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 What is child development?  What is the scope of the field?  What

What is child development?

What is the scope of the field?

What are the key issues and questions in the field of child development?

What is the future of child development likely to hold?

key issues and questions in the field of child development?  What is the future of
key issues and questions in the field of child development?  What is the future of
key issues and questions in the field of child development?  What is the future of
key issues and questions in the field of child development?  What is the future of
 Child development is the scientific study of the patterns of growth, change and stability

Child development is the scientific study of the patterns of growth, change and stability that occur from conception through adolescence.

is the scientific study of the patterns of growth, change and stability that occur from conception
is the scientific study of the patterns of growth, change and stability that occur from conception
is the scientific study of the patterns of growth, change and stability that occur from conception
is the scientific study of the patterns of growth, change and stability that occur from conception
Child development includes:  Physical development  Cognitive development  Social and personality development

Child development includes:

Physical development

Cognitive development

Social and personality development

Child development includes:  Physical development  Cognitive development  Social and personality development
Child development includes:  Physical development  Cognitive development  Social and personality development
Child development includes:  Physical development  Cognitive development  Social and personality development
Child development includes:  Physical development  Cognitive development  Social and personality development
Physical development examines:  the brain  nervous system  muscles  developmental milestones 

Physical development examines:

the brain

nervous system

muscles

developmental milestones

needs for food, drink, and sleep

 the brain  nervous system  muscles  developmental milestones  needs for food, drink,
 the brain  nervous system  muscles  developmental milestones  needs for food, drink,
 the brain  nervous system  muscles  developmental milestones  needs for food, drink,
 the brain  nervous system  muscles  developmental milestones  needs for food, drink,
Cognitive development examines:  learning  memory  problem solving  intelligence

Cognitive development examines:

learning

memory

problem solving

intelligence

Cognitive development examines:  learning  memory  problem solving  intelligence
Cognitive development examines:  learning  memory  problem solving  intelligence
Cognitive development examines:  learning  memory  problem solving  intelligence
Cognitive development examines:  learning  memory  problem solving  intelligence
 Personality development includes the stability and change of enduring characteristics that differentiate one person

Personality development includes the stability and change of enduring characteristics that differentiate one person from another.

Social development examines how social relationships grow, change, and remain stable over the course of life.

 Social development examines how social relationships grow, change, and remain stable over the course of
 Social development examines how social relationships grow, change, and remain stable over the course of
 Social development examines how social relationships grow, change, and remain stable over the course of
 Social development examines how social relationships grow, change, and remain stable over the course of
 Researchers divide childhood and adolescence into broad ranges: ◦ Prenatal (conception to birth) ◦

Researchers divide childhood and adolescence into broad ranges:

Prenatal (conception to birth)

Infancy and toddlerhood (birth to age 3)

Preschool period (ages 3 – 6)

Middle childhood (ages 6 – 12)

Adolescence (ages 12 – 20)

However, there are substantial individual differences in the timing of milestones -- age ranges are averages.

 Cohort - A group of people born at around the same time in the

Cohort - A group of people born at around the same time in the same place

Cohort effects provide an example of history- graded influences, which are biological and environmental influences associated with a particular historical moment.

In contrast, age-graded influences are biological and environmental influences that are similar for individuals in a particular age group, regardless of when or where they are raised.

 Development is also affected by sociocultural-graded influences , which include: ◦ ethnicity ◦ social

Development is also affected by

sociocultural-graded influences, which

include:

ethnicity

social class

subcultural membership

other factors

influences , which include: ◦ ethnicity ◦ social class ◦ subcultural membership ◦ other factors
influences , which include: ◦ ethnicity ◦ social class ◦ subcultural membership ◦ other factors
influences , which include: ◦ ethnicity ◦ social class ◦ subcultural membership ◦ other factors
influences , which include: ◦ ethnicity ◦ social class ◦ subcultural membership ◦ other factors
 Finally, non-normative life events also influence development.  Non-normative life events are specific, atypical

Finally, non-normative life events also influence development.

Non-normative life events are specific,

atypical events that occur in a particular person’s life at a time when such events do not happen to most people.

atypical events that occur in a particular person’s life at a time when such events do
atypical events that occur in a particular person’s life at a time when such events do
atypical events that occur in a particular person’s life at a time when such events do
atypical events that occur in a particular person’s life at a time when such events do
Early Views of Children:  Locke considered a child to be a tabula rasa —

Early Views of Children:

Locke considered a child to be a tabula rasa— which is Latin for “blank slate.” In this view, children entered the world with no specific characteristics or personalities. Instead, they were entirely shaped by their experiences as they grew up.

Rousseau argued that children were noble savages, meaning that they were born with an innate sense of right and wrong and morality.

 Among the first instances in which children were methodically studied came in the form

Among the first instances in which children were methodically studied came in the form of baby biographies, which were popular in the late 1700s in Germany.

Observers—typically parents—tried to trace the growth of a single child, recording the physical and linguistic milestones achieved by their child.

to trace the growth of a single child, recording the physical and linguistic milestones achieved by
to trace the growth of a single child, recording the physical and linguistic milestones achieved by
to trace the growth of a single child, recording the physical and linguistic milestones achieved by
to trace the growth of a single child, recording the physical and linguistic milestones achieved by
 It was not until Charles Darwin, who developed the theory of evolution, that observation

It was not until Charles Darwin, who developed the theory of evolution, that observation of children took a more systematic turn.

Darwin was convinced that understanding the development of individuals within a species could help identify how the species itself had developed.

understanding the development of individuals within a species could help identify how the species itself had
understanding the development of individuals within a species could help identify how the species itself had
understanding the development of individuals within a species could help identify how the species itself had
understanding the development of individuals within a species could help identify how the species itself had
 Women made significant contributions to child development.  Hollingworth – one of the first

Women made significant contributions to child development.

Hollingworth – one of the first psychologists to focus on child development

contributions to child development.  Hollingworth – one of the first psychologists to focus on child
contributions to child development.  Hollingworth – one of the first psychologists to focus on child
contributions to child development.  Hollingworth – one of the first psychologists to focus on child
contributions to child development.  Hollingworth – one of the first psychologists to focus on child
 In continuous change, development is gradual.  Discontinuous change occurs in distinct steps or

In continuous change, development is gradual.

Discontinuous change occurs in distinct steps or stages.

 In continuous change, development is gradual.  Discontinuous change occurs in distinct steps or stages.
 In continuous change, development is gradual.  Discontinuous change occurs in distinct steps or stages.
 In continuous change, development is gradual.  Discontinuous change occurs in distinct steps or stages.
 In continuous change, development is gradual.  Discontinuous change occurs in distinct steps or stages.
 Critical periods are specific times during development in which a particular event has its

Critical periods are specific times during development in which a particular event has its greatest consequence.

Sensitive periods are particular times when an organism is susceptible to certain kinds of stimuli in their environment.

Sensitive periods are particular times when an organism is susceptible to certain kinds of stimuli in
Sensitive periods are particular times when an organism is susceptible to certain kinds of stimuli in
Sensitive periods are particular times when an organism is susceptible to certain kinds of stimuli in
Sensitive periods are particular times when an organism is susceptible to certain kinds of stimuli in
 Early developmentalists tended to focus on the periods of infancy and adolescence, largely to

Early developmentalists tended to focus on the periods of infancy and adolescence, largely to the exclusion of other parts of childhood.

Today, however, the entire period encompassing conception through adolescence is now regarded as important.

 Today, however, the entire period encompassing conception through adolescence is now regarded as important.
 Today, however, the entire period encompassing conception through adolescence is now regarded as important.
 Today, however, the entire period encompassing conception through adolescence is now regarded as important.
 Today, however, the entire period encompassing conception through adolescence is now regarded as important.

Nature – traits, abilities, and capabilities inherited from one’s parents

Nature = Genetic

Nurture – environmental influences that shape behavior

Nurture = Environment

parents ◦ Nature = Genetic  Nurture – environmental influences that shape behavior ◦ Nurture =
parents ◦ Nature = Genetic  Nurture – environmental influences that shape behavior ◦ Nurture =
parents ◦ Nature = Genetic  Nurture – environmental influences that shape behavior ◦ Nurture =
parents ◦ Nature = Genetic  Nurture – environmental influences that shape behavior ◦ Nurture =
 Specialization – new areas of study and perspectives will emerge  Genetics – the

Specialization – new areas of study and perspectives will emerge

Genetics – the explosion in information about genes and the genetic foundations of behavior will influence all spheres of child development

Diversity – the increasing diversity of U.S. population will focus greater attention to related issues

 Research in child development will find uses in numerous other fields  Public interest

Research in child development will find uses in numerous other fields

Public interest issues will increasingly be influenced by child development research

uses in numerous other fields  Public interest issues will increasingly be influenced by child development
uses in numerous other fields  Public interest issues will increasingly be influenced by child development
uses in numerous other fields  Public interest issues will increasingly be influenced by child development
uses in numerous other fields  Public interest issues will increasingly be influenced by child development