Life Span Development
Chapter 10
Methods in Developmental Psychology
Cross-Sectional Study
Study people of different ages at the same
point in time
 Advantages

Inexpensive
 Can be completed quickly
 Low attrition


Disadvantages
Different age groups are not necessarily much
alike
 Differences may be due to cohort differences
rather than age

Longitudinal Study
Study the same group of people over time
 Advantages

Detailed information about subjects
 Developmental changes can be studied in detail
 Eliminates cohort differences


Disadvantages
Expensive and time consuming
 Potential for high attrition
 Differences over time may be due to assessment
tools and not age

Biographical or Retrospective Study

Participant’s past is reconstructed through
interviews and other research about their
life

Advantages
Great detail about life of individual
 In-depth study of one person


Disadvantages
Recall of individual may not be accurate
 Can be expensive and time consuming

Prenatal Development
Period of time from conception to birth
 Embryo



Fetus


From about two weeks after conception to
three months after conception
Three months after conception to birth
Placenta
Connects fetus to mother
 Brings oxygen and nutrients
 Takes away wastes

Prenatal Development

Critical Period


Terotogens


Time when influences have major effect
Substances that can damage an embryo or
fetus
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Occurs in children of women who consume
large amounts of alcohol during pregnancy
 Symptoms include facial deformities, heart
defects, stunted growth, and cognitive
impairments

The Newborn Baby
Reflexes

Rooting


Sucking


Enables newborn babies to swallow liquids without
choking
Grasping


Newborn’s tendency to suck on objects placed in the
mouth
Swallowing


Baby turns its head toward something that brushes its
cheek and gropes around with mouth
Close fist around anything placed in their hand
Stepping

Stepping motions made by an infant when held upright
Temperament
Temperament refers to characteristic patterns of
emotional reactions and emotional self-regulation
 Thomas and Chess identified three basic types
of babies
 Easy

 Good-natured,
 Difficult
easy to care for, adaptable
 Moody
and intense, react to new situations
and people negatively and strongly
 Slow-to-warm-up
 Inactive
and slow to respond to new things,
and when they do react, it is mild
Temperament
 Kagan has added a fourth type
 Shy
Child
 Timid
and inhibited, fearful of anything new
or strange

Temperament may predict later disposition
Perceptual Abilities
 Vision
 Clear
for 8-10 inches
 Good vision by 6 months
 Depth
Perception
 Visual
 Other
 Ears
cliff research
Senses
are functional prior to birth
 Infants particularly tune in to human voices
 Taste and smell are fully functional
Infancy and Childhood
Physical Development
 Children
grow about 10 inches and
gain about 15 pounds in first year
 Growth occurs in spurts, as much as 1
inch overnight
 Growth slows during second year
Motor Development
 Developmental
Norms
 Ages
by which an average child achieves
various developmental milestones
 Maturation
 Automatic
biological unfolding of
development in an organism as a
function of passage of time
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
 Sensory-Motor
 Object
Stage
(birth to 2 years)
permanence
 Preoperational
Stage
(2-7 years)
 Egocentric
 Concrete
Operations
 Principles
 Formal
(7-11 years)
of conservation
Operations
 Understand
(11-15 years)
abstract ideas
Criticisms of Piaget's Theory
Many question assumption that there are
distinct stages in cognitive development
 Criticism of notion that infants do not
understand world
 Piaget may have underestimated influence
of social interaction in cognitive
development

Kohlberg’s
Stages of Moral Development
 Preconventional

“Good” behavior is mostly to avoid punishment
or seek reward
 Conventional

(preadolescence)
(adolescence)
Behavior is about pleasing others and, in later
adolescence, becoming a good citizen
 Postconventional

Emphasis is on abstract principles such as justice,
equality, and liberty
Criticisms of Kohlberg’s Theory
Research shows that many people never
progress past the conventional level
 Theory does not take cultural differences
into account
 Theory is considered by some to be sexist
in that girls often scored lower on tests of
morality

Language Development
 Babbling
 Make
the sounds of all languages
 Holophrases
 One
word is used to mean a whole
sentence
Theories of Language Development
Skinner theorized that language develops as
parents reward children for language usage
 Chomsky proposed the language acquisition
device



A neural mechanism for acquiring language
presumed to be “wired into” all humans
Bilingualism and the development of a
second language
Social Development
Parent-Child Relationships in Infancy
Development of Attachment
 Imprinting
 Tendency to follow the first moving thing seen
 Occurs in many species of animals
 Attachment
 Humans form a bond with those who care for
them in infancy
 Based upon interaction with caregiver
 Autonomy
 Sense of independence
 Socialization
 Process by which children learn appropriate
attitudes and behaviors
Social Development
Parent-Child Relationships in Childhood
Baumrind’s Parenting Styles
 Authoritarian
Tightly control children’s behavior and insist
on obedience
 Can produce children who have poor
communication skills, who are moody,
withdrawn, and distrustful

 Permissive-indifferent
Parents have too little control and often are
indifferent and neglectful
 Children tend to become overly dependent
and lack social skills and self-control

Baumrind’s Parenting Styles
 Permissive-Indulgent
 Parents are very attentive and supportive, but
do not set limits on behavior
 Children tend to be immature, disrespectful,
impulsive, and out of control
 Authoritative
 Parents provide firm structure, but are not
overly controlling
 Parents listen to their children’s opinions and
explain their decisions, bur are still clearly in
charge
 Children tend to become self-reliant and
socially responsible
Relationships With Other Children

Solitary play


Parallel play


Children first play by themselves
As they get older, children play side-by-side
with other children, but not interacting
Cooperative play

By about 3 or 3½, children begin playing with
others
Relationships With Other Children

Peer group
A network of same-aged friends and
acquaintances who give one another
emotional and social support
 When children start school, peers begin to
have greater influence


Nonshared environment

Unique aspects of the environment that are
experienced differently by siblings
Sex-Role Development

Gender identity
Knowledge of being a boy or girl
 Occurs by age 3


Gender constancy
Child realizes that gender cannot change
 Occurs by age 4 or 5

Sex-Role Development

Gender-role awareness


Gender stereotypes


Knowing appropriate behavior for each gender
Beliefs about presumed characteristics of each
gender
Sex-typed behavior
Socially defined ways to behave different for boys
and girls
 May be at least partly biological in origin

Adolescence
Physical Changes

Growth spurt


Begins about age 10½ in girls and about 12½
in boys
Sexual development

Puberty
 Onset

of sexual maturation
Menarche
 First
menstrual period for girls
Physical Changes
Early and late developers
 Adolescent sexual activity

Approximately ¾ of males and ½ of females
between 15 and 19 have had intercourse
 Average age for first intercourse is 16 for boys
and 17 for girls


Teenage pregnancy
Rate of teen pregnancy has fallen in the last 50
years
 Highest in U.S. of all industrialized nations

Cognitive Changes

Imaginary audience


Personal fable


Adolescent delusion that everyone else is
always focused on them
Delusion that they are unique and very
important
Invulnerability

Nothing can harm them
Personality and Social Development
Major occurrence in adolescence is identity
formation
 Forming an identity


Achievement
 Successfully

Foreclosure
 Settle

for identity others wish for them
Moratorium
 Explore

find identity
various identities
Diffusion
 Unable
to “find themselves”
Personality and Social Development

Relationships with peers


Adolescents often form cliques, or groups with
similar interests and strong mutual attachment
Relationships with parents

Adolescents test and question every rule and
guideline from parents
Some Problems of Adolescence
 Declines
in self-esteem
 Related
to appearance
 Satisfaction in appearance is related to
higher self-esteem
 Depression
 Rate
and suicide
of suicide among adolescents has
increased 600% since 1950, but has
leveled off in ’90s
 Suicide often related to depression, drug
abuse, and disruptive behaviors
Adulthood
Love, Partnerships, and Parenting

Forming partnerships


First major event of adulthood is forming and
maintaining close relationships
Parenthood
Having children alters dynamics of
relationships
 Marital satisfaction often declines after birth of
child

Marital Satisfaction
Other Issues

The World of Work


Cognitive Changes


Balancing career and family obligations is a
challenge
Thinking is more flexible and practical
Personality Changes
Less self-centered, better coping skills
 Some men and women have a midlife crisis (or
midlife transition)


The "Change of Life"

Menopause
Late Adulthood
Physical Changes
 In
late adulthood, physical deterioration
is inevitable
 A person’s response to these changes are
important
Social Development
 Independent
and satisfying lifestyles
 Retirement
 Most
people will stop working and face
challenges with that sudden change
 Sexual
behavior
 Research
shows that many older couples
continue to be sexually active
Cognitive Changes
 Research
has demonstrated that those
who continue to “exercise” their mental
abilities can delay mental decline
 Alzheimer’s
disease afflicts
approximately 10% of people over 65
and perhaps as many as 50% of those
over 85
Facing the End-of-Life
 Kubler-Ross’s
Stages of Dying
Denial
Anger
Bargaining
Depression
Acceptance
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