Chapter Seven Physical and Cognitive Development in Early

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					Chapter Seven: Physical and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood (3 - 6 years) Physiological Growth 3 - 6 year olds grow more slowly than before, but sill at a fast pace they make more progress in muscle development and coordination 3 year olds lose their 'baby fat' and become more slender and athletic the head is still relatively large, but other parts of the body 'catch up.' boys are slightly taller and heavier than girls typically boys and girls grow 2 to 3 inches a year, gain 4 to 6 pounds per year cartilage turns to bone at a faster rate, bones become harder increased capacity of the respiratory and circulatory systems developing immune system 3 year olds have all primary teeth in place; 6 year olds start to develop permanent teeth

Nutrition preschoolers eat less in proportion to their size than infants fluctuations in eating habits are normal (large meals and lots of small ones) avoid low-nutrient foods most children don't get enough calcium, iron, zinc and Vitamin E most children consume too much fat

Obesity obese children tend to become obese adults becoming overweight is partly hereditary, but also depends on fat intake and exercise

Sleep Patterns and Problems preschoolers tend to sleep deeply, but still need a daytime nap or quiet rest until about age 5 bedtime can be period of conflict as children gain mastery over the environment, they don't want to let go of a stimulating world develop elaborate routines in the evening to avoid going to bed they are likely to want a night-light they may have a transitional object (a toy 'companion'), these children grow to become outgoing, social and confident some cultures allow children to sleep whenever, others have specified sleep time

Bedtime struggles 20 - 30% of children, under 4 years, engage in one-hour bedtime struggles they wake their parents frequently they tend to sleep with parents the family is likely to have experienced a stressful accident or illness mother is likely to be depressed or changed her schedule

Sleep Disturbances walking and talking during sleep is not unusual for young children 25% of children ages 3 - 8 years have nightmares or night terrors

Nightmare - frightening dream usually brought on by staying up too late, eating a heavy meal before bedtime, or overexcitement, poor sleep the prior night usually occurs toward morning and are vividly recalled frequent nightmares may signal excessive stress a repeated theme may point to a specific problem the child cannot solve while awake more common among girls

Night terror - deep sleep state of panic awakens abruptly, breathing rapidly and staring quiets down quickly usually occurs within an hour after sleep remembers nothing about the episode in the morning generally affects boys alarms parents more than the child rarely signifies a serious problem usually goes away by age 6

Bed-Wetting - enuresis, repeated urination in clothing or bed 7% of 5-year-old boys and 3% of girls wet the bed regularly, most outgrow it without special help may be genetically linked (twin studies), related to slow motor maturation, poor bladder control, allergies children and parents needs reassurance that the condition is not serious the child is not to blame and should not be punished the most effective treatment is reward for dry nights discourage too much drinking before bedtime, use of toilet therapy includes controlling the sphincter muscles and stretching the bladder as a last resort, doctors prescribe antidepressants for a short time

Gross Motor Skills - large muscle coordination, strength and stamina (see p. 233; Table 7-2) the sensory and motor areas of the cerebral cortex are more developed, permitting greater coordination children vary in adeptness, depending on genetic endowment, opportunities to learn and practice physical development is best in active, unstructured free play (noncompetitive)

3-year-olds: can't turn or stop suddenly; can jump from 15 to 24 inches; can climb stairs without help, alternating feet; can descend stairs, leading with one foot, with help; can hop in irregular series 4-year-olds: more control in stopping and turning; can jump 24 - 33 inches; can descend stairs with alternating feet with help; can hop 4 to 6 steps on one foot. - 20% of 4 year olds can throw a ball well; 30% can catch well 5-year-olds: can start, stop and turn effectively; jump 28-36 inches; descend stairs without help; hop one foot a distance of 16 feet Fine Motor Skills - dexterity, hand-eye coordination and small muscle coordination 3 year olds can feed themselves, use the toilet alone 4 year olds can dress themselves with help, draw a person, use scissors, fold paper into a triangle 5 year olds can dress themselves; copy a square or triangle 2

Drawing - reveals physical development and brain maturation 2-year-olds: scribbles, not randomly but in patterns, such as zigzag lines 3-year-olds: draws basic shapes (circle, squares, rectangles, X's), a rudimentary person (without arms), can combine shapes into more complex designs 4-year-olds: makes designs and crude letters, copies designs, crude pictorial landscapes 5-year-olds: produces images of real objects, reflecting representational abilities Is left-handedness abnormal? no about 1% of our population are left-handed may reflect right brain dominance; greater spatial imagination (more architects are left-handed) boys are more likely than girls doesn't seem to be genetic (identical twin studies) "lefties" tend to be academically gifted (20% of highest SAT scores, twice the rate of general population) "lefties" tend to have more accidents, suffer from allergies, sleep problems and migraines

Illness immunization and improved health care have decreased the numbers of deaths and illnesses - deaths from influenza and pneumonia dropped 84% between 1950-80 and continue to decrease - the survival rate for childhood cancer has increased sharply (no figures provided) coughs, sniffles, stomachaches, and runny noses are part of early childhood, lasting 2-14 days, not requiring a doctor's attention 3-5 year olds catch an average of 7 or 8 colds (or other respiratory illness) each year because the lungs are not fully developed, respiratory problems are common illness helps build immunity illness helps build cognitive and emotional development, learning how to cope with physical states, builds awareness of body sensations, builds empathy, promotes linguistic expression children in daycare are 2 to 4 times more likely to pick up mild infections (colds, flu, diarrhea) and more serious gastrointestinal diseases and hepatitis A


Accidents accidents are the leading cause of death throughout childhood and adolescence in the U.S. - most are from auto accidents and pedestrian injuries - 1 in 5 cases are alcohol-related - in most cases, the child was riding unrestrained - in 1991, 63% of children under 5 who died in cars were unrestrained - restraints (required in all states) decrease the number of deaths most fatal, nonvehicular accidents occur at home 3% of accidents occur in daycare (safer in daycare than home), half are on the playground accidental deaths declined 26% between 1978-91 pedestrian deaths declined 65% since late 1970s 86% of all firearm deaths, worldwide, occur in the U.S.


Leading Causes of Death in Developed Countries diarrhea, excluding neonatal diarrhea (19%) (preventable) prematurity (19%) respiratory infection, excluding pneumonia (13%) other neo- and perinatal causes (10%) measles (10%) 3


birth asphyxia (8%) congenital anomalies (4%) birth trauma (4%) neonatal sepsis (poison) and meningitis (bacteria or virus inflaming meninges) (4%) neonatal tetanus (bacillus infection) (4%) pertussis (whooping cough) (3%) other (10%)

Environmental Factors to Illness Smoking - about 43% of U.S. children 2 months - 11 years live with smokers - second-hand smoking can cause pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma Stress - (conflict, divorce, death, neglect, abuse, entry into daycare, change in schedule) stress is directly linked with emotional wellbeing and the immune system children from stressful families are twice as likely to be hospitalized children are directly affected by parents' stress

Poverty - is stressful, unhealthy and dangerous the main factor associated with poor health children are the largest group living in poverty child poverty in the U.S. is higher than other major industrial nations - 2000, 1 in 6 lived in poverty; 1997, 1 in 5; 1973, 1 in 7 31% African American, 28% Latino, 14.5% Asian Americans, 13% European Americans are poor poor mothers have a poor prenatal diet, their babies have low birth-weight poor children are at higher risk of injury poor children live in crowded environments (more stressful) poor children suffer from poor nutrition poor children suffer more from lead poisoning, asthma, insomnia, headaches, learning disabilities, psychological disturbance, and behavioral problems poor children lack medical care, and have no medical coverage poor, and linguistic minorities, have less access to doctors

Health Care Benefits European nations provide healthcare for all children 1 in 7 are children in the U.S. are uninsured In the U.S. AFDC has been eliminated, shifting the responsibility to states Medicaid now covers 1 in 4 children and doesn't fully cover costs, forcing providers to shift costs to private providers Tightening federal and state budgets will have a serious impact on children's health care

Homelessness about 43% of the 2.5 - 3 million homeless are children, the fastest-growing segment of this population 53% are headed by young, single women, some who abuse drugs (including alcohol) in some cities 75% of homeless are children, many are disproportionately African American homeless children are unstable, insecure, live in unsanitary conditions no community support and family ties no access to medical care, yet suffer more health problems 4


3 times more likely to lack immunization 2 to 3 times more likely to have nutritional deficiencies (iron, etc) experience diarrhea, hunger, malnourishment, obesity, tooth decay, infections, scabies and lice

Implications: we need more studies about homelessness, more support services Piaget's Preoperational Stage (2 to 7 years; see Fig. 7-3; p. 239) children employ more use of symbolic thought Piaget seems to have underestimated the cognitive capabilities of preoperational children

Symbolic Thought - the ability to use symbols or mental representations (words, numbers or images) symbols help children think about concepts that are physically not present children demonstrate symbolic thought through deferred imitation, symbolic play, and language

Understanding Identities (self and others) greater self-awareness emerges notice qualitative differences among people ed

Understanding Cause and Effect seek causes by asking "why" questions demonstrate understanding with the use of "because" and "so"

Ability to Classify by age 4, children can classify objects by two criteria (color and shape)

Understanding Numbers understanding numbers seems to begin in infancy (as discussed last week) counting proceeds from simple recitation (imitation) to abstract counting

Empathy - ability to imagine how others might feel 10-12 month olds recognize when someone is in distress, a form of empathy evidence that children are not entirely egocentric

Understanding of Thinking - "meta-cognitive" ability, becomes more aware of one's own mental activity and functioning of the mind Limitations of Children’s Preoperational Thought (See Table 7-4; p. 239) Centration - focus on one aspect and neglect others; limited attention Irreversibility children can't understand that an action or operation can be reversed (like conservation) they can't understand that a cut finger can heal (at least initially)


Focus on States Rather than on Transformations focus is on static (completed) states, not on the process for transforming states ( split cookie example) don't understand why ice transformed to water

Transductive Reasoning view events that occur close to one another as being related they may think their thoughts caused an event to occur (illness or accident)

Egocentrism inability to see things only from one's own point of view not selfish, but self-centered a form of centration, the tendency to focus on one aspect of a situation, neglect others explains why children can't distinguish reality from their own thoughts

Animism attribute life to objects that are not alive; confusion about what is alive or not many studies now show that 4 year olds know if something is alive or not talking to dolls is imitation and role-playing, not necessarily animism

Confusing Appearance with Reality failing to understand the laws of conservation failing to distinguish television from reality inability to understand perceptual tricks (green glasses, turn white milk green)

Conservation - the awareness that two things that are equal remain so if their appearance is altered - See Fig. 7-5; p. 243 for seven conservation tasks - Preoperational children have difficulty with these tasks Children's Knowledge About Thinking young children are not aware that the mind is continuously engaged in thought it isn't until middle childhood (after 7) that children understand that the mind is continuously active 3-year-olds understand that one can be engaged in thought, yet do numerous tasks at the same time 3-yesr-olds are aware of multiple-thoughts, but can't practice it (centration – focus on one aspect) 4-year-olds don't understand the difference between "thinking about" and "knowing"

Fantasy and Realty in one study, 18 months to 3 year-olds can distinguish between reality and imagined events yet, in the same study, 4 to 6 year olds may not always be sure that what they imagined is not real Conclusion: they can differentiate, but act as though imagined events could exist. Are they playing? Is having an imaginary companion healthy? Yes can distinguish fantasy from reality more likely to engage in pretend play play more happily, more imaginatively, and more cooperatively 6


more fluent with language watch less television more curious, excited and persistent the imaginary companion can serve as a displacement agent for the child‟s fear

False Beliefs - inability to distinguish actual events from 'tricks' Flavell (1993) presents children with candy box filled with crayons, then asked about contents: - 5-year-olds say candy - they understand the trick - 3-year-olds say crayons Deception telling a lie is a sign of cognitive development, the ability to imagine what another might think Ceci & Leichtman (1992) experiment with 3-year-olds. The mother breaks a toy. the child lies to a stranger to protect the mother when talking with mother, however, acknowledges that mother broke the toy, but also lies to the mother explaining that s/he told the stranger that the mother broke the toy. Why? To preserve the image of being a good and truthful person.

Can Acquisition of Cognitive Abilities be Speeded Up? depends on the ability, timing, and manner a child is taught training helps children understand conservation having older siblings helps the child understand false beliefs earlier talking to children about mental states (emotions, preferences, false beliefs) is correlated with greater cognitive understanding

Language Development by age 3, children typically use 900-1,000 words by age 6, their vocabulary is about 2,600 words, and understands 20,000 they learn an average of 9 new words a day since 1½ years of age how language learning occurs is still a mystery – it is „hard-wired‟ by nature they draw from rules, similar words, grammatical context and subject under discussion, imitation fast mapping -- absorbing the meaning of a word by hearing it in conversation

Grammar and Syntax 3-year-olds can use plurals and past tense and use many pronouns effectively 4 and 5-year-olds' sentences tend to be between 4 and 5 words - they can use prepositions (in, under, over, behind, after) but comprehension may be immature 5 and 6-year olds sentences are more complex - they use contractions (can't, isn't), prepositions (in, by, for, with, to), and articles (a, an, the) 6 and 7-year-olds speak in compound (more than one clause), conjunctions (and, but), complex sentences, and use all parts of speech (verb tenses, conditional, etc.)

Pragmatics (to accomplish something) and Social Speech (to be social) Piaget characterized children's speech as egocentric, yet research shows that children use gestures and verbal speech to communicate successfully (negotiate) and accomplish their goals 7

Evidence: - 2-year-olds gesticulate and show objects to communicate (pragmatic) - 4-year-olds use parentese to talk to 2-year-olds (social) Is talking to oneself healthy for children? yes Private Speech - talking while alone (usually between the ages of 5 and 7) "thinking out loud" playful repeat of rhythmic sounds - creative expression, like a song integrates language with thought (Vygotsky) helps guide action is stimulated by social experience (social children tend to use it the most) bright children use it earliest (around age 4)

Delayed Language Development in Normal Settings effects about 3% of the population, and all SES groups cause is unknown homes are typically linguistically rich intelligence is usually average or better (Einstein was 3 years old when he began to speak) boys are more likely than girls to be late talkers some have otitis media (inner ear infection), related to hearing loss cognitive limitations may make it hard to learn language rules (maturational issue) some children need to hear a word more than once in order to learn it

Signs of Delayed Language Learning by age 2, most children should be able to pronounce many words accurately by age 3, they should have a broader vocabulary by age 5, they should name most objects

Possible Problems with Delayed Language Learning Delayed learners are judged negatively by peers and treated accordingly teachers expect less from them, not challenging them to learn more social rejection can impede language development even more, creating a cyclical problem

Preparation for Literacy social interaction is critical, especially the kind of interaction many studies show that language enrichment from parents speeds language learning use of uncommon language builds language more quickly children's television is helpful, especially when parents talk with children about what they see studies show that "make believe" games help children: - expand story lines and scenarios - build creativity and imagination - provide opportunities to learn new things - practice and use language


Memory - prior to the 1980's there was little research on the preschooler's memory Information-Processing Approach – compares memory to a filing system Encoding – “code” or “label” information, preparing it for mental storage Storage – retention of memories for future use Retrieval – accessing or recalling information from memory Recognition - ability to identify something encountered Recall - ability to reproduce knowledge about memory like all people, children recognize better than they recall they recall paired images that are related better

In studies of memory, those who were most successful on memory tasks: tend to be independent, self-directed, resourceful repeat the name many times play with the objects longer

Childhood Memories most of us can't recall events prior to 3 years old (infantile amnesia) Freud said that early memories are repressed Information processing theory says memories weren't encoded

Explicit Memory - memories that children know they have, encoded so that it can be recalled easily (events, names, facts). Requires intentional awareness for recall. Implicit Memory - unconscious memories that are not intentionally stored; strong memories, without conscious awareness (such as powerful events, names, facts) Example: 9- and 10-year-olds were shown photos of playmates they hadn't seen for 5 years - while the child said they didn't recognize the playmate, their body reaction (skin temperature) indicated they did remember subconsciously. Generic Memory - at about 2 years old, infants learn general 'scripts' or schemas (routines for familiar events) - most infant memory is like this Episodic Memory - memory for a particular event young children remember unique events more clearly 3 year olds remember unusual events (trip to the zoo, vacation, etc.) memories tend to fade if not repeated (decay)

Are children's memories reliable? An important question when involving lawsuits and child abuse Ceci & Bruck (1993) found that children can elaborate when 'coached.' New memories are formed, resulting in recounting stories from the new memories and not factual events. Suggestibility can create false memories. "Do you remember going to the hospital for your cut finger?" Initially they respond "no" but by the eleventh time, they form elaborate stories


Autobiographical Memory - memories of your own life some have vivid memories from age 3, others recall little before age 8 usually begins around age 4, rarely before age 3 improves around ages 5 to 8 dependent on the development of language (Vygotsky's social interaction model), putting memories into language form, so the information can be stored and retrieved later (encoding process) Evidence that memory is dependent on language: - talking about shared events helps build memory - girls from higher social classes tend to have stronger childhood memories (better language skills) - firstborns tend to talk more with parents than later-borns, and have stronger memories

Do children remember most, what they did or what they saw? what they did Evidence: 3 and 4 year-olds visited a farm. A week later, they described things they did (feed animals) more than things they saw drawing can help build memories (as many studies show) how parents talk can also build memories for events

Experimental Evidence: : Two groups visited a museum - mothers who 'talked naturally' and those who talked only when asked questions. Children from natural conversations remembered more about the things they saw. Implications: Don‟t wait for children to ask questions. Keep talking, and describe things in the environment. Parent‟s Conversational Styles also affect memory: Narrative style is more powerful than pragmatic style for building strong memories Narrative Style (best) - natural talk, reminiscing about shared experiences Pragmatic Style - practical purposes (to solve problems, puzzles, etc.) Kinds of Conversations also affect memory: Elaboration produces greater memory Elaborative conversations - build on existing topic, add new information Repetitive conversations - repeat general thrust or exact content ("rote" learning?) Intelligence Psychometric measures - tests that seek to quantify factors that make up intelligence, usually consisting of questions, tasks, divided into verbal and performance categories prior to age 5, testing is unreliable, but may be useful for gifted children there is a strong correlation with how a child scores at 5-years-old and later in life (nearly the same) IQ tests are used as "best" predictors of future school success over the last 15 years, tests have undergone many changes (improvements?) overall, students are doing better than previous years which is reflective of: - better educated parents - educational television - wider variety of experiences - better educated teachers


Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale - the first childhood intelligence test 30 - 40 minutes to administer and includes: word definitions stringing beads building with blocks identifying missing parts of a picture tracing mazes show an understanding of numbers

Updated Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (1985), more sensitive to gender and ethnic differences: verbal and nonverbal quantitative memory items

Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, Revised (WPPSI-R) 1 hour for individual testing for ages 3 to 7 verbal and performance scores

Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III; 1989) revised edition includes new subtests so testing can be done in two sessions (children tire easily) picture items

Influences on Measured Intelligence - performance is based on: parenting and home environment (parents of high IQ children tend to be very loving and sensitive) temperament, expressive abilities, exploration, independence, creativity the match between the test task and cognitive style social and emotional maturity preliteracy or literacy skills (those with strong literacy skills tend to do well) family wealth - poor children score lower, regardless of family dynamics, such as education, etc.) - wealthier families give more attention to their children)

Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) Assumption of ZPD: challenge children with tasks that they are almost ready to accomplish children learn by internalizing the results of their interactions with adults (parents can treat tasks as challenges and as being fun) adults direct children's learning most effectively with ZPD

Scaffolding - helping children only when they need direction parents give more direction when children are less able; less aid when the child is more skilled most parents use this method through common-sense knowledge scaffolding helps parents to become more sensitive to their child's needs


Early Childhood Education: day care, preschool, or kindergarten Day Care - typically, a private care center for young children - traditionally, merely a safe place for care, but not necessarily a formal educational setting - today, day care is more focused on cognitive, social and emotional development Preschool - emphasizes educational experience geared toward developmental needs, typically 2 hrs/day - they vary in quality and cost - most provide structured educational activities - art, music, preliteracy, dramatic play, storytelling - the best ones are child-centered, child-initiated Compensatory Preschool Programs - developed for deprived children who missed preparation for school the most popular program, Project Head Start was begun in 1965 formulated by child development experts, educators, and health professionals provides medical, dental, mental health care, nutrition, cognitive enrichment, social services, parental involvement poorly funded, serves about 1/3 of eligible children

Findings about Head Start: (mixed findings) children show substantial cognitive and social development positive impact on self-esteem and socialization favorable effect on families (offering parenting education, social support, jobs and job training) unfortunately, when children enter school, healthy IQ scores don't last; they match their peers from disadvantaged backgrounds longitudinal studies indicate that children are less likely to be 'held back' or drop out another longitudinal study indicates that African Americans from the program finish high school, go to college, and become employed at a higher rate that their peers from a similar background in one study, when children remained in the program for three years (through the first few years of public school) their IQ scores remained healthy these findings suggest that Head Start can be successful, and needs more funding

How academically oriented should preschool and kindergarten be? children need a comfortable transition from relative freedom to structure learning environments too much teacher-directed instruction may stifle interest and interferes with learning learning should be child-centered, directed by the child's interests most children can't handle a full- or half-day of structured lessons - younger children tend to do less well (children mustn't go too early)

Comparison of two environments: one highly academic and structured, and one child-centered Findings: children from the academic background - scored higher on recognizing letters and words - scored lower on motivation, - had lower perception of their abilities - took less pride in their accomplishments - had lower expectations of their academic abilities. - other studies indicate that children from academic programs have more behavioral problems