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Infancy and Childhood

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Peter Baggetta

on 11 December 2017

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Transcript of Infancy and Childhood


Social Development
Principles of
Physical Development
Harlow (1959; 1962)
Food vs Security??
- separation anxiety
- willingness to explore
- stranger anxiety
- reunion
Developmental Landmarks:
Estimate the ages on average at which children are able to perform the following behaviors:
Pedal a tricycle
Sit without support
Walk unassisted
Stand on one foot for 10 seconds
Kicks ball forward
Laugh - 2 months
Pedal a tricycle - 2 years
Sit without support - 5-6 months
Walk unassisted - 12 months
Stand on one foot for 10 seconds - 4.5 years
Kicks ball forward - 20 months
1. Cephalocaudal

Newborns ~ 7 to 7½ pounds and 20 inches

By age 2 ~ half eventual adult height and weigh 27-30 pounds

Growth occurs in fits and starts

Overall weight gain outpaces gains in height = risk of childhood obesity
Locomotor Development:
Early motor development follows the cephalocaudal and proximodistal principles:
Can sit before they can walk
Trunk is controlled before the arms and legs
Gross motor skills are mastered before fine motor skills
Exploratory Behavior
Infants engage in three phases of exploratory behavior:

Birth to 4 months - looking, listening, watching movement and especially by mouthing objects

5 to 7 months - hands and eyes

By 8 or 9 months - crawling to extend explorations and carefully examine an object by fingering, poking and watching it
Piaget's Theory
cognitive structures/organized patterns of thought
constructed to interpret experiences
Cognitive Adaptation:
Assimilation - interpret new experiences in terms of existing schemes or cognitive structures
Accommodation - modifying existing schemes in order to better fit new experiences
Sensorimotor Stage
birth to approximately 2 years
world understood through the senses/actions
centration on own body up to 7-9 months
Object Permanence and the A-not-B Error:
Understanding that objects continue to exist when not visible
4-8 months = “out of sight, out of mind”
8-12 months = improve looking and reaching skills but make the A-not-B error
1 year = A-not-B error overcome
18 months = object permanence is mastered
24 months = can play complex hide-and-seek games
Dimensions of temperament:
early, genetically based tendencies to respond in predictable ways to events
easiness and difficultness
Thomas and Chess (1986, 1999) - nine dimensions of infant behavior:
Typical mood
Regularity or predictability of biological functions
Tendency to approach or withdraw from new stimuli
Intensity of emotional reactions
Adaptability to new experiences and changes in routine
even tempered
typically content or happy
open and adaptable to new experiences
regular feeding and sleeping habits
tolerant of frustrations and discomforts
Difficult Temperament:
Categories of
Easy Temperament:
active, irritable, and irregular in habits
often react negatively to changes
in routine
slow to adapt to new people or situations
cry frequently and loudly
often have tantrums
relatively inactive
somewhat moody
only moderately regular in daily schedules
slow to adapt to new people and situations
typically respond in mildly, rather
than intensely, negative ways
Goodness of Fit:
Thomas and Chess - goodness of fit between child and environment

How much child’s temperament compatible with the demands and expectations of the social world

Infants’ temperaments and parents’ parenting behaviors:
reciprocal influences and interactions over time
shapes the development of later personality development
Rapid Growth:
2. Proximodistal
Cognitive Development:
Experience with physical environment
Knowledge constructed from interaction and built onto previous schemas
children active learners

construct understanding and knowledge of world from experiences

children's thinking different from adults

distinct stages
Jean Piaget
Perceptual salience - focus on most obvious features

Centration - attention only on
single aspect of a problem

Single classification - sort by
single dimension at one time
Irreversible thought - can't mentally undo an action

Static thought - fail to understand processes of change or transformations

Difficulty with tasks that require logic

view the world solely from one’s own perspective

difficulty recognizing other points of view
Concrete-Operations Stage
Mastering logical operations
- i.e. Conservation:
Knowledge depends on social experiences

Cultural tools - language, writing, cultural values

Acquire tools through interaction with parents and other more experienced members of society
Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD):
The gap between what a learner can accomplish independently and what can accomplish with the guidance and encouragement of a more skilled partner

Guided Participation:
Children’s active participation in culturally relevant activities with the aid and support of parents and other knowledgeable guides

Parents and more skilled others provide structured help and gradually reduce the help as the child becomes more competent
How social interaction fosters cognitive children’s growth
Contact Comfort
What is the optimal parent-child interaction?
Parenting Styles (Baumrind)
Influence on Children's Behavior
Authoritarian = moody, easily annoyed, aimless
Influence of culture on parenting styles?

Should people be required to get a license to be a parent?

What discipline strategies would be most effective for development?
Permissive = impulsive, aggressive, self-centered, rebellious, aimless, low independence and achievement
Neglectful = aggressive, temper tantrums as early as 3 yrs, hostile, antisocial
Authoritative = best adjusted, cheerful, socially responsible, self-reliant, achievement-oriented
- emotional bond to another person
John Bowlby - Attachment Theory
forms basis of personality
caregiver key role in emotional regulation
0-2 months = no discrimnation/no fear of strangers
Separation/Stranger Anxiety ~ 8 months
Mary Ainsworth - "Strange Situation"
attachment vs exploration
Four Behaviors:
How can parents balance response to needs and a concern with spoiling their babies?

Do babies cry in different ways to express different needs? How can parents know when their child is crying for a need or for attention?

How can parents foster an early transition to childcare?
Rigidity about gender stereotypes in preschool

Begin to favor same-sex playmates as early as 30 to 36 months of age - preference strengthens during elementary-school years

Gender segregation – separate boys’ and girls’ peer groups and greater levels of same-sex interaction

Boys face stronger pressures to adhere to gender-role expectations than girls do
Soon after birth begin to receive differential treatment

Infants soon learn gender categories and associate themselves with the social category to which they belong

By 18 months - emerging understanding that either male or female
As acquire gender:

begin to demonstrate preferences for gender-appropriate activities and toys
acquire awareness of their biological sex
acquire motives, values, and patterns of behavior that their culture considers appropriate for members of their biological sex

What is the difference between sex and gender?
Sex = biological traits - physical characteristics
Gender = both biological and social characteristics - social ways
Are males and females more alike or more different? How - in what ways?
No differences in:
Sensation - hear, see
Learn and remember
puberty 2 years sooner
live 5 years longer
70% more fat
40% less muscle
5 inches shorter
smell fainter odors
express emotions more freely
offered help more often
doubly vulnerable to depression/anxiety
10x more to develop eating disorders
4x more likely to commit suicide/suffer alcohol dependence
More diagnosed with autisim, colorblindness, ADHD,
anti-social personality disorder
Differences due to biology? Socially constructed by gender roles and culture?
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