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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 Study Guide

Course Code
Oren Amitay

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Chapter 12 Lifespan Development
Chapter Outline
Prenatal Development
-mother’s diet can affect fetus’s development
-toxins can cause physical and cognitive defects
Physical and perceptual Development in Infancy and Childhood
-timing and experience are two key elements in normal motor and perceptual development
-for normal development to occur, a child must encounter stimulation from environment in
specific time interval
-if stimulation does not occur, normal development is impeded
Cognitive Development in Infancy and Childhood
-Piaget thought a child undergoes four intellectual changes that deal with changes in nervous
system and experience
-Vygotsky thought a child’s cognitive development is influenced by sociocultural variables,
especially language
-information processing models focuses on how brain maturation affects cognitive processes
Social Development in Infancy and Childhood
-attachment is social and emotional bond between infant and caregiver
Development of Gender Roles
-evolution has shaped differences in brain development for males and females
-males have better spatial abilities
-females have better communication skills
-socialization processes, like parenting shaped gender-appropriate behaviour
Moral Development
-Piaget stated that people undergo two stages of moral development
-first stage is marked by egocentrism and adherence to rules
-second stage is marked by empathy
-Kohlberg said there are three stages in moral development: 1) externally defining morality, 2)
considering how the social system relates to morality, 3) understanding the principles on which
moral rules are based
-begins with sexual maturation, marked with changes in social behaviour and ability to reason
-female build relationships based on trust
-males seek social support in becoming more independent
-forming an identity is a key aspect of social development

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Adulthood and Old Age
-physical abilities peak in early adulthood and decline gradually afterwards
-older adults perform worse on abstract reasoning, but better on general knowledge and abilities
related to experience
-cross-sectional study is used to compare individuals of different ages simultaneously
more convenient to carry out
avoid problems associated with repeatedly testing or observing the same individuals
-longitudinal study compares observation of the same individuals at different times of their lives
repeat the test on the same children at different age
Prenatal Development
-prenatal period lasts for nine months between conception and birth
-length of normal pregnancy is 266 days, or 38 weeks
-X chromosome inactivation is when one of the two X chromosomes of women is silenced early
in development
most of its genes do not synthesize the proteins they normally would
limits total amount of proteins produced by genes located on the X chromosome
without this limit, metabolism of female would be different from male
only one of the parent’s chromosome is selected to be active
example of epigenetic modification, it is not due to alterations of DNA sequence
-epigenetic modification form a second factor of early development
-cell’s chemical environment moderates the expression of its genetic code
-genetic information remains the same throughout development, reproducing cells become
Stage of Prenatal Development
-conception is union of egg and sperm
-zygotes stage lasts about two weeks
single cell divides many times and internal organ begin to form
cells are arranged in two layers, one for skin, hair, nervous system, and sensory organs and the
other for digestive, respiratory systems, and glands
later in this stage, third layer of cells appear and develop into muscles and circulatory and
excretory systems
-embryonic stage begins at two weeks and ends about eight weeks after conception
development occurs at rapid pace
at the end of the stage, major feature that define human body can be seen
embryo can react reflexively to stimulation
most susceptible to external chemical influences, like alcohol, drugs, toxins, rubella
-these substances are teratogens (malformation) and they can cause birth defects

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-beginning of sexual development occurs in embryonic stage
-twenty-third chromosome pair determines sex of embryo
-embryo develops a pair of gonads that will become either ovaries or testes
-if a Y chromosome is present, the gene makes the gonads develop into testes
if not, gonads become ovaries
-if testes are present, sex hormones androgens are secreted
-most important androgen is testosterone
-androgens bring development of male internal sex organs, penis and scrotum
-development of female sex organs (uterus vagina and labia) occurs naturally
-does not need to be stimulated by a hormone
-fetal stage is final period of prenatal development
lasts about seven months
begins with appearance of bone cells and ends with birth
-by the end of third month, development of major organs is completed
-bones and muscles are beginning to develop
-fetus shows some movement, like kicking
-by the end of fourth month, fetus sleeps and wakes regularly
-fetal movements become strong enough to be felt by the mother
-heartbeat is loud enough to be heard through a stethoscope
-the seventh month is a critical month
-if a fetus is born prematurely, it has a fair chance of surviving
-newborn at this age would require help breathing
Threats to Normal Prenatal Development
-if the mother is malnourished, nervous system develops abnormally and intellectual deficits
-tetracycline, an antibiotic, can cause irregularities in bones and discoloration of teeth
-cocaine can result in premature birth, low birth weight, and smaller than normal head
-cocaine interferes with neural development, can result in long-term consequences in the area of
arousal and attention
-babies are born addicted and show withdrawal symptoms, such as hyperactivity, irritability,
tremors, and vomiting
-carbon monoxide in cigarette smoking reduces supply of oxygen to fetus
-reduced oxygen levels are harmful to fetus during the last half of pregnancy when the fetus is
developing most rapidly and its demand for oxygen is greatest
-effects of cigarette include increased rate of miscarriages, low-birth weight babies, increased
chance of premature birth, and more births by Caesarean section
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