Module 8 Infancy and Childhood

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					      Module 8
Infancy and Childhood

       Myers in Modules, Module 8
        Physical Development

• Brain Development:
 * peak neuron production at 28 weeks prepartum
 * 23 billion neurons at birth
 * only a few connections in the neural network
 * ages 3-5 most of the neural connections in
 frontal lobe (rational and logical operations)
 * language and agility neural connections
 continue growing into and through puberty

                Myers in Modules, Module 8
Cerebral Cortex Sections

       Myers in Modules, Module 8
         Physical Development

• Maturation and Infant Memory
  • Prior to age 3.5 years, long-term memories
    fade and are not readily recoverable
  • We typically cannot remember events earlier
    than this
  • 3-month olds CAN remember that moving their
    leg moves a mobile toy for over a month
  • 11-month olds can remember being shown
    how t make a rattle by putting a button in a box
    for some months
  • 3-year olds will recognize out of focus pictures
    more readily if shown a clear version of the
    picture as long as 3-months earlier
                  Myers in Modules, Module 8
          Physical Development

• Motor Development – universal pattern
  – Babies rollover before they can sit up
  – They creep on al fours before they can walk
  – There are normal variations:
     • 25% N. Am. Babies walk by 11 months
     • 50% by 12 months
     • 90% by age 15 months
  – Identical twins typically sit up and walk on almost the
    same days. (Genetic influence on motor coordination)
  – Bladder and bowel control also require motor neuron
    maturation…no coaxing will accelerate it.

                     Myers in Modules, Module 8
           Cognitive Development
• Piaget’s Theory and Current Thinking
  – Piaget’s views emerged from systematic
    observation of children – predominately his own.
  – His interest started when attempting to develop
    questions for a child’s intelligence test.
  – He became intrigued with the reasons for wrong
    answers when trialing these questions. He
    perceived a different intelligence at work, in the
    wrong answers.
  – He concluded that children’s way of thinking and
    rationalizing are dramatically different from older

                    Myers in Modules, Module 8
An Impossible Object

     Myers in Modules, Module 8
            Cognitive Development
• Piaget‟s Theory and Current Thinking
   – Piaget determined that a child‟s mind develops through
     a series of stages.
   – Therefore an 8-year old can understand what a 3-year
     old cannot.
   – He believed that the driving force behind the
     development was a ceaseless struggle to make sense of
     our experience….to pattern and understand our world.
   – The brain builds these patterns or concepts which
     Piaget called SCHEMA
   – We ASSIMILATE a new Schema from new experiences
   – We ACCOMMODATE the new experiences into our old
     or existing Schema (e.g. fitting a moose into a cow

                     Myers in Modules, Module 8
Pouring Experience into Mental

          Myers in Modules, Module 8
Myers in Modules, Module 8
           Cognitive Development
 Sensimotor Stage
– Infants lack Object Permanence (out of sight; out of mind) up to
  6 months of age. Simply covering an object removes it from
  their world.
– At 8 months , even after being restrained, the will look for object
– Infants stare longer at impossible actions, like a ball hovering in
  the air.
– Infants (5-months) stare longer at impossible counting outcomes
  (c.f. below)
– They can count drum beats before a jack-in-the-box emerges
  and are startled when it erupts before that number of beats.
– If they see a person turning on a light switch with her head, they
  will imitate. However if they see that hr hands are occupied at
  the time, they will simply use their hands.

                       Myers in Modules, Module 8
Baby Mathematics

    Myers in Modules, Module 8
           Cognitive Development
 Pre-Operational Stage – before age 6 or 7
– Children too young for 3-D mental operations
– 5-year old believes that too much milk is in a tall glass, but that
  an acceptable quantity to drink is in a short glass.
– In this stage, the child lacks the concept of Conservation of
– Symbolic thinking can occur at age 2.5 years when kids can use
  a model of a room where a small toy is hidden, to find it.
  (DeLaoch, ‟87)
– Piaget didn‟t think that the stages of development were abrupt
  but gradual improvement in more abstract thinking (cognition)

–EGOCENTRISM: Young children cannot perceive from another‟s
point of view.
–e.g. 3-year old makes himself „invisible‟ by covering his eyes.
–e.g. Pre-schoolers who block a TC from our vision, assume you
can see what they do.

                       Myers in Modules, Module 8
               Cognitive Development
 Pre-Operational Stage – before age 6 or 7
EGOCENTRISM: Young children cannot perceive from another‟s point of view.
– e.g. Pre-schoolers who block a TV from our vision, assume you can see what they
– e.g. 3-year old makes himself „invisible‟ by covering his eyes.

THEORY OF MIND: Children start thinking of other people as thinking individuals with
  their own views and priorities and fears.
_ e.g. They start to infer intentions from other‟s behaviour or looks.
– e.g. They come to realize that others may hold false beliefs and relish in knowing
  the reality themselves. e.g. 3-year olds being surprised to find that there are pencils
  in a band-aid box: asked what a child who hadn‟t seen the box would think was in
  it, they responded “pencils”.
– By 4-5 years old, delighted in anticipating their friend‟s false belief.

AUTISM: A disorder which is marked by an impaired Theory of Mind.
_ features deficient communication and social interaction skills.
– Have difficulty inferring other‟s minds (thoughts and feelings) by their looks and
– Concrete Operational Stage
– Formal Operational Stage

                             Myers in Modules, Module 8
Theory of
Mind Test

            Myers in Modules, Module 8
           Cognitive Development
 Concrete Operational Stage – between age ~ 7
  and 12
CONSERVATION: Children begin to grasp that change in shape
  doesn‟t mean change in quantity.
– e.g. Kids gain the ability to comprehend mathematical
  transformations and conservation.
– e.g. At concrete stage students are aware that as 4+8 = 12, so to
  does 8 + 4 = 12.

  Formal Operational Stage – ~age 12 and above
 ABSTRACT THINKING: Children are able to project and think into
   the future
 _ they begin to use abstract thinking, imagined realities, symbols
   for chemistry or mathematics.
 _ they start being capable of solving hypothetical questions
   (“what if ?”)
 _ They begin to deduce consequences for their actions.
 _ e.g. If X then Y; X is the case then what about Y?
                      Myers in Modules, Module 8
               Cognitive Development
•   Reflecting on Piaget‟s Theory

     – Piaget‟s Stage Theory is not accepted without reservations
     – Widespread studies confirm that human cognition develops
       roughly as he suggested
     – Today‟s researchers think of development as more continuous
       and a blurring of the timing when additional mental
       capabilities develop in the child.
     – We also note variable developmental rates for the mind.
     – Piaget contended that children construct their understandings
       from interactions with the entire world around them.
     – This means that teaching is more effective when we build on
       what is already known; not introducing new things or ideas
       out of context.
     – Young children and developmentally slow learners, learn
       better through concrete demonstrations.
     – Children‟s mental or cognitive immaturity is adaptive in that it
       keeps them close to the protection of adults; providing time
       for learning and socialization

                           Myers in Modules, Module 8
               Social Development

 • Stranger Anxiety: doh! Fear of strangers
      Newborns prefer familiar faces and voices and coo with
       pleasure when they are nearby.
  Soon after toddlers become mobile and develop object
       permanence, they develop a fear of strangers.

• Origins of Attachment p.146: intense mutual, parent/infant
   – Body Contact: Harlow‟s baby monkeys preferred warm
     cuddly terrycloth artificial mother to a wire „mother‟ who
     provided nutrition. (1950‟s – serendipity).
   – Other qualities which attracted comforted the baby
     monkeys were rocking motion, warmth, and feeding that
     enhanced the cloth „mother‟.
   – Human infants also seek security and safety with
     parental figures who represent a safe haven.
   – As we mature, we shift this requirement to peers.
                         Myers in Modules, Module 8
                 Social Development
• Familiarity:
    Attachments to parental figures occur in most animals
   during       some Critical Period in their early development.
    Imprinting occurs in birds (e.g. ducks, geese : 24-48 hrs) on
   a parental figure which is the first moving object seen during
       the first hours after birth. (Konrad Lorenz)
    Human newborns don‟t imprint, but they do grow
                attached to the familiar.

• Responsive Parenting
   – Secure attachments occurs as a result of
     several factors: relaxed, attentive parents
     (rat studies of adoptive mothers).
   – Human babies of inattentive, insensitive, unresponsive
     mothers were insecurely attached and exhibited fear of
     separation and strange environments

                            Myers in Modules, Module 8
             Social Development
• Responsive Parenting - Mothers
   – Van de Boom‟s experiments in sensitive motherhood indicate
     variations in child‟s security. 100 tempermentally difficult 6-9
     year olds. Half of their mothers provided sensitivity training.
     68% of the trained mothers‟ kids became securely attached; vs
     28% for control group.
• Responsive Parenting - Fathers
   – Expectant fathers‟ sex hormone levels change in parallel with
     pregnant mothers.
   – Father‟s love and attention are equivalent to mothers in
     developing secure attachments. (100 studies worldwide)
   – Parental deprivation resulting from non-marital birth, divorce,
     separation, or death, puts kids at higher risk of various
     psychological and sociological problems. (Myres 2000)

                       Myers in Modules, Module 8
Infants’ Distress Over Separation from Parents

Day care vs.
home rearing
 made little
difference in

                Myers in Modules, Module 8
             Social Development
• Secure Attachment and Social Competence
   – Longitudinal studies identified infants securely attached at 12-
     18 months and studied them at 2-4 years of age
   – Sroufe et al observed that these kids at 2-4 years functioned
     with more confidence in social environments.
   – Erickson (1990‟s) suggests that securely attached children
     approach life with a sense of confidence and basic trust in the
     world‟s predictability.
   – Predicted that kids with sensitive, responsive parents form a
     lifelong attitude of trust, rather than fear.
   – The works of others indicate that we do approach syyles of
     romantic love either with:
     i.        secure trusting attachment
     ii.       insecure, anxious attachment; or
     iii.      no attachments

                       Myers in Modules, Module 8
             Social Development
• Deprivation of Attachment
   – Institutionalized babies are often withdrawn , frightened or
     speechless, and many had deep emotional scars.
   – The unloved become the unloving. Most abusive parents
     report being abused as children. 30% of abused children
     become abusers.
   – However, most abused children do NOT become abusers
   – If maltreated in early life children often the effects of
     delinquency disappeared by adolescence.
   – Terrorized children exhibit life-long emotional scars of their
     trauma. The stresses cause long-term depression of serotonin
     levels, which calms aggressiveness in normal humans.
   – This permanently alters the brain‟s emotional processing
     limbic system.

                      Myers in Modules, Module 8
             Social Development
• Daycare and Attachment
   – The research indicates that although separation anxieties are
     indistinguishable between home-reared and day-care centre
     reared kids, that qualitative differences emerge.
   – High quality child care (whether home or outside) involves
     warm, supportive interactions with adults in a safe, healthy and
     stimulating environment.
   – NICHD (2002) studied 1100 children from 1 month of age. Now
     at age 4.5 – 6 years, day care reared kids had slightly advanced
     thinking and language skills. (Why? Are we sure?)
   – They also had slightly higher levels of aggressiveness and
     defiance. (Again, why?)
   – Children thrive within varied types of responsive care-giving.
     E.g. Pygmies of Zaire multiple caregivers- held and fed by the
     community. “It takes a village to rear a child.”
   – Extended family constellations can provide some of this

                       Myers in Modules, Module 8
          Social Development

• Self-Concept: a sense of one‟s own identity and worth
  - The major outcome of childhood at age 12
  - Self-awareness (measured by mirror recognition) occurs
       between 6-18 months
  - By age 5, kids describe their own physical and personality
       features, as well as their role in a group.
  - The see themselves as skilled in some areas but not
       others: “I‟m a good soccer player”
  - Children with positive self-concepts are more confident,
  independent, optimistic, assertive, sociable.
Child-Rearing Practices

                      Myers in Modules, Module 8
         Social Development

• Child-Rearing Practices (3 styles)
   – Authoritarian: (impose rules; expect obedience)
   – Permissive: (make few demands, use little punishment)
   – Authoritative: (exert control; demanding; responsive)
   – Children with authoritative style parents have the
     highest self-concept.
   CONTROL: Kids given some control become motivated
     and self-confident. Not: helpless and incompetent!
   On the other hand, do kids affect parenting styles?
   KIDS INSPIRE TRUST: Parental warmth and control vary
     even within a family between different children. Do
     agreeable, easy-going children elicit greater trust,
     confidence and control? Twin studies say “YES!”

                     Myers in Modules, Module 8
             Social Development
• Child-rearing Practices
  THIRD VARIABLE: Authoritative parents are often better educated
  and are often not stressed by poverty, divorce.
   - This variable could account for the correlation between
     authoritative parenting and positive self-concept in kids.

  FOURTH VARIABLE: Perhaps genes from competent parents are
  also present in competent, self-confident children.
   - The genes predicate agreeable self-confident children.
   - Different parenting styles are a result of many of these factors
     and no one style is perfect for every situation.

   Practice review section on page 154.

                       Myers in Modules, Module 8
Authoritative Parenting and Social Competence

                Myers in Modules, Module 8

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