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Chapter 1-4

HLTC23H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1-4: Dependent And Independent Variables, Ower, Infant Mortality

Health Studies
Course Code
Maureen Murney

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Chapter 1 Child Development: Theories and Themes
Theories of Child Development
John Locke
- human is born 'tabula rasa'/'as a blank slate'
- experience moulds the infant in a unique individual
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
- new borns had an innate sense of justice and morality that unfolds naturally as children grow
theory [ in terms of child development]
- organized set of ideas designed to explain and make predictions about development
James Mark Baldwin
- 'materialist' that studied the mind empirically [experientially]
- believed that theory must guide experimentation
- development proceeded form simple behavioural movements gradually coordinated into more complex
behaviours and leading to adult forms of abstract thought
Biological perspective
- G. Stanley Hall
- effort to describe the 'normal' child
- based his work on evolutionary biology derived from Charles Darwin
- Charles Darwin
- 'organisms whose individual traits are best suited, or adapted, for survival in a particular
environment are the organisms most likely to survive'
- survival depends on both the characteristics of the organism and the environment it lives in
- natural selection
- ongoing process in nature that results in survival of those organisms that are best
adapted to their environments
- Arnold Gesell; maturational theory
- child development reflects a specific and pre-arranged scheme or plan within the body
- development = natural unfolding of a biological plan, experience matters little
- ethological theory
- behaviors are adaptive; they have survival value
e.g. crying is adaptive for infants because it elicits caregiving from others
- critical period
- time in development when a specific type of learning can take place
- before or after this period, the same learning is difficult or impossible
- Konrad Lorenz
- chicks are biologically programmed to follow the first moving object they see after hatching
- imprinting/'attachment' for humans
- creating an emotional bond with the mother
- critical point for the chicks to imprint lasts a day = experience is essential for triggering
programmed adaptive behaviors
Psychodynamic perspective
- Sigmund Freud
- early experiences establish enduring lifelong patterns
- psychoanalysis
- development is determined by how well people resolve unconscious conflicts that arise
during development
- Freud's theory of personality
- id; primitive instincts and drives
- present at birth

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- immediate gratification of bodily needs and wants
e.g. hungry baby crying
- ego; practical and rational
- during the first year of life
- learn that they cannot always have what they want
- tries to meet the id's desires with realistic and socially acceptable objects and actions
- superego; moral agent/conscience
- during preschool years
- internalize adult standards of right and wrong
- Freud's theory of psychosexual development
- due to a force 'libido', humans are motivated from birth to experience physical pleasure
- libido shifts to 'erogenous zones'
e.g. infants seek pleasure orally; sucking = oral stage [p.4]
- development is best when child's needs are met at each stage but not exceeded
- environmental reactions
- family's responses to hereditary conditions
- shape children's adjustment and development
- Erikson's psychosocial theory
- psychological and social aspects of development are as important as the biological and sexual
- 8 stages, each with a social challenge
- earlier stages of development provide the foundation for later stages
Learning perspective
- infant's mind is blank slate on which experience writes
- John Watson
- classical conditioning [Ivan Pavlov]
- 'with the correct techniques, anything could be learned by almost anyone'
e.g. trained 11-month old 'Little Albert' to fear a rat
- animals and people can learn to respond in a particular manner to a stimulus that normally would not
elicit that particular response
- operant conditioning
- consequences of a behavior affect whether that behavior is repeated in the future
- Skinner; 2 kinds of consequences
- reinforcement
- increases future likelihood of the behavior it follows
- positive: giving a reward
- negative: rewarding by taking away something unpleasant
e.g. reading is rewarded with getting out of washing dishes
- punishment
- decreases the future likelihood of the behavior it follows
- causing something unpleasant to occur
- withholding a pleasant event
- social cognitive theory [Albert Bandura]
- critique of learning theory
- ignoring the importance of social relationships and the role of imitation learning
[vicarious/observational learning]
- children are more likely to imitate someone they admire and behaviours that are rewarded
- children are actively trying to understand their world and other people are important sources of
information about the world
- experiences gives a sense of 'self-efficacy'
- beliefs about their own levels of ability, skill and talent to affect events that have an
impact on them personally
Cognitive-Developmental Perspective
- how children think and how their thinking changes over time

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- Jean Piaget
- youngsters are naturally motivated to make sense of the physical and social world
- analogy to scientists in creating theories
- radical revisions occur three times in development
- age 2, 7, and once before adolescence
- 4 stages in cognitive development [p.6]
- each stage is a fundamental change in how children understand and organize their
- emphasized the 'whole' of cognitive development
- focuses on qualitative change
- neo-Piagetian theory
- features of Piagetian theory with information-processing theory
Contextual Perspective
- environment means much more than just reinforcements and observations
- culture
- knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, symbols and behaviors associated with a group of people
- provides the context in which a child develops and influences development from infancy through
- people who share a culture come from a geographical area or share a common history
- Lev Vygotsky
- focused on the ways adults convey the beliefs, customs and skills of their culture to their
- Urie Bronfenbrenner
- ecological theory
- developing child as embedded in a series of complex and interactive systems
- environment divided into 5 levels
1. microsystem
- family, school, daycare centre, peers, church
2. mesosytem
- what happens in one microsystem can influence other microsystem
3. exosystem
- extended family, family friends, neighbours, mass media, parents' workplace
- social settings that might not be experienced first-hand but still have an
influence on development
4. macrosystem
- attitudes, beliefs and heritage of culture
5. chronosystem
- emphasizes that development takes place over time and during certain eras
- dimension of time
information-processing theory
- analogy of how computers work to explain thinking and how it changes over time
- mental hardware = cognitive structures [memories and where they are stored]
- mental software = organized sets of cognitive processes that allow children to perform tasks
[reading a sentence, playing the piano or hitting a softball]
- adolescents have better hardware and software than younger children
- based on various research findings about specific components of cognitive development
- emphasizes the 'parts' of cognitive development
- focuses on cognitive as continuous and gradual and on quantitative change
quantitative change
- change in the amount or value
qualitative change
- change in type or essence
evolutionary theory
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