Chapter 1 notes
What is child development?
Developmental science looks at the consistencies and changes in young ppl during
their first decades of life
How is child development divided into domains and periods?
Developmental psychology is interdisciplinary and includes physical,cognitive,social
and emotional domains.
Development is divided into 5 periods1) the prenatal period(conception to birth) 2)
infancy and toddlerhood (birth to 2 years) 3) early childhood (2 to 6 years)
4)middle childhood ( 6 to 11 years) 5) adolescence and emerging adulthood (18-
Three basic issues on which child development take a stand.
Theories help us organize observations and verify it through research
Many theories and ideas combined help us learn more and the top three basic issues
are 1) is development continuous or discontinuous
2) one course to characterize children or many courses
3) genes vs the environment, nature vs nature
Continuous or discontinues
Continuous – gradual adding of the same types of skills that were there to begin
with vs. discontinuous which means new way of understanding and responding to
the world emerge at the same time. Discontinuous is more sudden and has stages-
qualitative changes that characterize a specific period of development.
One course or many
Contexts-combination of personal and environmental circumstances that can result
in different paths of change. Person growing up in a nonwestern village is different
from a child growing up in a western city.
Nature and nurture
some theorists think that if your born with high or low anxiety or verbal ability for
example then you will remain the same after years stressing heredity. Other
theorists see development as having plasticity and open to change and experience.
History Medieval- children were recognized as vulnerable and should be protected and
some thought children were devils . they were regarded as a separate period of life
The reformation- puritan families first viewed children as born evil and tried to
discipline them but after moving to England 16 century they took responsibility
and tried to guide their children and teach them self control and self-reliance.
17 century brings enlightenment, new emphasis on humane views of childhood
John Locke- behaviorism. Viewed the child as tabula rasa (blank state), children
began as nothing and their character is shaped by experience. he recommended he
use of praising and rewards and opposed physical punishment. He regarded
development as continuous: adult like behavior is build up through teachings of
parents. He believed in nurture.
Jacque Rousseau- thought children were born with a sense of right and wrong and
adults training would harm it. His philosophy includes the idea of stage and
maturation : genetically determined , unfolding course of growth. Though of
development as discontinuous, a plan mapped out by nature.
Darwin- came up with the idea of survival of the fittest and natural selection and
thought the development of the human child follows that pattern.
The normative period-g Stanley hall came up with the idea that development is a
maturational process (genetically unfolding automatically, like a flower). He came
up with the idea of normative approach which measures behavior takes on large
number of individuals and age-related averages are computed to represent typical
development. Asked kids about their interests, behaviors, fears. though parents
should guide their kids and followed Rousseau’s idea of sensitivity to children.
Binet-started looking at children with learning problems, followed the normative
approach, came up with intelligence tests and age-graded tests to see abilities. Came
up with the Stanford binet intelligence scale to predict school achievement.
Baldwin-believed in both nature and nurture in development.
Mid-Twentieth century theories
Started to look at how children became the way they are, psychoanalytic perspective
–children move through a series of stages in which they confront conflicts
(biological drives and social expectation) and they way they resolve it determines
their ability to learn, get along with others and cope with anxiety. Freud-looked at the unconscious and a psychosexual theory-how parents manage
their child’s sexual and aggressive drives in the first few years is important for a
healthy personality. The relationship between the id(driver for biological needs and
desires) the ego(rational part that redirects the id) and the superego(which
mediates and looks at societal values)determine the individual’s personality.
Parents control weather they give t