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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB21H3
Professor
Carly Prusky
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 2 – Physical Development Prenatal Development - Human zygote = cell formed by union of sperm and ovum, contains 23 chromosomes from mother and 23 chromosomes from father - Chromosome are composed of molecules of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) - Polygenetic traits = human characteristics such as skin color and height that result from interplay of multiple genes - Recessive gene – inherit a gene but it is not manifested as it is masked by dominant gene o Blond hair = recessive o Brown hair – dominant - Gender is determined by 23 chromosome (sex chromosomes) o Males have 1 X and 1 Y o Females have 2 X - Sex linked traits = recessive genes that are carried on sex chromosome - Two ways in which multiple births can occur: o Monozygotic twins = two siblings who come from the same fertilized egg and contain the same instructions aka identical twins o Dizygotic twins = two siblings who come from separate eggs that are released at the same time from an ovary and are fertilized aka fraternal twins - Some genetic defects are caused by defects in chromosomes – occur when genetic instructions go awry during early pregnancy - Down syndrome = due to presence of extra 21 chromosome or piece of one, causes a range of physical and mental handicaps o Mother over 35 are at greater risk because of their longer exposure to environmental substances - Look at disorders table on page 54 - Fragile X Syndrome = more common in males than females, caused by pinched/thin X chromosome that can break during cell division, assoc. with cleft palate, eye disorders, etc. - Genotype = genes that a person inherits from both parents for any trait o Expression of those traits = phenotype - Types of prenatal tests table on page 56 - Environment can modify the expression the expression of some genes so that it does not affect their phenotype - Reaction range = concept used by researchers to understand an individual’s unique, genetically determined response to environmental influences o Genes may determine the upper and lower boundaries for development but the reaction range defines the degrees to which the environment can affect the development - Two people with same set of genetic instructions can develop different characteristics if reared in vastly different environments - Average period of human gestation is 38 weeks - Within first 5 weeks of development, head, limbs, vital organs, central nervous system, skeleton is formed Stages of Prenatal Development - 3 stages of prenatal development: o Germinal period o Embryonic period o Fetal period Germinal Period - First 2 weeks of development - Zygote travels down fallopian tube to uterus making new cells through mitosis - Mitosis = process through which chromosomes produce duplicate copies of themselves and divide into new cells; each new cell has 23 pairs of chromosomes - Day 4 - zygote reaches uterus in form of hollow ball of 60-70 cells - Outer edge of zygote will develop into embryo - Day 6 – zygote develops villi that allow it draw nourishment from uterine wall - Day 12+ - zygotes full implantation to zygote wall - 58 % of all zygotes fail to implant properly; 31% of all conceptions become living newborns Embryonic period - Starts at time of zygote implantation - Spans from weeks 2-8 - All basic structures are established - Already present placenta, amniotic sac, umbilical cord begin to function = life support for embryo - Embryo develops 3 layers: ectoderm, mesoderm, endoderm - 3-4 weeks: heart, neural tube - 6 weeks: ears begin to form - 6-8: sex differentiation occurs - Rapid development in embryonic period makes it especially vulnerable to environmental effects Fetal period - 8 weeks until birth - 4-5 month: weight of fetus increases - Respiratory system matures Environmental effects - Teratogen = any environmental substance/disease that can cause abnormal development of fetus - Substances include: illegal drugs, caffeine, pollutants - Diseases contracted during pregnancy can be harmful to fetus such as chicken pox - Effects of teratogens can vary based on when it interacts with fetus - Babies born 38-42 weeks after conception weighing between 5-10 lbs. are least risky - Low birth weight (LBW) = babies who are small for gestation - Causes of LBW: o Poor nutrition o Poor prenatal care Brain Development - Largest among land mammals relative to body size - Brain is not fully mature until early adulthood - Central nervous system = brain, spinal cord, nerve cells o Controls almost every aspect of human functioning - Neurons = long, thin cell within central nervous system, different from other cells because they are not closely packed, formed in first 5 months of gestation - Synapses = tiny gaps between neurons where fibres from different neurons come close but do not touch - Neurotransmitters = released by neurons, cross over gaps to communicate with other neurons - Brain development after birth – number/length of neural fibres connecting different neurons and cells increase - Pruning/loss of synapses = environmentally regulated, occurs late in childhood/ adolescence - Myelination = neurons and dendrites become coated in myelin o Changes occur rapidly in first few years o Enables neural impulses to travel faster - Under nutrition can affect production/maturation of neurons - After birth to 2 years brain is most susceptible to under nutrition - Experience-expectant = neurons that receive stimulation form connections with the environment, while those that don’t fail/fall off - Developing brain is primed to receive certain stimulation at a certain time = critical period - Plasticity = ability of brain to change, lack of stimulation may slow development - Experience dependant = formation of synaptic connections based on life experiences - Left hemisphere of brain = controls verbal abilities (spoken/written), positive emotion, processes info in sequential, analytical manner, more logical - Right hemisphere = processes visual and spatial information, negative emotions (distress), process information in terms of patterns and images, more creative/intuitive - Brain lateralization = specialization of two hemispheres - Children who experience brain damage before 5 recover faster and more than adults - Reading: left comprehends syntax and grammar, right is better at figuring out story’s purpose and meaning (brain must work together) Perceptual Development - Involves processing of sensory information by the brain - Newborn infant will track object, born legally blind but gain adult like levels of vision by 12 months - Depth perception develops at 6 months (visual cliff experiment) - Habituation = decrease in infant’s response to a stimulus after repeated exposure to it o Researchers can determine whether stimulus are interesting to infants - Infants prefer human faces to other patterned stimuli - At time of entry to school children begin to control attentional processes Auditory Perception - Well developed at birth- fetus react to sound by 6-7 months - Good at discriminating between sounds such as [pah] and [bah] - Rapidly develops during infancy but reaches adult levels in elementary school Taste, Smell, Touch - Babies prefer sweet fluids, dislike sour/bitter tastes - Naturally attracted to mother’s milk - Sense of smell is present at birth – newborns turn away from smells like rotten egg, ammonia, smile when exposed to bananas - Smell may have important role in bonding - Touch may play role in brain development - Attachment = process by which infants form strong, affectionate ties with caregivers o Begins to take place within first 6 months: show preference in people o Babies who are loved tend to form secure attachments - Intermodal perception = ability to integrate information across the 5 senses Implication for Educators - Child is attracted to stimuli that are novel/complex - Babies are attracted to colorful mobiles and patterned displays - Preschool children are attracted to picture books, finding figures of animals and similar objects hidden in larger displays - Important to understand so that you are able to spot children with issues in auditory/visual discriminatory tasks Characteristics of Children with Special Needs - Should first be viewed as child with developmental needs that all children share then as child with special needs - Manifestations of special needs will change as child grows - Learning disability = not due to lack of motivation on child’s part, not temporary, persists throughout development Causes - Difficult to determine but possible causes are: heredity, problems during pregnancy/birth, incidents after birth (injury, undernourished), genetic, decreased oxygen during birth, premature birth, home/child-rearing factors (lack of structure, reliance on punishment as discipline) During School Years - Exhibit a wide range of academic problems – some have difficulties in just one area while others have difficulty in several or all areas - See Academic Skill disabilities on page 78-9 - Students with learning disabilities have at least average intelligence but perform lower on classwork/achievement tests - Discrepancy in intelligence and achievement can occur in: o Spoken Language – delays, disorders, discrepancies in listening/speaking o Written language – difficulty with reading, writing, spelling o Arithmetic – difficulty in performing arithmetic function or in comprehending concepts o Reasoning – difficulty in organizing and integrating thoughts - Some may even have trouble with motor and perceptual development - Students with specific learning disabilities may experience social/emotional problems o Have problems with peers – poor skills in interpreting social cues, problem solving in social situations - External locus of control = when children with learning disabilities succeed they are likely to attribute it to factors outside of their control, don’t believe accomplishments are result of their own effort - In adolescence they have problems with self-concept, motivation and social interaction Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - Commonly diagnosed and characterized by developmentally inappropriate levels of activity - More frequent in boys than girls - 3 major characteristics: inattention, impulse control, hyperactivity; need to be present before age of 7 - ADHD tables see page 82-3 Onset - Factors associated with early emergence: o Family history of ADHD o Maternal smoking, alcohol consumption, poor maternal health during pregnancy o Single parenthood o Low parental education levels o Poor infant health o Early emergence of high activity level and demandingness o Critical/directive behaviour in early childhood ADHD in School Years - Preschool years: present many challenges to their parents, more likely to get injured because of wild behaviour - Ability to sit still, attend to instruction, inhibit impulsive behaviour - Difficulty with cooperating with others, sharing, paying, interacting - Middle childhood: rejected by peers because of poor social skills - Adolescence: don’t outgrow ADHD, more likely to fail - Children with ADHD have shown improvement when multimodal approach is used Protective Factors - Probability and severity of developmental delays and disabilities are not the same for all children - Effects of biological risk factors decrease with time - Large individual differences among children with developmental disabilities - Development depends on quality of care children receive – supportive teachers, mentors can play an enabling role in child’s life and help reduce negative effects of disability Low Prevalence Disabilities - Severe and multiple disabilities = have two or more disabilities and extent of them is serious o Severely delayed in areas of cognition including adaptive behaviour, language and physical development - Other health impairments = have physical limitations that interfere with their learning o Vary according to type of impairment, level of severity and whether it is chronic or acute o Include heart conditions, asthma, leukemia, etc. - Deafness or hearing impairment o Hard of hearing = have sufficient hearing to enable them to understand speech, may require amplification through hearing aid o Deaf = cannot hear or understand speech - Physical disabilities = result from damage to central nervous system (brain/spinal cord) o Extent and localization of damage determines cognitive, language, social and physical functioning o Are either congenital or acquired o Congenital disorders = present at birth o Acquired disorders = either due to disease, accident, unknown causes - Low vision = cannot read newsprint size letters even with corrective lenses but have some visual functions - Blindness = have 20/200 vision (see up to 20ft instead of 200) or a limited field of vision of 20 degrees - Traumatic brain injury (TRT) = acquired injury to brain with either open or closed head injury that has significant impact on learning o Can be permanent or temporary - Deaf-blindness = dual sensory impairments - Autism = neurological disorder affecting functioning of the brain o 3-4x more common in boys o In girls there are more severe symptoms and lower intelligence o Affects ability to communicate, form relationships and respond appropriately to environment o High functioning autism = children who are mildly affected and are placed in general classrooms Motor Development - Infants movements are due to innate, unconscious reflexes such as sneezing, blinking - Gross motor skills = movement of head, body, legs, arms and large muscles - 8-10 months: begin to crawl - 10-15 months: begin to walk - 4-7 years: bodies lengthen, walk begins to resemble adult - By 3 years they can run, jump, ride tricycle - During preschool their coordination improves – they can throw ball, hop and run without losing balance - Coordination continues to improve among children in late elementary – fancy footwork, games requiring a lot of agility, balance such as hanging from monkey bars - When children learn to walk they free hands for development for fine motor skills = skills that involve small body movements such as pouring milk, cutting food with fork, drawing, assembling a puzzle, writing, working at a computer - Reaching/grasping = first fine motor skills - 1 year: pincer grasp develops (can pick up objects) - 2 years: turn knobs - Motor skills development chart on page 92 - 5-6: can print alphabet, their name but letters are large and unorganized - 7: begin to form letter of uniform height, use lowercase letters - 10-12: show skills like adults, perform crafts, type, play instruments, work puzzles - Girls tend to walk before boys – skeleton is more mature at birth - By early childhood boys outperform girls in most gross motor tasks - Girls tend to have better flexibility, balance, foot locomotion, small muscle coordination - Play and physical activity develops physical abilities of children and adolescents - Important for school to provide activities that develop fine motor skills such as sand play, drawing, painting, playing with puzzles, play dough - As children move through elementary school they are able to sit for longer periods of time - Regular breaks for physical activity and social interaction increase elementary children’s attention to demanding cognitive tasks this includes adolescents - Injury is leading killer of children Physical Growth - Average infant weighs 7.5lbs at birth - Cephalocaudal pattern = growth begins at the head and proceeds downwards, infant’s brain, neck and trunk develop before legs - Proximal distal pattern = development begins in the center, proceeds outwards, organs develop before arms of hands - Physical growth slows down during preschool/elementary years - Secular trend = shift in normative patterns of development exemplified in today’s average adult height and onset of puberty - Smaller physical size can affect achievement - Good nutrition is important for fostering positive cognitive, social, physical development outcomes and establishing healthy eating habits - Nutritional deficiencies include: low height for age (stunting), low weight for height (wasting), low weight for age - Poor nutrition in early childhood = reduces physical activity, less likely to receive stimulation which results in cognitive deficits - Malnutrition in childhood has negative effects on motor, intellectual, behavioural, social, emotional development - Adequate sleep is necessary for development - SIDS = sudden infant death syndrome - Supine sleep = putting infants to sleep on their back Puberty - Puberty = period when young person becomes capable of sexual reproduction - Includes many physical changes: o Rapid acceleration in growth o Development of primary sex characteristics o Development of secondary sex characteristics o Changes in body composition o Changes in circulatory and respiratory systems - Activated by changes in level of sex hormones estrogens and androgens - Hypothalamus regulates levels of hormones in the body - Prior to puberty, hypothalamus maintains low levels of sex hormones - Primary sex characteristics = changes in gonads (testes/ovaries) - Secondary sex characteristics = changes in genitals, breasts, both in facial, pubic and body hair - In females estrogen is crucial to maturation of reproductive system, breast development, onset of menstruation - In males testosterone affects development of penis, testes and other organs of reproductive system - Onset of puberty is marked by development of breasts and pubic hair - Menarche = beginning of menstrual cycle, last physical change in puberty - Puberty often leads to changes in adolescent’s self-image, self-confidence, family relations, moods, relations with opposite sex, etc. - Media portrayal of adolescents plays a role in their behavior (moody, rebellious, etc.) - Also called gangly years - Rapid increase of hormones in early stages of puberty can lead to increased irritability, impulsivity, aggression, depression - Adolescence can be particularly hard if they mature earlier/later than peers Special Health and Safety Concerns Obesity - Greater than 20% increase over body weight for child’s age, sex and body build - Factors include heredity, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, family trauma, abnormal metabolism, low physical activity - Childhood obesity can result in respiratory and orthopedic problems, diabetes, high blood pressure/cholesterol - Experience teasing. Ridicule from peers Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa - Anorexia nervosa = eating disorder mainly affecting adolescent girls between the same of 14 and 18, 25-50% loss of body weight through excessive dieting and exercise, treated by combo of hospitalization and family counseling - Bulimia nervosa = eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by vomiting or use of laxatives to purge the body, more common among older teens/young adults o Associated with distorted body image, inability to control one’s impulses, treatable through family and individual therapy - Associated with desire to meet society’s ideal body type - Anorexia if untreated can result in stunted growth, hair loss, disruption of menstrual cycle, sensitivity to cold, and even death - Bulimia can result in malnutrition, dental problems, electrolyte imbalances that can trigger heart attacks Substance abuse - Substance abuse = frequent or excessive use of a drug - Most common substances are cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana - Marijuana is most commonly used illicit drug - Youth who abuse drugs are more likely to experience problems at school, loss of sleep, chronic fatigue, depression, other psychological problems - Drug abusers face many health risks such as cancer, heart disease, respiratory problems, kidney/liver damage - Project Dare – Drug Awareness Resistance Education focuses on teaching students to resist peer pressure, educates young people about health dangers of substance abuse Sexuality and Pregnancy - People having intercourse earlier; males more active - Adolescents are at a higher risk for acquiring STD (sexually transmitted diseases) - Adolescent pregnancy rates have declined since 1999 - Teenage birth rates have declined - Teen mother are likely to drop out of school, half never finish, many rely on public assistance - Babies born to teen mothers are likely to have low birth weight, learning and psychological problems, poor academic achievement, discipline problems - Adolescent pregnancies caused by lack of sex education - To improve sex ed. programs in school: o Realize teen pregnancies are unintended/unwanted o Make efforts to increase young people’s knowledge about sex, contraceptives, pregnancy, STDs must begin earlier o Sex ed. programs should be designed to teach decision-making skills Depression and Suicide - Depression = affective disorder that is characterized by disturbances in cognitive and behavioral functioning - Symptoms of child depression = weight changes, feelings of hopelessness, sleep problems, inactivity/over activity, slowed thinking, lack of motivation, low energy, etc. - 20-25% of adolescents report mild depression and more common in girls probably due to gender role expectations - Consequences of depression = poor school achievement, substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, anxiety/eating disorders, suicidal ideation - Depression can lead to suicide – second leading cause of death amongst young people - Girls make more suicide attempts than boys, boys are more likely to die in suicide attempts - Psychiatric/depressive disorder, access to firearm are risk factors in suicide - Before young people take their lives they often make appeals to those around them - If you suspect student is contemplating suicide – take person seriously, ask direct questions in calm manner, encourage young person to talk about their feelings Development of Well-being in schools - Schools support healthy development of children/adolescents, prevent risky behavior **Chapter Summary: Pages 121-23 Chapter 3 – Cognitive Development: Piaget’s Theory - Constructivist approach = approach to learning purporting that children must construct their own understanding of the world in which they live o Teachers guide this process through focusing attention, posing questions, stretching child’s thinking o Information must be mentally acted on, manipulated and transformed by learners in order to have meaning o Teacher’s role is to help students rethink their ideas by asking questions they would not think of on their own - Constructivism is basis for many current reforms in education - Social constructivist = an approach to learning and teaching based on Vygotsky’s theory of development Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development - Jean Piaget had major impact on way we think about child development – previously children were seen as passive organisms that are shaped by their environment - Piaget: children have own logic, ways of knowing Jean Piaget - Swiss origin, by age of 10 he published his first scientific paper - Received first job at Geneva Museum at 15, received PhD in natural sciences at 21 - While studying philosophy he became interested in epistemology (how knowledge is obtained) which led him to study psychology at Sorbonne where he met Theodore
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