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Developmentalpsychology
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Developmentalpsychologyisthescientificstudyofhowandwhyhumanbeingsdevelopoverthecourse
oftheirlife.Originallyconcernedwithinfantsandchildren,thefieldhasexpandedtoincludeadolescence,
adultdevelopment,aging,andtheentirelifespan.Thisfieldexamineschangeacrossabroadrangeoftopics
including:motorskills,cognitivedevelopment,executivefunctions,moralunderstanding,language
acquisition,socialchange,personality,emotionaldevelopment,selfconceptandidentityformation.
Developmentalpsychologyexaminestheinfluencesofnatureandnurtureontheprocessofhuman
development,andprocessesofchangeincontextandacrosstime.Manyresearchersareinterestedinthe
interactionbetweenpersonalcharacteristics,theindividual'sbehaviorandenvironmentalfactors,including
socialcontextandthebuiltenvironment.Ongoingdebatesincludebiologicalessentialismvs.
neuroplasticityandstagesofdevelopmentvs.dynamicsystemsofdevelopment.
Developmentalpsychologyinvolvesarangeoffields,suchas,educationalpsychology,child
psychopathology,forensicdevelopmentalpsychology,childdevelopment,cognitivepsychology,ecological
psychology,andculturalpsychology.Influentialdevelopmentalpsychologistsfromthe20thcentury
includeUrieBronfenbrenner,ErikErikson,SigmundFreud,JeanPiaget,BarbaraRogoff,EstherThelen,
andLevVygotsky.

Contents
1 Historicalantecedents
2 Theories
2.1 Attachmenttheory
2.2 Constructivism
2.3 Ecologicalsystemstheory
2.4 Psychosexualdevelopment
2.5 Stagesofmoraldevelopment
2.6 Stagesofpsychosocialdevelopment
2.7 Theoriesofcognitivedevelopment
2.8 Stagesbasedonthemodelofhierarchicalcomplexity
2.9 Zoneofproximaldevelopment
2.10 Evolutionarydevelopmentalpsychology
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3 Natureandnurture
4 Mechanismsofdevelopment
5 Researchareas
5.1 Cognitivedevelopment
5.2 Socialandemotionaldevelopment
5.3 Physicaldevelopment
5.4 Memorydevelopment
6 Researchmethodsanddesigns
6.1 Mainresearchmethods
6.2 Researchdesigns
7 Lifestagesofpsychologicaldevelopment
7.1 Prenataldevelopment
7.2 Infancy
7.2.1 Infantperception
7.2.2 Language
7.2.3 Infantcognition:thePiagetianera
7.2.4 Recentfindingsininfantcognition
7.2.5 Criticalperiodsofdevelopment
7.2.6 Developmentaldelays
7.3 Toddlerhood
7.4 Childhood
7.5 Adolescence
7.6 Earlyadulthood
7.7 Middleadulthood
7.8 Oldage
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8 Parenting
8.1 Parentingstyles
8.2 Motherandfatherfactors
8.3 Divorce
9 Seealso
10 References
11 Furtherreading
11.1 Journals
12 Externallinks

Historicalantecedents
JohnB.WatsonandJeanJacquesRousseauaretypicallycitedasprovidingthefoundationsformodern
developmentalpsychology.[1]Inthemid18thcenturyJeanJacquesRousseaudescribedthreestagesof
development:infants(infancy),puer(childhood)andadolescenceinEmile:Or,OnEducation.Rousseau's
ideasweretakenupstronglybyeducatorsatthetime.
Inthelate19thcentury,psychologistsfamiliarwiththeevolutionarytheoryofDarwinbeganseekingan
evolutionarydescriptionofpsychologicaldevelopment[1]prominentherewasthepioneeringpsychologist
G.StanleyHall,[1]whoattemptedtocorrelateagesofchildhoodwithpreviousagesofmankind.James
MarkBaldwinwhowroteessaysontopicsthatincludedImitation:AChapterintheNaturalHistoryof
ConsciousnessandMentalDevelopmentintheChildandtheRace:MethodsandProcesses.Baldwinwas
heavilyinvolvedinthetheoryofdevelopmentalpsychology.[1]SigmundFreud,whoseconceptswere
developmental,hadasignificantimpactonpublicperceptions.[1]

Theories
Attachmenttheory
Attachmenttheory,originallydevelopedbyJohnBowlby,focusesontheimportanceofopen,intimate,
emotionallymeaningfulrelationships.Attachmentisdescribedasabiologicalsystemorpowerfulsurvival
impulsethatevolvedtoensurethesurvivaloftheinfant.Achildwhoisthreatenedorstressedwillmove
towardcaregiverswhocreateasenseofphysical,emotionalandpsychologicalsafetyfortheindividual.
Attachmentfeedsonbodycontactandfamiliarity.LaterMaryAinsworthdevelopedtheStrangeSituation
protocolandtheconceptofthesecurebase.

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Therearefourtypesofattachmentstyles:[2]secure,anxiousavoidant,anxiousresistant,[3]and
disorganized.[2]Secureattachmentisahealthyattachmentbetweentheinfantandthecaregiver.Itis
characterizedbytrust.Anxiousavoidantisaninsecureattachmentbetweenaninfantandacaregiver.This
ischaracterizedbytheinfant'sindifferencetowardthecaregiver.Anxiousresistantisaninsecure
attachmentbetweentheinfantandthecaregivercharacterizedbydistressfromtheinfantwhenseparated
andangerwhenreunited.[3]Disorganizedisanattachmentstylewithoutaconsistentpatternofresponses
uponreturnoftheparent.[2]
Achildcanbehinderedinitsnaturaltendencytoformattachments.Somebabiesareraisedwithoutthe
stimulationandattentionofaregularcaregiver,orlockedawayunderconditionsofabuseorextreme
neglect.Thepossibleshorttermeffectsofthisdeprivationareanger,despair,detachment,andtemporary
delayinintellectualdevelopment.Longtermeffectsincludeincreasedaggression,clingingbehavior,
detachment,psychosomaticdisorders,andanincreasedriskofdepressionasanadult.[4][5]
Attachmentstylecanimpacttherelationshipsofpeople.Attachmentisestablishedinearlychildhoodand
attachmentcontinuesinadulthood.Anexampleofsecureattachmentcontinuinginadulthoodwouldbe
whenthepersonfeelsconfidentandisabletomeettheirownneeds.Anexampleofanxiousattachment
duringadulthoodiswhentheadultchoosesapartnerwithanxiousavoidantattachment.[6]

Constructivism
Constructivismisaparadigminpsychologythatcharacterizeslearningasaprocessofactivelyconstructing
knowledge.Individualscreatemeaningforthemselvesormakesenseofnewinformationbyselecting,
organizing,andintegratinginformationwithotherknowledge,ofteninthecontextofsocialinteractions.
Constructivismcanoccurintwoways:individualandsocial.Individualconstructivismiswhenaperson
constructsknowledgethroughcognitiveprocessesoftheirownexperiencesratherthanbymemorizingfacts
providedbyothers.Socialconstructivismiswhenindividualsconstructknowledgethroughaninteraction
betweentheknowledgetheybringtoasituationandsocialorculturalexchangeswithinthatcontent.[7]
JeanPiaget,aSwissdevelopmentalpsychologist,proposedthatlearningisanactiveprocessbecause
childrenlearnthroughexperienceandmakemistakesandsolveproblems.Piagetproposedthatlearning
shouldbewholebyhelpingstudentsunderstandthatmeaningisconstructed.[8]

Ecologicalsystemstheory
Ecologicalsystemstheory,originallyformulatedbyUrieBronfenbrenner,specifiesfourtypesofnested
environmentalsystems,withbidirectionalinfluenceswithinandbetweenthesystems.Thefoursystemsare
microsystem,mesosystem,exosystem,andmacrosystem.Eachsystemcontainsroles,normsandrulesthat
canpowerfullyshapedevelopment.Microsystemisthedirectenvironmentinourlivessuchasourhome
andschool.Mesosystemishowrelationshipsconnecttothemicrosystem.Exosystemisalargersocial
systemwherethechildplaysnorole.Macrosystemreferstotheculturalvalues,customsandlawsof
society.[9]
Themicrosystemistheimmediateenvironmentsurroundingandinfluencingtheindividual(example:
schoolorthehomesetting).Themesosystemisthecombinationoftwomicrosystemsandhowthey
influenceeachother(example:siblingrelationshipsathomevs.peerrelationshipsatschool).The
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exosystemistheinteractionamongtwoormoresettingsthatareindirectly
linked(example:afather'sjobrequiringmoreovertimeendsup
influencinghisdaughter'sperformanceinschoolbecausehecannolonger
helpwithherhomework).Themacrosystemisbroadertakingintoaccount
socialeconomicstatus,culture,beliefs,customsandmorals(example:a
childfromawealthierfamilyseesapeerfromalesswealthyfamilyas
inferiorforthatreason).Lastly,thechronosystemreferstothe
chronologicalnatureoflifeeventsandhowtheyinteractandchangethe
individualandtheircircumstancesthroughtransition(example:amother
losingherownmothertoillnessandnolongerhavingthatsupportinher
life).[7]

Bronfenbrenner'secological
systemstheory

Sinceitspublicationin1979,Bronfenbrenner'smajorstatementofthis
theory,TheEcologyofHumanDevelopment[10]hashadwidespreadinfluenceonthewaypsychologistsand
othersapproachthestudyofhumanbeingsandtheirenvironments.Asaresultofthisconceptualizationof
development,theseenvironmentsfromthefamilytoeconomicandpoliticalstructureshavecometobe
viewedaspartofthelifecoursefromchildhoodthroughtoadulthood.[11]

Psychosexualdevelopment
SigmundFreudbelievedthatweallhadaconscious,preconscious,andunconsciouslevel.Intheconscious
weareawareofourmentalprocess.Thepreconsciousinvolvesinformationthat,thoughnotcurrentlyin
ourthoughts,canbebroughtintoconsciousness.Lastly,theunconsciousincludesmentalprocessesweare
unawareof.
Hebelievedthereistensionbetweentheconsciousandunconscious,becausetheconscioustriestohold
backwhattheunconscioustriestoexpress.Toexplainthishedevelopedthreepersonalitystructures:theid,
ego,andsuperego.Theid,themostprimitiveofthethree,functionsaccordingtothepleasureprinciple:
seekpleasureandavoidpain.[12]Thesuperegoplaysthecriticalandmoralizingroleandtheegoisthe
organized,realisticpartthatmediatesbetweenthedesiresoftheidandthesuperego.[13]
Basedonthis,heproposedfiveuniversalstagesofdevelopment,thateacharecharacterizedbythe
erogenouszonethatisthesourceofthechild'spsychosexualenergy.Thefirstistheoralstage,which
occursfrombirthto12monthsofage.Duringtheoralstage"thelibidoiscenteredinababy'smouth."The
babyisabletosuck.Thesecondistheanalstage,fromonetothreeyearsofage.Duringtheanalstage,the
childdefecatesfromtheanus.Thethirdisthephallicstage,whichoccursfromthreetofiveyearsofage
(mostofaperson'spersonalityformsbythisage).Duringthephallicstage,thechildisawareoftheirsexual
organs.Thefourthisthelatencystage,whichoccursfromagefiveuntilpuberty.Duringthelatencystage,
thechild'ssexualinterestsarerepressed.Stagefiveisthegenitalstage,whichtakesplacefrompuberty
untiladulthood.Duringthegenitalstage,pubertystartshappening.[14]

Stagesofmoraldevelopment
Piagetclaimedthatlogicandmoralitydevelopthroughconstructivestages.[15]ExpandingonPiaget'swork,
LawrenceKohlbergdeterminedthattheprocessofmoraldevelopmentwasprincipallyconcernedwith
justice,andthatitcontinuedthroughouttheindividual'slifetime.[16]
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Hesuggestedthreelevelsofmoralreasoningpreconventionalmoralreasoning,conventionalmoral
reasoning,andpostconventionalmoralreasoning.Preconventionalmoralreasoningistypicalofchildren
andischaracterizedbyreasoningthatisbasedonrewardsandpunishmentsassociatedwithdifferent
coursesofaction.Conventionalmoralreasonoccursduringlatechildhoodandearlyadolescenceandis
characterizedbyreasoningbasedonrulesandconventionsofsociety.Lastly,postconventionalmoral
reasoningisastageduringwhichtheindividualseessociety'srulesandconventionsasrelativeand
subjective,ratherthanasauthoritative.[3]
KohlbergusedtheHeinzDilemmatoapplytohisstagesofmoraldevelopment.TheHeinzDilemma
involvesHeinz'swifedyingfromcancerandHeinzhavingthedilemmatosavehiswifebystealingadrug.
Preconventionalmorality,conventionalmorality,andpostconventionalmoralityappliestoHeinz's
situation.[17]

Stagesofpsychosocialdevelopment
ErikEriksonreinterpretedFreud'spsychosexualstagesbyincorporatingthesocialaspectsofit.Hecameup
witheightstages,eachofwhichhastwocrisis(apositiveandanegative).Stageoneistrustversusmistrust,
whichoccursduringinfancy.Stagetwoisautonomyversusshameanddoubt,whichoccursduringearly
childhood.Stagethreeisinitiativeversusguilt,whichoccursduringplayage.Stagefourisindustryversus
inferiority,whichoccursduringschoolage.Stagefiveisidentityversusidentitydiffusion,whichoccurs
duringadolescence.Stagesixisintimacyversusisolationwhichoccursduringyoungadulthood.Stage
sevenisgenerativityversusselfabsorptionwhichoccursduringadulthood.Lastly,stageeightisintegrity
versusdespair,whichoccursinoldage.[12]
Eachstagebuildsuponthesuccessfulcompletionofearlierstages.Thechallengesofstagesnot
successfullycompletedmaybeexpectedtoreappearasproblemsinthefuture.However,masteryofastage
isnotrequiredtoadvancetothenextstage.[18]

Theoriesofcognitivedevelopment
JeanPiaget,aSwisstheorist,positedthatchildrenlearnbyactivelyconstructingknowledgethroughhands
onexperience.[19]Hesuggestedthattheadult'sroleinhelpingthechildlearnwastoprovideappropriate
materialsthatthechildcaninteractwithandusetoconstruct.HeusedSocraticquestioningtogetchildren
toreflectonwhattheyweredoing,andhetriedtogetthemtoseecontradictionsintheirexplanations.
Piagetbelievedthatintellectualdevelopmenttakesplacethroughaseriesofstages,whichhedescribedin
histheoryoncognitivedevelopment.Eachstageconsistsofstepsthechildmustmasterbeforemovingto
thenextstep.Hebelievedthatthesestagesarenotseparatefromoneanother,butratherthateachstage
buildsonthepreviousoneinacontinuouslearningprocess.Heproposedfourstages:sensorimotor,pre
operational,concreteoperational,andformaloperational.Thoughhedidnotbelievethesestagesoccurred
atanygivenage,manystudieshavedeterminedwhenthesecognitiveabilitiesshouldtakeplace.[7]

Stagesbasedonthemodelofhierarchicalcomplexity
MichaelCommonsenhancedandsimplifiedofInhelderandPiaget'sdevelopmentalandoffersastandard
methodofexaminingtheuniversalpatternofdevelopment.TheModelofHierarchicalComplexity(MHC)
isnotbasedontheassessmentofdomainspecificinformation,ItdividestheOrderofHierarchical
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ComplexityoftaskstobeaddressedfromtheStageperformanceonthosetasks.Stageistheorder
hierarchicalcomplexityofthetaskstheparticipant'ssuccessfullyaddresses.HeexpandedPiaget'soriginal
eightstage(countingthehalfstages)tofifteenstages.Thestagesare:0Calculatory1Sensory&Motor2
Circularsensorymotor3Sensorymotor4Nominal5Sentential6Preoperational7Primary8
Concrete9Abstract10Formal11Systematic12Metasystematic13Paradigmatic14Cross
paradigmatic15MetaCrossparadigmatic.Theorderofhierarchicalcomplexityoftaskspredictshow
difficulttheperformanceiswithaRrangingfrom0.9to0.98.
IntheMHC,therearethreemainaxiomsforanordertomeetinorderforthehigherordertaskto
coordinatethenextlowerordertask.AxiomsarerulesthatarefollowedtodeterminehowtheMHCorders
actionstoformahierarchy.Theseaxiomsare:a)definedintermsoftasksatthenextlowerorderof
hierarchicalcomplexitytaskactionb)definedasthehigherordertaskactionthatorganizestwoormore
lesscomplexactionsthatis,themorecomplexactionspecifiesthewayinwhichthelesscomplexactions
combinec)definedasthelowerordertaskactionshavetobecarriedoutnonarbitrarily.

Zoneofproximaldevelopment
LevVygotskywasaRussiantheoristfromtheSovietera,whopositedthatchildrenlearnthroughhandson
experienceandsocialinteractionswithmembersofhis/herculture.[20]UnlikePiaget,heclaimedthattimely
andsensitiveinterventionbyadultswhenachildisontheedgeoflearninganewtask(calledthe"zoneof
proximaldevelopment")couldhelpchildrenlearnnewtasks.Thisadultroleisoftenreferredtoasthe
skilled"master,"whereasthechildisconsideredthelearningapprenticethroughaneducationalprocess
oftentermed"cognitiveapprenticeship."MartinHillstatedthat"Theworldofrealitydoesnotapplytothe
mindofachild."Thistechniqueiscalled"scaffolding,"becauseitbuildsuponknowledgechildrenalready
havewithnewknowledgethatadultscanhelpthechildlearn.[21]Vygotskywasstronglyfocusedontherole
ofcultureindeterminingthechild'spatternofdevelopment,arguingthatdevelopmentmovesfromthe
socialleveltotheindividuallevel.[21]Inotherwords,Vygotskyclaimedthatpsychologyshouldfocuson
theprogressofhumanconsciousnessthroughtherelationshipofanindividualandtheirenvironment.[22]He
feltthatifscholarscontinuedtodisregardthisconnection,thenthisdisregardwouldinhibitthefull
comprehensionofthehumanconsciousness.[22]

Evolutionarydevelopmentalpsychology

Natureandnurture
Asignificantissueindevelopmentalpsychologyistherelationshipbetweeninnatenessandenvironmental
influenceinregardtoanyparticularaspectofdevelopment.Thisisoftenreferredtoas"natureandnurture"
ornativismversusempiricism.Anativistaccountofdevelopmentwouldarguethattheprocessesin
questionareinnate,thatis,theyarespecifiedbytheorganism'sgenes.
Anempiricistperspectivewouldarguethatthoseprocessesareacquiredininteractionwiththe
environment.Todaydevelopmentalpsychologistsrarelytakesuchpolarisedpositionswithregardtomost
aspectsofdevelopmentrathertheyinvestigate,amongmanyotherthings,therelationshipbetweeninnate
andenvironmentalinfluences.Oneofthewaysthisrelationshiphasbeenexploredinrecentyearsis
throughtheemergingfieldofevolutionarydevelopmentalpsychology.
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Oneareawherethisinnatenessdebatehasbeenprominentlyportrayedisinresearchonlanguage
acquisition.Amajorquestioninthisareaiswhetherornotcertainpropertiesofhumanlanguageare
specifiedgeneticallyorcanbeacquiredthroughlearning.Theempiricistpositionontheissueoflanguage
acquisitionsuggeststhatthelanguageinputprovidesthenecessaryinformationrequiredforlearningthe
structureoflanguageandthatinfantsacquirelanguagethroughaprocessofstatisticallearning.Fromthis
perspective,languagecanbeacquiredviagenerallearningmethodsthatalsoapplytootheraspectsof
development,suchasperceptuallearning.
Thenativistpositionarguesthattheinputfromlanguageistooimpoverishedforinfantsandchildrento
acquirethestructureoflanguage.LinguistNoamChomskyassertsthat,evidencedbythelackofsufficient
informationinthelanguageinput,thereisauniversalgrammarthatappliestoallhumanlanguagesandis
prespecified.Thishasledtotheideathatthereisaspecialcognitivemodulesuitedforlearninglanguage,
oftencalledthelanguageacquisitiondevice.Chomsky'scritiqueofthebehavioristmodeloflanguage
acquisitionisregardedbymanyasakeyturningpointinthedeclineintheprominenceofthetheoryof
behaviorismgenerally.[23]ButSkinner'sconceptionof"VerbalBehavior"hasnotdied,perhapsinpart
becauseithasgeneratedsuccessfulpracticalapplications.[23]

Mechanismsofdevelopment
Developmentalpsychologyisconcernednotonlywithdescribingthecharacteristicsofpsychological
changeovertime,butalsoseekstoexplaintheprinciplesandinternalworkingsunderlyingthesechanges.
Psychologistshaveattemptedtobetterunderstandthesefactorsbyusingmodels.Developmentalmodels
aresometimescomputational,buttheydonotneedtobe.
Amodelmustsimplyaccountforthemeansbywhichaprocesstakesplace.Thisissometimesdonein
referencetochangesinthebrainthatmaycorrespondtochangesinbehavioroverthecourseofthe
development.Computationalaccountsofdevelopmentoftenuseeithersymbolic,connectionist(neural
network),ordynamicalsystemsmodelstoexplainthemechanismsofdevelopment.

Researchareas
Cognitivedevelopment
Cognitivedevelopmentisprimarilyconcernedwiththewaysthatinfantsandchildrenacquire,develop,and
useinternalmentalcapabilitiessuchas:problemsolving,memory,andlanguage.Majortopicsincognitive
developmentarethestudyoflanguageacquisitionandthedevelopmentofperceptualandmotorskills.
Piagetwasoneoftheinfluentialearlypsychologiststostudythedevelopmentofcognitiveabilities.His
theorysuggeststhatdevelopmentproceedsthroughasetofstagesfrominfancytoadulthoodandthatthere
isanendpointorgoal.
Otheraccounts,suchasthatofLevVygotsky,havesuggestedthatdevelopmentdoesnotprogressthrough
stages,butratherthatthedevelopmentalprocessthatbeginsatbirthandcontinuesuntildeathistoo
complexforsuchstructureandfinality.Rather,fromthisviewpoint,developmentalprocessesproceedmore
continuously.Thus,developmentshouldbeanalyzed,insteadoftreatedasaproducttoobtain.
K.WarnerSchaiehasexpandedthestudyofcognitivedevelopmentintoadulthood.Ratherthanbeing
stablefromadolescence,Schaieseesadultsasprogressingintheapplicationoftheircognitiveabilities.[24]
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Moderncognitivedevelopmenthasintegratedtheconsiderationsofcognitivepsychologyandthe
psychologyofindividualdifferencesintotheinterpretationandmodelingofdevelopment.[25]Specifically,
theneoPiagetiantheoriesofcognitivedevelopmentshowedthatthesuccessivelevelsorstagesofcognitive
developmentareassociatedwithincreasingprocessingefficiencyandworkingmemorycapacity.These
increasesexplaindifferencesbetweenstages,progressiontohigherstages,andindividualdifferencesof
childrenwhoarethesameageandofthesamegradelevel.However,othertheorieshavemovedaway
fromPiagetianstagetheories,andareinfluencedbyaccountsofdomainspecificinformationprocessing,
whichpositthatdevelopmentisguidedbyinnateevolutionarilyspecifiedandcontentspecificinformation
processingmechanisms.

Socialandemotionaldevelopment
Developmentalpsychologistswhoareinterestedinsocialdevelopmentexaminehowindividualsdevelop
socialandemotionalcompetencies.Forexample,theystudyhowchildrenformfriendships,howthey
understandanddealwithemotions,andhowidentitydevelops.Researchinthisareamayinvolvestudyof
therelationshipbetweencognitionorcognitivedevelopmentandsocialbehavior.
EmotionalregulationorERreferstoanindividual'sabilitytomodulateemotionalresponsesacrossa
varietyofcontexts.Inyoungchildren,thismodulationisinpartcontrolledexternally,byparentsandother
authorityfigures.Aschildrendevelop,theytakeonmoreandmoreresponsibilityfortheirinternalstate.
StudieshaveshownthatthedevelopmentofERisaffectedbytheemotionalregulationchildrenobservein
parentsandcaretakers,theemotionalclimateinthehome,andthereactionofparentsandcaretakerstothe
child'semotions.[26]
Achild'ssocialandemotionaldevelopmentcanbedisruptedbymotorcoordinationproblemsasevidenced
bytheenvironmentalstresshypothesis.Theenvironmentalhypothesisexplainshowchildrenwith
coordinationproblemsanddevelopmentalcoordinationdisorderareexposedtoseveralpsychosocial
consequenceswhichactassecondarystressors,leadingtoanincreaseininternalizingsymptomssuchas
depressionandanxiety.[27]Motorcoordinationproblemsaffectfineandgrossmotormovementaswellas
perceptualmotorskills.Secondarystressorscommonlyidentifiedincludethetendencyforchildrenwith
poormotorskillstobelesslikelytoparticipateinorganizedplaywithotherchildrenandmorelikelytofeel
sociallyisolated.[27]
Socialandemotionaldevelopmentfocuseson5keysareas:SelfAwareness,SelfManagement,Social
Awareness,RelationshipSkillsandResponsibleDecisionMaking.[28]

Physicaldevelopment
Physicaldevelopmentconcernsthephysicalmaturationofanindividual'sbodyuntilitreachestheadult
stature.Althoughphysicalgrowthisahighlyregularprocess,allchildrendiffertremendouslyinthetiming
oftheirgrowthspurts.[29]Studiesarebeingdonetoanalyzehowthedifferencesinthesetimingsaffectand
arerelatedtoothervariablesofdevelopmentalpsychologysuchasinformationprocessingspeed.
Traditionalmeasuresofphysicalmaturityusingxraysarelessinpracticenowadays,comparedtosimple
measurementsofbodypartssuchasheight,weight,headcircumference,andarmspan.[29]

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Afewotherstudiesandpracticeswithphysicaldevelopmentalpsychologyarethephonologicalabilitiesof
mature5to11yearolds,andthecontroversialhypothesesoflefthandersbeingmaturationallydelayed
comparedtorighthanders.AstudybyEaton,Chipperfield,Ritchot,andKostiukin1996foundinthree
differentsamplesthattherewasnodifferencebetweenrightandlefthanders.[29]

Memorydevelopment
Researchersinterestedinmemorydevelopmentlookatthewayourmemorydevelopsfromchildhoodand
onward.AccordingtoFuzzytracetheory,wehavetwoseparatememoryprocesses:verbatimandgist.
Thesetwotracesbegintodevelopatdifferenttimesaswellasatadifferentpace.Childrenasyoungas4
yearsoldhaveverbatimmemory,memoryforsurfaceinformation,whichincreasesuptoearlyadulthood,
atwhichpointitbeginstodecline.Ontheotherhand,ourcapacityforgistmemory,memoryforsemantic
information,increasesuptoearlyadulthood,atwhichpointitisconsistentthrougholdage.Furthermore,
ourrelianceongistmemorytracesinreasoningincreasesasweage.[30]

Researchmethodsanddesigns
Mainresearchmethods
Developmentalpsychologyemploysmanyoftheresearchmethodsusedinotherareasofpsychology.
However,infantsandchildrencannotbetestedinthesamewaysasadults,sodifferentmethodsareoften
usedtostudytheirdevelopment.Developmentalpsychologistshaveanumberofmethodstostudychanges
inindividualsovertime.Commonresearchmethodsincludesystematicobservation,includingnaturalistic
observationorstructuredobservationselfreports,whichcouldbeclinicalinterviewsorstructured
interviewsclinicalorcasestudymethodandethnographyorparticipantobservation.[31]:3135These
methodsdifferintheextentofcontrolresearchersimposeonstudyconditions,andhowtheyconstructideas
aboutwhichvariablestostudy.[32]Everydevelopmentalinvestigationcanbecharacterizedintermsof
whetheritsunderlyingstrategyinvolvestheexperimental,correlational,orcasestudyapproach.[33][34]The
experimentalmethodinvolves"actualmanipulationofvarioustreatments,circumstances,oreventsto
whichtheparticipantorsubjectisexposed[34]theexperimentaldesignpointstocauseandeffect
relationships.[35]Thismethodallowsforstronginferencestobemadeofcausalrelationshipsbetweenthe
manipulationofoneormoreindependentvariablesandsubsequentbehavior,asmeasuredbythedependent
variable.[34]Theadvantageofusingthisresearchmethodisthatitpermitsdeterminationofcauseand
effectrelationshipsamongvariables.[35]Ontheotherhand,thelimitationisthatdataobtainedinan
artificialenvironmentmaylackgeneralizability.[35]Thecorrelationalmethodexplorestherelationship
betweentwoormoreeventsbygatheringinformationaboutthesevariableswithoutresearcher
intervention.[34][35]Theadvantageofusingacorrelationaldesignisthatitestimatesthestrengthand
directionofrelationshipsamongvariablesinthenaturalenvironment[35]however,thelimitationisthatit
doesnotpermitdeterminationofcauseandeffectrelationshipsamongvariables.[35]Thecasestudy
approachallowsinvestigationstoobtainanindepthunderstandingofanindividualparticipantby
collectingdatabasedoninterviews,structuredquestionnaires,observations,andtestscores.[35]Eachof
thesemethodshaveitsstrengthsandweaknessesbuttheexperimentalmethodwhenappropriateisthe
preferredmethodofdevelopmentalscientistsbecauseitprovidesacontrolledsituationandconclusionsto
bedrawnaboutcauseandeffectrelationships.[34]
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Researchdesigns
Mostdevelopmentalstudies,regardlessofwhethertheyemploytheexperimental,correlational,orcase
studymethod,canalsobeconstructedusingresearchdesigns.[32]Researchdesignsarelogicalframeworks
usedtomakekeycomparisonswithinresearchstudiessuchas:
crosssectionaldesign
longitudinaldesign
sequentialdesign
microgeneticdesign
Inalongitudinalstudy,aresearcherobservesmanyindividualsbornatoraroundthesametime(acohort)
andcarriesoutnewobservationsasmembersofthecohortage.Thismethodcanbeusedtodraw
conclusionsaboutwhichtypesofdevelopmentareuniversal(ornormative)andoccurinmostmembersofa
cohort.Asanexamplealongitudinalstudyofearlyliteracydevelopmentexaminedindetailtheearly
literacyexperiencesofonechildineachof30families.[36]
Researchersmayalsoobservewaysthatdevelopmentvariesbetweenindividuals,andhypothesizeabout
thecausesofvariationintheirdata.Longitudinalstudiesoftenrequirelargeamountsoftimeandfunding,
makingthemunfeasibleinsomesituations.Also,becausemembersofacohortallexperiencehistorical
eventsuniquetotheirgeneration,apparentlynormativedevelopmentaltrendsmayinfactbeuniversalonly
totheircohort.[31]:40
Inacrosssectionalstudy,aresearcherobservesdifferencesbetweenindividualsofdifferentagesatthe
sametime.Thisgenerallyrequireslessresourcesthanthelongitudinalmethod,andbecausetheindividuals
comefromdifferentcohorts,sharedhistoricaleventsarenotsomuchofaconfoundingfactor.Bythesame
token,however,crosssectionalresearchmaynotbethemosteffectivewaytostudydifferencesbetween
participants,asthesedifferencesmayresultnotfromtheirdifferentagesbutfromtheirexposuretodifferent
historicalevents.[31]:41
Athirdstudydesign,thesequentialdesign,combinesbothmethodologies.Here,aresearcherobserves
membersofdifferentbirthcohortsatthesametime,andthentracksallparticipantsovertime,charting
changesinthegroups.Whilemuchmoreresourceintensive,theformataidsinaclearerdistinctionbetween
whatchangescanbeattributedtoindividualorhistoricalenvironmentfromthosethataretruly
universal.[31]:42
Becauseeverymethodhassomeweaknesses,developmentalpsychologistsrarelyrelyononestudyoreven
onemethodtoreachconclusionsbyfindingconsistentevidencefromasmanyconvergingsourcesas
possible.[34]

Lifestagesofpsychologicaldevelopment
Prenataldevelopment
Prenataldevelopmentisofinteresttopsychologistsinvestigatingthecontextofearlypsychological
development.Thewholeprenataldevelopmentinvolvesthreemainstages:germinalstage,embryonicstage
andfetalstage.Germinalstagebeginsatconceptionuntil2weeksembryonicstagemeansthedevelopment
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from2weeksto8weeksfetalstagerepresents9weeksuntilbirthofthebaby.[37]Thesensesdevelopin
thewombitself:afetuscanbothseeandhearbythesecondtrimester(13to24weeksofage).Senseof
touchdevelopsintheembryonicstage(5to8weeks).[31]:97Mostofthebrain'sbillionsofneuronsalsoare
developedbythesecondtrimester.[31]:100Babiesarehencebornwithsomeodor,tasteandsound
preferences,largelyrelatedtothemother'senvironment.[31]:101
Someprimitivereflexestooarisebeforebirthandarestillpresentinnewborns.Onehypothesisisthatthese
reflexesarevestigialandhavelimiteduseinearlyhumanlife.Piaget'stheoryofcognitivedevelopment
suggestedthatsomeearlyreflexesarebuildingblocksforinfantsensorimotordevelopment.Forexample,
thetonicneckreflexmayhelpdevelopmentbybringingobjectsintotheinfant'sfieldofview.[38]
Otherreflexes,suchasthewalkingreflexappeartobereplacedbymoresophisticatedvoluntarycontrol
laterininfancy.Thismaybebecausetheinfantgainstoomuchweightafterbirthtobestrongenoughtouse
thereflex,orbecausethereflexandsubsequentdevelopmentarefunctionallydifferent.[39]Ithasalsobeen
suggestedthatsomereflexes(forexamplethemoroandwalkingreflexes)arepredominantlyadaptationsto
lifeinthewombwithlittleconnectiontoearlyinfantdevelopment.[38]Primitivereflexesreappearinadults
undercertainconditions,suchasneurologicalconditionslikedementiaortraumaticlesions.
Ultrasoundhasshownthatinfantsarecapableofarangeofmovementsinthewomb,manyofwhichappear
tobemorethansimplereflexes.[39]Bythetimetheyareborn,infantscanrecognizeandhaveapreference
fortheirmother'svoicesuggestingsomeprenataldevelopmentofauditoryperception.[39]Prenatal
developmentandbirthcomplicationsmayalsobeconnectedtoneurodevelopmentaldisorders,forexample
inschizophrenia.Withtheadventofcognitiveneuroscience,embryologyandtheneuroscienceofprenatal
developmentisofincreasinginteresttodevelopmentalpsychologyresearch.
Severalenvironmentalagentsteratogenscancausedamageduringtheprenatalperiod.Theseinclude
prescriptionandnonprescriptiondrugs,illegaldrugs,tobacco,alcohol,environmentalpollutants,infectious
diseaseagentssuchastherubellavirusandthetoxoplasmosisbacterium,maternalmalnutrition,maternal
emotionalstress,andRhfactorbloodincompatibilitybetweenmotherandchild.[31]:102115

Infancy
Frombirthuntilthefirstyear,thechildisreferredtoasaninfant.[31]Developmentalpsychologistsvary
widelyintheirassessmentofinfantpsychology,andtheinfluencetheoutsideworldhasuponit,butcertain
aspectsarerelativelyclear.
Themajorityofanewborninfant'stimeisspentinsleep.Atfirstthissleepisevenlyspreadthroughoutthe
dayandnight,butafteracoupleofmonths,infantsgenerallybecomediurnal.
Infantscanbeseentohavesixstates,groupedintopairs:
quietsleepandactivesleep(dreaming,whenREMsleepoccurs)
quietwaking,andactivewaking
fussingandcrying
Infantperception
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Infantperceptioniswhatanewborncansee,hear,smell,taste,andtouch.Thesefivefeaturesarebetter
knownasone's"fivesenses".[40]Infantsrespondtostimulidifferentlyinthesedifferentstates.[39]
Visionissignificantlyworseininfantsthaninolderchildren.Infantsighttendstobeblurryinearly
stagesbutimprovesovertime.Colorperceptionsimilartothatseeninadultshasbeendemonstrated
ininfantsasyoungasfourmonths,usinghabituationmethods.[38]Infantsgettoadultlikevisionin
aboutsixmonths.[31]:191
Hearingiswelldevelopedpriortobirth,unlikevision.Newbornsprefercomplexsoundstopure
tones,humanspeechtoothersounds,mother'svoicetoothervoices,andthenativelanguagetoother
languages.Scientistbelievethesefeaturesareprobablylearnedinthewomb.[31]:151Infantsarefairly
goodatdetectingthedirectionasoundcomesfrom,andby18monthstheirhearingabilityis
approximatelyequaltoanadult's.
Smellandtastearepresent,withinfantsshowingdifferentexpressionsofdisgustorpleasurewhen
presentedwithpleasantodors(honey,milk,etc.)orunpleasantodors(rottenegg)andtastes(e.g.sour
taste).Newbornsarebornwithodorandtastepreferencesacquiredinthewombfromthesmelland
tasteofamnioticfluid,inturninfluencedbywhatthemothereats.Bothbreastandbottlefedbabies
around3daysoldpreferthesmellofhumanmilktothatofformula,indicatinganinnate
preference.[31]:150Thereisgoodevidenceforolderinfantspreferringthesmelloftheirmothertothat
ofothers.[38]
Touchandfeelisoneofthebetterdevelopedsensesatbirthconsideringit'soneofthefirstsensesto
developinsidethewomb.[41]Thisisevidencedbytheprimitivereflexesdescribedabove,andthe
relativelyadvanceddevelopmentofthesomatosensorycortex.[42]
Pain:Infantsfeelpainsimilarly,ifnotmorestronglythanolderchildrenbutpainreliefininfantshas
notreceivedsomuchattentionasanareaofresearch.[43]Glucoseisknowntorelievepainin
newborns.[44]
Language
Babiesarebornwiththeabilitytodiscriminatevirtuallyallsoundsofallhumanlanguages.[31]:189Infantsof
aroundsixmonthscandifferentiatebetweenphonemesintheirownlanguage,butnotbetweensimilar
phonemesinanotherlanguage.Atthisstageinfantsalsostarttobabble,producingphonemes.
Infantcognition:thePiagetianera
AnearlytheoryofinfantdevelopmentwasthesensorimotorstageofPiaget'stheoryofcognitive
development.Piagetsuggestedthataninfant'sperceptionandunderstandingoftheworlddependedontheir
motordevelopment,whichwasrequiredfortheinfanttolinkvisual,tactileandmotorrepresentationsof
objects.Accordingtothisview,itisthroughtouchingandhandlingobjectsthatinfantsdevelopobject
permanence,theunderstandingthatobjectsaresolid,permanent,andcontinuetoexistwhenoutofsight.[39]
Piaget'ssensorimotorstagecomprisedsixsubstages(seesensorimotorstagesformoredetail).Intheearly
stages,developmentarisesoutofmovementscausedbyprimitivereflexes.[45]Discoveryofnewbehaviors
resultsfromclassicalandoperantconditioning,andtheformationofhabits.[45]Fromeightmonthsthe
infantisabletouncoverahiddenobjectbutwillperseverewhentheobjectismoved.

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Piagetcametohisconclusionthatinfantslackedacomplete
understandingofobjectpermanencebefore18monthsafterobserving
infants'failurebeforethisagetolookforanobjectwhereitwaslast
seen.Insteadinfantscontinuetolookforanobjectwhereitwasfirst
seen,committingthe"AnotBerror."Someresearchershave
suggestedthatbeforetheageofeighttoninemonths,infants'inability
tounderstandobjectpermanenceextendstopeople,whichexplains
whyinfantsatthisagedonotcrywhentheirmothersaregone("Outof
sight,outofmind").

Specialmethodsareusedinthe
psychologicalstudyofinfants.

Recentfindingsininfantcognition
Inthe1980sand1990s,researchershavedevelopedmanynewmethodsofassessinginfants'understanding
oftheworldwithfarmoreprecisionandsubtletythanPiagetwasabletodoinhistime.Sincethen,many
studiesbasedonthesemethodssuggestthatyounginfantsunderstandfarmoreabouttheworldthanfirst
thought.
Basedonrecentfindings,someresearchers(suchasElizabethSpelkeandReneeBaillargeon)have
proposedthatanunderstandingofobjectpermanenceisnotlearnedatall,butrathercomprisespartofthe
innatecognitivecapacitiesofourspecies.
Otherresearchhassuggestedthatyounginfantsintheirfirstsixmonthsoflifemaypossessan
understandingofnumerousaspectsoftheworldaroundthem,including:
anearlynumericalcognition,thatis,anabilitytorepresentnumberandevencomputetheoutcomes
ofadditionandsubtractionoperations[46]
anabilitytoinferthegoalsofpeopleintheirenvironment[47]
anabilitytoengageinsimplecausalreasoning.[48]
Criticalperiodsofdevelopment
Therearecriticalperiodsininfancyandchildhoodduringwhichdevelopmentofcertainperceptual,
sensorimotor,socialandlanguagesystemsdependscruciallyonenvironmentalstimulation.[49]Feral
childrensuchasGenie,deprivedofadequatestimulation,failtoacquireimportantskillsandareunableto
learninlaterchildhood.Theconceptofcriticalperiodsisalsowellestablishedinneurophysiology,from
theworkofHubelandWieselamongothers.
Developmentaldelays
Childrenwithdevelopmentaldelays(DD)areatheightenedriskfordevelopingclinicallysignificant
behavioralandemotionaldifficultiesascomparedtochildrenwithtypicaldevelopment(TD).However,
nearlyallstudiescomparingpsychopathologyinyouthwithDDemployTDcontrolgroupsofthesame
chronologicalage(CA).ThiscomorbidityofDDandamentaldisorderisoftenreferredtoasdualdiagnosis.
Epidemiologicalstudiesindicatethat3050%ofyouthwithDDmeettheclinicalcutoffforbehavioraland
emotionalproblemsand/ordiagnosablementaldisorder.Studiesthatincludecomparisonsamplesof
childrenwithtypicaldevelopment(TD)highlighttheconsiderabledifferenceinriskforpsychopathology,
withtherelativeriskforyouthwithDD(toyouthwithTD)rangingfrom2.84.1to1.[50]
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Toddlerhood
Infantsshiftbetweenagesofoneandtwotoadevelopmentalstageknownastoddlerhood.Inthisstage,an
infant'stransitionintotoddlerhoodishighlightedthroughselfawareness,developingmaturityinlanguage
use,andpresenceofmemoryandimagination.
Duringtoddlerhood,babiesbeginlearninghowtowalk,talk,andmakedecisionsforthemselves.An
importantcharacteristicofthisageperiodisthedevelopmentoflanguage,wherechildrenarelearninghow
tocommunicateandexpresstheiremotionsanddesiresthroughtheuseofvocalsounds,babbling,and
eventuallywords.[51]Selfcontrolalsobeginstodevelop.Atthisage,childrentakeinitiativetoexplore,
experiment,andlearnfrommakingmistakes.Caretakerswhoencouragetoddlerstotrynewthingsandtest
theirlimits,helpthechildbecomeautonomous,selfreliant,andconfident.[52]Ifthecaretakeris
overprotectiveordisapprovingofindependentactions,thetoddlermaybegintodoubttheirabilitiesand
feelashamedofthedesireforindependence.Thechild'sautonomicdevelopmentisinhibited,leavingthem
lesspreparedtodealwiththeworldinthefuture.Toddlersalsobegintoidentifythemselvesingender
roles,actingaccordingtotheirperceptionofwhatamanorwomanshoulddo.[53]
Socially,theperiodoftoddlerhoodiscommonlycalledthe"terribletwos".[54]Toddlersoftenusetheirnew
foundlanguageabilitiestovoicetheirdesires,butareoftenmisunderstoodbyparentsduetotheirlanguage
skillsjustbeginningtodevelop.Apersonatthisstagetestingtheirindependenceisanotherreasonbehind
thestage'sinfamouslabel.Tantrumsinafitoffrustrationarealsocommon.

Childhood
ErikEriksondivideschildhoodintofourstages,eachwithitsdistinctsocialcrisis:[55]
Stage1:Infancy(0to1)inwhichthepsychosocialcrisisisTrustvs.Mistrust
Stage2:Earlychildhood(2to3)inwhichthepsychosocialcrisisisAutonomyvs.Shame
anddoubt
Stage3:Playage(3to5)inwhichthepsychosocialcrisisisInitiativevs.Guilt.(Thisstageis
alsocalledthe"preschoolage,""exploratoryage"and"toyage."[56])
Stage4:Schoolage(5to12)inwhichthepsychosocialcrisisisIndustryvs.Inferiority
Play(orpreschool)ages35.
Intheearliestyears,childrenarecompletelydependentonthecareofothers.Therefore,theydevelopa
socialrelationshipwiththeircaregiversand,later,withfamilymembers.Duringtheirpreschoolyears(3
5),theyenlargetheirsocialhorizonstoincludepeopleoutsidethefamily.[57]
Preoperationalandthenoperationalthinkingdevelops,whichmeansactionsarereversible,andegocentric
thoughtdiminishes.[58]
Themotorskillsofpreschoolersincreasesotheycandomorethingsforthemselves.Theybecomemore
independent.Nolongercompletelydependentonthecareofothers,theworldofthisagegroupexpands.
Morepeoplehavearoleinshapingtheirindividualpersonalities.Preschoolersexploreandquestiontheir
world.[59]ForJeanPiaget,thechildisalittlescientistexploringandreflectingontheseexplorationsto
increasecompetenceandthisisdoneinaveryindependentway.[60]
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Playisamajoractivityforages35.ForPiaget,throughplayachildreacheshigherlevelsofcognitive
development.[61]
Intheirexpandedworld,childreninthe35agegroupattempttofindtheirownway.Ifthisisdoneina
sociallyacceptableway,thechilddevelopsinitiative.Ifnot,thechilddevelopsguilt.[62]Childrenwho
developguiltratherthaninitiativehavefailedEriksonspsychosocialcrisisforthe35agegroup.
Middlechildhoodages612.
ForErikErikson,thepsychosocialcrisisduringmiddlechildhoodisIndustryvs.Inferioritywhich,if
successfullymet,instillsasenseofCompetencyinthechild.[55]
Inallcultures,middlechildhoodisatimefordevelopingskillsthatwillbeneededintheirsociety.[63]
Schooloffersanarenainwhichchildrencangainaviewofthemselvesasindustrious(andworthy).They
aregradedfortheirschoolworkandoftenfortheirindustry.Theycanalsodevelopindustryoutsideof
schoolinsports,games,anddoingvolunteerwork.[64]Childrenwhoachievesuccessinschoolorgames
mightdevelopafeelingofcompetence.[65]
Theperilduringthisperiodisthatfeelingsofinadequacyandinferioritywilldevelop.[63]Parentsand
teacherscanundermineachildsdevelopmentbyfailingtorecognizeaccomplishmentsorbeingoverly
criticalofachildsefforts.[64]Childrenwhoareencouragedandpraiseddevelopbeliefintheir
competence.Lackofencouragementorabilitytoexcelleadtofeelingsofinadequacyandinferiority.[66]
TheCentersforDiseaseControl(theCDC)dividesMiddleChildhoodintotwostages,68yearsand911
years,andgivesdevelopmentalmilestonesforeachstage.[67]
MiddleChildhood(68).
Enteringelementaryschool,childreninthisagegroupbegintothinksaboutthefutureandtheirplacein
theworld.Workingwithotherstudentsandwantingtheirfriendshipandacceptancebecomemore
important.Thisleadstomoreindependencefromparentsandfamily.Asstudents,theydevelopthe
mentalandverbalskillstodescribeexperiencesandtalkaboutthoughtsandfeelings.Theybecomeless
selfcenteredandshowmoreconcernforothers.[68]
MiddleChildhood(911).
Forchildrenages911friendshipsandpeerrelationshipsincreaseinstrength,complexity,and
importance.Thisresultsingreaterpeerpressure.Theygrowevenlessdependentontheirfamiliesand
theyarechallengedacademically.Tomeetthischallenge,theyincreasetheirattentionspanandlearntosee
otherpointsofview.[69]

Adolescence
Adolescenceistheperiodoflifebetweentheonsetofpubertyandthefullcommitmenttoanadultsocial
role,suchasworker,parent,and/orcitizen.Itistheperiodknownfortheformationofpersonalandsocial
identity(seeErikErikson)andthediscoveryofmoralpurpose(seeWilliamDamon).Intelligenceis
demonstratedthroughthelogicaluseofsymbolsrelatedtoabstractconceptsandformalreasoning.Areturn
toegocentricthoughtoftenoccursearlyintheperiod.Only35%developthecapacitytoreasonformally
duringadolescenceoradulthood.(Huitt,W.andHummel,J.January1998)[70]
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Itisdividedintothreeparts,namely:
1.EarlyAdolescence:9to13years(preteen),
2.MidAdolescence:13to15yearsand
3.LateAdolescence:15to18years
Theadolescentunconsciouslyexploresquestionssuchas"WhoamI?WhodoIwanttobe?"Liketoddlers,
adolescentsmustexplore,testlimits,becomeautonomous,andcommittoanidentity,orsenseofself.
Differentroles,behaviorsandideologiesmustbetriedouttoselectanidentity.Roleconfusionandinability
tochoosevocationcanresultfromafailuretoachieveasenseofidentitythrough,forexample,friends.

Earlyadulthood
Earlyadulthood,accordingtotheoristssuchasErikErikson,isastagewheredevelopmentismainly
focusedonmaintainingrelationships.[71]Examplesincludecreatingbondofintimacy,sustaining
friendships,andultimatelymakingafamily.Sometheoristsstatethatdevelopmentofintimacyskillsrely
ontheresolutionofpreviousdevelopmentalstages.Asenseofidentitygainedinthepreviousstagesisalso
necessaryforintimacytodevelop.Ifthisskillisnotlearnedthealternativeisalienation,isolation,afearof
commitment,andtheinabilitytodependonothers.
Arelatedframeworkforstudyingthispartofthelifespanisthatofemergingadulthood.Scholarsof
emergingadulthood,suchasJeffreyArnett,arenotnecessarilyinterestedinrelationshipdevelopment.
Instead,thisconceptsuggeststhatpeopletransitionaftertheirteenageyearsintoaperiodnotcharacterized
asrelationshipbuildingandanoverallsenseofconstancywithlife,butwithyearsoflivingwithparents,
phasesofselfdiscovery,andexperimentation.[72]

Middleadulthood
Middleadulthoodgenerallyreferstotheperiodbetweenages25to69.Duringthisperiod,middleaged
adultsexperienceaconflictbetweengenerativityandstagnation.Theymayeitherfeelasenseof
contributingtosociety,thenextgenerationortheirimmediatecommunityorasenseofpurposelessness.
Physically,themiddleagedexperienceadeclineinmuscularstrength,reactiontime,sensorykeenness,and
cardiacoutput.Also,womenexperiencemenopauseandasharpdropinthehormoneestrogen.Men
experienceanequivalentendocrinesystemeventtomenopause.Andropauseinmalesisahormone
fluctuationwithphysicalandpsychologicaleffectsthatcanbesimilartothoseseeninmenopausalfemales.
Asmenage,loweredtestosteronelevelscancontributetomoodswingsandadeclineinspermcount.
Sexualresponsivenesscanalsobeaffected,includingdelaysinerectionandlongerperiodsofpenile
stimulationrequiredtoachieveejaculation.

Oldage
TheWorldHealthOrganizationfindsnogeneralagreementontheageatwhichapersonbecomesold.
Mostdevelopedcountriessettheageas60or65.However,indevelopingcountriesinabilitytomake
activecontributiontosociety,notchronologicalage,marksthebeginningofoldage.[73]Accordingto
Erikson'sstagesofpsychosocialdevelopment,oldageisthestageinwhichindividualsassessthequalityof

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theirlives.Inreflectingontheirlives,peopleinthisagegroupdevelopafeelingofintegrityifdecidingthat
theirlivesweresuccessfulorafeelingofdespairifevaluationofone'slifeindicatesafailuretoachieve
goals.[74]
Physically,olderpeopleexperienceadeclineinmuscularstrength,reactiontime,stamina,hearing,distance
perception,andthesenseofsmell.[75]Theyalsoaremoresusceptibletodiseasessuchascancerand
pneumoniaduetoaweakenedimmunesystem.[76]Programsaimedatbalance,musclestrength,and
mobilityhavebeenshowntoreducedisabilityamongmildly(butnotmoreseverely)disabledelderly.[77]
Sexualexpressiondependsinlargepartupontheemotionalandphysicalhealthoftheindividual.Many
olderadultscontinuetobesexuallyactiveandsatisfiedwiththeirsexualactivity.[78]
Mentaldisintegrationmayalsooccur,leadingtodementiaorailmentssuchasAlzheimer'sdisease.Itis
generallybelievedthatcrystallizedintelligenceincreasesuptooldage,whilefluidintelligencedecreases
withage.[79]Whetherornotnormalintelligenceincreasesordecreaseswithagedependsonthemeasure
andstudy.Longitudinalstudiesshowthatperceptualspeed,inductivereasoning,andspatialorientation
decline.[80]Anarticleonadultcognitivedevelopmentreportsthatcrosssectionalstudiesshowthatsome
abilitiesremainedstableintoearlyoldage.[81]

Parenting
Parentingvariablesalonehavetypicallyaccountedfor20to50percentofthevarianceinchild
outcomes.[82]
Allparentshavetheirownparentingstyles.Parentingstyles,accordingtoKimberlyKopoko,are"based
upontwoaspectsofparentingbehaviorcontrolandwarmth.Parentalcontrolreferstothedegreetowhich
parentsmanagetheirchildren'sbehavior.Parentalwarmthreferstothedegreetowhichparentsare
acceptingandresponsiveoftheirchildren'sbehavior."[83]

Parentingstyles
Thefollowingparentingstyleshavebeendescribedinthechilddevelopmentliterature:
Authoritativeparentingischaracterizedasparentswhohavehighparentalwarmth,responsiveness,
anddemandingness,butratelowinnegativityandconflict.[84]Theseparentsareassertivebutnot
intrusiveoroverlyrestrictive.[85]Thismethodofparentingisassociatedwithmorepositivesocial
andacademicoutcomes.Interestingly,thebeneficialoutcomesofauthoritativeparentingarenot
necessarilyuniversal.AmongAfricanAmericanadolescents,authoritativeparentingisnotassociated
withacademicachievementwithoutpeersupportforachievement.[84]Childrenwhoareraisedby
authoritativeparentsare"morelikelytobecomeindependent,selfreliant,sociallyaccepted,
academicallysuccessful,andwellbehaved.Theyarelesslikelytoreportdepressionandanxiety,and
lesslikelytoengageinantisocialbehaviorlikedelinquencyanddruguse."[86]
Authoritarianparentingischaracterizedbylowlevelsofwarmthandresponsivenesswithhighlevels
ofdemandingnessandfirmcontrol.[84]Theseparentsfocusonobedienceandtheymonitortheir
childrenregularly.[85]Ingeneral,thisstyleofparentingisassociatedwithmaladaptiveoutcomes.
Interestingly,theoutcomesaremoreharmfulformiddleclassboysthangirls,preschoolwhitegirls
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thanpreschoolblackgirls,andforwhiteboysthanHispanicboys.[85]Furthermore,thenegative
effectsofauthoritarianparentingamongAsianAmericanscanbeoffsetbypositivepeersupport.[84]
Finally,amongAfricanAmericans,someelementsofauthoritarianparentingsuchasfirmcontroland
physicaldisciplinedonotserveaspredictivefactorsfornegativeoutcomes.[84]
Permissiveparentingischaracterizedbyhighlevelsofresponsivenesscombinedwithlowlevelsof
demandingness.[85]Theseparentsarelenientanddonotnecessarilyrequirematurebehavior.[85]They
allowforahighdegreeofselfregulationandtypicallyavoidconfrontation.[85]Comparedtochildren
raisedusingtheauthoritativestyle,preschoolgirlsraisedinpermissivefamiliesarelessassertive.[85]
Additionally,preschoolchildrenofbothsexesarelesscognitivelycompetentthanthosechildren
raisedunderauthoritativeparentingstyles.[85]
Rejectingorneglectfulparentingisthefinalcategory.Thisischaracterizedbylowlevelsof
demandingnessandresponsiveness.Theseparentsaretypicallydisengagedintheirchild'slives,
lackingstructureintheirparentingstylesandareunsupportive.[85]Childreninthiscategoryare
typicallytheleastcompetentofallthecategories.[85]

Motherandfatherfactors
Parentingrolesinchilddevelopmenthavetypicallyfocusedontheroleofthemother.Recentliterature,
however,haslookedtowardthefatherashavinganimportantroleinchilddevelopment.Affirmingarole
forfathers,studieshaveshownthatchildrenasyoungas15monthsbenefitsignificantlyfromsubstantial
engagementwiththeirfather.[87][88]Inparticular,astudyintheU.S.andNewZealandfoundthepresence
ofthenaturalfatherwasthemostsignificantfactorinreducingratesofearlysexualactivityandratesof
teenagepregnancyingirls.[89]Furthermore,anotherargumentisthatneitheramothernorafatheris
actuallyessentialinsuccessfulparenting,andthatsingleparentsaswellashomosexualcouplescansupport
positivechildoutcomes.[90]Accordingtothissetofresearch,childrenneedatleastoneconsistently
responsibleadultwithwhomthechildcanhaveapositiveemotionalconnection.Havingmorethanoneof
thesefigurescontributestoahigherlikelihoodofpositivechildoutcomes.[90]

Divorce
Anotherparentalfactoroftendebatedintermsofitseffectsonchilddevelopmentisdivorce.Divorcein
itselfisnotadeterminingfactorofnegativechildoutcomes.Infact,themajorityofchildrenfromdivorcing
familiesfallintothenormalrangeonmeasuresofpsychologicalandcognitivefunctioning.[91]Anumberof
mediatingfactorsplayaroleindeterminingtheeffectsdivorcehasonachild,forexample,divorcing
familieswithyoungchildrenoftenfaceharsherconsequencesintermsofdemographic,social,and
economicchangesthandofamilieswitholderchildren.[91]Positivecoparentingafterdivorceispartofa
patternassociatedwithpositivechildcoping,whilehostileparentingbehaviorsleadtoadestructivepattern
leavingchildrenatrisk.[91]Additionally,directparentalrelationshipwiththechildalsoaffectsthe
developmentofachildafteradivorce.Overall,protectivefactorsfacilitatingpositivechilddevelopment
afteradivorcearematernalwarmth,positivefatherchildrelationship,andcooperationbetweenparents.[91]

Seealso
Adult
Behavioralcusp
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Childdevelopment
Developmentalpsychobiology
Developmentalpsychopathology
Developmentalsystemstheory
EducationalPsychology
Erikson'sstagesofpsychosocialdevelopment
Ethnicidentitydevelopment
Evolutionarydevelopmentalpsychopathology
Fuzzytracetheory
Groupdevelopment
Microgeneticdesign
Ontogeneticparade
Outlineofpsychology
Perceptualnarrowing
Preandperinatalpsychology
Scaleerror
Sociometricstatus

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Furtherreading
Bjorklund,D.F.Pellegrini,A.D.(2000)."ChildDevelopmentandEvolutionaryPsychology"(PDF).
ChildDevelopment71(6):16871708.doi:10.1111/14678624.00258.PMID11194266.
Bornstein,M.H.&Lamb,M.E.(2005).Developmentalscience:Anadvancedtextbook.Mahwah,NJ:
Erlbaum,2005.
JohnsonPynn,J.Fragaszy,D.M.CumminsSebree,S.(2003)."Commonterritoriesincomparative
anddevelopmentalpsychology:Thequestforsharedmeansandmeaninginbehavioral
investigations."(PDF).InternationalJournalofComparativePsychology16:127.
Lerner,R.M.Conceptsandtheoriesofhumandevelopment.Mahwah,NJ:Erlbaum,2002.
Reid,V.Striano,T.&Koops,W.SocialCognitionDuringinfancy.PsychologyPress.2007

Journals
Among20mostprominentjournalsindevelopmentalpsychologyare:
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JournaloftheAmericanAcademyofChildandAdolescentPsychiatry
JournalofChildPsychologyandPsychiatry
DevelopmentandPsychopathology
ChildDevelopment
AutismResearch
KindheitundEntwicklung
JournalofAutismandDevelopmentalDisorders
EuropeanChild&AdolescentPsychology
DevelopmentalScience
DevelopmentalReview
PsychologyandAging
JournalofAbnormalChildPsychology
DevelopmentalPsychology
JournalofAdolescentHealth
ResearchinAutismSpectrumDisorders
DevelopmentalNeuropsychology
JournalofResearchonAdolescence
JournalofYouthandAdolescence
JournalofClinicalChildandAdolescentPsychology
JournalofPediatricPsychology

Externallinks
TheSocietyforResearchinChildDevelopment(http://www.srcd.org/)
TheBritishPsychologicalSociety,DevelopmentalPsychologySection
(http://www.bps.org.uk/dps/dps_home.cfm)
DevelopmentalPsychology(http://www.devpsy.org):lessonsforteachingandlearning
developmentalpsychology
GMU'sOnLineResourcesforDevelopmentalPsychology
(http://classweb.gmu.edu/awinsler/ordp/topic.html):awebdirectoryofdevelopmentalpsychology
organizations
HomeEconomicsArchive:Research,Tradition,History(HEARTH)
(http://hearth.library.cornell.edu/)
Anebookcollectionofover1,000booksspanning1850to1950,createdbyCornellUniversity's
MannLibrary(http://www.mannlib.cornell.edu/).Includesseveralhundredworksonhuman
development,childraising,andfamilystudiesitemizedinaspecificbibliography
(http://hearth.library.cornell.edu/h/hearth/bibs/child.pdf).
Developmentalpsychology(http://www.plosone.org/browse/developmental_psychology)Subject
AreapageatPLOS
Retrievedfrom"https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?
title=Developmental_psychology&oldid=706777963"
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