetic makeup)  Fraternal twins (2 people with different genetic makeup)  Fraternal twins share more similar environments than other siblings would (since family situation changes over time)  Identical twins have the same genes and same environment  Fraternal twins have different genes and same environment  Identical twins may have much more similar environments than fraternal twins  Twin samples may not be generalizable o Blended family situations  Children in the same family differ in their biological relatedness  The study of step-families  Results are difficult to interpret  Much more blended families now  Even though we have studies that can say where the majority of the weight of causation stands, we don’t really know how genetics and environment interact Monday/Sept/23 Prenatal Development  Gestation period o Total period of time from conception to birth o 266 days or 38 weeks o most rapid growth and development in a person’s life!! o Developing fetus it at term from 37-38 weeks  Normal prenatal development o Process of maturation o Changes and growth that occur in an orderly predictable sequence due to genetic and biological programming o Environmental factors o Interplay between nature and nurture  Three periods of prenatal development o 1 period of the zygote or germinal period  conception to 2 weeks o 2 period of the embryo  weeks 3-8 o 3 period of the fetus  weeks 9 until birth  Period of the zygote o Last two weeks o Begins once the egg is fertilized o After 48 hours the first cell is now 4 cells o The eggs is now called the blastocyst and it is covered by 2 layers of cells  Outer = support system  Inner = baby o Blastocyst travels through fallopian tubes and goes to uterus to attach itself to the wall (implantation) o Implantation marks the transition to the next period  Period of the embryo o No implantation would be a miscarriage or spontaneous abortion o 30 to 50 percent of blastocysts are miscarried o This is a crucial time o All tissues and structures that will house nurture and protect the embryo are formed o All organs and most of the features of the embryo begin to develop o Outer cell layer in blastocyst forms the amniotic sac, placenta, chorion and the umbilical cord o Embryo grows very rapidly (daily changes) o 3 distinct layers  ectoderm – outer layer – becomes the skin and nervous system  mesoderm – middle layer – becomes muscles blood and excretory system  endoderm – inner layer – becomes digestive system , lungs and glands o Development begins of  Neural tube (beginning of the nervous system and brain)  Heart  Body structures (eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arm/leg buds) o By the end of this period the embryo is considered a recognizable human being o The lungs, digestive system and all major internal organs are forming but not necessarily all functional at this point  Period of the fetus o Growth and finishing stage o Organs, limbs, muscles, and systems become functional o Fetus will begin to kick and do baby-like actions o By end of week 12 the fetus has developed the systems and functions necessary for a human being, it is 7.6cm long, 114 grams, unable to survive on its own  Months 4-6 o Body gets longer and more proportioned o Little details form (lips, eyelashes, eyes completely formed, fingerprints)  Months 7-9 o Third trimester o Nervous system controls breathing and swallowing o Brain develops very rapidly o Sensitive to touch and pain o Can hear speech from outside the body although muffled o Considered ‘viable’ = might survive outside the mother’s body with special medical care  Month 8 o Weight gainfat layers form o Eyes open o Cerebral cortex gets bigger o By 32 weeks neural circuits are quite advanced o Dream sleep o Daily cycles of activity and sleep o Very reactive to external factors (light/sound/touch) o Hearing quite developed  Month 9 o Continues to grow and put on weight o Baby assumes head-down position to prepare for birth o ‘fetus drops’ meaning the uterus settles lower in the pelvis to prepare for birth o placenta begins to degenerate  Prenatal learning o does the fetus learn? o Can unborn babies distinguish and recognize sounds? o Peter Hepper (1989)  Expectant mothers in London, England  Group 1 watched soap opera every day  Group 2 never watched it  Within hours of birth the theme song played to crying babies  Group 1 stopped crying and became alert  Group 2 had no reaction  Those exposed to the music prenatally seemed to recognize it o Decasper and Spence (1992)  Last 6 weeks of pregnancy they read rhythmical books to one group and played classical music to another group  After birth the babies were given soothers that would turn on sounds  In every case the babies sucked the most and the hardest to hear the familiar patterns of sound  Fetuses learn to prefer familiar sound patterns before birth o Prenatal auditory experiences influence postnatal auditory preferences and behaviours o Learning is a change of behaviour as a result of experience  Implications o Prenatal stimulation o Appropriate and repeated stimuli during fetal development when neural pathways and brain structure are forming o More highly developed/complex neural pathways Wednesday/Sept/25 Factors that influence prenatal development  Heredity and environment o Prenatal development normally happens under ideal conditions  Hereditary influences on development o Genes and inheritance patterns o Chromosomal anomalies o Genetically inherited diseases  Environmental influences on development o Physical and emotional aspects o External factors and conditions  Nutrition  Exercise and physical health of mom  Emotional stress  Maternal age  Drugs and external substances  Interaction of heredity and environment o Genetically perfect embryo may be damaged by environmental factors o Moderate genetic problems may be exacerbated by environmental conditions  Teratology o The study of developmental abnormalities o ‘teras’ means monstrosities in greek o teratogen is any environmental agent that disturbs the development of an embryo or fetus (diseases, chemicals) o teratology helps up learn how to prevent environmental impacts  Studies of teratogens: variety of perspectives o 1 environmental agents that affect the mother while she is pregnant  physical differences visible at birth  caused by mother’s exposure to (or lack of exposure to) something during pregnancy o 2 environmental agent that affect the mother before conception  ex. Accutane stays in the body for several months after use since it is store in fat… means fetus can be exposed… causes extensive damage to important systems o 3 environmental agents that affect the father  before conception – ex. Alcohol and cocaine are linked to the developmental of abnormal sperm with damaged DNA  while mother is pregnant – work-related chemicals that are transferred to the mother while she is pregnant, 2 hand smoke o 4 environmental agents that produce behavioural/learning/psychological problems rather than physical birth defects  exposure to heroin/methadone will be born addicted and will go through drug withdrawal, will later have learning problems  exposure to alcohol in later stages will have learning difficulties, lack of coordination etc o 5 environmental agents that produce effects that do not become apparent until child is much older  hormone DES was given to prevent miscarriage, daughters of women who took DES have been found to be at higher risk of developing vaginal cancer, sons have been found to be at higher risk for testicular cancer (all in early adulthood)  Depending on the period of development and the timing of exposure, teratogenic damage impacts different aspects of development  Sensitive period concept o Limited time span during which a body part or system is developing most rapidly o This is the time span during which that organ or system is most vulnerable to disruption by teratogens  Sensitive periods and timing of exposure o Thalidomide was a drug (1959-1962) (affected 10K-20K babies) that produced safe sound sleep that was given to thousands of pregnant women because it also relieved morning sickness o There was also a high number of stillborn, miscarried, or died early after birth because of this drug o Babies were born with physical abnormalities, the type of deformity was determined by timing of drug use o Defects included deafness, internal organ malformation, under- development o exposure to the same drug at different times leads to different effects  zygote is typically not considered susceptible to teratogen (in the frst 2 weeks there is no impact or impact is so great that it is miscarried)  embryo is at greater risk of physical birth defects  fetus suffers from organ functioning and brain development issues  Teratogens exert influence by affecting the fetus o Directly by passing from mother’s blood to placenta o Indirectly by changing the uterine environment o Or both  Smoking o Causes low birth weight (<5.5 lbs) o More Canadian women now smoking than ever in history o Birth weight is the single best predictor of infant survival and development o Preme babies with LBW means they were not able to complete prenatal development o Full term LBW babies indicate prenatal malnutrition o Smoking has also been associated with  Miscarriage higher risk  Still birth  Preme delivery  Sudden infant death syndrome  Cancer later in childhood  Impaired breathing during sleep  Every time the mother smokes a cigarette the baby’s heart races indicating lack of oxygen and increased stress  Children of smokers score lower on reading and spelling tests, have lower attention span o Smoking may damage the placenta o Reduces flow of nutrients and blood vessels in placenta/uterus o Linked to tubal pregnancy o Influences brain structure and hardwiring of the brain Monday/Sept/30 Infancy: Readiness for life, sensory and perceptual development, early learning  Neonate is a baby in the first month of life  Until the 1960s people thought neonates lived in a buzzing confusion until age 1  The new born: Development and Discovery  6 newborn behavioural states by P.H. Wolff (STATES OF AROUSAL) o regular sleep  still  eyes closed unmoving  slow regular breathing o irregular sleep  eyes closed but moving (REM)  jerk/grimace to stimulation  irregular breathing o drowsiness  falling asleep or waking up  eyes open and shut  have glazed appearance  breathing is regular but more rapid than in regular sleep o alert inactivity  eyes wide open and bright  exploring something  even breathing  body inactive o alert activity  eyes open  breathing is irregular  may display fussiness or bursts of motor activity o crying  intense crying that may be difficult to stop  high levels of motor activity o these states have a regular pattern which will change with age o newborns will spend most of the day in regular or irregular sleep o babies will start sleeping through the night more regularly around 6 months  Why is ID of the states significant? o Recognize subtle differences in degree of activity/inactivity of infants o Discovered that infant’s level of responsiveness depends largely on their particular behavioural state o One kind of stimulation will not bring about the same response in an infant every time o Must know infant’s state when stimulation occurs before interpreting their reactions o To assess particular reactions, infants must be in appropriate state to start  Research issues o Timing  Determines what we see and how we interpret it o Consistency  Needed to ensure same type of response is being measured each time Wednesday/Oct/2  Understanding and researching newborn/infant development o Infancy research methods:  Preferential looking  Eye movements  Habituation  Standard conditioning o First year of life  Developments in infancy  Perceptual abilities  Psychophysiological methods  Barriers to research with infants o No language o Adults can’t make experience-based assumptions o Assumptions may be faulty o Use of mothers (generalize?) o Infant ‘states’ can interfere  Infancy: early motor development  Locomotor development o Mobility o Gross motor dev.  Fine motor development o Reaching o Manipulatory/hand skills o The smaller movements  Why learn about progressions in motor development? o Develop appropriate understand expectations of capabilities o Raise awareness of significant/drastic changes each new ability brings  Implications of motor development for infants o Entirely new perspective o Greater access to the world around them o Greater independence o Increased communication  Social relationships Monday/Oct/7 Physical growth: infancy through childhood ***PLACEMENT AGREEMENT FORM  Physical growth o Course and sequence of physical growth is highly regular and predictable o Height and weight growth is similar between sexes in childhood o Distance curves are plots demonstrating the average height/weight at each age (used to compare with individual children) o On average girls are a little lighter and shorter than boys in childhood o Velocity curves plot amount of increase or rate/amount of growth (shows growth spurts)  General principles of physical development (Gesell) o Different rates of development  Most noticeable in infancy and adolescence o Invariant sequence of development (orderly sequence)  Cephalo-caudal principle  Tendency for dev to occur hear downwards  Proximal-distal principal  Tendency for dev to occur from torso out o Principle of differentiation  Tendency for physical responses t move from global reactions to controlled reactions (uncoordinated to complex, coordinated voluntary control) o Principle of asynchronous growth  Different rates for different body parts  Impact of physical development on children’s interactions and learning o Physical changes…  Enlarge the number and range of experiences open to children  Alter the interactions children have with their environment and the people in that environment  Influence how children see and feel about themselves o Age appropriate expectations  Know timing and sequence to know what can be expected o Awareness of implications  Understand impact on those who develop slower/faster  Three concepts arising from Gesell’s work on physical development o Individual variations o Readiness  Child must be physically ready in order to learn a new skill o Developmental opportunity  Skills will not develop on time unless the child is given the opportunity to work on it  Development of the brain o Follows predictable sequence of development  During prenatal development  Neurons are all produced in the centre of the brain and migrate to their appropriate spots and specialize in function o Teratogens can interfere with  Production  Migration  Differentiation *of neurons X3  At birth o All neurons which are needed at that time are present o Migration has occurred  After birth o Neurons must grow, differentiate more and form connections with other neurons  Brain growth involves o Neurons growing in size o Production of glial cells for myelinization o Increase in number of connections between neurons  Stimulation o Strengthens connections o Forms new synapses o More input there is to stimulate the neurons, the more extensive and elaborate the connections between them becomes Wednesday/Oct/9  Lack of stimulation o Loss of connections o Synaptic pruning o Use it or lose it o Types and number of connections determine how brain will function  No/faulty migration  Initial connections not maintained  Many connections/frequent use  It is ideal to have many connections which are all used often  The brain is o Prewired for basic sensory and motor functions  Neurons naturally migrate and differentiate o But prewiring must be used  To allow for fine-tuning  And continue existence of prewiring  Growth spurts o 1 year (3-4, 8, 12months and 2 years)  increased synaptic formation o 7,9,12,15years  increased complexity of networks  increased efficiency  increased long-distance connections o time of rapid growth is referred to as a sensitive period o If proper stimulation does not occur during sensitive periods various areas of brain will not develop properly (connections not made and/or strengthened) o Stimulation comes from experiences Cognitive Development throughout Childhood  Changes in thinking o Cognitive-development theorists o Cognitive development occurs in a set of predictable, invariant, and distinct stages  Jean Piaget o Stage theory o At each stage new abilities emerge allowing for major reorganization in child’s thinking o Thinking at one stage very different from thinking at next stage  Discontinuous o Changes and stages not genetically determined o Depends on brain maturation and active interaction with the environment o Children actively construct new and more elaborate ways of thinking o Knowledge comes from action  Concepts/terms o Schemes/schemata  Patterns or behaviour of children used in dealing with objects of the world  Categorical maps o Adaptation  Tendency of organisms to change in response to their environment  Continuous interaction with the environment o Assimilations  Process of incorporating new info into an existing scheme o Accommodation
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