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Developmental Psychology

Terms in this set (76)

Brain development is faster than any other part of the body during the prenatal period and the first 2 years of life.

At birth = the brain is 25-33% of adult size
age 2 = 75% adult size
age 5 = 90% adult size

Five stages of brain development:
1) Proliferation stage: New cells are created w/in teh neural tube (embryo is 2-3 weeks old)

2) Migration stage: Immature neurons migrate to specific brain locations and start to form brain structures (embryo is ~8 weeks)

3) Differentiation stage: Neurons begin to take on a more distinct look, developing axons and dendrites

4) Myelination stage: Myelin sheath is developed around axons of some neurons (most of this stage takes place after birth)

5) Synaptogenesis stage: Synapses are formed (mostly takes place after birth)

**Infants brain at birth contains the majority of the neurons it will ever have**
After birth, brain development occurs as the neurons grow in size, become myelinated, develop more axons and dendrites, and increase their connections.

Young children: Significant capacity for Plasticity
E.g., up until age 7-8, children can recover language function if the dominant hemisphere has been damaged.

By 7 or 8 years old, plasticity is more limited. There is a firmly established pattern of handedness and footedness.

Middle childhood: Hippocampal development is complete - capacity for declarative memory and procedural memory emerge
- by age of 10, have difficulty learning another unaccented language

Adolescence and beyond: Myelination continues into a person's 20s, enhancing processing speed, attention span, and frontal lob function.
1) Sensorimotor Stage: (age 0-2); time of significant language development, gain control of motor function
*Object Permanence*: Critical accomplishment of Sersorimotor stage (between 3-8 months old) - objects continue to exist independent of child's involvement with them.
- Develop Separation protest and Stranger anxiety
*Symbolic Representation*: Becomes more capable of symbolic representation with language use

2) Preoperational Stage: (age 2-7); increased use of symbols and language
*Intuitive Thinking*: thinking and reasoning are intuitive (unable to think logically and deductively)
*Egocentrism*: Unable to take the perspective of others
*Phenomenalistic Causality*: Employ a type of magical thinking in which events that occur together are thought to cause one another.
*Animism*: endow physical objects with psychological attributes (such as feelings/intentions)
*Irreversibility*: Inability to mentally undo something (e.g., pouring water into a smaller glass)
*Centration*: Tendency to focus on one aspect of a subject at a time (e.g., mom cannot be both my mom and a daughter to grandma)

3) Concrete Operational Stage: (age 7-11); child can operate on real or imagined concrete objects.
*Operational Thought*: Egocentric thought is replaced with operational thought. Children can use logical thought to serialize objects (e.g., by size, color). Children are able to reason and follow rules and regulations
*Conservation*: Even though shape and form might change, objects still conserve other characteristics

4) Formal Operational Stage: (age 11- end of adolescence); ability to apply operations to abstract concepts. Children are capable of hypothetical thinking and deductive reasoning.
*Metacognition*: ability to think about their thinking, and to explore personal values and compare them with others. (Some people never get to this stage).
Attachment relationship begins at birth and becomes increasingly important in the second half of the first year (when stranger and separation anxiety appear)

At age 1, the relationship can be measured by the "Strange Situation Procedure"

4 Levels of Attachment (first 3 are Ainsworth's):

1) Secure Attachment: 65% of babies, are warm and responsive. When exposed to the stranger, these infants seek closeness and contact with the mother, may show moderate distress w/ separation, and greet mother with enthusiasm when she returns.
Parenting style: sensitive and responsive

2) Avoidant Attachment: 20% of babies, do not seek closeness and contact with mother, treat mother like a stranger, rarely cry when she leaves, ignore her on her return. may prefer the stranger over the mother.
Parenting style: aloof/distant OR intrusive/overstimulating

3) Ambivalent (Resistant) Attachment: 10% of babies, are clingy and become upset when mother leaves room. Babies are happy to reestablish contact, but show their ambivalence by then resisting the mother's comforting behaviors (e.g., cry, kick, squirm to get away). Ambivalent babies do little exploring and appear angry at mother and stranger.
Parenting style: inconsistent and insensitive

3) Disorganized-Disoriented Attachment: Least secure pattern of attachment, no clear strategy in dealing iwth the mother (may be unresponsive, may avoid or resist the mother when she returns, may freeze/stop moving when she comes near).
MOST striking characteristic: Exhibit FEAR and CONFUSION toward their mothers.
Parenting style: abusive parent or abuse witnessed in home


Research on Secure Attached Babies = stronger self-efficacy, autonomous function, neither victims or victimizers in school
1) Authoritarian: Parents are demanding, controlling, threatening, punishing, more detached, less warm
Children are more: moody, irritable, discontented, withdrawn, distrustful, and aggressive, have more behavior disorders
Parent = "conflict-irritable"; Children = "conflict-irritable"

2) Permissive:
Parents value self-expression, self-regulation, are permissive-indifferent, or permissive-indulgent

Permissive-indifferent parents: set few limits, provide little monitorying, detached/uninvolved
Children: poor self-control, demanding, minimally compliant, poor interpersonal skills

Permissive-indulgent parents: loving and emotionally available, set few limits/demands/controls
Children: impulsive, immature, out of control
Parent = "impulsive"; child = "impulsive-aggressive"

3) Authoritative: Parents are caring and emotionally available, firm/fair/reasonable, set appropriate limits, provide structure and reasonable expectations
Children: Competent, confident, independent, cooperative, at ease in social situations
Parent: "energetic-friendly"; children: "energetic-friendly-self-reliant"

Criticisms:
- Parenting style may be a reaction by the parent to the child's innate temperament rather than an influence on the child's behavior

- Cross-cultural research shows that children are influenced by culture and perceive parenting styles differently (e.g., a Korean child will view authoritarian parent as loving and concerned)
Perception of warmth vs. rejection = protective factor
- Across cultures, parental rejection and hostility - more behavior problems, interpersonal problems, psychological problems