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Chapter 11

Chapter 11 PS102.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Carolyn Ensley

PS102 Chapter 11 – Human Development Across the Life Span Week 8 -Development – the sequence of age-related changes that occur as a person progresses from conception to death Progress before Birth: Prenatal Development -Conception occurs when fertilization creates a zygote – a one-celled organism formed by the union of a sperm and an egg -The prenatal period extends from conception to birth, usually encompassing nine months of pregnancy The Course of Prenatal Development -Divided into three phases Germinal Stage -The first phases of prenatal development, encompassing the first two weeks after conception -During the implantation process, the placenta begins to form -The placenta is a structure that allows oxygen and nutrients to pass into the fetus from the mother’s bloodstream, and bodily wastes to pass out to the mother Embryonic Stage -The second stage of prenatal development, lasting from two weeks until the end of the second month -Most of the vital organs and bodily systems begin to form in the developing organism, which is now called an embryo Fetal Stage -The third stage of prenatal development, lasting from two months through birth -The first two months of this stage bring rapid bodily growth, as muscles and bones begin to form -Sex organs start to develop during the third month -During the final three months, brain cells multiply at a brisk pace -Between 22 and 26 weeks, the fetus reaches the age of viability – the age at which a baby can survive in the event of a premature birth Environmental Factors and Prenatal Development -A mother’s habits can have long-term health consequences -Teratogens are any external agents, such as drugs or viruses, that can harm an embryo or fetus Maternal Drug Use -Most drugs consumed by a pregnant woman can pass through the membranes of the placenta -All “recreational drugs” can be harmful -Exposure is associated with a variety of physical and cognitive effects -Fetal alcohol syndrome is a collection of congenital (inborn) problems associated with excessive alcohol use during pregnancy -Fetal alcohol syndrome is the most common known cause of intellectual disability and it is related to an increased incidence of difficulty in school, depression, suicide, drug problems, and criminal behaviour in adolescence and adulthood -Smoking appears to increase a mother’s risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, and prematurity, and newborn’s risk for sudden infant death syndrome PS102 Chapter 11 – Human Development Across the Life Span Week 8 Maternal Illness and Exposure to Toxins -The fetus is largely defenceless against infections because its immune system matures relatively late in the prenatal period Maternal Nutrition and Emotions -The developing fetus needs a variety of essential nutrients -Severe maternal malnutrition increases the risk of birth complications and neurological defects for the newborn Fetal Origins of Disease -Events during prenatal development can “program” the fetal brain in ways that influence one’s vulnerability to various types of illness decades later – Ex. Schizophrenia -Maternal nutrition continues to affect the newborn during the breastfeeding period The Wondrous Years of Childhood Exploring the World: Motor Development -Motor development refers to the progression of muscular coordination required for physical activity Basic Principles of Motor Development -One is the cephalocaual trend – the head-to-foot direction of motor development -Children tend to gain control over the upper part of their bodies before the lower part -The proximodistal trend is the centre-outward direction of motor development -Maturation is development that reflects the gradual unfolding of one’s genetic blueprint – it is a product of genetically programmed physical changes that come with age – as opposed to experience and learning Understanding Developmental Norms -Developmental norms indicate the median age at which individuals display various behaviours and abilities Cultural Variations and their Significance -Relatively rapid motor development has been observed in some cultures that provide special practice in basic motor skills -Cultural variations in the emergence of basic motor skills demonstrate that environmental factors can accelerate or slow down early motor development -As children in any culture grow older, they acquire more specialized motor skills, some of which may be unique to their culture Easy and Difficult Babies: Differences in Temperament -Temperament refers to characteristic mood, activity level, and emotional reactivity -Infants show consistent differences in emotional tone, tempo of activity, and sensitivity to environmental stimuli very early in life -In a longitudinal design, investigators observe one group of participants repeatedly over a period of time -In a cross-sectional design, investigators compare groups of participants of differing age at a single PS102 Chapter 11 – Human Development Across the Life Span Week 8 point in time -Cohort effects occur when differences between age groups are due to the groups growing up in different time periods -Longitudinal designs tend to be more sensitive to developmental changes -Individual differences in temperament appear to be influenced to a considerable degree by heredity Early Emotional Development: Attachment -Attachment refers to the close, emotional bonds of affection that develop between infants and their caregivers -The first important attachment is with the mother – formed by 6 to 8 months of age -Separation anxiety is emotional distress seen in many infants when they are separated from people with whom they have formed an attachment -Separation anxiety peaks at around 14 to 18 months and then begins to decline Theories of Attachment -Initially, behaviourists argued that this special attachment between infant and mother develops because mothers are associated with the powerful, reinforcing event of being fed -Attachment theory has had an evolutionary slant from its very beginning, long before evolutionary theory became influential in psychology Patterns of Attachment -The strange situation procedure – infants are exposed to a series of 8 separation and reunion episodes to assess the quality of their attachment -Infant-mother attachments vary in quality -If needed to know the various types of attachments that are not positive refer to p. 502 -The type of attachment that emerges between an infant and mother may depend on the nature of the infant’s temperament as well as the mother’s sensitivity -The quality of the attachment relationship can have important consequences for children’s subsequent development Culture and Attachment -Attachment is a universal feature of human development Becoming Unique: Personality Development -Events in early childhood leave a permanent stamp on adult personality -A stage is a developmental period during which characteristic patterns of behaviour are exhibited and certain capacities become established -Stage theories assume that (1) individuals must progress through specified stages in a particular order because each stage builds on the previous stage, (2) progress through these stages is strongly related to age, and (3) development is marked by major discontinuities that usher in dramatic transitions in behaviour PS102
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