Chapter 7 Physical & Cognitive Development in Early Childhood
Bodily Growth and Change • Around age 3, children lose ‘baby roundness’ • Limbs lengthen, height increases • Cartilage turns to bone faster
Rapid growth between 3-6 Nutrition • Obesity, malnutrition, oral health Sleep • Approximately 11 hours • Nightmares: approximately 60% will experience at some point. Usually due to staying up too late, eating heavily before bedtime, overexcitement (tv program)
Sleep disturbances (nightmares/terrors, sleep walking) may be caused by: • accidental activation of the brain’s motor control system • Incomplete arousal from deep sleep • Disordered breathing • Restless leg syndrome • Heredity
Bed wetting Ends when 3-5 Enuresis: repeated urination in clothing or bed, usually at night.
Motor skills Gross motor skills: running, jumping, involve large muscles. Development of the sensory and motor areas of the cerebral cortex help with coordination between what they want to do and what they can do Fine motor skills: buttoning a shirt, drawing, involve eye-hand coordination and small-muscle coordination All development may be positively or negatively impacted by the environment and by toxic agents.
Cognitive Development- Piaget Preoperational Stage (ages 2 to 7; 18 months to 8 years old) • The intuitive child • Children can use symbols and words to think • Intuitive problem solving, but thinking limited by rigidity, centrism, and egocentrism Understand that things have identities that are stable, unchanging • Understanding of cause and effect • Ability to classify • Understanding of numbers • Empathy • Theory of mind (aware of mental activity)
Two stages of the Preoperational Stage: • Preconceptual Stage (2-4 years) Begins to symbolize and develop ability to internalize objects and events, develop preconcepts. (e.g., the Santa they saw is the one and only Santa; recognize birds, but not types of birds)
Two types of reasoning: syncratic and transductive. Syncratic: how preschoolers tend to sort and classify objects; according to a limited set of criteria. (e.g., the boat goes with other boats because they are boats; this glove goes with the boats because they are both green; this block goes with the boat because they are blocks and fit onto the deck of the boat).
Two types of reasoning: syncratic and transductive. Transductive reasoning: involves drawing a reference about the relationship between two objects based on a single attribute. Generally leads to wrong conclusions. (e.g., if A has four legs and B has four legs, then A must be B and vice versa). Animism: the magical belief that inanimate objects have thoughts, feelings, and motives. Magical thinking: take rhymes/stories seriously (Rain, rain, go away; Step on a crack and break your mother’s back).
Intuitive stage (4-7 years); centers on one aspect at a time, egocentrism. Beliefs are generally based on what they sense to be true rather than on what logic or rational thought would dictate. (e.g., recalling what color bead was first and last in a tube, even if reversing the tube. Unable at this stage to use logical operations (e.g., if tube turned 29 ½ times, which bead on top? Must be able to count number of times tube turned with recalling what color was on top, etc.). Unable to understand concept of reversibility.
From action to symbol. Can use images and symbols, but lacks logical abilities. Object permanence. Deferred imitation occurs. Better grasp of symbols. Acquisition of language is a major achievement here. Another major achievement is Intuition. Can look at a problem and quickly deduce the solution. Applies trial and error, applying one scheme after another until one works.
Egocentrism: unable to take role of another person or view the world from other vantage points. Does not know yet that others have different wants, needs, and perspectives. Precausal reasoning: the inability to distinguish between psychological and physical causes, between subjective experiences and objective events. E.g., convinced that dreams are real. Centering: inability to consider more than one dimension at a time. Also, seeing is believing: appearance vs. reality. Only focus on one aspect at a time.
SUMMARY • Beginning of organized language and symbolic thought • Child begins to perceive language as a tool to get needs met • Much of child’s language is egocentric-they talk to self and do not listen to other children • Child does not use logical thinking; as a result, cannot reason by implication • Child’s reasoning is transductive reasoning: reasoning from a particular idea to a particular idea without logically connecting them
Pretend Play Deferred imitation: based on mental representation of previously viewed event Pretend play: fantasy/imaginary play, make object represent or symbolize something else. Language: uses system of symbols to communicate Conservation Cannot yet grasp this concept (Two things remain equal even if appearance changes)
Distinguishing between Appearance and Reality Age 5-6 What seems to be and what is (e.g., is the cookie monster (costumed person) really the cookie monster? Distinguishing between Fantasy & Reality 18 months-3, distinguish between real and imagined events magical or wishful thinking of age 3 and older does not seem to stem from confusion between fantasy and reality
Influencing individual differences in cognitive development • Rating children high on social skills/attitude • Talk the child hears: about other’s mental states • Encourage pretend play helps assume other’s perspectives • Talk about how others feel in a story: earlier empathy development • Bilingual children, speak/hear more than one language at home, do better on theory of the mind activities/ understand that different people have different perspectives/more aware of others mental states as trying to match their language with anothers’/better attentional control
Memory development • Encoding: putting information into folder; attaches code or label • Storage: putting the folder into a file cabinet • Retrieval: accessing the information when needed • Sensory memory: temp holding tank; without processing, will loose information • Working memory: when information being encoded or retrieved, in working memory; trying to remember, understand, think about. Partly in prefrontal cortex.
Memory development • Central executive: helps encode and store information into long-term memory. • Recognition: ability to identify something previously encountered • Recall: ability to reproduce knowledge from memory
Forming childhood memories Generic memory: begins approximately age 2; produces script, repeated event without time or place. Episodic memory: awareness of having experienced a particular event that occurred at a specific time and place. For the young, these are temporary unless recalls numerous times to place into long-term memory.
Autobiographical memory: long-term recall about personal facts and events Intelligence Assess by intelligence tests: Stanford-Binet (ages 2+): Provides full scale IQ, Verbal and nonverbal IQ, on five cognitive dimensions Wechsler tests: 2½+; measures verbal and nonverbal fluid reasoning, receptive versus expressive vocabulary, processing speed. Best for special populations.
IQ Impacted by Factors • Primarily genetic • Temperament • Social and emotional maturity • Ease of testing situation • Preliteracy and literacy skills • Socioeconomic status • Ethnicity and culture • Match between cognitive style and tasks
Vygotsky Children learned by internalizing the results of interactions with adults Zone of proximal development (ZPD)- gap between what they are already able to do and what they are not quite ready to accomplish alone Scaffolding: temporary support that adults give to do a task until child can do it alone. Helps guide cognitive processes. Help children take responsibility for learning. Guided Participation: helping child do something- doing with the child.
Language At age 3= 1,000 words At age 6= 2,600 words and comprehends 20,000+ Fast mapping: ability to pick up the approximately meaning of a new word after hearing it once/twice.
Pragmatics and social speech Pragmatics: practical knowledge of how to use language to communicate Social speech: speech intended to be understood by a listener Private speech: talking aloud to oneself with no intent to communicate with others Common in childhood 20-50% of what a 4-10y/o says falls here Piaget: sign of emotional immaturity; egocentric; do not distinguish between words and the actions they symbolize
Vygotsky: not egocentric; special form of communication with the self; important function between social speech and inner speech; increases during preschool and decreases early elementary school Some evidence that private speech aids in child’s self regulation- efforts to control their behavior