Helps pick up and put away toys. Enjoys being held and read to. Often imitates adult actions in play. Enjoys adult attention; likes to know that an adult is near; gives hugs and kisses.
Nature versus nurture Although developmental change runs parallel with chronological age,  age itself cannot cause development. Environmental factors affecting development may include both diet and disease exposure, as well as social, emotional, and cognitive experiences.
Plasticity of this type can occur throughout the lifespan and may involve many kinds of behavior, including some emotional reactions. Genetic-environmental correlations are circumstances in which genetic factors make certain experiences more likely to occur. In all of these cases, it becomes difficult to know whether child characteristics were shaped by genetic factors, by experiences, or by a combination of the two.
What relevant aspects of the individual change over a period of time? What are the rate and speed of development? What are the mechanisms of development — what aspects of experience and heredity cause developmental change?
Are there typical individual differences in the relevant developmental changes? Are there population differences in this aspect of development for example, differences in the development of boys and of girls? Empirical research that attempts to answer these questions may follow a number of patterns.
Initially, observational research in naturalistic conditions may be needed to develop a narrative describing and defining an aspect of developmental change, such as changes in reflex reactions in the first year. Such studies examine the characteristics of children at different ages.
Some child development studies examine the effects of experience or heredity by comparing characteristics of different groups of children in a necessarily non-randomized design.
Child development stages Milestones are changes in specific physical and mental abilities such as walking and understanding language that mark the end of one developmental period and the beginning of another.
Studies of the accomplishment of many developmental tasks have established typical chronological ages associated with developmental milestones.
However, there is considerable variation in the achievement of milestones, even between children with developmental trajectories within the typical range.
Some milestones are more variable than others; for example, receptive speech indicators do not show much variation among children with typical hearing, but expressive speech milestones can be quite variable.
Prevention of and early intervention in developmental delay are significant topics in the study of child development. An example of a milestone would be eye-hand coordination, which includes a child's increasing ability to manipulate objects in a coordinated manner.
Increased knowledge of age-specific milestones allows parents and others to keep track of appropriate development. The Heckman's chart shows that the highest return of investment in education is maximum during the early years age 1 to 3 years old and decreases to a plateau during the school-aged years and adolescence.
Here are descriptions of the development of a number of physical and mental characteristics. As stature and weight increase, the individual's proportions also change, from the relatively large head and small torso and limbs of the neonateto the adult's relatively small head and long torso and limbs.
Speed and pattern[ edit ] The speed of physical growth is rapid in the months after birth, then slows, so birth weight is doubled in the first four months, tripled by age 12 months, but not quadrupled until 24 months.
At birth, head size is already relatively near to that of an adult, but the lower parts of the body are much smaller than adult size. In the course of development, then, the head grows relatively little, and torso and limbs undergo a great deal of growth.
However, genetic factors can produce the maximum growth only if environmental conditions are adequate.
Poor nutrition and frequent injury and disease can reduce the individual's adult stature, but the best environment cannot cause growth to a greater stature than is determined by heredity.
Some of these differences are due to family genetic factors, others to environmental factors, but at some points in development they may be strongly influenced by individual differences in reproductive maturation. Motor[ edit ] A child learning to walk Abilities for physical movement change through childhood from the largely reflexive unlearned, involuntary movement patterns of the young infant to the highly skilled voluntary movements characteristic of later childhood and adolescence.
Definition[ edit ] "Motor learning refers to the increasing spatial and temporal accuracy of movements with practice". Speed and pattern[ edit ] The speed of motor development is rapid in early life, as many of the reflexes of the newborn alter or disappear within the first year, and slows later.
Like physical growth, motor development shows predictable patterns of cephalocaudal head to foot and proximodistal torso to extremities development, with movements at the head and in the more central areas coming under control before those of the lower part of the body or the hands and feet.
Types of movement develop in stage-like sequences;  for example, locomotion at 6—8 months involves creeping on all fours, then proceeds to pulling to stand, "cruising" while holding on to an object, walking while holding an adult's hand, and finally walking independently.
The dorsolateral frontal cortex is responsible for strategic processing. The parietal cortex is important in controlling perceptual-motor integration and the basal ganglia and supplementary motor cortex are responsible for motor sequences.
Intra-limb correlations, like the strong relationship and distance between hip and knee joints, were studied and proved to affect the way an infant will walk.
There are also bigger genetic factors like the tendency to use the left or right side of the body more, predicting the dominant hand early. Sample t-tests proved that there was a significant difference between both sides at 18 weeks for girls and the right side was considered to be more dominant Piek et al.
Some factors, like the fact that boys tend to have larger and longer arms are biological constraints that we cannot control, yet have an influence for example, on when an infant will reach sufficiently. Overall, there are sociological factors and genetic factors that influence motor development.Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye bye” are called developmental milestones.
Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, . During this earliest stage of cognitive development, infants and toddlers acquire knowledge through sensory experiences and manipulating objects. A child's entire experience at the earliest period of this stage occurs through basic reflexes, senses, and motor responses.
Child development stages are the theoretical milestones of child development, some of which are asserted in nativist theories. This article discusses the most widely accepted developmental stages in children. There exists a wide variation in terms of what is considered "normal," caused by variation in genetic, cognitive, physical, family.
About the Program. It is the mission of the Child Development Program at Wallace State Community College to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to become successful caregivers and administrators in early child care and education programs.
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