Vygotskys Sociocultural Theory

Vygotsky's theory emphasized the influence of culture, peers, and adults on the developing child. To understand this influence, Vygotsky proposed the ''zone of proximal development.'' This zone refers to the difference in a child's performance when she attempts a problem on her own compared with when an adult or older child provides assistance. Imagine that a child is having difficulty with writing letters, and with the help of an adult who writes out sample letters or helps the child trace...

The Number of Children in Custody Allocations

The exact number of children involved in custody allocations is not known. Reporting is not uniform, consistent, or comprehensive within and across states. Based on figures from the National Center for Health Statistics, at a divorce rate of 4.1 per 1,000 population in the United States in 1999 (amounting to 1.1 million divorces) and an average rate of 0.9 children per divorce decree, approximately one million children were affected by divorce. It should be noted, however, that divorce data do...

Birth Order And Spacing

Birth order is defined as the science or method of understanding the dynamics of an individual's place in the family. A large amount of research has been conducted on birth order, also known as ordinal birth position. Birth order has fascinated parents, physicians, and others for over one hundred years, in part because everyone is a participant. Everyone is born into a family and thus are affected, one way or another, by birth order position. In fact, the dynamics and persuasive influences...

Exercise and Fitness

Children seem to have an endless supply of energy. They are often highly active and are almost constantly playing. Play is any spontaneous activity used for the child's amusement. Exercise is more planned and structured. The allure of amusement for children can be a motivating tool to direct children's activities for the purpose of exercise. Exercise is used for the development of fitness, which comes in two primary forms, motor fitness and physical fitness. Motor fitness includes balance,...

Bayley Nancy 18991994

Nancy Bayley, an eminent developmental psychologist, made significant contributions to the measurement of infant intelligence and human development. Born in Dalles, Oregon, on September 28, 1899, she is best known for her work leading to the publication of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development in 1968 and the revised edition in 1993. Her career, spanning six decades, may have been influenced by her work on the world-renowned Berkeley Growth Study, a longitudinal study she initiated in 1928...

Asthma

Asthma is the most common chronic illness seen in childhood, affecting 5 to 15 percent of children in the United States, approximately 3 million children younger than eighteen years of age. One-third of these children have severe asthma. Over the last twenty-five years, there has been an increase in the prevalence of asthma. Although part of this may be attributed to physicians diagnosing asthma earlier in children, there still seems to be a real rise in the number of children worldwide with...

Children With Special Health Care Needs

Children with special health care needs include those with chronic illnesses (i.e., asthma, sickle cell anemia, diabetes), physical disabilities (i.e., cerebral palsy, spina bifida), and developmental emotional disabilities (i.e., autism, Down syndrome). As advances in health care have allowed medically fragile and or disabled children to live longer, attention has focused on understanding their unique ''developmental'' needs. The impact of an illness or disability on a child's cognitive,...

Cesarean Delivery

There are two ways that a baby can be born. The most common way is through the mother's birth canal. This is known as vaginal birth. The other way is by means of incisions made in the mother's abdominal wall and her uterus (womb). This method is called ce-sarean delivery, or cesarean birth. In the United States, about one out of every five births is by the ce-sarean method, although this proportion varies depending upon the year, the region of the country, and some other factors. In some South...

Epidemiology and Transmission

Since the early 1980s, HIV infection has emerged as a major health problem for children in the United States and many other parts of the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that in 2000 more than 431,000 people in the United States were living with HIV, and that approximately 5,575 of these individuals were children under the age of thirteen. The World Health Organization estimated in 2000 that about 1,600 children around the world were becoming newly infected...

Conduct Disorder

Conduct disorder is a pattern of behavior in which individuals consistently disregard and violate the rights of others. The specific types of behaviors are varied and can include physical violence, repeated lying, damaging property, and stealing. Conduct disorder is believed to have roots in family interaction early in development, although its full expression may not occur until adolescence. For example, many studies show that family members train each other to engage in conflictive and...

Epidemiological Factors

While the cause of SIDS remains elusive, multiple studies have documented consistent epidemiological factors associated with higher SIDS risks in some groups of infants. Risk factor categories include maternal and prenatal, neonatal (newborn), postneonatal, geographic, and race ethnicity groupings. Maternal and prenatal risk factors constitute a lengthy list of biological and environmental conditions. These include shorter interpregnancy interval, increased placental weight, low socioeconomic...

Head Start

Head Start was launched in 1965 as part of the Lyndon Johnson administration's ''war on poverty,'' with the goal of bridging the school-readiness gap that exists between disadvantaged and more privileged preschool children. The program calls for extensive involvement of parents, and it attempts to provide the children with better preschool skills. Since its inception, Head Start has been extensively researched, and studies have shown mixed results. The immediate positive effects on children's...

Conclusion

From these examples one might get the impression that social-cognitive reasoning in adolescence and beyond should be complex, logical, and rational. Research reviewed by Susan Fiske and Shelly Taylor demonstrates, however, that because of limited cognitive resources and motivational biases people may frequently become ''cognitive misers'' who expend as little deliberate mental effort as possible in social situations. As a result, social cognition in adulthood may be marked by numerous...

Friend Selection

Who is friends with whom For young children, proximity is a key factor in friend selection. Preschoolers tend to become friends with peers who are nearby physically as neighbors or playgroup members. Similarity in age is a major factor in friendship selection, and children tend to make friends with age-mates, particularly in Western societies, where schools are segregated by age. Another powerful factor in friend selection is gender girls tend to be friends with girls, and boys tend to be...

History and Background of Father Involvement

Interest in fathers and their role in their children's development have sustained researchers' attention off and on since the 1970s. Sociodemo-graphic, cultural, economic, and historical changes women's increasing labor force participation increased nonparental care for children increases in nonmarital childbearing and cohabitation and father absence in some families and increased father presence in others have greatly affected how families or ganize themselves. These changes have led to...

Infancy and the Preschool Years

In infancy and the preschool years amazing growth occurs in the child's capacity for self-control and self-regulation and in the internalization of standards for behavior. In his important book Emotional Development, Alan Sroufe noted that there is wide agreement among developmental psychologists about the role that a parent or caregiver plays in helping the child achieve self-control and self-regulation. The parent or caregiver helps the child develop her own self-regulation by soothing...

How Is ADHD Diagnosed

There is currently no single test that can be given to diagnose ADHD. Since some biological and psychological disorders can appear similar to ADHD, these should be considered and ruled out before a diagnosis of ADHD is made. Conditions such as stress- related anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant disorder, the effects of child abuse or neglect, or obsessive compulsive disorder may look like ADHD but require different treatments. A comprehensive evaluation is necessary to determine a...

Early Childhood

Children tend to be unpredictable, picky eaters during the early childhood phase of growth and development (one to four years of age). Parents should allow the child to explore new foods through touch, smell, and taste. It is normal to offer the child a new food five to ten times before he will try to eat it. A food that a child likes one day may not be one he likes the next day. Children may also eat a lot one day and very little the next. They usually eat just one or two foods per meal. This...

Milestones Of Development Overview

Milestones of development are major turning points in childhood that help organize or direct other aspects of a child's development. Milestones occur in every area of development physical and motor, social and emotional, and cognitive. Almost everyone experiences these environmental (e.g., nutrition and culture) factors. Not reaching a milestone or an extreme variation in timing may have an influence on the child's later development. One example of a physical milestone is the development of the...

Limitations Controversies and Future Directions

Despite all that is known about social development in the home and the peer context, there is still much to be learned about the bidirectional influences across these two contexts. The works of Ross Parke and Gary Ladd have illuminated some of the linkages from the home to the peer group. For instance, it is known that secure attachment is associated with peer acceptance and quality friendships, while insecure (avoidant or resistant) attachment is related to rejection, having fewer friends, and...

Adolescence

Grayson Holmbeck and his colleagues, also writing in Handbook of Parenting, noted that the amount of warmth and responsiveness in the relationship between parent and child continues to be important in predicting positive outcomes during the adolescent years and even into the adult years. Warm and responsive relationships between adolescents and parents are associated with a variety of positive outcomes, including self-esteem, identity formation, socially accepted behavior, better...

Middle Childhood

During middle childhood, regular food habits should be established. This includes eating three meals and two snacks every day. A variety of foods should be chosen with special attention to foods high in calcium (such as low-fat dairy products and dark green vegetables), and zinc and iron (such as low-fat animal products and fortified breakfast cereal). Over-consumption of foods high in fat (such as whole milk, table spreads, and cooking oil), saturated fat (full-fat dairy products, animal...

Injuries

Accidents, according to dictionary definitions, are events that happen by chance and are not predictable and therefore are not preventable. In contrast, from a public health perspective, injuries were first clearly conceptualized by William Haddon (1964) as damage done to the body as a result of often predictable and therefore preventable energy exchange. This energy exchange may be kinetic, thermal, or chemical. For example, kinetic energy can result in injury when someone falls, hits the...

Maternal Health and Child Health

Common sense as well as scientific evidence tells us that the health of women and the health of their children are closely related. Persistent infant health problems such as low birth weight and prematurity have been linked to maternal conditions that precede pregnancy, and may even be traced through previous generations in a woman's family. A woman in poor health who wants to become pregnant is more likely to experience infertility. Once she does become pregnant, she is less likely to have a...

Mechanism Pathophysiology

Current thinking regarding the mechanism of SIDS is focused on disordered regulation of the car-diorespiratory systems. The primary area of physiological regulation in humans is within the brain stem, which is located anatomically at the base of the brain. Abnormal findings on autopsy (as described in the above section), combined with clinical observations of abnormal regulatory control, support the view that delayed maturation or disruption of brain stem function results in the infant's lack...

Bibliography

Abnormal Shyness in Children.'' Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 43 (1993) 1069-1081. Buss, Arnold H., and Robert Plomin. Temperament Early Developing Personality Traits. Hillsdale, NJ Lawrence Erlbaum, 1984. Cole, Michael, and Sheila R. Cole. The Development of Children, 4th edition. New York Worth Publishers, 2000. Goldsmith, Hill H., Arnold H. Buss, Robert Plomin, Mary K. Rothbart, Alexander Thomas, Stella Chess, Robert A. Hinde, and Robert...

Pre Symbolic Productions in Hearing and in Deaf Infants

Cumulative research on pre-speech vocalizations clearly indicates that babbling is in fact structurally and functionally related to early speech. Locke argued in 1996 that when variegated babbling emerges, a consistent relation is identified between vocalizations and specific communicative functions (i.e., protest, question, and statement). At around age eighteen months, the child's phonological system is clearly shaped by the target language's phonetic characteristics, and at that time...

Learning Disabilities

It is estimated that 5 percent to 10 percent of schoolage children and adolescents have learning disabilities (LDs), with some estimates approaching 17 percent. LDs fall on a continuum and range in severity from subtle to marked impairment. A substantial number of learning-disabled students receive special education services. In 1975 the U.S. Congress enacted the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142), which was an educational bill of rights assuring children with disabilities a...

Criticalsensitive Periods

The concept of critical sensitive periods is of interest in discussions of the influence of biological and experiential factors during periods of developmental change. A critical or sensitive period is defined as a period when certain experiences are particularly important because they have a significant influence on later development. Let us begin our consideration of this concept with a case example that illustrates some of the significant developmental changes that occur during the period of...

Rubella

Rubella is the clinical manifestation of infection caused by the rubella virus, which was first isolated in 1962. The timing of infection before or after birth determines the two principal clinical syndromes. Infection in the postnatal period produces a relatively mild disease that is primarily notable for an erythematous rash (a rash caused by capillary congestion) and swollen lymph nodes. Infection during pregnancy can result in specific fetal anomalies defining the congenital rubella...

Social Class

Social class is a concept that has been discussed and argued about throughout the ages. Many different theories exist concerning a workable definition. The basis often used for describing social class comes from nineteenth-century German theorist Karl Marx. He believed in a three-class system consisting of capitalists, workers, and petty bourgeoisie. Since then, sociologists have provided new conceptualizations of social class. These conceptualizations include social class as more than just an...

Rural Children

The delivery of rural mental health services focuses on understanding and responding to emotional and behavioral needs of children in the 2,303 rural communities that, according to the United States Census Bureau, have fewer than 2,500 residents. The proportion of the rural population involved with farming has decreased markedly over the past fifty years, leading the young and better educated to migrate to urban settings. Also, more disabled persons tend to migrate to centers where more...

Reproductive Technologies

Reproductive technologies encompass a group of clinical laboratory procedures involving the extracor-poreal (occurring outside the body) manipulation of gametes (eggs and sperm) and developing embryos to assist in the achievement of fertilization, implantation, and pregnancy. Common procedures to assist fertilization include artificial insemination, in which sperm are physically introduced into the vagina or uterus to facilitate fertilization in vivo (within the body) in vitro fertilization, in...

S

Same-sex romantic relationships, 109 See also Mental disorders Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), 353 School vouchers, 353-354 School-age children development, 415-416 friendships, 157 gender-role development, 164 gender segregation, 164 maltreatment of, 79 memory, 258-259 nutrition, 285 parent-child relationships, 292 psychoanalytic theory, 415 reading, 343-344 sleeping patterns, 371 working mothers, 438 Schools and schooling moral development, 278 observational learning, 220 transitions in...

Sign Language

Sign languages are the principal means of communication among members of deaf communities, with most countries having their own distinct sign language. In the United States, American Sign Language (ASL) is the language typically used by persons who have grown up deaf. Sign languages have gained considerable attention outside of deaf communities through the use of signs to foster communication in minimally verbal hearing persons (e.g., children with autism) and with nonhuman primates. For...

Substance Abuse

Adolescent substance abuse and its resulting harms are major concerns of parents, policymakers, teachers, and public health officials. Nevertheless, experimentation with substances, particularly alcohol and tobacco, is progressively more common behavior from pre- to late adolescence. When adolescents try substances a few times, with peers, this experimentation is generally not associated with any long-term impairment of functioning. Experimentation is considered problematic when substance use...

Stress across Development

Research has suggested that children experience increasing stress as they move through adolescence. Some research has focused on the entrance into adolescence itself as one type of normative experience that accounts for higher levels of stress during this stage. This transition is characterized by both biologi cal challenges associated with puberty, as well as social challenges such as moving into middle school and developing cross-sex relationships. Moreover, there is an accumulation of other...

How Resiliency Works

Resiliency is the result of a complex interaction between risk factors and protective factors. A closer look at the risk factors reveals three main categories. One category includes life events that tend to trigger disorders such events include catastrophes, natural disasters, and other traumatic circumstances. Another category is chronic adversity in the home or neighborhood, which predisposes the child to vulnerability included in this category are poverty, violence, substance abuse, poor...

Moral Development

During the last half of the twentieth century, perceptions of increased school violence within the United States renewed public concern for children's moral development. The study of moral development includes the way individuals reason about morality, the emotions associated with morality, the actions or behavior demonstrating morality, and the socialization or teaching of morality. Morality is the level of agreement or disagreement with a system of moral rules or standards of right and wrong....

The Developmental Onset of Memory

The memory stores described above are assumed to be universal and present throughout life. Indeed, there is evidence that the capacity to store information in long-term memory begins even before birth. In a well-controlled investigation conducted by Anthony DeCasper and Melanie Spence, the researchers asked pregnant women to read aloud a Dr. Seuss story during the last six weeks of their pregnancies, a point in prenatal development at which fetuses can hear. Shortly after birth, the newborns'...

Placenta

The placenta is a disk-shaped organ that serves as the interface for maternal and fetal exchange of materials. It is formed early in pregnancy when the outer cell layer that envelops the developing embryo, the chorion, fuses with the uterine wall forming fingerlike projections called chorionic villi. Each villus, surrounded by a pool of maternal blood, contains a network of fetal capillaries through which nutrients and waste products are transferred (although there is no actual exchange of...

Physical Milestones

The list for physical development (Table 1) includes a number of familiar milestones for infants, most related to gaining control over their bodies so that they are able to move about on their own. The list of milestones for the preschool years will also be familiar. It is during this time that children become toilet trained and learn to use simple tools, such as forks and spoons. The first permanent teeth erupt around six years of age. Although children across the globe are typically weaned by...

Overview of Cognitive Development

There are many different types of changes that occur over the course of a child's development. In general, cognitive development refers to the changes over time in children's thinking, reasoning, use of language, problem solving, and learning. The field is vast and researchers across the world study many different aspects of children's thinking at different points in development. For example, some researchers are interested in changes during infancy, such as when a baby recognizes her...

Three Main Propositions of Attachment Theory

Bowlby's seminal three-volume series on attachment and loss and subsequent work by his student, Mary Dinsmore Salter Ainsworth, form the core of attachment theory. There are three main propositions. The first is that infants' emotional ties to their care-givers can be viewed from an evolutionary perspective. Consider, for example, that closeness with adults can be viewed as an adaptive strategy for children because it leads to protection from environmental hazards, such as predators. Throughout...

The Cesarean Operation

The cesarean operation, which usually takes from thirty to sixty minutes, begins with the administration of anesthesia by use of intravenous and inhaled anesthetic agents (general anesthesia) or the injection of anesthetic medications into the spinal canal (spinal anesthesia) or just outside of the spinal canal (epidu-ral anesthesia). The skin of the abdomen is cleansed with antiseptic solution and surgical drapes are placed to maintain a sterile operating field during the procedure. An...

American Sign Language

American Sign Language (ASL) is a manual language that involves the use of hand configurations, facial gestures, body posture, range, direction, and movement in space to exchange meaning between people. This language is primarily used by persons who are deaf and do not use speech to communicate. Once thought of as only ''pictures in the air,'' ASL is recognized as a true language with elaborate linguistic rules. ASL is used with young children who are deaf as a means of facilitating the natural...

Causes and Diagnosis

With regard to causes, research extends to family, genetic, and neuroanatomic bases, with most work being done in language and reading disabilities. There appears to be heritability in language and reading LDs, with similar LDs being found in 35 percent to 45 percent of first-degree relatives. Also, identical twins are more likely to have similar LDs than fraternal twins. Chromosomes 6 and 15 have been implicated frequently as possible genetic causes of LDs. Neuroimaging techniques, such as...

Developmental Changes in Social Cognitive Reasoning

A primary process in social-cognitive development involves distinguishing oneself from others. Infants express a sense of self-recognition and a rudimentary understanding that they exist independent from their mothers (e.g., showing distress when separated) within the first year of life. Subsequently, children come to understand that people are active agents with minds who think, plan, have intentions, pretend, may hold erroneous beliefs, are influenced by inner desires and motives, and the...

How to Use This Encyclopedia

The topics are organized alphabetically from A to Z. In addition, there are several other ways to locate information. First, there is an extensive subject index covering every topic mentioned in the Encyclopedia along with corresponding page numbers for that topic. This index is located in the back of the Encyclopedia. There are also cross-reference terms at the end of the entries. These terms refer to other articles that contain information about the topic. For example, at the end of...

Consequences of Adolescent Sexual Behavior

One sexual encounter can lead to pregnancy or an individual's sexually transmitted infection. AGI finds that every time a teenage woman has sex she has a 1 percent risk of contracting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a 30 percent risk of contracting genital herpes, and a 50 percent risk of contracting gonorrhea. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports that although adolescents (ages fifteen to nineteen) represent less than 16 percent of the population of reproductive...

Definition of Learning Disabilities

Despite federal regulations, the definition of learning disabilities is controversial. The U.S. government defines a specific learning disability as a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or use of spoken or written language, which may be manifest as an inability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematic calculations. While the definition could include the conditions of perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain...

Effects

The effects of social class can be felt anywhere. Almost every aspect of society is influenced in some manner by social class. The magazines one reads, the television shows one watches, and the clothes a person buys affect social class. School, work, religious, and home lives are also linked to the influence of social classes. Schools and the workplace are greatly influenced by social class. The look of employment is changing because workers can no longer expect to work their way up through a...

Helping Children with Death Experiences

When children feel that it is all right to talk about death, they will do so. Frequently their questions occur when there is a ''teachable moment,'' for instance, when the class pet hamster or the relative of a friend has died. This is the time for parents or other adults to be open and honest, and to be aware of the developmental level of the children's understanding. Honesty involves avoiding euphemisms such as ''death is like sleep or a long vacation'' clearly stating the facts about death...

Long Term Prognosis for Recovery

Severe nonorganic failure to thrive is a potentially fatal illness. Nutritional deprivation can lead to death from starvation or overwhelming infection due to a weakened immune system. With detection and intervention, infants can in some cases recover from the effects of their condition. Brain size as measured by head circumference may be permanently reduced, especially if the failure to thrive occurred in the first six months of life. During this time of its most rapid growth, the brain is...

Dilemmas for Parents

Parents work outside the home because they desire to be in the workforce or because they feel that they have financial needs. Lois Hoffman, in a 1974 study, found that children did better when parents were in their preferred situation (working outside the home or being home with the children) than when they were in their nonpreferred situation. Parents with the greatest financial needs but limited financial resources are often surprised to find that it actually costs more for the second person...

P

See also Play Social development Parasomnias, 371 Parent-child relationships, 291-294, 293, 297 adolescence, 10, 135-136 adolescent employment, 139 emotional development, 133-134 sibling relationships, 364-365 social development, 380 See also Fathers Mothers and motherhood Parent management training (PMT) of ADHD, 262 Parental consent for abortion, 2 Parental leave, 294-295 Parenting, 295-300, 298 children', 91 fathers' roles, 148-152 friendship, effects on, 157 Ginott and, 167-168 inductive...

Juvenile Delinquency

Juvenile delinquency refers to the violation of a criminal law by a juvenile. In most states a juvenile is anyone under age eighteen, but in some states a person is considered an adult at age sixteen or seventeen. If a juvenile has committed an act that would be a crime if committed by an adult, then the juvenile has committed juvenile delinquency. Moreover, juvenile delinquency includes acts that are legal for adults. These acts are called status offenses because they are illegal only for...

Influence of Parenting on Friendship

As children develop, they spend increasing amounts of time alone and with friends. Particularly during adolescence, there is a dramatic drop in the amount of time teens spend with their parents. Despite these changes in time allocation, research indicates that parents influence interactions with peers. Children and adolescents bring many qualities to their friendships that develop early in life as a result of socialization experiences in the family. Researchers find that children and...

Maturation

Arnold Gesell, a psychologist, pediatrician, and educator in the 1940s, was very interested in child development. From his numerous observations of children, Gesell formulated a theory known as maturation. This theory stated that developmental changes in a child's body or behavior are a result of the aging process rather than from learning, injury, illness, or some other life experience. Gesell's idea of maturation was rooted in the biological, physiological, and evolutionary sciences. As a...

Malnutrition

Malnutrition refers to any condition caused by excess or deficient food energy, protein, or nutrient intake, or by an imbalance of nutrients. Nutrient or energy deficiencies are classified as forms of undernutrition nutrient or energy excesses are forms of overnutri-tion. Malnutrition can take two forms primary, due to a lack, excess, or imbalance of a nutrient or nutrients in the diet and secondary, which occurs as a result of a disease or illness that affects dietary intake, nutrient needs,...

Parental Leave

Parental leave refers to the time taken off from work by employees to care for their children. The term is more inclusive than maternity or paternity leave in that it covers both mothers and fathers. By allowing either parent time off from work, employers offer families more options as to which parent will care for the child and which one will continue to be the wage earner. Prior to August of 1993, employers in the United States were not required to implement parental leave policies. And many...

Natural Childbirth

In natural childbirth, birth takes place with no medical intervention. Medical interventions during childbirth include giving anesthesia for pain giving other drugs such as Pitocin to speed up labor performing an episiotomy, in which the perineum or the area between a woman's vagina and anus is cut, ostensibly to reduce tearing in that area and attaching an electrode to the baby's scalp to monitor heart rate. In natural childbirth the idea is that the mother's body naturally knows what to do...

Prevention of Birth Defects

In the past ten years, there have been significant strides in understanding ways to prevent some birth defects. For example, a daily supplement to the diet of 500 micrograms of folic acid, a B vitamin, has been shown to prevent up to 70 percent of cases of neural tube defects. Neural tube defects, which include an-encephaly, spina bifida, and encephalocele, are serious and often lethal birth defects of the spine and central nervous system. The recognition that many of these birth defects can be...

Remaining Questions and Implications

Despite well-established linkages between stress and adjustment across development, the field of lifestress research in children is still in its infancy. Additional research is needed to address several unanswered questions concerning the role of stress in development and to help guide the design of appropriate interventions. For example, the premise underlying the majority of life-stress research is that exposure to certain environmental demands overwhelms children's coping abilities, thereby...

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is characterized by an intense emotional reaction on the part of a young child to the departure of a person with whom the child has established an emotional attachment. Signs of separation anxiety, such as crying when the caregiver prepares to leave, typically emerge around six to eight months when infants have formed a representation of their caretakers as reliable providers of comfort and security. Distress reactions peak around fourteen to twenty months at which time...

Risk Factors

There are many influences that can affect development. These influences are termed risk factors and are often divided into biological risk and environmental risk. However, it is recognized that there is often significant overlap and influence between the two categories. Biological and environmental stresses are interactive and together have an additive effect on developmental outcome. Therefore, infants with multiple risk factors typically have a greater risk of disability than infants with...

Suggestions for Parents in Stepfamilies

Children's and adolescents' adjustment in step-families can be encouraged several ways. First, parents can help children and adolescents adjust to stepfamilies by taking into account issues related to gender and age. The most successful stepfamilies have parents who are flexible and able to adjust to the varying demands that children's gender, age, and individual differences place on parents. Parents should have realistic expectations of new family relationships and should not expect close...

The Discrepancy Issue

The ''discrepancy issue'' has been established as the primary criterion for identifying children with LDs. Unfortunately, discrepancy formulae are controversial, potentially inaccurate, and inappropriate for detecting cognitive deficits. There are three types of discrepancy formulae. With an aptitude-achievement discrepancy, a disparity exists between a child's intellectual ability (as measured by an intelligence test) and his actual level of academic achievement (measured by an achievement...

Summary and Conclusions

Initially the young brain contains more components and connections than it will in adulthood, and the inputs it receives shape the elimination of this surplus. This provides a way in which individuals can develop in similar ways even if the plan of development is not encoded specifically in the human genome. Different areas of the brain develop at different times, and this is related to the development of their behavioral functions. The infant plays an active role in her own brain development...

Individual Siblings Temperaments

Personal characteristics of the children involved in a sibling relationship are important in determining the kind of relationship that they will have. One of the most thoroughly studied characteristics is temperament, which is defined as the style of behavior that a person uses when relating to other people or to the surrounding environment. It develops early in life, is at least partly determined by a person's genetic make up, and remains essentially the same across the lifespan. Although...

Causes of Birth Defects

Although the causes of most birth defects are unknown, many are attributable to a combination of factors. Some birth defects are the result of genetic determinants, such as an abnormality due to an inherited trait or a problem with a gene or chromosome. For instance, researchers have linked various physical malformations, metabolic abnormalities, certain vision and hearing losses, and other birth defects to specific genes that are inherited from one (or in rare cases, both) parent. Problems may...

The Impact of ADHD on Families

Children with ADHD may have significant impairments that can have a profound impact on their families. Children often forget what they have been told or defiantly oppose what is requested of them. They tend to be demanding, unpredictable, restless, quick tempered, forgetful, inconsistent in their school work, and socially immature. These experiences lead to increased levels of parental frustration. Many parents struggle with deciding on the best methods for disciplining their child. They may...

Sibling Relationships in the Family System

Siblings and the other members of the family are part of a system in which one person's behavior affects everyone else. Likewise, relationships between some family members can influence relationships between other members. For example, the relationship be tween a mother and father can affect the children's relationships with one another. Psychologists who study children's responses to conflict between their parents have found that the parents' anger at one another causes negative emotional...

Influences of Socialization

Although growing up in a violent community is associated with aggressive behavior, the degree to which this can be considered seriously pathological has been called into question by the results of some research. See also ANGER VIOLENCE Bibliography Aronson, E., T. D. Wilson, and R. M. Akert. Social Psychology. New York Longman, 1997. Baron R. A., and D. Byrne. Social Psychology Understanding Human Interaction, 5th edition. Newton, MA Allyn and Bacon, 1987. Betsch, T., and D. Dickenberger. ''Why...

Emotional Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood

There is a fair amount of consensus that distress, pleasure, anger, fear, and interest are among the earliest emotions experienced by infants, although exactly when these emotions appear is still debated. As infants develop, emotions become more differentiated. For example, the earliest smiles are reflexive and often occur during sleep. By six months, smiling is more sophisticated and social. It increasingly results from the interactions between infants and their care-givers. Crying is another...

Ear Infectionsotitis Media

Otitis media, commonly called an ear infection, is the most frequent illness of early childhood except for the common cold. Otitis media is an inflammation of the middle ear. There are two types (1) acute otitis media, an infection of the middle ear with accompanying fluid and (2) otitis media with effusion, in which the middle ear fluid is not infected. Fluid in the middle ear can persist for several weeks or months after an infection is gone. Otitis media is more common in boys, children from...

Historical Overview of Custody

What constitutes the ''child's best interests'' has been marked by great ideological shifts. Until the mid-nineteenth century, fathers were unequivocally favored in custody decisions and mothers had virtually no rights. Under English law, upon which U.S. law is based, children and their mothers were viewed as a man's property or ''chattel.'' Over the next hundred years, psychologists increasingly emphasized that mothers were biologically predisposed to be the better parent because they were...

Court Appointed Special Advocate Associate Program

The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program is a nationwide program that trains adults to be advocates for children who are in the judicial system. After a training period, which includes an overview of topics such as juvenile law, child development, and social work, adults interact with their children in and out of court and work with the children to ensure that their rights are being protected and their needs are being met. CASA started through the actions of a Seattle judge who...

Interactions between Stress and Development

A large body of evidence links a variety of stressors to poor psychological and physical health in children. For instance, cumulative and chronic stresses have been found to be associated with heightened emotional distress (e.g., anxiety, depression, low self-esteem), behavior problems (e.g., aggression, delinquency), and physical illness. Traumatic stressors, such as physical or sexual victimization, may lead to severe disturbances such as posttraumatic stress symptoms. Even stress ensuing...

Disruptive or Externalizing Behavior Disorders

The disruptive or externalizing disorders consist of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder. Because the latter two are both considered disruptive behavior disorders, they are typically considered together. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD has as its primary symptoms inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Research has shown that inattention symptoms tend to cluster apart from symptoms of impulsivity and...

Individuals With Disabilities Education

With bipartisan support, the 105th U.S. Congress and President Clinton signed into law on June 4, 1997, P.L. 105-76, the latest amendments to the IDEA. This reauthorized federal legislation is an education, early intervention, and civil rights law with the goal of ensuring an opportunity for all children and youth to learn and develop regardless of disability, from birth through age twenty-one. The law, which provides various types of financial assistance, consists of four parts Part A,...

Impact of Divorce on Children

Researchers have consistently found that children from divorced families score significantly lower on a variety of indexes of well-being compared to children from two-parent families. An analysis of ninety-two studies involving 13,000 children found, however, that the differences are small, ranging from .08 of a standard deviation for psychological adjustment (e.g., depression, anxiety) to .23 for conduct problems (e.g., aggression, delinquency). Intermediate-sized differences were found for...

Child Care

By the twenty-first century, most infants in the United States experienced some form of child care in their first year of life. This represented an enormous shift in how children in the United States were raised, a shift that led to concerns about whether infant child care disrupts mother-child attachment. Some have argued that infants experience daily separations as maternal rejection, which should lead to avoidance, while others have suggested that separations prevent mothers from having...

Definitions of Child Maltreatment

The phrase ''child abuse'' often immediately brings to mind the image of a child beaten black and blue by an angry parent or caregiver. This is merely one scenario and perhaps the easiest to contrive because one can see what has been done to the child. It sparks people's emotions and a desire to take action against the offending adult. In reality there are many faces of child abuse and many more acts that leave scars ''invisible'' to the naked eye. There is a tendency to ignore children who...

Cross Cultural Research

Because attachment theory is grounded in evolutionary biology, one of its core assumptions is that infant-caregiver attachment is a universal phenomenon. This assumption is controversial. At the very least, however, research from around the world supports the claim that all infants develop attachment relationships, secure or insecure, with their primary caregivers. Beyond this, there is considerable evidence that the number of children who develop a secure pattern of attachment is...

Homeless Children

Children who do not have a consistent, adequate nighttime residence are considered to be homeless. There are as many as 250,000 homeless children (birth to sixteen years of age) in the United States, including children who are living in shelters or ''doubled up'' with friends and relatives. Common causes of homelessness for families with children include poverty, lack of affordable housing, and domestic violence. The lack of a stable place to live can have severe effects Compared to housed...

Socioemotional Well Being

The self-esteem of African-American children and adolescents is reported to be equal to and oftentimes higher than that of European-American children and adolescents. During the grade school years, African-American children, compared to European-American children, report more positive attitudes about school and homework, perceive themselves to be more competent in reading and mathematics, hold higher expectations about their future performance in reading and mathematics courses, and are more...

Measuring Maternal Health

The most common indicator of maternal health used internationally is maternal mortality, usually measured as the ratio of deaths to women while pregnant or within forty-two days of termination of pregnancy per 100,000 live births. Deaths are usually included only if the cause is related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management. Maternal mortality is a rare event in the United States. However, the 1998 ratio of 7.1 deaths per 100,000 live births was higher than the ratio in many other...

The Changing Nature of Adoption

Although historically adoption typically involved the placement of a healthy, newborn, white infant with a middle class to upper middle class, infertile, white couple, the nature of adoption has changed dramatically. Beginning in the 1950s, the number of healthy, white infants available for adoption began to decline in a striking manner. Whereas approximately 20 percent of infants born to unmarried, white women were relinquished for adoption from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s, by 1995 the...

Antecedents of Father Involvement

There is an emerging body of research on the factors that predict positive father involvement. Father involvement is likely affected by multiple interacting systems operating over the life course, including a father's mental health, expectations, family relations, support networks, community and culture, the child's own characteristics, and even public policies. Paternal depression and aspects of personality have been found to predict the quality of father-infant attachment and interaction....

Freud Sigmund 18561939

Sigmund Freud was born Sigismund Schlomo Freud on May 6, 1856, in Freiburg, Moravia, which later became the Czech Republic. As the founder of modern psychoanalysis, Freud was to change the conceptions of human mental life by showing that many seemingly illogical, unconscious psychological processes ignored by contemporary conventional science are powerful influences shaping human beings across the lifespan, including day-to-day actions, attractions, and avoidances. Freud entered the University...

Gentle Birth Techniques

One way that the process of labor can be made easier for the expectant mother is the use of certain techniques often referred to as gentle births, such as the Lamaze and Dick-Read methods of childbirth. Both of these became very popular in the early 1970s. Grantly Dick-Read believed that pain during childbirth is not inevitable but is the result of fear passed on from mother to daughter over the generations. Dick-Read stressed that by educating the woman about the birth experience, the fear of...

Congenital Deformities

Congenital deformities include a broad range of physical abnormalities existing from birth, although some, such as scoliosis, may not manifest until later in life. The most common are craniofacial deformities, such as cleft lip or palate, and skeletal deformities, such as clubfoot or spina bifida. Certain chromosomal disorders such as Fragile X syndrome and Down syndrome also have associated physical abnormalities, as have substance-induced problems such as fetal alcohol syndrome. The impacts...

How Early Intervention Programs Work

Early intervention services and programs take many forms. The philosophy behind the delivery of these services is to serve the child and the family in the most natural setting. Many children are provided early intervention services in their home, a home child-care setting, a preschool setting, or a combination of these. Services can be provided on an individual basis or in a group, and good early intervention programs include a strong parental component that supports the family while giving the...

Shifting Reasons for Cesarean Delivery

Until 1970 cesarean births accounted for fewer than one in twenty births in the United States. The reason cesarean births were performed was largely for conditions that threatened the life of the mother. These conditions included uterine hemorrhage, hypertension of pregnancy, tuberculosis, diabetes, heart disease, and prolonged labor caused by disproportion between the size of the infant and the size of the birth canal. A small proportion of the cesarean births were performed because the baby...

Protective and Risk Factors

Although research consistently has documented problematic consequences of stress, all children do not respond to stress in the same way. Hence, it is critical to understand when stress is likely to impair psychological and physical well-being and when stress may contribute to less adverse, or even positive, outcomes. This issue has been addressed through efforts to identify characteristics of children and their environments that either heighten (risk factors) or attenuate (protective factors)...

Parental Perspectives

Although employment offers many learning opportunities, the most difficult task for young workers is managing the pressure. The pressure might be caused by tight job schedules, poor working environments, boring tasks, conflicts with other roles, and autocratic supervisors. All are great challenges to young people whose abilities and mentalities are still immature. Some parents want to protect their children from such pressures so they will not allow their children to work. Other parents do not...

Shyness

When an infant or toddler is confronted with strangers, either adults or children, an initial reaction of reticence and withdrawal is generally accepted and understood. Being cautious with strangers, animal or human, served for millions of years as a built-in safety device and was advantageous for survival. But from age three or four onward, most parents in modern societies like to see their children overcome their natural inhibitory tendencies soon after being introduced to other people....

The Effect of Experience on Brain Development

Once a baby is born, the external world can begin to influence the activity of neurons and thereby the pattern of brain development. According to Mark Johnson and his colleagues, for example, newborns less than one hour old tend to orient their heads and eyes to look at faces more often than many other complex patterns. This reaction is like a reflex and may well be controlled not by the cortex but by evolutio-narily older, subcortical parts of the brain. All of this staring at faces serves a...

Conclusions

Dating during the years of child development clearly affects both personal and social growth as the individual works to acquire skills related to interacting with others. While not without its challenges, the dating experience can provide positive feedback to adolescents as well as a sense of interpersonal attachment with their peers. Relationships gained through dating then prepare adolescents for continued emotional growth into adulthood. See also ADOLESCENCE SEXUAL ACTIVITY SOCIAL...