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Chapter 2. Module 4 Prenatal and Childhood Development. Prenatal Development. Zygote : The fertilized egg; it enters a two-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo.

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chapter 2

Chapter 2

Module 4

Prenatal and Childhood Development

prenatal development
Prenatal Development
  • Zygote: The fertilized egg; it enters a two-week period of rapid cell division and develops into an embryo.
  • Embryo: the developing human organism from about two weeks after fertilization through the end of the eighth week.
  • Fetus: the developing human organism from nine weeks after conception to birth.
  • Substances that cross the placental barrier and prevent the fetus from developing normally.
    • Radiation
    • Toxic chemicals in water or air
    • Viruses
    • nicotine
    • Alcohol
    • STDs
the new born
The New Born
  • Rooting Reflexes: a baby’s tendency, when touched on the cheek, to open the mouth and search for the nipple; this is an automatic; unlearned response.
  • Other Reflexes
    • Sucking
    • Swallowing
    • Grasping
  • A person’s characteristic emotional reactivity and intensity.
physical development in infancy and childhood
Physical Development in Infancy and Childhood
  • Infancy: birth to 1 year of age
  • Toddler: 1 year to 3 years of age
  • Childhood: span between toddler and teenager
the developing brain
The Developing Brain

Maturation: Biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience.

jean piaget s
Jean Piaget’s
  • Pioneer in the study of developmental psychology who introduced a stage theory of cognitive development that led to a better understanding of children’s thought processes.
  • Cognition: All the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, and remembering.
    • Children know less than you and I know, but they also think differently.
  • Schemas: concepts or mental frameworks that organize and interpret information
two different experiences to develop schemas
Two Different Experiences to Develop Schemas

Assimilation: Interpreting one’s new experience in terms of one’s existing schemas.

Accommodation: Adapting one’s current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information.

sensorimotor stage
Sensorimotor Stage
  • Experiencing the world through senses and actions (Iooking, touching, mouthing, and grasping)
  • Birth to nearly 2 years
  • Object Permanence: awareness that things continue to exist even when you cannot see or hear them.
preoperational stage
Preoperational Stage
  • Representing things with words and images but lacking logical reasoning.
  • About 2 to 6 or 7years
  • Key Developmental Events
    • Pretend play
    • Egocentrism: In Piaget’s theory, the inability of the preoperational child to take another’s point of view
    • Language development
concrete operational stage
Concrete Operational Stage
  • Thinking logically about concrete events; grasping concrete analogies and performing arithmetical operations.
  • About 7 to 11 years
  • Key developmental Events:
    • Conservation: the principle that properties such as mass ,volume, and numbers remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects.
    • Mathematical transformation
formal operational stage
Formal Operational Stage
  • Abstract reasoning
  • About 12 through adulthood
  • Key Developmental Events:
    • Abstract Logic
    • Potential for mature moral reasoning
assessing piaget
Assessing Piaget
  • Piaget underestimated children’s abilities in virtually every stage of his theory.
  • Developmental psychologist now believe development is fairly continuous
  • Piaget’s work did not reflect the effects of culture on cognitive development
  • Piaget taught us that we learn best when the lesson builds on what we already know.
  • Piaget showed that new reasoning abilities require the stepping stones of previous abilities
  • Piaget taught us that children cannot reason using adult logic
stranger anxiety
Stranger Anxiety
  • The fear of strangers that infants commonly display, begging by about 8 months of age.
    • Around the age of 8 months, children have established schemas for familiar faces.


An emotional tie with another person, young children demonstrate attachment by seeking closeness to the caregiver and showing distress on separation.

body contact
Body Contact
  • Which is more important to fostering attachment: being fed or being held?
  • Are you more likely to become attached to the person who nourishes you or to the person who provides you contact comfort?

Human infants become attached to warm, soft parents who cuddle, rock, and feed.

  • Critical Period: An optimal period shortly after birth when an organism’s exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces proper development.
  • Imprinting: The process by which certain animals form attachments during a critical period very early in life.
  • Responsive parents are very aware of what their children are doing, and they respond appropriately.
  • Unresponsive parents often ignore their babies, helping them only when they feel like it.
  • Securely attached children happily explore their environment when the primary caregiver is around. If that caregiver leaves, they appear distressed, and they go to their caregiver as soon as he or she returns.
  • Insecurely attached children are often “clingy” and are less likely to explore and learn about the environment. When their caregiver leaves, they either cry loudly or show indifference to the caregiver’s departure or return.
effect of attachment
Effect of Attachment
  • Secure attachment predicts social competence.
  • Deprivation of attachment is linked to negative outcomes.
  • A responsive environment helps infants recover from attachment disruption.

Attachment is a direct result of the parenting children receive.

parenting patterns
Parenting Patterns
  • Authoritarian parenting: Style of parenting marked by imposing rules and expecting obedience.
  • Permissive parenting: Style of parenting marked by submitting to children’s desires, making few demands, and using little punishment.
  • Authoritative parenting: A style of parenting marked by making demands on the child, being responsive, and setting and enforcing rules, and discussing the reasons behind the rules.
    • Produce children high in self-esteem, self-reliance, and social competence. These children are usually more successful, happy, and generous to others.
three key development issues
Three Key Development Issues
  • Continuity and Stages
  • Stability and Change
  • Nature and Nurture