Psychological development in early childhood is what sets human beings apart from others. Scientists studies lifetime development to try and understand how people change over time. At birth, a baby is fully assembled but doesn’t have the ability to function yet.
It takes a couple of months for color to even be visible around us. And it takes even longer to comprehend the world altogether. Development is the branch of psychology that studies the patterns of growth and change that occur throughout life (pg.
365). Psychologists do not just study the physical changes that occur but tends to look at the social, emotional aspects. They use a method known as nature-nurture which is the approach is the issue of the degree to which environment and heredity influence behavior (pg. 363). The question was first proposed as nature vs. nurture but psychologists now agree that they both interact with specific development patterns and outcomes.
Nature refers to the biology of a person or the genetic factors. DNA is a structure within our cells that contain all the genetic codes that determine our characteristics. It is made up of 46 chromosomes, half comes our mother and the other half from our father. We inherit traits from our parents such as eye color, blood type, hair color, height, weight etc.
Psychologist uses a lot of “twin studies” to back up this theory. This is when they would study twins that were separated at birth and compare their characteristics. Nurture is the mental and environmental side of things, how we are raised and experiences etc). They back up this theory by the “Little Albert” experiment.
The nurture theory believes that genetic influences over abstract traits may exit but it’s the environmental factors that are the real origins of one’s behavior. An individual can have the gene of normal height within their DNAs but if they don’t receive enough nutrients it can prevent them from growing and developing as expected. A cross-sectional study involves looking at people who differ on one key characteristic such as age during a specific time in their lives. Researchers collect data from people who have similar traits but also different. They would separate participants into two groups or chest that has people who are in their 20s, and 30s. This was not an effective way of recording data but it was cheaper, easier, and faster.
A longitudinal study is an observation research method in which data is gathered from the same subject repeatedly over time. Within this, a panel study involves somewhat a random sample of participants whereas a cohort studied people in a similar group based on religion, age, or common experience. We can apply this knowledge to helping people live up to their full potential.MODULE 36 (PAGES 370-375) Every living organism whether it’s plants or animals has a set of characteristics inherited from their parents. An Austrian psychologist, Gregor Mendel was responsible for much of our understanding of biological inheritance, the transmission of genes from one generation to next.
In this experiment, Mendel bred pea plants to see how they passed their traits onto their offsprings. He referred to the original plant as P for parent plant and the offsprings as F1 in which he used to identify F2 generation. Through this, he was able to make a connection between the prenatal development from conception to birth. Humans basic genetics includes the chromosomes, genes, and DNA. Chromosomes are “rod-shaped structures” located inside the nucleus of animal/plant cells that “contains all the basic heredity information” (pg. 370).
Each chromosome resembles an X shape and is made up of protein and a single molecule of DNA. In order for the embryo to receive the correct number of chromosomes from each parent, the egg and sperm must undergo an extra division of 46 chromosomes to 26, called meiosis. Through meiosis, the egg and sperm are able to contain only one copy of each chromosome.
A gene is a short piece of DNA, which tells the body how to build a specific protein. There are approximately 30,000 genes in each cell of the human body. The combination of the genes makes up the blueprint for the body and its functions. Prenatal development refers to the process in which babies develops from a single cell after conception into a zygote, embryo, and later a fetus.
It takes 38 weeks from the conception for this to develop. After two weeks of conception, the body goes into the zygote, the new cell formed by the union of an egg and sperm (pg. 372). The body begins to divide quickly in a process in which the cells moves across the mother’s fallopian tube to the uterus.
Fast forward seven days later, the ball of cells starts to become embedded into the walls of the uterus, and usually takes about 2 weeks to complete. If this process fails then the body terminates all implications of pregnancy. But if it’s successful then the embryonic stage, is the developing balls of cells in now called an embryo that has a heart, a brain, and other organs (pg. 372). The organs tend to become very fragile and biggest danger are teratogens. They are chemicals or virus that can reach and cause dementia in the embryo or fetus. The last stage of prenatal development is the fetal stage. About one month into this stage the sex organs of the fetus begins to form.
A fetus is a developing individual from 8 weeks after conception until birth (pg. 373). The fetus quickly grows as bones and muscles form, and its now able to move. The organs also develop further function in which the brain increases in size and the respiratory and digestive system starts to work separately. The fetus reaches an age of viability when the chance of surviving outside the womb is considered premature. Some factors that may affect fetal development are poor nutrient, alcohol, smoking, use of certain perception/over the counter drugs, use of recreational drugs (cocaine or sedative) etc.
Having a healthy positive lifestyle while exporting leads to a healthy baby. MODULE 37 (PAGES 377-399) Do you remember anything from when you were a baby? Most of your childhood memories are tend to be disparate but during this time, the changes and adaptations are learned faster than ever. Newborns have the ability to see, hear, smell, and respond to the environment at birth but not all are born with reflexes. Reflexes are unlearned, involuntary responses that occur automatically in the presence of the certain stimulus (pg. 377). For example, grasping reflex is an infant’s clinching response to touch on the palm of his or her hand.
Rooting reflex is the response in turning towards the source of touching that occurs in their mouth. In order to measure a baby’s capabilities, psychologists take advantage of the little things babies do such as suck, turn their heads, look at things, cry, smile, and show signs of surprise or fright. Attachment is defined as the response of babies and is normally expressed through emotions, actions, sounds, and gestures. It is a positive emotional bond that develops between and child and a particular individual (pg. 382). Having a successful bonding relationship is important because it determines many of the factors of how the baby will grow.
Bonding gives them a chance to develop fully and become comfortable around other people. It also determines their future interactions and relationship throughout his or her life. Parenting styles also have a very significant effect on children. The way parents raise their kids are different depending on values, culture, and beliefs. Authoritarian style is when parents attempt to control, shape, and evaluate the behaviors and attitude of children.
The premise is when parents have less control over the child. The parent/s may attempt to guide them but they retitlate and prefer to have their own way. Authoritative parents tend to let their kids can an option in making their own decisions. They usually have a balanced disciple but parents still have a say. And lastly, an uninvolved parent puts their lives before the child.
They provide all the basic needs but have none or have fewer interactions. Because each child has their own temperament it leads to different parents techniques used. Temperament is one’s unique style of showing feelings and responding to the world. You may notice this type of behavior when a baby is only a few months old.
Some signs to look for is adaptability (how long it takes for them to adapt to their schedules/surroundings), mood (how they feel on a normal day), and threshold (how sensitive they are to loud noises, bright lights, wet/solid diaper etc). Erikson’s psychological theory emphasizes the search for an individual’s identity, relationship with others, and role of culture throughout life. The first stage is called the trust vs basic mistrust that occurs from 12-28 months of birth. This is important in feeding and giving babies their needs. Infants must for a loving, trusting relationship with their caregiver to develop a sense of trust and comfort.
The second stage is autonomy vs shame/doubt that occurs 18 months to 3 years. It’s important to train them in toilet training. The child’s agencies are directed towards their development of physical skills such as walking, grasping and controlling. They learn to control those factors and if not done properly may feel shame. When showing love to their child, parents must find a line between being protective and being overprotective. The initiative vs guilt is during ages 3 to 6 in wanting to feel independence. There are so many other different types of theories that Erikson proposes. MODULE 38 (PAGES 394-402) Adolescence is the most challenging stage for both a males and females.
During this stage, changes occur physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. It is the developmental stage between childhood and adulthood (pg. 394). Children between ages 11 to 18 undergo significant changes of puberty. Puberty is the process where physical and sexual characteristics mature and tends to occur at a different time for individuals. It is driven by the secretion of chemicals messengers called hormones for boys it was ages 10-16 and girls ages 8 to 14.
The pituitary glands produce other hormones that act as the body’s tissues causing us to be mature. Regarding a person’s height your legs, feets, and hands start to grow and stop growing between the ages of 16 for females and 17 ½ for boys. And for eight males tends to lose fat, get broader, have more muscles, and are more athletic. But for females their legs, arms and thighs develop, and grow breast. During a person’s life, specifically their teen years individuals tend to face an identity crisis in determining who they are. Erikson believed that this was one of the major conflicts of development in which he referred to as identity-versus-role confusion stage. The major question that is proposed is “Who am I?”.
This is when teenagers try to develop a sense of self and personal identity. Identity is the distinguishing character of the individual: who each of us is, what our roles are, and what we are capable of (pg. 398). Throughout this stage, they test our different roles, activities, and behaviors.
One positive outcome is that the person can have a sense of themselves and are capable of being strong and independent. However, some people who come out of this stage may still be unsure of their beliefs and desire. If an individual were to get stuck at this stage it could lead to social, education, and development problems. In order to successfully develop, one must be encouraged by their parents and most importantly peers.
No matter how successful you are in your career and life aspects you are fully developed until experience some sort of intimacy. In intimacy vs isolation, an individual tends to fear having committed relationships and may retreat into isolation and usually occurs ages 18-40. When people are more social and form intimate relationships they are less likely to isolate themselves. The seventh stage of life approaches the question of “How can I contribute to society?”. The generativity vs.
stagnation theory state that a period in middle adulthood during which we take stock of our contributions to family and society (pg. 399). It occurs during adulthood (40-65) where an individual faces confusion whether or not they have made something out of their life.
It challenges them to be more creative, productive in raising their children. This theory is often seen as a midlife crisis because they form a sense of objectivity and self-absorption. The most important stage is the coming to accept’s one whole life and reaction on positivity during the age of 6-65 years until death.
The ego integrity vs despair theory is a period from late adulthood to death during which we review life’s accomplishments and failures (pg. 399). Ego integrity is coming to terms with your life, therefore coming to terms with death in which older people become preoccupied with past experiences. If you had a good life, you are more accepting towards death however if you live a bad life, you will be miserable about the thought of death. MODULE 39 (PAGES 405-413) According to Arnett, emerging adults occur between the ages of 18 to 26, a time when individuals are semi-autonomous as they move in or out of the home. In his studies, he found that most young adults felt they have not reached their adult status. Most felt that becoming an adult requires more responsibility, decision-making, and financial independence. Being an emerging adult offers opportunities for an individual to explore their identity in three areas including work, relationship, and worldviews.
Arnet states that not everyone goes through this stage because majority of the adults continue to further their education, move out of their parent’s home, have a source incoming, and marry at a later age. This is seen as a chance to discover your dignity and better your life. Menopause occurs during a woman’s late 40s and 50s because during this time their genetically programmed losses their ovarian follicles. It is a period during which women stop menstruating and no longer fertile (pg. 406). Menopause tends to derive from three categories of a cell, hormonal changes, and menstrual patterns. On a cellular level, menopause is thought to result from a lifelong process of follicular atresia which is degenerated and resorption before reaching maturity. During their hormonal stages, there are light levels of Ex or sex hormone.
And lastly, menstrual pattern relies on self-report and menstrual changes. Some women choose to use hormone therapy because it helps relieve symptoms of menopause. It also helps with boneless which can slow down their height loss. The longer a woman takes a hormone the higher her risks will be of having cancer. The theory of aging revolves around the questions of how can older people become socially isolates and why does this happen? The psycho-social theories explain the thought process and behaviors of aging the sense of disengagement and activity theory. The disengagement theory is one of the earliest theories that views ageing as a process of gradual withdrawal between society and the older adult.
Gradual withdrawal from society and relationships preserves social equilibrium and promotes self-reflection for elders who are freed from societal roles. It also enables an elderly means for the transfer of knowledge, capital, and power from the older generation. It makes it possible for society to continue functioning after valuable older members die. The activity theory developed by Robert Havighurst is 1961, as a response to the disengagement theory.
The theory suggests that older adults are happiest when they stay active and maintain social interactions. Activity engages older adults both physically and mentally to socialize with other. This increases feelings of self-worth and pleasure, which are important for the happiness and longevity. These activities, help to replace lost life roles after retirement and resist the social pressures that limit an older person’s world. Both theories assure positive relationship between activity and self-satisfaction.