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Chapter 11

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Carleton University
PSYC 1002
Chris Motz

Chapter 11: Human Development Across the Life Span Development: the sequence of age-related changes that occur as a person progresses from conception to death Progress before Birth: Prenatal Development: -conception=fertilization creates a zygote (a one-celled organism created from the union of a sperm and egg) -all other cells derive from this -contain chromosomes which house genes (hereditary blueprints that are revealed throughout life) -prenatal period: period from conception to birth, usually 9 months of pregnancy -development=remarkably rapid until final weeks before birth Course of Prenatal Development: st Germinal Stage: 1 phase; first 2 weeks after conception -zygote created -after 36 hours, rapid cell division begins -mass of cells migrate down fallopian tube to uterus + begins implantation -many zygotes rejected without mother’s knowledge -placenta begins to form -placenta: structure that allows nutrients and oxygen to pass from mother to child, and waste to pass from child to mother -thin membranes keep bloodstreams separate nd Embryonic Stage: second stage of development from 2 weeks until end of 2 month -most of vital organs and bodily systems begin to form -heart, spine, brain -cell division more specialized -zygote becomes embryo/begins to look human -period of great vulnerability; most health defects form at this stage Fetal Stage: third stage; lasting from 2 months to birth -rapid bodily growth: muscles/bones begin to form -capable of physical movement as skeletal structures harden -sex organs develop 3 month -final 3 months: brain cells multiply quickly, layer fat deposited under skin, respiratory/digestive systems mature -prep for outside life/age of viability -age of viability: age from which a baby can survive a premature birth, between 22 to 26 weeks Environmental Factors and Prenatal Development: -mother’s eating habits, drug use, physical health, etc can=long-term consequences Maternal Nutrition: -too much/too little weight gain=variety complications -nutrients needed for child! Problem in under developing nations -can lead to vulnerability to schizophrenia, low birth weight, increased risk of heart disease, diabetes Maternal Drug Use: -consumption of recreational/prescription drugs, tobacco/alcohol likely to pass through placenta -babies of heroin addicts=addicted to narcotics at birth -increased risk of death due to prematurity, birth defects, respiratory difficulties, etc -prenatal exposure to pot/etc=disturbances in prefrontal -attention/impulsivity and problem solving areas likely affected -impact depends on quantity, drug, and phase of development -fetal alcohol syndrome: collection of inborn problems due to excessive maternal alcohol usage during pregnancy -ex: small head, heart defects, irritability, hyperactivity, delayed mental/motor development, increased risk of difficulty in school, depression, suicide, drug problems, and criminal behaviour -tobacco use=reduced flow oxygen and nutrients to fetus -increase risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity, sudden infant death syndrome, slower cognitive development, attention deficits, hyperactivity, and behavioural problems Maternal Illness: -fetus largely defenceless against infection -placenta screens out most infections -NOT genital herpes, AIDS, rubella, syphilis, cholera, smallpox, mumps, or severe cases of the flu The Wondrous Years of Childhood: Exploring the World: Motor Development -motor development: progression of muscular coordination needed to physical activity -ex: grasping, reaching, sitting, crawling, walking, running Basic Principles: -cephalocaudal trend: head-to-foot direction of motor development -gain control of upper body before lower -proximodistal trend: centre-outward direction of motor development -gain control of torso before extremities -triple birth weight in first year -height increase 45% -Maturation: development reflecting gradual unfolding of genetic blueprint -driving force behind motor development=infant ongoing exploration and need to master specific tasks -progress due to experimentation; learning/remembering consequences Understanding Developmental Norms: -developmental norms: median age that individuals show various abilities and behaviour -variations from norm=typical Cultural Variations and Their Significance: -environmental factors can speed up/slow attainment of early motor skills -rapid motor development in some cultures -they provide special practice in basic motor skills (ex: dance) -can work in opposite direction -may also learn specific skills that are culturally unique Easy and Difficult Babies: Differences in Temperament -temperament: characteristic mood, activity level, and emotional reactivity -longitudal design: observe one group repeatedly over given period of time -many participants drop out (lose interest/move, etc) -most take years to complete -more sensitive to developmental influences/changes -cross-sectional design: compare groups of participants of differing age at a
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