Child and Adolescent Development

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Child and Adolescent Development
PSY 104
6/26/2011

Introduction

From birth through adolescence, a significant amount of developmental changes occur. Children grow and develop physically, cognitively and emotionally. Each individual aspect of development has an effect on the child as a whole. If a child struggles developmentally in any of the areas (physically, emotionally or cognitively), it can affect one of the other areas of development as well. For example, if a child is underdeveloped physically, they may experience emotional development issues because they may be made fun of and teased by other children. For this paper I have chosen to explore two specific age ranges and the developmental changes that occur during these periods. I will analyze the cognitive, psychosocial and physical perspective of age’s birth to two years as well as the age group of eleven to fourteen years old. I will be exploring normal and abnormal child and adolescent development and its relationship to physical development as well for each group. These are two very crucial age ranges for children. Let us begin with the earlier of the two, birth to two years of age.

Developmental Changes for Ages 0-2 Years
From birth to two years, many significant changes occur. In this transition from infant to toddler, great deals of cognitive, physical and psychosocial strides are met. During the first year of life, babies learn to recognize their caregiver voices. Although babies can only babble certain things such as “mamma”, “dada”, and “babba”, their language development is increasing much more than that. These infants begin to learn and understand many names of objects and people as well. Vision becomes clearer as babies develop the ability to focus and center on things or people especially. During this crucial stage, babies form a strong bond with their caregivers. It is very important for parents to be very loving and have a great amount of positive interaction with their children. The very sound of a parents voice alone is comforting to an infant. Positive parenting also includes simple things such as speaking back to a child when they are babbling. Singing to a child is another very soothing act. Playing music for a baby early on can help them acquire not only a passion for music but it a can also help develop math skills. Snuggling and rocking a baby is a good way to show love and affection as well. It is vital to remember that without this love and attention to a child, they could suffer from long-term issues in life including intimate relationships (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). To break it down more specifically, when a baby is born, up until they are about one month old, they practice their inborn reflexes and even learn how to acquire some control over them such as sucking when a breast or bottle is around. At this early stage in life, infants cannot hold an article or object they are focusing on. Between one and four months of age, infants begin to reciprocate actions that they find gratifying such as thumb sucking. They begin to be able to accommodate to certain things such as sucking differently for different objects such as nipples, bottles or pacifiers. Between four and eight months, infants become more intrigued by their surroundings. They begin to imitate things that have appealing outcomes. An example of this would be an infant shaking a rattle repeatedly because they enjoy the sound. Although they do not have any set goals, their actions have now become intentional. At the age of eight to twelve months, certain independence arises. At this age, babies have grasped the concept of reaching goals. If they see something they want, they are able to crawl or scoot to retrieve it. They also begin to be able to predict occurrences. For example, if a baby loves to use a toy that plays music and lights up with the push of a button, they know what will happen when the...
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