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Child Development Theories. Research has shown that early childhood may be the most important life stage for brain development. A baby’s brain is about one quarter the size of an adults’. Scientists have found that babies’ brains develop in response to stimulation.

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why is childhood crucial

Research has shown that early childhood may be the most important life stage for brain development.

  • A baby’s brain is about one quarter the size of an adults’.
  • Scientists have found that babies’ brains develop in response to stimulation.
    • Arouses senses such as sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.
  • Babies who are stimulated develop more quickly and have a more secure self-image.
Why is Childhood Crucial?
slide3

What is a theory?

  • A theory should allow us to predict and explain human behavior
  • It should be stated in such a way that it can be shown to be false
  • It must be open to scientific investigation
child development theorists

Although researches don’t always agree, scientific researchers have agreed upon the five following general rules.

    • Development is similar for each individual
    • Development builds upon earlier learning.
    • Development proceeds at an individual rate.
    • The different areas of development are interrelated.
    • Development is a lifelong process.
Child Development Theorists
slide5

Psychoanalytic Theories:

  • Freud’s Psychosexual Theory
    • Personality has 3 parts
    • There are 5 stages of psychosexual development
    • Oedipus complex allows child to identify with same-sex parent
    • Fixation is an unresolved conflict during a stage of development
slide6

Freudian Stages

Birth to 1½ yrs

1½ to 3 yrs

3 to 6 years

6 yrs to puberty

Puberty onward

Oral Stage

Infant’s

pleasure

centers on

mouth

Anal Stage

Child’s

pleasure

focuses on

anus

Phallic

Stage

Child’s

pleasure

focuses on

genitals

Latency

Stage

Child

represses

sexual

interest

and develops

social and

intellectual

skills

Genital

Stage

A time of

sexual

reawakening;

source of

sexual

pleasure

becomes

someone

outside of the

family

Figure 2.1

slide7

Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory:

    • There are 8 stages of psychosocial development
    • Each has a unique developmental task
    • Developmental change occurs throughout life span
  • Key points of psychoanalytic theories:
    • Early experiences and family relationships are very important to development
    • Unconscious aspects of the mind are considered
    • Personality is best seen as a developmental process
slide9

Cognitive theories:

  • Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory
    • Stresses conscious mental processes
    • Cognitive processes are influenced by biological maturation
    • Four stages of cognitive development in children
    • Assimilation and accommodation underlie how children understand the world, adapt to it, and organize their experiences
slide10

Piaget’s Four Stages of Cognitive Development

Sensorimotor Stage:

The infant constructs an understanding of the world

by coordinating sensory experiences with physical

actions: progressing from reflexive, instinctual action

at birth to the beginning of symbolic thought toward

end of the stage.

Birth to 2 years of age

Preoperational Stage:

The child begins to represent the world with words

and images. These words and images reflect

increased symbolic thinking and go beyond the

connection of sensory information and physical action.

2 to 7 years of age

Concrete Operational Stage:

The child can now reason logically about concrete

events and classify objects into different sets.

7 to 11 years of age

11–15 years of age through adulthood

Formal Operational Stage

The adolescent reasons in more abstract idealistic

and logical ways.

Figure 2.3

slide11

Vygotsky’s sociocultural cognitive theory

    • Children actively construct their knowledge
    • Social interaction and culture guide cognitive development
    • Learning is based upon inventions of society
    • Knowledge is created through interactions with other people and objects in the culture
    • Less skilled persons learn from the more skilled
  • Information-processing theory
    • Compares computers to the human mind
    • Thinking is information processing
slide12

Information-Processing Theory

geography

literature

INPUT

OUTPUT

science

Information is taken into brain

Information is used as basis of behaviors and interactions

history

religion

Information gets processed, analyzed, and stored until use

math

slide13

Bandura’s Social Cognitive Model

Behavior

Person

(cognitive)

Environment

Figure 2.4

slide14

Bandura’s Modeling/Imitation

Child

observes someone

admired

Child imitates behavior

that seems rewarded

slide15

Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory:

    • Environmental factors influence development
    • 5 environmental systems affect life-span development
  • Eclectic theoretical orientation:
    • Selects features from other theories
    • No one theory has all the answers
    • Each theory can make a contribution to understanding life-span development
slide16

Political philosophy

School system

National customs

Economic patterns

School & classroom

Family

Community

Chronosystem

Peer group

Religion & groups

Medical institutions

Social conditions

Mass media

Cultural values

Exosystem

Mesosystems

Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory of Development

Macrosystem

Figure 2.5

slide17

Observed correlation: as permissive parenting increases, children’s self-control decreases

Permissive

parenting

causes

Children’s lack

of self-control

Children’s lack

of self-control

causes

Permissive

parenting

Permissive

parenting

Other factors,

such as genetic

tendencies, poverty,

and sociohistorical

circumstances

cause

and

both

Children’s lack

of self-control

Possible Explanations for Correlational Data

Figure 2.9

slide18

Group 1

Time

playing

video games:

2 hours

each day

More

playful

and

sociable

Group 2

Time

playing

video games:

6 hours

each day

More

aggressive

and

antisocial

other influences on development

Heredity

    • Blood type, eye color, and hair color
  • Environment
    • Children also learn attitudes and beliefs from their environments
Other Influences on Development