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Ch 9 Santrock Middle and Late Childhood
Transcript of Ch 9 Santrock Middle and Late Childhood
Physical and Cognitive Development
Serious Illness or Injury
Children enter this phase around 6 years of age, and exit around 11 years of age. This phase corresponds with the elementary school years.
During this phase of development children are mastering many skill sets.
Body growth begins to slow down.
Children only grow an average of 2-3 inches and gain 5-7 pounds per year in elementary school.
Boys will reach an average height of 4'10 1/4"
Girls will reach an average height of 4' 9"
This growth makes children appear more proportionately developed.
Muscle mass increases and bones become more dense.
During this phase the brain's volume stabilizes, but changes continue to be made.
Pathways to the prefrontal cortex continue develop and multiply.
This improves the child's attention, reasoning and cognitive control.
Prefrontal cortex development is crucial in problem solving skills.
The cerebral cortex thickens, specifically in the temporal and frontal lobes where language is controlled.
Synaptic pruning occurs in areas where synapes are not being used and development focuses on smaller areas.
Gross motor skills develop and become more coordinated, especially in boys.
examples: running, skipping, skating, swimming
Fine motor skills are improved as a result of central nervous system myelination, especially in girls.
examples: handwriting improves, dressing alone becomes easier, cutting and pasting
Emotional & Personal Development
Physical fitness is crucial inspite of their physical immaturity.
Sitting for long stints of time is more tiresome for these children than being physically active.
The second leading cause of death in children of this age is cancer, which is due to abnormal cells being over produced
examples: cancer of the blood, brain, bones, nervous
The cause of childhood cancer is largely unknown, however it is thought to be largely provoked by environmental exposure to things such as pesticides, radiation, maternal diet, and household chemicals ("Childhood cancers," 2008).
More children survive cancer today than ever before thanks to innovative cancer treatments.
Cardiovascular disease is uncommon in this age group, however precautions for the heart should be made during this stage to prevent future heart problems.
Childhood cancers. (2008). Retrieved from
Santrock, J.W. (2011). Life-span development (13th ed.). New York, NY:
The number one leading cause of death in this stage is injury.
Most injuries are a result of automobile accidents, either as a passenger or pedestrian.
Seat belts should be worn while riding in a car to prevent automobile fatalities.
The following website provides automobile safety tips for parents. http://www.safercar.gov/parents/
Safety precautions should also be taken when participating in outdoor activities such as sports, bicicyling, and skating of anykind.
Parents central: From car seats to car keys; keeping kids safe.
Retrieved from http://www.safercar.gov/parents/
Around 14% of students are receiving special education services for a variety of disabilities.
Learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, or dyscalculia
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Emotional or behavioral disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorders such as Autistic Disorder or Asperger Syndroms
Students that are labeled with one or more of these disorders can be placed on an individualized education plan (IEP) so that they may receive assistance in dealing with their disability.
Fitness & Weight
Issues with weight is an increasing problem for children.
To determine if a child has a weight issue physicians compare a child's height to weight ratio.
Children that fall in the 85th percentile are considered to be at risk of becoming overweight. The percentage of children in this category has nearly doubled to 30% since the 1970's.
Children considered to be overweight fall in the 95th percentile. The percentage of children in this percentile has tripled since the 1970's.
Obese children fall in the 97th percentile.
Children suffering from weight issues will be more prone to serious medical issues in their youth and as adults.
A large volume of information is available regarding these issues. Parents and school employees should be knowledgeable about ways to help children stay healthy and fit. The following website is a very useful tool covering this topic:
Self-control increases during these years.
Interventions & Services
Writing should be encouraged without particular concern to letter formation or spelling errors.
Writing skills will improve with the parallel improvement of cognition and language.
Children learn to read during this developmental phase of life.
There are two main approaches to teaching children to read.
The whole language approach which says that reading and language should be developed simultaneously throughout the curriculum.
The phonics approach which teaches children individual sounds of the written language. After sounds are learned, students begin to read actual text.
Both approaches have merit, but children must understand individual sounds, interpret written words into sounds, and understand word meaning.
Vocabulary is stored and organized in a different, more sophisticated manner.
A 6 year old has a vocabulary size of approximately 14,000 which will grow to around 40,000 words by age 11.
Grammatical skills also improve as a result of improved logical reasoning and analytical skills.
Children in this phase can understand, construct, and auraly use language at a higher, more complex level.
Defining words becomes part of classroom activities
The ability to speak a secondary language with native dialect decreases.
Speaking multiple languages has a positive impact on cognitive skills.
Migrant students that are not English speakers in an English speaking classrooms are an area of concern. There is a significant amount of controversy surrounding the best way to teach students in this situation.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2013). Retrieved from
Children begin to understand who they are in the world and how they compare to others. This is especially evident between the ages of 8 &11.
The individual begins to understand the thoughts and feelings of others.
The ability to evaluate things from another person's perspective develops. This is an indicator of the child's social attitude.
Self-regulation improves in regards to thoughts, emotions and behaviors. This improvement leads to advances in the pre-frontal cortex.
A strong, but accurate sense of self needs to be developed.
Children become increasingly interested in how things work. This curiosity should be embraced by parents and teachers.
Children in this developmental phase understand...
more complex emotions that are self-generated.
that multiple and mixed emotions can be felt at the same time.
that outside events can elicit emotions within themselves.
negative emotions can be suppressed if needed.
Their ability to manage their emotions improves.
The ability to empathize with others develops.
These children are learning to deal with stress and stressful situations. Cognitive strategies are used to assist in stress management. Developing the ability to cope with stress is essential and happens during middle and late childhood.
Boys vs Girls
Gender stereotyping continues to evolve and change during this phase of childhood.
By the age of 5 boys are preconceived negatively, and girls are preconceived positively.
Girls tend to create more flexible stereotypes that are based on appearances.
Boys tend to develop very rigid stereotypes based on activities and traits.
All stereotypes are created based on physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional similarities and differences between boys and girls.
Counselors should be available to students on an as-needed basis throughout elementary school to guide them through the developmental changes they are experiencing. This would help ensure healthy growth for students.
Additional services should be offered if a wide spread traumatic event occurs in the immediate area of a school.
Counselors should work with teachers so that intervention counseling services can take place with children that are at risk.
Counselors should work with teachers to educate them on the importance of healthy nutrition for students. He/she could try to discourage students being given excessive sweets and promote limiting treats to special days and Friday. The counselor could also work with the PE teacher to develop a nutrition education curriculum to be taught to children.
Counselors could set hours to make themselves available to parents outside of school hours. They could use this time to help educate parents about their children and what is going on within their world.
Counselors could offer nutrition classes to parents one evening a month. This opportunity could be used to teach the importance of proper nutrition during childhood years, and the lasting health benefits of a proper diet.
Counselors could also offer general parenting classes to help guide parents in raising their child in the most beneficial way possible.
Parents spend much less time with their children in middle and late childhood, but they are still vital to the development of the child.
Parents become the child's advocate and cheerleader in the educational process.
Disciplinary methods shift from that of physical punishment to a more psychological punishment such as privilege removal.
Parents begin to relinquish some of their control and the child becomes more self controlled, but should stay actively involved in their child's life, activities, and friends.
Developing positive peer relationships is incredibly important during this phase.
Maintaining peer relationships, and learning to resolve conflict within these relationships have long lasting benefits.
Social interaction with peers triples for children once they enter middle and late childhood as a result of being in enrolled in school.
Children in this age group need to feel accepted by their peers and not rejected. Developing friendships is important because the relationship serves the child in a number of cognitive and emotional ways.
Bullying is a significant issue in elementary schools and can have lasting effects on children.
Short term memory does not increase much more after age 7.
Long-term memory develops as age progresses in middle and late childhood. To enhance this development children should...
be encouraged to engage in mental imagery
try to "remember" rather than memorize content
experience concepts in various ways
be exposed to memory-relevant information.
Children should be encouraged to think critically, creatively, and scientifically.