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Physical development

development involving the body's physical makeup, including the brain, nervous system, muscles, and senses, and the need for food, drink, and sleep

cognitive development

development involving the ways that growth and change in intellectual capabilities influence a person's behavior

personality development

development involving the ways that the enduring characteristics that differentiate one person from another change over the lifes pan

social development t

he way in which individuals' interactions with others and their social relationships grow, change, and remain stable over the course of life


a group of people born at around the same time in the same place

critical period

a specific time during development when a particular event has its greatest consequences and the presence of certain

sensitive period

point in development when organisms are particularly susceptible to certain kinds of stimuli in their environments, but the absence of those stimuli does not always produce irreversible consequences


refers to traits, abilities, and capacities that are inherited from one's parents. It encompasses any factor that is produced by the predetermined unfolding of genetic information—a process known as maturation. These genetic, inherited influences are at work as we move from the one-cell organism created at conception to the billions of cells that make up a fully formed human. influences whether our eyes are blue or brown, whether we have thick hair throughout life or eventually go bald, and how good we are at athletics. allows our brains to develop in such a way that we can read the words on this page.


refers to the environmental influences that shape behavior. Some influences may be biological, such as the impact of a pregnant mother's use of cocaine on her unborn child or the amount and kind of food available to children. Other influences are more social, such as the ways parents discipline their children and the effects of peer pressure on an adolescent. Finally, some influences are a result of societal factors, such as the socioeconomic circumstances in which people find themselves.

behvaioral persepective

To a lifespan development specialist using the behavioral perspective, the explanation for Elissa's behavior is straijghtforward: She has a learned fear of dogs. Rather than looking inside the organism at unconscious processes, the behavioral perspective suggests that the keys to understanding development are observable behavior and environmental stimuli. If we know the stimuli, we can predict the behavior. In this respect, the behavioral perspective reflects the view that nurture is more important to development than nature.

Piagets two principles of growth

According to Piaget, two major principles guide intellectual growth and biological development: adaptation and organization. For individuals to survive in an environment, they must adapt to physical and mental stimuli. Assimilation and accommodation are both part of the adaptation process. Piaget believed that human beings possess mental structures that assimilate external events, and convert them to fit their mental structures. Moreover, mental structures accommodate themselves to new, unusual, and constantly changing aspects of the external environment.
• Piaget's second principle, organization, refers to the nature of these adaptive mental structures. He suggests that the mind is organized in complex and integrated ways. The simplest level is the schema, a mental representation of some physical or mental action that can be performed on an object, event, or phenomenon. We now turn to a discussion of these concepts.


The action or process of fertilizing an egg, female animal, or plant, involving the fusion of male and female gametes to form a zygote.
• The action or process of applying a fertilizer to soil.


Before an embryo- The new cell formed by the process of fertilization

sex cells

All genes are composed of specific sequences of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) molecules. The genes are arranged in specific locations and in a specific order along 46 chromosomes, rod-shaped portions of DNA that are organized in 23 pairs. Each of the sex cells—ovum and sperm—contains half this number, so that a child's mother and father each provide one of the two chromosomes in each of the 23 pairs. The 46 chromosomes (in 23 pairs) in the new zygote contain the genetic blueprint that will guide cell activity for the rest of the individual's life (Pennisi, 2000; International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium, 2001) (see Figure 2-1). Through a process called mitosis, which accounts for the replication of most types of cells, nearly all the cells of the body will contain the same 46 chromosomes as the zygote. When gametes—the sex cells, sperm and ova—are formed in the adult body in a process called meiosis, each gamete receives one of the two chromosomes that make up each of the 23 pairs.

Monozygotic twins

are twins who are genetically identical. Any differ- ences in their future development can be attributed only to environmental factors.

dizygotic twins

However, multiple births are more commonly the result of two separate sperm fertilizing two separate ova at roughly the same time. Twins produced in this fashion are known as dizygotic twins. Because they are the result of two separate ovum- sperm combinations, they are no more genetically similar than two siblings born at different times. Triplets, quadruplets, and even more births are produced by either (or both) of the mechanisms that yield twins. Thus, triplets may be some combina- tion of monozygotic, dizygotic, or trizygotic.


The blueprints for creating a person are stored and communicated in our genes, the basic units of genetic information. The roughly 25,000 human genes are the biological equivalent of "software" that programs the future development of all parts of the body's "hardware."


All genes are composed of specific sequences of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) molecules. The genes are arranged in specific locations and in a specific order along 46 chromosomes, rod-shaped portions of DNA that are organized in 23 pairs. Each of the sex cells—ovum and sperm—contains half this number, so that a child's mother and father each provide one of thetwo chromosomes in each of the 23 pairs. The 46 chromosomes (in 23 pairs) in the new zygote contain the genetic blueprint that will guide cell activity for the rest of the individual's life (Pennisi, 2000; International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium, 2001) (see Figure 2-1). Through a process called mitosis, which accounts for the replication of most types of cells, nearly all the cells of the body will contain the same 46 chromosomes as the zygote.

Number of genes


Number of chromosomes

23 pairs


is an environmental agent such as a drug, chemical, virus, or other factor that produces a birth defect. Although the placenta is respon- sible for keeping teratogens from the fetus, it is not 100 percent successful and probably every fetus is exposed to some teratogens.

Chance of mothers with AIDS transferring

AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the newest of the diseases to affect a new- born. Mothers who have the disease or who merely are carriers of the virus may pass it on to their fetuses through the blood that reaches the placenta. However, if mothers with AIDS are treated with antiviral drugs such as AZT during pregnancy, less than 5 percent of infants are born with the disease. Those infants who are born with AIDS must remain on antiviral drugs their entire lives (Nesheim et al., 2004).
If mothers with AIDS are treated with antiviral drugs, less than ____% of infants are born with the disease. In infants of mothers who do NOT receive treatment, the rate of transmission is closer to _____%.
• A) 5 percent, 10 percent

Duration of pregnancy in DAYS

266 days

False Labor

During the prenatal period, the uterus, which is composed of muscle tissue, slowly ex- pands as the fetus grows. For most of the pregnancy it is inactive, but after the fourth month it occasionally contracts to ready itself for the delivery. These Braxton-Hicks contractions are sometimes called "false labor" because they can fool eager and anxious parents.


During the second stage of labor, which typically lasts around 90 minutes, the baby's head proceeds further with each contraction, increasing the size of the vaginal opening. Because the area between the vagina and rectum must stretch, an incision called an episiotomy is some- times made to increase the size of the opening of the vagina. However, this practice is now seen as potentially harmful, and the number of episiotomies has fallen drastically in the last decade

stages of labor

Labor proceeds in three stages (see Figure 2-13). In the first stage of labor, the uterine contractions initially occur around every 8 to 10 minutes and last about 30 seconds. As labor proceeds, the contractions occur more frequently and last longer. Toward the end of labor, the contractions may occur every 2 minutes and last almost 2 minutes. As the first stage of labor ends, the contractions reach their greatest intensity, a period known as transition. The mother's cervix fully opens, eventually expanding enough (usually to around 10 cm) to allow the baby's head to pass through.
• This first stage of labor is the longest. Its duration varies depending on the mother's age, race, ethnicity, number of prior pregnancies, and other factors. Typically, labor takes 16 to 24 hours for firstborn children, but there are wide variations. Labor becomes shorter for subsequent children.
• During the second stage of labor, which typically lasts around 90 minutes, the baby's head proceeds further with each contraction, increasing the size of the vaginal opening. Because the area between the vagina and rectum must stretch, an incision called an episiotomy is some- times made to increase the size of the opening of the vagina. However, this practice is now seen as potentially harmful, and the number of episiotomies has fallen drastically in the last decade (Goldberg et al., 2002; Graham et al, 2005; Dudding, Vaizey, & Kamm, 2008).
• The second stage of labor ends when the baby has completely left the mother's body. Finally, in the third stage of labor the child's umbilical cord (still attached to the neonate) and the placenta are expelled from the mother. This stage is the quickest and easiest, taking just a few minutes.
• The nature of a woman's reactions to labor reflects, in part, cultural factors. Although there is no evidence that the physiological aspects of labor differ among women of different cul- tures, expectations about labor and interpretations of its pain do vary significantly from one culture to another (Callister et al., 2003; Fisher, Hauck, & Fenwick, 2006). For instance, there is a kernel of truth to popular stories of women in some societies putting down their tools, giving birth, and immediately returning to work with their neonates on their backs. Accounts of the !Kung people in Africa describe women giving birth without much ado—or assistance—and quickly recovering. On the other hand, many societies regard childbirth as dangerous or even as essentially an illness.


In most cases, the newborn undergoes a quick visual inspection. While parents lovingly count fingers and toes, health care workers use the Apgar scale, a standard measurement system that looks for a variety of indications of good health (see Table 2-3). Developed by physician Virginia Apgar, the scale directs attention to five basic qualities, recalled most easily by using Apgar's name as a guide: appearance (color), pulse (heart rate), grimace (reflex irritability), activity (muscle tone), and respiration (respira- tory effort).
• The newborn receives a score ranging from 0 to 2 on each of the five qualities, for an overall score between 0 and 10. Most score 7 or above; the 10 percent who score under 7 require help to start breathing. Newborns who score under 4 need immediate, life-saving intervention.


A restriction of oxygen, or anoxia, lasting a few minutes can produce cognitive deficits such as language delays and even mental retardation due to brain cell death

Lunago and vernix

Physical Appearance and Initial Encounters. After assessing the newborn's health, health care workers deal with the remnants of the child's passage through the birth canal. They clean away the vernix, the thick, greasy substance (like cottage cheese) that covers the newborn and smoothes the passage through the birth canal. The fine, dark fuzz known as lanugo that covers the newborn's body soon disappears. The newborn's eyelids may be puffy from fluids that accumulated during labor, and blood or other fluids may remain on parts of his or her body.

four principles of growth

The disproportionately large size of infants' heads at birth is an example of one of four major principles (summarized in Table 3-1) that govern growth.
• The cephalocaudal principle states that growth follows a direction and pattern that begins with the head and upper body parts and then proceeds to the rest of the body. The cepha- locaudal growth principle means that we develop visual abilities (located in the head) well before we master the ability to walk (closer to the end of the body).
• The proximodistal principle states that development proceeds from the center of the body outward. The proximodistal principle means that the trunk of the body grows before the extremities of the arms and legs. Furthermore, the development of the ability to use
• various parts of the body also follows the proximodistal principle. For instance, effective use of the arms precedes the ability to use the hands.
• The principle of hierarchical integration states that simple skills typically develop sepa- rately and independently, but that these simple skills are integrated into more complex ones. Thus, the relatively complex skill of grasping something in the hand cannot be mas- tered until the developing infant learns how to control—and integrate—the movements of the individual fingers.
• Finally, the principle of the independence of systems suggests that different body systems grow at different rates. For instance, the patterns of growth for body size, the nervous
• system, and sexual maturation are quite different.

Synaptic Pruning.

Babies are actually born with many more neurons than they need. In addition, although synapses are formed throughout life, based on our changing experiences, the billions of new synapses infants form during the first two years are more numerous than necessary. What happens to the extra neurons and synaptic connections?

Paiget how infants acquire knowledge

Piaget argued that infants do not acquire knowledge from facts communicated by others, nor through sensation and perception. Instead, Piaget suggested that knowledge is the product of direct motor behavior. Although many of his basic explanations and propositions have been challenged by subsequent research, as we'll discuss later, the view that in significant ways infants learn by doing remains unquestioned


• piaget suggested that human thinking is arranged into schemes, organized mental patterns that represent behaviors and actions. In infants, schemes represent concrete behavior—a scheme for sucking, for reaching, and for each separate behavior. In older children, the schemes become more sophisticated and abstract, such as the skills involved in riding a bike or playing an interactive video game. Schemes are like intellectual computer software programs that direct and determine how data from the world are looked at and handled

Principles of assimilation and accommodation

Assimilation is the process in which people understand a new experience in terms of their current stage of cognitive development and existing ways of thinking. In contrast, accommodation refers to changes in existing ways of thinking in response to encounters with new stimuli or events. Assimilation and accommodation work in tandem to bring about cognitive development.

Principles of separation anxiety and stranger anxiety

stranger anxiety the caution and wariness displayed by infants when encountering an unfamiliar person
• separation anxiety the distress displayed by infants when a customary care provider departs


Empathy is an emotional response that corresponds to the feelings of another person. At 24 months of age, infants sometimes comfort others or show concern for them. In order to do this, they need to be aware of the emotional states of others. For example, 1-year-olds are able to pick up emo- tional cues by observing the behavior of an actress on television (Gauthier, 2003; Mumm & Fernald, 2003).


• attachment the positive emotional bond that develops between a child and a particular individual


personality development development involving the ways that the enduring characteristics that differentiate one person from another change over the lifes pan

Temperament and emotional reactivity

For instance, consider temperament, patterns of arousal and emotionality that represent consistent and enduring characteristics in an individual. Suppose we found—as increasing evidence suggests—that a small percentage of children are born with an unusual degree of physiological reactivity—a tendency to shrink from anything unusual.

• Erikson and infancy

• Erikson and infancy

According to psychologist Erik Erikson, whose approach to personality development we first discussed in Module 1.2, infants' early experiences are responsible for shaping one of the key aspects of their personalities: whether they will be basically trusting or mistrustful.
• Erikson's theory of psychosocial development considers how individuals come to under- stand themselves and the meaning of others'—and their own—behavior (Erikson, 1963). The theory suggests that developmental change occurs throughout people's lives in eight distinct stages, the first of which occurs in infancy.
• According to Erikson, during the first 18 months of life, we pass through the trust-versus- mistrust stage. During this period, infants develop a sense of trust or mistrust, largely de- pending on how well their needs are met by their caregivers. Mary's attention to Malcom's needs, in the previous example, probably helped him develop a basic sense of trust in the world. Erikson suggests that if infants are able to develop trust, they experience a sense of hope, which permits them to feel as if they can fulfill their needs successfully. On the other hand, feelings of mistrust lead infants to see the world as harsh and unfriendly, and they may have later difficulties in forming close bonds with others.
• During the end of infancy, children enter the autonomy-versus-shame-and-doubt stage, which lasts from around 18 months to 3 years. During this period, children develop indepen- dence and autonomy if parents encourage exploration and freedom within safe boundaries. However, if children are restricted and overly protected, they feel shame, self-doubt, and unhappiness.
• Erikson argues that personality is primarily shaped by infants' experiences. However, as we discuss next, other developmentalists concentrate on consistencies of behavior that are present at birth, even before the experiences of infancy. These consistencies are viewed as largely genetically determined and as providing the raw material of personality.


• The brain grows larger, neural interconnections continue to develop, and lateralization emerges
• Lateralization, the process in which certain functions are located more in one hemisphere than the other, becomes more pronounced during the preschool years.

Paigets first and second stages

Piaget's first and second stages
• Sensorimotor stage
• Preoperational stage

Egocentric thought

egocentric thought thinking that does not take into account the viewpoints of others

Autobiographical memory

. Autobiographical mem- ory, memory of particular events from one's own life, achieves little accuracy until then and increases gradually throughout the preschool years.

Vygotsky and scaffolding

Scaffolding is the support for learning and problem solving that encourages independence and growth (Puntambekar & Hübscher, 2005; Blewitt et al., 2009). As in construction, the scaffolding that older people provide, which facilitates the comple- tion of identified tasks, is removed once children can solve a problem on their own (


Language blooms so rapidly between the late 2s and the mid-3s that researchers have yet to understand the exact pattern. What is clear is that sentence length increases steadily, and the number of ways children combine words and phrases to form sentences—known as syntax— doubles each month. By the time a preschooler is 3, the various combinations reach into the thousands


he system of rules that determine how our thoughts can be expressed.


In addition, private speech may be a way for children to practice the practical skills required in conversation, known as pragmatics. Pragmatics is the aspect of language relating to communicating effectively and appropriately with others.

Social learning approach

classical conditioning a type of learning in which an organism responds in a particular way to a neutral stimulus that normally does not bring about that type of response
• operant conditioning a form of learning in which a voluntary response is strengthened or weakened by its association with positive or negative consequences
• behavior modification a formal technique for promoting the frequency of desirable behaviors and decreasing the incidence of unwanted ones
• social-cognitive learning theory learning by observing the behavior of another person, called a model

Individualistic and collectivistic orientations

race dissonance the phenomenon in which minority children indicate preferences for majority values or people
• collectivistic orientation a philosophy that promotes the notion of interdependence
• individualistic orientation a philosophy that emphasizes personal identity and the uniqueness of the individual

Gender identity

gender identity the perception of oneself as male
• or female

Parenting styles (authoritative, authoritarian, permissive)

authoritarian parents parents who are controlling, punitive, rigid, and cold, and whose word is law. They value strict, unquestioning obedience from their children and do not tolerate expressions of disagreement
• permissive parents parents who provide lax and inconsistent feedback and require little of their children
• authoritative parents parents who are firm, setting clear and consistent limits, but who try to reason with their children, giving explanations for why they should behave in a particular way
• uninvolved parents parents who show almost no interest in their children and indifferent, rejecting behavior

Cycle of violence hypothesis

experiment a process in which an investigator, called an experimenter, devises two different experiences for participants
• independent variable the variable that researchers manipulate in an experiment
• dependent variable the variable that researchers measure to see if it changes as a result of the experimental manipulation
• The Cycle of Violence Hypothesis. Many people who abuse children were themselves abused as children. According to the cycle of violence hypothesis, the abuse and neglect that children suffer predispose them as adults to abuse and neglect their own children (Miller- Perrin & Perrin, 1999; Widom, 2000; Heyman & Slep, 2002).
• According to this hypothesis, victims of abuse have learned from their childhood experi- ences that violence is an appropriate and acceptable form of discipline, and they have failed to learn the skills needed to solve problems and instill discipline without violenc

Psychological maltreatment

occurs when parents or other caregivers harm children's behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or physical functioning. It may be the result of overt behavior or neglect


However, not all prosocial behavior has to be directly reinforced. According to social learning theorists, children also learn moral behavior indirectly by observing the behavior of others, called models

Empathy and Moral Behavior.

According to some developmentalists, empathy—the un- derstanding of what another individual feels—lies at the heart of some kinds of moral behavior. The roots of empathy grow early. One-year-old infants cry when they hear other infants crying. By ages 2 and 3, toddlers will offer gifts and spontaneously share toys with other chil-
• dren and adults, even strangers (Zahn-Wexler & Radke-Yarrow, 1990). During the preschool years, empathy continues to grow as children's ability to monitor and
• regulate their emotional and cognitive responses increases. Some theorists believe that increas- ing empathy (along with other positive emotions, such as sympathy and admiration) leads children to behave morally. In addition, some negative emotions—such as anger at an unfair situation or shame over previous transgressions—also may promote moral behavior


Fifteen percent of U.S. children are obese—a figure that has tripled since the 1960s
• Obesity. It is clear that malnourishment during infancy has potentially disastrous conse- quences for an infant. Less clear, however, are the effects of obesity, defined as weight greater than 20 percent above the average for a given height. While there is no clear correlation be- tween obesity during infancy and obesity at the age of 16 years, some research suggests that overfeeding during infancy may lead to the creation of an excess of fat cells, which remain in the body throughout life and may predispose a person to be overweight. In fact, weight gains during infancy are associated with weight at age 6. Other research shows an association be- tween obesity after the age of 6 and adult obesity, suggesting that obesity in babies ultimately may be found to be associated with adult weight problems. A clear link between overweight babies and overweight adults, however, has not yet been found


Dusty suffers from a disorder unheard of just a few decades ago—attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This disorder is marked by inattention, impulsiveness, low tolerance for frustration, and a great deal of inappropriate activity. All children show such traits at times, but for ADHD children such behavior is common, interfering with their home and school functioning

Paigets stage in middle child hood

6-12 years old


the process in which information is recorded stored and retrieved

Zone of proximal development

Vygotsky proposed that children's cognitive abilities increase through expo- sure to information that is new enough to be intriguing, but not too difficult to contend with. He called this the zone of proximal development (ZPD), the level at which a child can almost, but not fully, perform a task independently, but can do so with the assistance of someone more competent.

Fluid and crystallized intelligence

fluid intelligence reflects information processing capabilities, reasoning, and memory
• crystallized intelligence the accumulation of information, skills, and strategies that people have learned through experience and that they can apply in problem-solving situations

social competence

the collection of social skills that permit individuals to perform successfully in social settings

Self esteem

Self-esteem is an individual's overall and specific self-evaluation. Whereas self-concept reflects beliefs and cognitions about the self.

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