Psychology of Human Development
SY 2011 – 2012 Second Semester
Week No. 6-7 of 17 (Jan. 16-20, 2012)
Please read the following topics carefully
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Berger, KS (2008) The Developing Person Through the Life Span, Seventh Edition Worth Publishers
Topic: The Play Years: Biosocial Development, Cognitive Development, Psychosocial Development
At the end of the session, the student is expected to:
1. Describe normal physical growth during the play years, and account for variations in height and weight. 2. Distinguish between gross and fine motor skills, and discuss the development of each during the play years. 3. Discuss the significance of artistic expression during the play years. 4. Briefly discuss the risk of accidental injury among children. 5. Explain what is meant by “injury control,” and describe some measures that have significantly reduced accidental death rates for children. 6. Identify the various categories of child maltreatment.
Between 2 and 6 years of age, children grow almost 3 inches (about 7 centimeters) and gain about 41/2 pounds (2 kilograms) per year. By age 6, the average child in a developed nation weighs about 46 pounds (21 kilograms) and measures 46 inches (117 centimeters). In multiethnic countries, children of African descent tend to be tallest, followed by Europeans, Asians, and Latinos. Height differences within groups are greater than average differences between groups. Household income affects physical growth. Whereas low income once correlated with undernourishment in many parts of the world, today it also correlates with overweight and obesity. Overfeeding of children is the major cause of the global epidemic of adult heart disease and diabetes. Because growth is slower during the play years, children need fewer calories per pound; consequently, their appetites are smaller, a fact that causes many parents some concern. Deficiency of iron, calcium, and zinc is the most prevalent nutritional problem in early childhood. A common problem among American families of all social classes is children’s overindulgence in sweets, which spoil their appetite for good foods and cause tooth decay. Also, most American children eat too few fruits and vegetables. Another common problem is the phenomenon called just right or just so, in which children are rigid about their daily routines, including their food preferences and rituals.
During childhood, the brain develops faster than any other part of the body. This maturation underlies children’s rapidly expanding cognitive and motor abilities. By age 2, most pruning of the brain’s dendrites has occurred and the brain weighs 75 percent of its adult weight. By age 5, the brain has attained about 90 percent of its adult weight. The continued proliferation of communication pathways, along with myelination, a process that insulates the axons of neurons and speeds transmission of neural impulses, accounts for part of this rapid brain growth. Myelination enables the child to think and react much quicker than the toddler can. The corpus callosum, the long band of nerve fibers that connects the two sides of the brain, grows and myelinates rapidly during the play years. It allows children to better coordinate functions that involve both sides of the brain and body, which are not identical. The specialization of the two sides of the body and brain, which begins before birth, is called lateralization. This process is apparent in handedness and in the feet, eyes, and ears. Throughout the world, societies are organized to favor right-handedness.
Experts advise against trying to switch a child’s handedness. The left hemisphere of the brain controls the right side of the...
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