Developmental Psychology Case Study Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Human Behavior Theories

Developmental psychology entails the changes that occur to human beings and their lives. Originally, it was concerned with children and infants: the field's expansion currently covers the entire life span of children. This field focuses on a range of topics such as psycho-physiological processes including motor skills. It also entails cognitive development involving areas such as moral understanding, language acquisition, problem solving, identity formation, emotional development, self-concept, and conceptual understanding. Developmental psychology examines the extent of development through the stage-like development vs. gradual accumulation of knowledge, and the extent to which children learn or born with innate mental structures. This report endeavors to describe the psychological, biological and socio-development of Isagani aged five years old in terms of developmental milestones and neurobiology. This study uses various theories to elucidate the degree in which a child meets expectation of normal development. It will analyze the socio-cultural and environmental factors that play a role in the child's development. The report uses the psychodynamic theory to explain how a child's behavior is developed.

It is important to appreciate the fact that many factors like environment, personal characteristics, and social context affect either positively or negatively on the development. The way a child acts, learns, and speaks offers important clues about the child's development. Milestones in terms of development are things that most children can do after attaining a certain age. There are several milestones exhibited by children in terms of social and emotional, communication/language, cognitive development, physical/movement development. In adults, political behavior is viewed as inactive, active or reactive (See, 2006).

Ecological theory

Ecological theory states that family, work, and systems are microsystems consisting of face-to-face relationships. Interaction between persons may be negative or positive or may be reciprocal or unidirectional (Voydanoff, 2011).

Social and emotional development

In this stage, children exhibit several characteristics that are termed normal. First of all, children want to please friends, want to be like friends, are more likely to agree with rules and regulations. They show concern for others, are aware of gender, they can distinguish between what is real and what is a make-believe. In most cases, they show independence by visiting neighbors by themselves. They are sometimes demanding and very cooperative at times. Children like to act, dance and sing and finally show concern and sympathy for other people.

Language/communication

In normal development, children speak very clearly. They tell simple stories using full sentences. It is a normal characteristic for them to say a name whilst addressing and using the future tense in their sentence structures.

Cognitive development

This entails the manner in which children learn, think, and solve problems. They can count to ten or more things. They can draw a person and print some letters or numbers. They can copy triangles or other geometrical shapes and know about things that are used on a daily basis such as food and money.

Movement or physical development

Normal children exhibit physical characteristics such as standing on one foot for one second or longer may be able to hop and skip; they can be able to do a somersault. Besides, they can use a spoon and fork and sometimes a table knife. They can use toilets on their own (Milton et al., 2004).

Timeline of childhood milestones exhibited by Isagani

For the first month of his birth, he slept an average of 12-16hrs a day. He liked to suck his fingers and anything else that got close to his mouth. When he was hungry or wet he used to cry, and his mother was always there to change and feed him. After three months, he was turning his head when he heard his mother's voice. At six months, Isagani would smile at his parents when he saw them. He used to roll over at six months, making his parents happy. At the age of twelve months, expressed self-independence when he showed no anxiety when his mother would leave him.

At the age of 21 months, Isagani was able to touch his own nose for the first time. His father was always giving in to Isagani's demand. The child showed a lot of independence when he fed on Filipino spaghetti and climbed the car seat by himself. Alejandro bought his son a blue pair of transformers, which he insisted on wearing every single night. At the age of three years, Isagani learned to fly a kite on his own at the age of three and was able to communicate clearly to his father about it. At the age of four years, Isagani had learned to tie the trash bag on his own and took it to the dumpster every Friday morning. He learnt to lock the doors and claimed responsibility for doing so. Every night he would get up to go and open for his father.

Numerous psychiatrists and psychologists have identified various theories attempting to explain the stages of a child development. Some children may move through the stages by themselves. If a parent notices an abnormal development, they should contact their child's pediatrician. There are mainly five stages of child development. These stages are trust/mistrust, autonomy/doubt and shame, initiative/guilt, industry/inferiority and finally identity vs. role confusion.

Trust vs. Mistrust

Before the age of two years, the infant is focused on the chief caregiver, who is responsible for providing for his basic needs. If a child is regularly comforted, bathed and fed the child develops and learns a basic trust in the wider world. Rejecting the child or withholding care may lead to mistrust and conflicts. Isagani's mother was always there to feed and change him whenever he used to wet himself. The care she showed his son was healthy for his development.

Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt

The second stage occurs in two to three-year-olds. In this phase, children learn to control some basic functions and make simple choices like wearing, eating, and toileting. At this age, children seem irritable and willful. Parents are encouraged to provide age-appropriate options and encourage their children's attempts at self-control. According to research, children develop a sense of autonomy if encouraged to act within safe boundaries.

Initiative vs. Guilt

Children aged between three to five years are often curious about their surroundings and are highly imaginative. At this age, they begin to take charge of how they spend their leisure, often inventing a rich fantasy life and creative games. Parents must allow their children to face age-appropriate challenges. They should provide plenty of downtime for them in order to create fun for their children. Children who are dismissed or stifled tend to develop feelings that are of helplessness, and may feel embarrassed or guilty about their growing independence. At the age of three years, Isagani was able to fly a kite independently.

Industry vs. Inferiority

In the early school years, mainly six to eleven years, they are marked by numerous changes. Children at this stage face increasingly demanding requirements that are new in both social and schoolwork situations. This stage mainly focuses on a child's growing need to feel competent and efficient. Children who successfully navigate these challenges end up developing a strong sense of self-confidence. Those who fail to navigate these challenges lose their self-esteem or may feel inferior. Parents must not attempt to solve the problems for their children in case they are related and part of their development. In fact, parents should keep in mind that they are children and should remain supportive and open, proving a safe environment for their children to work through their feelings.

Identity vs. Role confusion

This mainly occurs through the teen years, between the ages of twelve to eighteen. These years are challenging for parents and teenagers. At this age, children are increasingly focused on developing some self and independent identity. They are particularly focused on where they fit in and how they appear to others. It is normal for teenagers to try different ways of behaving and different personalities. Parents should support their children's independence while at the same time setting age-appropriate boundaries. They should offer feedback and foster open dialogue with their children, but should avoid the tendency to set age-inappropriate and rules. Children who successfully make their way through this stage develop a strong understanding of themselves and others. This increases their self-confidence, which helps them make reasoned choices like adults.

Neurobiology

Research has confirmed the direct relationship between the early brain development and the development of babies and young children. Neuroscience confirms the existence of many vital factors influencing early childhood development. These factors include the first five years of a child's lifetime, exercise, and good nutrition is critical. The most important learning happens through nurturing relationships. Research shows that children learn through watching and being engaged. Relationships with siblings can provide experiences can make a significant impact in a child (Conger & Kramer, 2010).

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system. It provides compelling evidence showing that the experiences of a child affect the brain development and can have a long-term…

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