Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood

EARLY CHILDHOOD Parents label early childhood, which extends from 02 to 06 years, as the problem, the troublesome or the toy-age; by educators as the Pre-school-age; and by psychologists as the Pre-gang, the exploratory, or the Questioning-age. Physical development proceeds at a slow rate in early childhood but the physiological habits, whose foundations are laid in babyhood, become well established.

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Early Childhood is regarded as the teachable moment for acquiring skills because children enjoy the repetition essential to learning skills; they are adventuresome and like to try new things; and they have few already-learned skills to interfere with the acquisition of new ones. Speech development advances rapidly during early childhood as seen in improvement in comprehension as well as in the different speech-skills.

This has a strong impact on the amount of talking young children do & the content of their speech. While emotional development follows a predictable pattern, there are variations in this pattern due to intelligence, sex, family-size, child training and other conditions. Early Childhood is the pre-gang age – the time when the foundations of the social development, characteristic of the gang-age of the late childhood, are laid. It is also a time when companions play an important role in the socialization process.

Play in early childhood is greatly influenced by the motor skills children have acquired, the degree of popularity they enjoy among their age-mates, the guidance they receive in learning different patterns of play, and the socio-economic status of their families. In accuracies in understanding are common in early childhood because many childish concepts are learnt with inadequate guidance and because children are often encouraged to view life unrealistically to make it seem more exciting & colourful.

Early childhood is characterized by morality by constraint – a time when children learn, through punishment & praise, to obey rules automatically. It is also the time when discipline differs, with some children subjected to authoritarian discipline while others are brought up by permissive or democratic discipline. The common interests of early childhood include interest in religion, in the human body, in self, in sex and in clothes.

Early childhood is often referred to as the critical age in sex-role typing because, at this time, the important aspects of sex-role typing are mastered, especially learning the meaning of sex-role stereotypes and accepting & playing the sex-role approved for members of their sex. Different family relationship – parent-child, sibling and relationships with relatives – play roles of different degrees of importance in the socialization of young children and in their developing self-concepts. The important physical hazards of early childhood include mortality, illnesses, accidents, unattractiveness, obesity and left-handedness.

Among the most important psychological hazards of early childhood are unsocial content of speech, inability to establish the empathic complex, failure to learn social adjustments due to lack of guidance, preference for imaginary companions or pets, too much emphasis on amusements & too little on active play, unfavourable emotional weighing of concepts, inconsistent discipline or discipline that relies too much on punishment, failure to be sex-role typed in accordance with the approved pattern of the social group, deterioration in family relationships and unfavourable self-concepts.

Happiness in early childhood depends more on what happens to children in the home than outside the home. ————————————————- Childhood Obesity And Responsibility. Posted by Admin in Fat Kids, Obesity, Obesity and Parents on December 2nd, 2008 |  No Comments » We are so easy to pass aside the problems of the world until it has an impact on our lives. In today’s world there is a killer that stalks the homes of your family friends and neighbors. This killer is not after certain types of people but after children it does not faction on race or culture.

It kills one in every 100 children each year and causes drama medical situations to all it touches. It has a name that we over look and we think it can never happen to anyone you know. We close a blind eye on it as we search the streets seeing it everywhere. It is in our news papers magazines TV and entertainment it is child Obesity. And like it or not it is a silent killer of our youth. When does it have to become our problem to resolve when it affects us as individuals? Can we help prevent childhood obesity? Read the rest of this entry » Issues That Affect Children in Early Childhood Development

Contributor By Meredith Jameson, eHow Contributing Writer Article Rating:  (1 Ratings) * * * * Add to Favorites * * 1. Small child The early years of life are important in influencing lifelong health and emotional development. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, many issues in early childhood development are directly tied to emotional, physical, and intellectual health in adulthood. It is important to realize that certain issues such as nutrition, economics, social environment, and a child’s community during the first years of life will have a lifelong impact for a child. Economics 2.

Economic issues play a part in the development throughout childhood, but particularly during the first few years of life. Children born to mothers who live in poverty or are poorly educated typically have lower birth weight, and more health issues during infancy and childhood. Parental income can be a predictor of adulthood health. In addition, lower-income families may have fewer resources for emotional and physical health, of parents and children. This can affect or retard the overall development of a young child. Social Issues 3. Social issues also have a profound impact on early childhood development.

The social conditions of the parents or caretakers can have a direct effect on the language, social, and emotional development of the child, often with permanent results. This impact can be seen as early as 18 months, and according to the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study –Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K), children in low-income homes most often lack the social skills needed to enter kindergarten. In addition, a secure and loving attachment to a parent or caretaker is essential for long-term emotional, physical, and intellectual growth and stimulation.

Nutrition 4. Healthy nutrition has a direct impact on the health, physical, and emotional development of a child in the first years of life. Nutritional deficiencies can result in the retardation of physical growth and poor overall health and may have long-term effects on the intellectual and physical development of a child into adulthood. Nutrition has also been directly linked to the income level of the home. Community 5. The environment in which a child lives has many direct effects on their development.

Children in low-income communities are exposed to higher levels of toxins, pollution, poor water quality, higher noise levels, and lower overall safety. Lower-income communities also tend to have fewer resources for families, lower levels of access to health care, and fewer safe places for children to play. Children in poverty-level homes are also more likely to be exposed to lead-based paint, which can have permanent health effects. Read more: Issues That Affect Children in Early Childhood Development | eHow. com http://www. ehow. com/list_6022859_issues-children-early-childhood-development. tml#ixzz0ttihhyFq Psychosocial Development in Early Childhood THE DEVELOPING SELF Guidepost 1: How does the self-concept develop during early childhood, and how do children advance in understanding their emotions? * The self-concept undergoes major change in early childhood. According to neo-Piagetians, self-definition shifts from single representations to representational mappings. Young children do not see the difference between the real self and the ideal self. * Understanding of emotions directed toward the self and of simultaneous emotions develops gradually.

Guidepost 2: How do young children develop initiative and self-esteem? * According to Erikson, the developmental conflict of early childhood is initiative versus guilt. Successful resolution of this conflict results in the “virtue” of purpose. * Self-esteem in early childhood tends to be global and unrealistic, reflecting adult approval. GENDER Guidepost 3: How do boys and girls become aware of the meaning of gender, and what explains differences in behavior between the sexes? * Gender identity is an aspect of the developing self-concept. The main gender difference in early childhood is boys’ greater aggressiveness. Girls tend to be more empathic and prosocial and less prone to problem behavior. Some cognitive differences appear early, others not until preadolescence or later. * Children learn gender roles at an early age through gender-typing. Gender stereotypes peak during the preschool years. * Four major perspectives on gender development are biological, psychoanalytic, cognitive, and socialization-based. * Evidence suggests that some gender differences may be biologically based. In Freudian theory, a child identifies with the same-sex parent after giving up the wish to possess the other parent. * Cognitive-developmental theory maintains that gender identity develops from thinking about one’s gender. According to Kohlberg, gender constancy leads to acquisition of gender roles. Gender-schema theory holds that children categorize gender-related information by observing what males and females do in their culture. * According to social cognitive theory, children learn gender roles through socialization. Parents, peers, and the media influence gender-typing.

PLAY Guidepost 4: How do preschoolers play, and how does play contribute to and reflect development? * Play has physical, cognitive, and psychosocial benefits. Changes in the types of play children engage in reflect cognitive and social development. * According to Piaget and Smilansky, children progress cognitively from functional play to constructive play, pretend play, and then formal games with rules. Pretend play becomes increasingly common during early childhood and helps children develop social and cognitive skills. Rough-and-tumble play also begins during early childhood. According to Parten, play becomes more social during early childhood. However, later research has found that nonsocial play is not necessarily immature. * Children prefer to play with (and play more socially with) others of their sex. * Cognitive and social aspects of play are influenced by the culturally approved environments adults create for children. PARENTING Guidepost 5: What forms of discipline do parents use, and how do parenting styles and practices influence development? * Discipline can be a powerful tool for socialization. Both positive reinforcement and prudently administered punishment can be appropriate tools of discipline within the context of a positive parent-child relationship. * Power assertion, inductive techniques, and withdrawal of love each can be effective in certain situations. Reasoning is generally the most effective and power assertion the least effective in promoting internalization of parental standards. Spanking and other forms of corporal punishment can have negative consequences. * Baumrind identified three childrearing styles: authoritarian, permissive, and authoritative.

A fourth style, neglectful or uninvolved, was identified later. Authoritative parents tend to raise more competent children. However, Baumrind’s findings may be misleading when applied to some cultures or socioeconomic groups. * Family conflict can help children learn negotiating skills. Guidepost 6: Why do young children help or hurt others, and why do they develop fears? * The roots of altruism and prosocial behavior appear early. This may be an inborn disposition, which can be cultivated by parental modeling and encouragement. Instrumental aggression–first physical, then verbal–is most common in early childhood. * Most children become less aggressive after age 6 or 7, but the proportion of hostile aggression increases. Boys tend to practice overt aggression, whereas girls often engage in relational aggression. * Preschool children show temporary fears of real and imaginary objects and events; older children’s fears tend to be more realistic. Guidepost 7: What causes child abuse and neglect, and what are the effects of maltreatment? * The incidence of reported maltreatment of children has increased greatly. Forms of maltreatment are physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional maltreatment. * Characteristics of the abuser or neglecter, the victim, the family, the community, and the larger culture all contribute to child abuse and neglect. * Maltreatment can interfere with physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development, and its effects can continue into adulthood. Still, many maltreated children show remarkable resilience. RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER CHILDREN Guidepost 8: How do young children get along with (or without) siblings? Sibling and peer relationships contribute to self-efficacy. * Most sibling interactions are positive. Older siblings tend to initiate activities, and younger ones to imitate. Same-sex siblings, especially girls, get along best. * Siblings tend to resolve disputes on the basis of moral principles. Parental intervention in sibling conflict, especially among younger siblings, may prevent worse conflict later. * The kind of relationship children have with siblings often carries over into other peer relationships. * Only children seem to develop at least as well as children with siblings.

Guidepost 9: How do young children choose playmates and friends, and why are some children more popular than others? * Preschoolers choose playmates and friends who are like them. Aggressive children are less popular than prosocial children. * Friends have more positive and negative interactions than other playmates. * Parenting can affect children’s social competence with peers. Cognitive Development| | * From 2-7 years of age children form stable concepts and mental reasoning begins to develop. * From 2-4 years children develop symbolic reasoning (the ability to picture an object that is not present. . * Egocentrism starts out strong in early childhood, but weakens. * Magical beliefs are constructed. * Between 4-7 years of age the child develops intuitive thought (the use of primitive reasoning skills and wondering “why”). Starting school is a major landmark for children this age. | | Moral Development in Early Childhood Contributor By Christine Switzer, eHow Contributing Writer Article Rating:  (0 Ratings) * * * * Add to Favorites * * Many theories of early childhood development focus on the cognitive and behavioral elements that influence moral growth in children.

Some theories, though, consider the social and emotional factors that contribute toward children developing moral agency, including the capacity for self-control and social engagement. Accepted Practices 1. Sigmund Freud proposed that during early childhood, children adopt the same moral practices as their same-sex parent. Then, he argued, children attempt to observe these practices and experience feelings of guilt–or hostility turned inward–when they do not. Fixed Standards 2. Jean Piaget concluded that during the earliest years of childhood, children see rules and justice as fixed or permanent properties of the world.

Children, therefore, expect punishment to inevitably follow when they break a rule. External Rewards 3. Similarly, Lawrence Kohlberg theorized that children do not have internalized moral values, but instead that they reason morally on the basis of understood punishments and rewards for behavior. Kohlberg concluded that, at this stage, children obey because they are told to do so. Prosocial Behavior 4. Morality develops in early childhood, William Damon proposed, through the encouragement of prosocial behavior by both peers and parents. Feelings f empathy and encouragement from others, concluded Damon, shape the moral development of early childhood. Global Empathy 5. Martin Hoffman likewise theorized that children have an inborn “global empathy” that supports their moral development. Through this innate empathy, Hoffman contended, children learn to consider what the feelings of others might be and how their actions may affect those feelings. Read more: Moral Development in Early Childhood | eHow. com http://www. ehow. com/facts_5518726_moral-development-early-childhood. html#ixzz0tueOqepr

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