Lecture 1 02/07/2014
Why study child development?
childhood is a time of incredible growth and development.
children are different from adults.
Education and policies (headstart programs, eyewitness questioning)
A Good Theory is…
Internally consistent, based on data and explains all existing data, clear and testable, Parsimonious.
Fundamental Developmental Theories
Biological perspective, Psychodynamic perspective, Learning perspectives, contextual perspective.
Biological perspective :
Intellectual and personality development, as well as physical and motor development, proceed according to
Maturational theory: child development reflects a specific and prearranged scheme or plan within the body.
HOWEVER, this theory was disregarded due to the fact that it had little to say about the impact of
Ethological theory: views development from an evolutionary perspective. Survival value. Clinging,
grasping, and crying are adaptive for infants because they elicit caregiving from adults.
Critical Period: the time when a specific type of learning can take place; before or after the critical period
the same learning is difficult or even impossible.
Imprinting: creating emotional bond with mother. Lorenz studied ducklings, removed from mother right at
birth and replaced mother with another moving object (himself).
Psychodynamic perspective :
OLDEST scientific perspective on child development. Theory holds that development is largely determine
by how well people resolve conflicts they face at different ages.
id: primitive instincts and drives, presses for immediate gradification(devil).
Ego: practical and rational, tries to resolve conflict. (self)
Superego: acts as moral agent, adult standards of right and wrong(angel). Psychosexual Phases(5):
Oral: sucking and exploring with the mouth (babies)
Anal: bowel control (23)
Phallic: notice differences between sexes (37)
Latency: energies are sublimated (7puberty)
Genital: mental energies being taken up in activities reminiscent. (11adult)
trust vs. mistrust birth1 sense that world if safe.
Autonomy vs. shame 13 realize that one is an independent
Initiative vs. guilt 36 develop willingness to try new things
Industry vs. inferiority 6adult learn basic skills and work with others
Intimacy vs. isolation young adult commit to loving another
Generativity vs. stagnation mid adult contribute to youngers people
Integrity vs. despair elder view ones life as satisfactory
The Learning Perspective :
Ivan Pavlov’s classical conditioning.
Used with dog and little Albert, rat associated with loud noise= fear of rat.
B.F Skinner’s Operant conditioning in which the consequences of a behavior determine whether that
behavior is repeated in the future. Positive and negative reinforcement and punishment.
Ex. Neg reinforcement:
if you clean your room, you don’t have to do the dishes.
Children sometimes learn through observational learning or imitation. Social cognitive theory, “monkeysee, monkeydo” Albert Bandura. The bobo doll study.
Selfefficacy; beliefs about their own abilities. Children are more likely to imitate fav singer if they are told
they are a good singer, vice versa.
Environment is important to development of a child.
Culture which is made up of knowledge, attitudes, and behavior associated with a group of people, affects
the child’s development.
Ex. Canadians want their children to do well n school and obtain a degree to sustain themselves in the
future. While in Africa, people want their children to develop survival skills such as hunting.
Bronfenbrenner: believed child development was embedded in a series of complex and interactive systems.
Macrosystem: culture. Exosystem: family friends, extended family, neighbors, community. Mesosytem: what
happens in a microsystem may effect others. Ex: if you’ve had a stressful day at work you may be grouchy
at home. Microsystem: parents and siblings, school. Lecture #2 02/07/2014
How Genes Work?
Baby gets half of the chromosomes from mom and half from dad.
23 in sperm, 23 in egg= 46 in baby.
On 23 pair, XX is girl, XY is boy.
DNA Adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine.
instructions called gene.
for each trait we have one DNA sequence from mom and one from dad. ALLELES.
Sometimes alleles are the same (homozygous) and sometimes they are different (heterozygous). Then,
the dominant allele will be the one to “take over” and provide the phenotype.
How Genes skip a generation:
A is dominant, a is recessive (say, curly hair and straight hair, respectively).
Both mom and dad have curly hair, but they are both carriers of the straight hair allele.
This couple has a 25% chance of having a child with straight hair.
Father A AA Aa
A AA Aa
Genes affect the environment
Example: temperament Lecture #2 02/07/2014
Types of geneenvironment correlations (rGE)
Parents provide both genes and environment
Activer GE (niche picking)
Actively seeking out environments that reinforce dispositions.
Behaviours elicit certain reactions from the environment.
Several psychological traits showed an increase in heritability as the twins developed.
Authors’ interpretation: Active geneenvironment relations (niche picking).
Alternative explanation: late gene expression.
Environment affects the genes expression
Stages of development
Factors Affecting Prenatal Development Lecture #2 02/07/2014
Nutrition not enough folic acid can lead to spina bifida
Prenatal crossfostering design
Children conceived by IVF
One group of children was biologically related to mom
Another group was biologically unrelated to mom (egg/embryo donation).
Measures (children are 410 years old):
Mom recalls/medical records: gestational age, birth weight, mom’s stress levels during pregnancy.
Questionnaires: child’s anxiety and ADHD symptoms and child’s antisocial behavior.
Gestational age and birth weight were correlated with prenatal stress in both groups.
Child’s anxiety and antisocial behaviour were correlated with prenatal stress in both groups, but in both
groups this relationship was explained by mom’s current depression/anxiety symptoms.
Child’s ADHD symptoms were correlated with prenatal stress only in the related group. Lecture #3 02/07/2014
Newborn Physical Development Lecture #3 02/07/2014
Newborn reflexes (VIDEO)
What are the implications of the differences?
Nature vs. nurture
What are the implications of the universalities?
Postpartum Depression (PPD)
Significant symptoms of depression and/or anxiety:
Appear in the first 12 months after birth
Continue for more than two weeks
Interfere with mom’s ability to function
Feeling rage Lecture #3 02/07/2014
8% of women have depression symptoms 12 weeks postpartum