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CHAPTER 9. Middle Childhood: Physical and Cognitive Development. Growth Patterns. Growth Patterns. Middle childhood growth Defined from ages 6 to 12 Child ’ s body weight doubles Middle childhood nutrition 4- to 6-year-olds need 1,400 to 1,800 calories per day

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Chapter 9


Middle Childhood: Physical and Cognitive Development

Growth patterns
Growth Patterns

Middle childhood growth

Defined from ages 6 to 12

Child’s body weight doubles

Middle childhood nutrition

4- to 6-year-olds need 1,400 to 1,800 calories per day

Healthful to eat fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, and whole grains

Limit intake of fats, sugar, and starches

Gender similarities and differences in physical growth
Gender Similarities and Differences in Physical Growth

  • Boys

    • Slightly heavier and taller than girls through the age of 9 or 10

    • Develop more muscle

    • Spurt and grow taller and heavier than girls after about 13 or 14

  • Girls

    • Have adolescent growth spurt and surpass boys in height and weight until about 13 or 14

    • Develop more fat

Overweight in children
Overweight in Children

  • Between 16% and 25% of children and adolescents in the United States are overweight or obese.

  • Most overweight children become overweight adults.

  • Overweight children rejected by peers, poor at sports, and less likely to be seen as attractive in adolescence

  • At greater risk of health problems throughout life

Causes of being overweight
Causes of Being Overweight

  • Heredity contributes to being overweight.

  • Overweight parents may have poor exercise habits, encourage overeating, and keep unhealthful food in the home.

  • Children who watch TV extensively burn fewer calories and are more likely to be overweight adolescents.

Gross motor skills
Gross Motor Skills

  • Age 6 or 7, children

    • hop, jump, climb, pedal, and balance bicycle

  • Age 8 to 10, children

    • develop balance, coordination, and strength, which allows them to engage in gymnastics and team sports

  • Myelination

    • Neural pathways that connect the cerebellum to the cortex are more myelinated

  • Reaction time

    • Improves (decreases) from early childhood to about age 18, but there are individual differences

Fine motor skills
Fine Motor Skills

  • At 6 to 7 years, children can tie shoelaces and hold pencils like adults do.

  • At 6 to 7 years, children can fasten buttons, zip zippers, brush teeth, wash themselves, coordinate a knife and fork, and use chopsticks.

  • Fine motor skills improve throughout childhood.

Gender differences
Gender Differences

  • Boys

    • More forearm strength, which is good for swinging a bat or throwing a ball

    • At puberty, sex differences favoring boys increases

  • Girls

    • Greater limb coordination and overall flexibility aiding them in dancing, gymnastics, and balancing

  • Between middle childhood and adolescence

    • Physical activities become increasingly stereotyped by children as being masculine or feminine

Exercise and fitness
Exercise and Fitness

  • Physically active adolescents have better self-image and coping skills than those who are inactive.

  • Cardiac and muscular fitness is developed by participating in running, walking quickly, swimming laps, bicycling, or jumping rope for several minutes at a time.

  • Schools and parents tend to focus on sports such as baseball and football, which are less apt to promote fitness.

Children with disabilities
Children with Disabilities

  • Children with disabilities identified during middle childhood years when child enters school

  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

    • Child shows excessive inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity

    • The degree of hyperactivity is crucial

    • Typically occurs by age 7

    • Impairs ability to function at school

    • Sometimes overdiagnosed to encourage better behavior at school

Causes of adhd
Causes of ADHD

  • Genetic component to ADHD involving the brain chemical dopamine

  • Brain imaging has shown differences in the brain chemistry of children with ADHD.

  • ADHD may be due to lack of executive control of the brain over motor and more primitive functions.

  • Stimulants are effective with ADHD because they promote the activity of the brain chemicals dopamine and noradrenaline, stimulating the “executive center” of the brain to control more primitive areas of the brain.

Learning disabilities
Learning Disabilities

  • Some children who are intelligent and provided with enriched home environments cannot learn how to read (dyslexia) or do simple math problems.

  • Children are diagnosed with a learning disability when performing below the level expected for their age and intelligence, and when there is no evidence of other handicaps such as vision or hearing problems, retardation, or socioeconomic disadvantage.

  • The younger the child when remediation occurs, the better the chances of compensating for the disability.

Origins of dyslexia
Origins of Dyslexia

  • Dyslexic individuals

    • Sensory and neurological problems may contribute to reading problems.

    • Genetic factors may give rise to neurological problems or circulation problems in the left hemisphere of the brain.

    • Problems in the angular gyrus may give rise to reading problems.

  • Dyslexic statistics

    • 25% to 65% of children who have one dyslexic parent are dyslexic themselves.

    • About 40% of the siblings of children with dyslexia are dyslexic.

Educating children with disabilities
Educating Children with Disabilities

  • Treatment for dyslexia focuses on remediation.

  • Given highly structured exercises to help them become aware of how to blend sounds to form words

  • Evidence is mixed on whether placing disabled children in separate classes can also stigmatize them and segregate them from other children.

  • Mainstreaming: disabled children are placed in regular classrooms that have been adapted to their needs

Cognitive development
Cognitive Development

  • Children make enormous strides in their cognitive development during middle childhood as their thought processes and language become more logical and complex.

Piaget the concrete operational stage
Piaget: The Concrete-Operational Stage

  • Child enters concrete-operational stage around age 7

  • Concrete-operational thought is reversible and flexible

  • Children can reverse mathematical operations (e.g., 2 + 3 = 5 can be reversed to 5 – 3 = 2)

  • Children less egocentric and are able to engage in decentration (focus on multiple parts of a problem at once)

  • At age 7, children understand law of conservation

Piaget the concrete operational stage cont d
Piaget: The Concrete-Operational Stage (cont’d)

  • Transitivity

    • If A exceeds B in some property and B exceeds C, then A must also exceed C

  • Seriation

    • Ability to place objects in a series by age, height, weight

    • Children can seriate two dimensions at once

Piaget the concrete operational stage cont d1
Piaget: The Concrete-Operational Stage (cont’d)

  • Class inclusion

    • Focusing on two subclasses and larger subclass at the same time

    • Concrete-operational children understand class inclusion.

  • Piaget’s theory applied to education

    • Learning involves active discovery.

    • Instruction should be geared to the child’s level of development.

    • Learning to take into account the perspectives of others to develop cognition and morality

Moral development the child as a judge
Moral Development: The Child as a Judge

  • On a cognitive level, moral development concerns the basis on which children make judgments that an act is right or wrong.

  • May be influenced by the values of the cultural settings in which they are reared, but also reflect the orderly unfolding of cognitive processes

  • Moral reasoning is related to the child’s overall cognitive development.

Piaget s theory of moral development
Piaget’s Theory of Moral Development

  • Piaget believed children’s moral judgments develop in two overlapping stages: moral realism and autonomous morality.

  • Moral realism

    • Behavior is considered to be correct when it conforms to authority or to the rules of the game

    • Immanent justice or automatic retribution

      • Thinking that negative experiences are punishment for prior misdeeds, even when realistic causal links are absent

  • Ages 9 to 11, children show autonomous morality

    • Moral judgments become self-governed

Kohlberg s theory of moral development
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development

  • Preconventional level

    • Children base moral judgments on the consequences of their behavior

    • Stage 1: toward being obedient and punishment

    • Stage 2: good behavior allows people to satisfy their own needs and the needs of others

  • Conventional level

    • Right and wrong are judged by conformity to conventional standards of right and wrong

    • Stage 3 focuses on being a good boy or girl in order to meet the needs and expectations of others

    • Stage 4 focuses on moral judgments met to keep social order

    • Stages 3 and 4 emerge during middle childhood

Kohlberg s theory of moral development cont d
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development (cont’d)

  • Postconventional level

    • Moral reasoning is based on person’s own moral standards

    • Adolescents and adults participate in moral reasoning at this level

Information processing learning remembering problem solving
Information Processing: Learning, Remembering, Problem Solving

  • Development of selective attention

  • Development of the capacity of memory and of children’s understanding of the processes of memory

  • Development of the ability to solve problems as, for example, by finding the correct formula and applying it

Development of selective attention
Development of Selective Attention Solving

  • Ability to focus one’s attention and screen out distractions advances steadily

  • Preoperational children

    • Engaged in problem solving

    • Tend to focus their attention on one element of the problem at a time

      • Major reason they lack conservation

  • Concrete-operational children

    • Attend to multiple aspects of the problem at once

      • Permits them to conserve number and volume

Developments in the storage and retrieval of information
Developments in The Storage and Retrieval of Information Solving

  • Sensory memory

    • Visual impression of an object lasting for a fraction of a second

Working memory short term memory
Working Memory (Short-Term Memory) Solving

  • Focus on a stimulus in the sensory register

    • Tends to be retained in working memory for up to 30 seconds after the trace of the stimulus decays

  • Memory function in middle childhood

    • Similar to adult-like organization and strategies

    • Quantitative improvement through adolescence

  • Auditory stimuli can be maintained longer in short-term memory than can visual stimuli

  • Promoting memory

    • Encode visual stimuli as sounds

    • Rehearsing sounds that can be repeated out loud or mentally

Long term memory
Long-Term Memory Solving

  • Vast storehouse of information containing names, dates, places

  • May last days, years, or a lifetime

  • No known limit to the amount of information that can be stored in long-term memory

  • Older children more likely than younger children to use rote rehearsal, or repetition, to remember

  • Elaborative strategy

    • Relating new material to known material

Organization in long term memory
Organization in Long-Term Memory Solving

  • Knowledge of concepts advances

  • Storehouse of long-term memory becomes organized according to categories

  • Preschoolers tend to organize their memories by grouping objects that share the same function.

  • Children are more likely to recall accurate information.

  • Knowledge in a particular area increases the capacity to store and retrieve related information.

Development of recall memory
Development of Recall Memory Solving

  • Memory ability good indicator of child’s cognitive ability

  • 4th graders more likely to categorize and recall pictures than 2nd graders

Development of metacognition and metamemory
Development of Metacognition and Metamemory Solving

  • Metacognition

    • Children’s knowledge and control of their cognitive abilities

    • Shown by ability to formulate problems, awareness of the processes required to solve a problem, activation of cognitive strategies, maintaining focus on the problem, and checking answers

  • Metamemory

    • Aspect of metacognition that refers to children’s awareness of the functioning of their memory

    • Store and retrieve information more effectively

    • Show more knowledge of strategies that can be used to facilitate memory

Intellectual development creativity and achievement
Intellectual Development, Creativity, and Achievement Solving

  • Intelligence

    • Child’s underlying competence or learning ability

  • Achievement

    • Child’s acquired competencies or performance

  • Competencies underlying intelligence manifest themselves during middle childhood when children are exposed to formal schooling.

Theories of intelligence
Theories of Intelligence Solving

  • Spearman

    • Intelligence has a common underlying factor, “g” (general intelligence), which represents broad reasoning and problem-solving abilities.

  • Thurstone

    • Intelligence consists of several specific factors or primary mental abilities, such as the ability to learn the meaning of words and visual-spatial abilities.

Theories of intelligence cont d
Theories of Intelligence (cont Solving’d)

  • Sternberg

    • Constructed a three-part, or “triarchic,” theory of intelligence

    • Part 1: analytical intelligence

      • Academic ability

    • Part 2: creative intelligence

      • Ability to cope with novel situations and to profit from experience

    • Part 3: practical intelligence

      • Adapt to the demands of their environment, including the social environment

Theories of intelligence cont d1
Theories of Intelligence (cont Solving’d)

  • Gardner

    • Believed intelligence reflects more than academic ability

    • Theory based on multiple intelligences

    • Multiple intelligences can include verbal ability, logical-mathematical reasoning, spatial intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, and personal knowledge.

Measurement of intellectual development
Measurement of Intellectual Development Solving

  • Binet-Simon scale

    • Yields a score called a mental age (MA)

    • MA shows the intellectual level at which a child is functioning

  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale

    • Yields an intelligence quotient, or IQ

    • IQ states the relationship between a child’s mental age and his/her actual or chronological age (CA)

    • IQ equals MA divided by CA times 100

  • IQ today is compared to those performances of other people of the same age

Measurement of intellectual development cont d
Measurement of Intellectual Development Solving(cont’d)

  • Wechsler scales

    • Developed for use with school-aged children (WISC), younger children (WPPSI), and adults (WAIS)

    • Groups test questions in subtests that measure different intellectual tasks

    • Suggests children’s strengths and weakness as well as provide overall measures of intellectual functioning

The testing controversy
The Testing Controversy Solving

  • Cultural bias

    • Scoring well on intelligence test requires a certain type of cultural experience

  • Culture-free

    • Evaluates reasoning ability through the child’s comprehension of the rules that govern a progression of geometric designs

    • Middle-class children still outperform lower-class children

    • Tests do not predict academic success as well as other tests

Patterns of intellectual development
Patterns of Intellectual Development Solving

  • School may help crystallize intellectual functioning around age 6.

  • Middle childhood

    • Undergo more stable patterns of gains in intellectual functioning

    • Intelligence tests gain greater predictive power

    • Individual differences still exist

  • Changes in the home, socioeconomic circumstances, and education influence changes in IQ scores.

Intellectual disability
Intellectual Disability Solving

  • Mental retardation (MR)

    • Disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills

    • Involves IQ score of no more than 70 to 75

  • Down syndrome children

    • More likely to be moderately retarded

    • Can learn to speak, dress, feed, clean themselves, and eventually engage in useful work

  • Cultural-familial retardation

    • Biologically normal children that do not develop normally due to impoverished home environment

Giftedness Solving

  • Involves more than excellence on the tasks provided by standard intelligence tests

  • Educators’ criteria for intelligence

    • Outstanding abilities

    • Capable of high performance in a specific academic area, such as language or mathematics

    • Show creativity, leadership, distinction in the visual or performing arts, or bodily talents, as in gymnastics and dancing

Socioeconomic and ethnic differences in iq
Socioeconomic and Ethnic Differences in IQ Solving

  • Lower-class African-American children obtain IQ scores between 10 and 15 points lower than those obtained by middle- and upper-class children.

  • African-American, Latino- and Latina-American, and Native-American children all tend to score below the norms for European Americans.

  • Youths of Asian descent frequently outscore youths of European backgrounds on achievement tests in math and science, including the math portion of the SAT.

Creativity and intellectual development
Creativity and Intellectual Development Solving

  • Creativity

    • Ability to do things that are novel and useful

    • Creative children and adults solve problems where there is no tried and true solution.

    • Take chances and appreciate art and music

    • Challenge social norms

    • Moderate relationship between IQ score and creativity

  • Convergent thinking

    • Process children use to answer questions on an IQ test

  • Divergent thinking

    • Child associates freely to the elements of the problem; more creative

Determinants of intellectual development
Determinants of Intellectual Development Solving

  • MZ twins have a high concordance rate on IQ scores (+0.85)

  • MZ twins reared apart still show +0.67 correlation

  • Correlation between children and natural parents vary from about +0.40 to +0.59

  • Heritability between 40% and 60%

  • Stronger correlation of adoptive parents and adopted children when IQ of adoptive parents was similar to IQ of natural parents

  • Environmental stimulation increases IQ whether child is adopted, biological, or low SES.

Vocabulary and grammar
Vocabulary and Grammar Solving

  • By age 6, vocabulary at 10,000 words

  • Semantic sophistication by 7 to 9 years old

  • Subtle advances made in articulation during middle childhood

  • Children use connectives (conjunctions) and can form indirect object-direct object constructions

Methods of teaching reading
Methods of Teaching Reading Solving

  • Word-recognition method

    • Associates visual stimuli with the sound combinations that produce spoken words

  • Phonetic method

    • Children first learn to associate written letters and letter combinations with the sounds they indicate

    • Helps with decoding

  • Sight vocabulary

    • Recognizing useful words such as one’s name, and such signs as danger, stop, and poison

Bilingualism linguistic perspectives on the world
Bilingualism: Linguistic Perspectives on the World Solving

  • Approximately 50 million of Americans speak a different language than English at home.

  • Bilingual children not cognitively delayed

  • Half of Spanish-speaking children at home are proficient in both languages

  • Bilingualism contributes to the complexity of the child’s cognitive processes.

  • Bilingual children understand symbols used in language are arbitrary