Define social development of a children
The Developmental Perspective
Consider your earlier years in life. Did you move through phases as you aged? Perhaps you had that 'awkward stage' around middle school. Or did you develop in a slow and continuous process? How will you change as you continue to age? Developmental psychologists study all of these questions to better understand the human experience from cradle to grave.
The developmental perspective explores three big questions:
- Is nature or nurture more important in the developmental process? That is, is our development shaped more by our genetics or our environment?
- Do we develop in stages or continually?
- How do we change throughout our lifespan? What elements remain stable (hopefully not the awkward middle school stage)?
The Developing Human
From our time in the womb, we are already at risk for factors that might affect our development. Teratogens are chemicals or viruses that can cross the placenta and harm the developing fetus. Alcohol is a teratogen that causes both physical and cognitive delays for babies born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Lower birth weight, birth defects, and problems with cognition can affect an FAS child's development throughout their lives.
Once a newborn enters the world, they begin a lifetime of learning. Even though newborns can't speak, they can already display mental processes related to behavior. Babies seem to prefer novel stimuli as evidenced by the amount of time they stare at new stimuli. Newborns show habituation, or a decrease in response to repeated exposure to a stimulus. Like so many adults and children, babies give more attention to something new.
Infancy and childhood are marked by major changes in motor development, cognitive development, social development, and maturation. Motor skills develop as infants follow a trajectory that leads from rolling over to sitting, from crawling to walking. Cognitive psychologists like Jean Piaget theorized that children develop through specific stages in cognitive development.
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