Psychology Essay Child Development

To describe development it is necessary to focus both on typical patterns of change (normative development) and on individual variations in patterns of change (i.e. Although there are typical pathways of development that most people will follow, no two persons are exactly alike.

Developmental psychologists must also seek to explain the changes they have observed in relation to normative processes and individual differences.

Empirical research in this area tends to be dominated by psychologists from Western cultures such as North American and Europe, although during the 1980s Japanese researchers began making a valid contribution to the field.

The three goals of developmental psychology are to describe, explain, and to optimize development (Baltes, Reese, & Lipsitt, 1980).

Although, it is often easier to describe development than to explain how it occurs.

Finally, developmental psychologists hope to optimise development, and apply their theories to help people in practical situations (e.g.

The discontinuity view sees development as more abrupt-a succession of changes that produce different behaviors in different age-specific life periods called stages.

The process of child development can include everything from sensory awareness and fine motor skills to language and socialization ability.

It is strongly influenced by a child’s genetic makeup, environment, and cognitive skills.

Biological changes provide the potential for these changes.

We often hear people taking about children going through “stages” in life (i.e. These are called developmental stages-periods of life initiated by distinct transitions in physical or psychological functioning.

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