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Chapter 11

Chapter 11 _ Human Development across the Life Span.docx

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Carolyn Ensley

Chapter 11 – Human Development across the Life Span Progress before Birth: Prenatal Development Development: the sequence of age-related changes that occur as a person progresses from conception to death Zygote: a one-celled organism formed by the union of a sperm and egg Prenatal Period: extends from conception to birth, usually encompassing nine months of pregnancy The Course of Prenatal Development -divided into 3 phases: germinal stage, embryonic stage, fetal stage Germinal Stage -the first phase of prenatal development, encompassing the first two weeks after conception -begins when a zygote is created through fertilization -within 36 hours, rapid cell division begins -slowly migrates along the fallopian tube to the uterus -on the 7 day, it implants itself in the uterine wall -many zygotes are rejected at this point -1/5 pregnancies end with the women never knowing -during implantation, the placenta begins to form Placenta: 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 -takes place across a membrane that blocks the passage of blood cells -fetal and maternal bloodstreams need to stay separate 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 body systems begin to form -the heart, spine and brain emerge gradually -arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers, toes, eyes and ears are already discernible -very vulnerable stage, b/c all the basic physiological structures are being formed -most miscarriages and structural birth defects are due to problems in this stage Fetal Stage -the third stage of prenatal development, lasting from two months till birth -the first two months bring rapid growth, as muscles and bones begin to form -fetus becomes capable of physical movements as skeletal structures harden -sex organs start to develop during the third month -during the final 3 months, brain cells multiply rapidly -body fat is added -respiratory and digestive systems mature Age of Viability: the age at which a baby can survive in the event of a premature birth -between 22 and 26 weeks -85% survival rate at 26-28 weeks Environmental Factors and Prenatal Development -events in the external environment can affect the fetus through the mother -a mother’s eating habits, drug use, and physical health can affect development Maternal Nutrition -too much or too little weight gain during gestation is associated w/ many birth complications -based on pre-pregnancy body mass index -severe maternal malnutrition increases the risk of birth complications and neurological defects -has been linked to schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders -low birth weight is associated w/ an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes in adulthood Maternal Drug Use -most drugs consumed by the mother can pass through the placenta to the baby -all recreational drugs can be harmful, with sedatives, narcotics, and cocaine being super dangerous -babies of heroin users are born addicted -they have increased risk of prematurity, birth defects, respiratory difficulties Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: a collection of congenital (inborn) problems associated with excessive alcohol use during pregnancy -problems include: microcephaly, heart defects, irritability, hyperactivity, delayed mental and motor development -most common known cause of mental retardation -even normal drinking during pregnancy can have substantial negative effects -smoking produces changes in the mother that reduce the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus -increases risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, and prematurity -increases risk for sudden infant death syndrome, slower cognitive development, attention deficits, hyperactivity and conduct problems Maternal Illness -fetal immune systems mature relatively late in the prenatal period -many maternal illnesses can go through the placenta and interfere with development -diseases such as rubella, syphilis, cholera, smallpox, mumps, and even severe cases of the flu can be hazardous -pregnant women can also transmit genital herpes and AIDS to their babies -contracted during birth -herpes can cause microcephaly, paralysis, deafness, blindness brain damage, and death in newborns -AIDS can be contracted through the placenta, during birth, or breast feeding -20-30% of women who have AIDS pass it on to their babies The Wondrous Years of Childhood Exploring the World: Motor Development Motor Development: the progression of muscular coordination required for physical activities -basic motor skills: grasping, reaching, manipulating objects, sitting up, crawling, walking, running Basic Principles Cephalocaudal 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 Proximodistal Trend: the centre-outward direction of motor development -gain control over torso before extremities -early motor development depends in part on physical growth -infants grow to triple their birthrate in the first year, height increases by about 45% Maturation: development that reflects the gradual unfolding of one’s genetic blueprint -early progress in motor skills has been attributed to this -it’s a product of genetically programmed physical changes that come with age (NOT learning) -but, according to new research, maturation has been oversimplified and overestimated in the past -may also be due to learning Understanding Developmental Norms Developmental Norms: indicate the median age at which individuals display various behaviours and abilities Cultural Variations and Their Significance -rapid motor development has been observed in some cultures that provide special practice in basic motor skills -slow motor development has been found in some cultures that discourage motor exploration -this shows that environmental factors can accelerate or slow down early motor development -but mainly, the similarities across cultures outweigh differences -so this shows that early motor development depends to a considerable extent on maturation -but later on, maturation becomes less influential and experience becomes more critical 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 Longitudinal Design: investigators observe one group of participants repeatedly over a period of time -PROS: more sensitive to developmental influences and changes -CONS: people may drop out Cross-sectional Design: investigators compare groups of participants of differing age at a single point in time -PROS: can be completed more quickly, easily and cheaply -long-term stability of children’s temperaments (by Thomas and Chess)used a longitudinal design -found that temperament is well-established by two to 3 months of age -found three main groups: easy children, slow-to-warm-up children, and difficult children -the rest were mixtures -temperament is heavily influenced by heredity and tends to be fairly stable over time -but it is not unchangeable Early Emotional Development: Attachment Attachment: the close, emotional bonds of affection that develop between infants and their caregivers Separation Anxiety: emotional distress seen in many infants when they are separated from people with whom they have formed an attachment -typically peaks at around 14 to 18 months, and then begins to decline -Bowlby argued that there must be a biological basis for attachment -infants are biologically programmed to emit behaviour (smiling, cooing, clinging) that triggers an affectionate, protective response from adults -adults are programmed by evolutionary forces to be captivated by babies and respond with warmth, love, and protection Patterns of Attachment -attachment emerges out of a complex interplay between infant and mother -sensitive and responsive mothers tend to evoke more secure attachments than mothers who are relatively insensitive -other factors are involved as well: -infants influence the process with crying, smiling, babbling etc. -difficult infants may undermine a mother’s responsiveness -most infants develop a secure attachment -they are upset when she leaves, and quickly calmed by her return -some infants develop an anxious-ambivalent attachment -anxious when mother is near, and protest when she leaves, but they aren’t comforted when she returns -others develop avoidant attachment -seek little contact with the mother, and aren’t distressed when she leaves -another category is disorganized-disoriented attachment -appear confused about whether they should approach or avoid the mother, and are insecure -maternal behaviour has considerable influence on the type of attachment that emerges -but infants also have a role –depends on their temperament -as well as the mother’s sensitivity -quality of attachment has consequences for children’s subsequent relationships -children develop internal working models of close relationships -they influence future interactions with people -infants with secure attachment tend to become resilient toddlers w/ high self-esteem -infant attachment set the tone for romantic relationships, and patterns of self-disclosure Daycare and Attachment -some suggest that babies who receive nonmaternal care for >20 hours a week have increased risk of developing insecure attachments to their mothers -but most data suggests that it’s not harmful to children’s attachments Culture and Attachment -attachment is a universal feature of human development -researchers have attributed disparities in attachment patterns to cultural variations in child-rearing practices Evolutionary Perspectives on Attachment -emphasize how attachment contributes to parents’ and children’s reproductive fitness -if parents expect to pass their genes on to future generations, they need to raise their kids to maturity and help them develop socially to be successful at mating -parent-child attachments make crucial contributions to these outcomes by fostering social and emotional development Becoming Unique: Personality Development -Erikson theorized that personality continues to evolve over the entire lifespan Stage: 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 b/c each stage builds on the previous 2. Progress through these stages is strongly related to age 3. Development is marked by major discontinuities that usher dramatic transitions in behaviour Erikson’s Stage Theory -8 stages, each of which brings a psychosocial crisis involving transitions in important social relationships -personality is shaped by how individuals deal with these crises Stage Age Psychosocial Crisis 1. Trust vs. Mistrust 0-1 Is my world predictable and supportive? 2. Autonomy vs. Shame 1-3 Can I do things myself and Doubt or must I always rely on others? 3. Initiative vs. Guilt 3-6 Am I good or bad? 4. Industry vs. 6-puberty Am I competent or am I Inferiority worthless? 5. Identity vs. Confusion adolescence Who am I and where am I going? 6. Intimacy vs. Isolation Early adulthood Shall I share my life with another or live alone? 7. Generativity vs. Self- Middle adulthood Will I produce Absorption something of real value? 8. Integrity vs. Despair Late adulthood Have I lived a full life? Trust vs. Mistrust -if an infant’s needs are adequately met by their caregivers and sound attachments are formed, the child should develop an optimistic, trusting attitude toward the world -if they aren’t taken care of, a more distrusting, pessimistic personality may result Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt -when parents begin toilet training and other efforts to regulate the child’s behaviour -child must take some responsibility for feeding, dressing bathing etc. -if all goes well, they will acquire a sense of self-sufficiency -if parents are never satisfied w/ the child’s efforts and there are constant parent-child conflicts, the child may develop a sense of personal shame and self-doubt Initiative vs. Guilt -overcontrolling parents may begin to instill feelings of guilt, and self-esteem may suffer -parents need to support their children’s emerging independence while maintaining appropriate control -in ideal situations, children will retain their sense of initiative while learning to respect the rights and privileges of other family members Industry vs. Inferiority -the challenge of learning to function socially is extended beyond the family -children who are able to function effectively and take pride in accomplishments results in a sense of competence Evaluating Erikson’s Theory -strength is that it accounts for both continuity and transition in personality
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