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.
The ability to concentrate on some stimuli while ignoring others.
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.
The potential to master a specific skill or to learn a certain body of knowledge.
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.
The rise in average IQ scores that has occurred over the decades in many nations.
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.
An autistic spectrum disorder characterized by extreme attention to details & deficient social understanding.