Middle Childhood:Physical Development With thanks to Cindy Karlson
Growth Patterns • Middle childhood: 6 to 12 years • Height & Weight • Boys and girls grow about 2 inches a year • Adolescent growth spurt • Average weight gain is 5 to 7 pounds per year • Individual differences are normal in middle childhood • Weight may vary by 30 to 35 pounds
Nutrition • 4 to 6 year olds need 1,800 calories • 7 to 10 years olds need 2,000 calories • Recommended: fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, whole grains • Limit: fats, sugars, and starches • Nutrition at schools.
Nutrition • SES and nutrition • Low SES is related to higher intake of fats and fast foods • Middle SES is related to limited intake of fast foods and carbonated drinks
Gender Differences • Boys are slightly taller and heavier than girls through 9 or 10 • Girls then begin adolescent growth spurt • Boys begins adolescent growth spurt at age 13 or 14 • Muscular strength increases for both girls and boys • Around age 11 boys begin to develop more muscle tissue than girls.
Childhood Obesity • Definition of obesity: body weight in excess of 20% of norm • Obesity is the second leading cause of death in the US • 60% of American adults are overweight • 30% of American children are overweight, while 16% are obese • 35-40% of African American and Hispanic American children are overweight, while 24% of AA and HA children are obese • Despite emphasis on fitness and health, obesity has increased across ages, races, and genders • Most overweight children become overweight adults • 40% of normal weight children become obese adults.
Childhood Obesity • Research suggests that overweight children are often rejected by peers • Perform poorly in sports • Tend to like their bodies less than children of normal weight • More likely to be depressed and anxious than peers of normal weight • Hypertension, Type II diabetes, asthma, sleeping problems are all associated with obesity.
Causes of Obesity • Heredity • Burn calories vs. turn extra calories into fat • Identical twins • Inherited rate of matabolism • Adipose tissue (fat cells) • Children who have more adipose tissue tend to become hungry quicker, even though they are the same weight • Modeling by parents • Exercise habits • Encourage overeating • wrong foods • Stressors and emotional reactions promote overeating.
Causes of Obesity Cont. • PE taken out of schools • Wrong food in schools • Role of TV: • 25% of kids watch 4+ hrs a day • Kids who watch TV more than 25 hours a week are more overweight • Consumption of snack foods • Commercials promoting eating junk food • Sedentary activity.
Daily Activities • 4 hours of TV = ¼ of waking hours
Treating Childhood Obesity • 1. Proportion sizes, 2. food in schools, 3. increase PE in schools, 4. reduce TV hours, 5. increase exercise, 6. proper nutrition • Congressional Bills: • Formation of a Congressional Council on Childhood Obesity • Goal to encourage every elementary school and middle school to develop and implement a plan to reduce obesity, promote improved nutrition, and increase physical activity • Bariatric & Gastric Bypass Surgery • Am. Obesity Association: http://www.obesity.org.
Exercise & Fitness • Exercise reduces risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer • Psychological benefits: better self-image, better coping skills • Cardiac and muscular fitness is developed by participation in continuous exercise, such as running, walking, swimming, bicycling, or jumping rope • Nearly 2/3 of American children fail to meet the standards set by the President’s Council of Physical Fitness • Strength • Flexibility • Cardiovascular Endurance.
Childhood Disabilities • Intellectual Functioning • Mental retardation • Learning Disabilities • Dyslexia (reading disability) • Dyscalculia (mathematics disability) • Disorder of written expression • Speech disorders • Articulation disorder • Voice disorders • Fluency disorders • Physical disabilities • Visual impairment • Hearing impairment • Paralysis • Social and Emotional Disorders • Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity disorder • Autism • Conduct disorder • Childhood depression • Childhood anxiety.
Learning Disabilities • A learning disability is characterizes by inadequate development of specific academic, language, and speech skills • Dyslexia: a reading disorder characterized by problems such as letter reversals, mirror reading, slow reading, and reduced comprehension • Estimated to affect 5% to 17.5% of American children • More common in boys than girls.
Causes of Dyslexia • Genetic factors • 25-60% of children who have dyslexia, have one parent who also has dyslexia • 40% of siblings of children with dyslexia also have dyslexia • “Faulty wiring” in left side of brain • Angular gyrus: translates visual input into audio information.
Treating Dyslexia • Early treatment focuses on remediation • Structured exercises to help kids become aware of how to blend sounds to form words • Identifying word pairs that rhyme and don’t rhyme • Combining modalities such as vision & hearing • More recent treatment focuses on accommodation • More time to take tests
ADHD • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder • Child shows developmentally inappropriate or excessive inattention, impulsivity and/or hyperactivity • Onset occurs by age 7 • Behavior pattern must have persisted at least 6 months • Impairs ability to function in school • Difficulty getting along with others • Disruptive and non-compliant behavior often elicits punishment • More common in boys than girls
ADHD • Prevalence is 3-7% of school age children • Diagnosed by history, self-report, and observation from significant others • Deficits in executive functioning in those who present with hyperactivity and impulsivity • Inability to self-monitor and self-control • Some go on to develop Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD).
Challenges of ADHD • Organizational problems • Problems with Transitions • Acting as if rules don’t apply to them • Adopting negative attitudes out of frustration • Experiencing isolation from peers • Poor grades, different learning styles • Impulsive behavior • Difficulty sustaining attention • Disruption of sleep or apitite.
Causes of ADHD • Runs in families • Co-exist with anxiety, depression and tic disorders • Less blood flow to the frontal lobes • Defect in thyroid system or RAS • Encephalitis • Family history alcoholism, smoking, depression • Frequent early ear infections as a marker.
Treatment of ADHD • Combination of medication and behavioral therapy • Stimulants are most common medication • Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta , Dexedrin and Strattera • Behavioral interventions aimed at increasing structure at home and school • Parents and teachers are active participants • E.g.) “chunking” assignments • E.g.) cues to promote self-awareness • Parent training, family therapy, support groups • Some children outgrow ADHD • 50% to 65% of children with ADHD continue to have symptoms into adulthood.
Education for Children with Disabilities • Should children with learning disabilities be placed in regular classrooms? • Segregated classes • Mainstreaming: children with disabilities are placed in classrooms that have been adapted to fit their needs • Intended to counter negative effects of special needs classes • 40% of day spent in regular classrooms • Research findings are mixed • High functioning • Lower functioning..