The period between early childhood & early adolescence, approximately from ages 7-11.
A chronic disease of the respiratory system in which inflammation narrows the airways from the nose & mouth to the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. Signs & symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, & coughing.
body mass index (BMI)
The ratio of weight to height, calculated by dividing a person's body weight in kilograms by the square of his/her height in meters.
In an adult, having a BMI of 25-29. In a child, having a BMI above the 85th percentile, according to the US Centers for Disease Control's 1980 standards for children of a given age.
In an adult, having a BMI of 30 or more. In a child, having a BMI above the 95th percentile, according to the US Centers for Disease Control's 1980 standards for children of a given age.
concrete operational thought
Piaget's term for the ability to reason logically about direct experiences & perceptions.
The logical principle that things can be organized into groups (or categories or classes) according to some characteristic they have in common.
A body of knowledge in a particular area that makes it easier to master new information in that area.
A perspective that compares human thinking processes, by analogy, to computer analysis of data, including sensory input, connections, stored memories, & output.
A process in which repetition of a sequence of thought & actions makes the sequence routine, so that it no longer requires conscious thought.
The time it takes to respond to a stimulus, either physically (w/ a reflexive movement such as an eye blink) or cognitively (w/ a thought).
The component of the information-processing system in which incoming stimulus information is stored for a split second to allow it to be processed.
aka: sensory register
The component of the information-processing system in which current, conscious mental activity occurs.
aka: short-term memory
The component of the information-processing system in which virtually limitless amounts of information can be stored indefinitely.
"Thinking about thinking"; the ability to evaluate a cognitive task in order to determine how best to accomplish it, & then to monitor & adjust one's performance on that task.
The ability to understand how memory works in order to use it well. Metamemory is an essential element of metacognition.
A test designed to measure intellectual aptitude, or ability to learn in school.
Originally, intelligence was defined as mental age divided by chronological age, times 100--hence the term intelligence quotient, or IQ
A measure of mastery or proficiency in reading, mathematics, writing, science, or some other subject.
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
An IQ test designed for school-age children. The test assesses potential in many areas, including vocabulary, general knowledge, memory, & spatial comprehension.
Literally, slow, or late, thinking. In practice, people are considered mentally retarded if they score below 70 on an IQ test & if they are markedly behind their peers in the ability to meet the basic requirements of daily life.
children with special needs
Children who, because of a physical or mental disability, require extra help in order to learn.
The field that uses insights into typical development to understand & remediate developmental disorders, & vice versa.
Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR)
The American Psychiatric Assoociation's offical guide to the diagnosis (not treatment) of mental disorders.
(IV-TR means "fourth edition, text revision." The fifth edition is scheduled to be published in 2011.)
attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
A condition in which a person is inattentive, impulsive, & overactive & thus has great difficulty concentrating for more than a few moments.
A marked delay in as particular area of learning that is not caused by an apparent physical disability, by mental retardation, or by an unusually stressful home environment.
Unusual difficulty w/ reading; thought to be the result of some neurological underdevelopment.
autistic spectrum disorder
Any of several disorders characterized by impaired communication, inadequate social skills, & unusual patterns of play.
A developmental disorder marked by an inability to relate to other people normally, extreme self-absorption, & an inability to acquire normal speech.