Child Development and Learning Theories

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Final Project PS 220

Urie Bronfenbrenner has provided a comprehensive system for analyzing developmental patterns in children. His theory suggests that in order to understand children’s development, we must have a broad view of the inter-related contexts in which the child is developing. He believes that we need to look at the impact of these symbiotic systems that influence children's development. These systems include the family of the child and expand the analysis to the school, friends, neighborhood, jobs, and larger social system that the child lives in. Bronfenbrenner's theory gives us tools to describe how all of these systems interact with one another to explain how some children end up as criminals or engage in risk-taking behaviors. When babies are in infancy, they are changing from being totally dependent on caregivers to learning to walk, to talk, to play alongside others, and are realizing they are their individual selves. When children enter early childhood, they continue to improve their large and small motor skills as they run and move more smoothly. They also grow mentally and socially as they enter school and other places where they interact with children. During middle childhood, children continue to grow and improve physically, while also growing mentally as they attend school. They maintain friendships in large same-sex groups and begin forming ideas about gender roles and jobs. During adolescence, people go through puberty as their bodies mature and become capable to reproduce. Teens attempt to assert their individual identity while still needing rules and limits to continue to help them make good life decisions. During later adolescence, young adults begin the tasks of finding a life calling or job and of finding or creating their own next-generation.

Final Project PS 220

His theory includes microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem and chromo system. Depression is one major developmental issue No single cause of depression has been identified. However, we know that depression is an illness with a pronounced biological basis. The genes that we inherit, and which continue to be influenced by experience throughout life, may predispose a person to the illness, but this predisposition, or vulnerability, to depression typically is “triggered” by life events. Researchers have begun to identify these triggers, called risk factors, for depression A child’s risk for becoming depressed may increase with stress or with an experience of devastating loss or trauma. Behavioral problems and mental disorders – for example, conduct, attention-deficit, learning, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders — frequently co-occur with depression and may help explain its onset. A family history of depression or bipolar disorder is a significant risk factor for depression in a child or young adult. Depression may – and frequently does – occur when no member of a family has knowingly experienced a serious mental disorder. The underlying biological mechanisms and triggering events for illness in these instances have yet to be clearly understood. What can be said with surety is that in children no less than in adults, clinical depression is not a character weakness, normal sadness, or a passing phase. It is a real medical illness that can be accurately diagnosed and effectively treated. Indeed, a child’s response to appropriate treatments is a valuable way of validating the presence of the disorder.

Final Project PS 220

Suicide frequently is a direct and lethal outcome of depression. When a teenager thinks or talks about suicide, the risk is real. Children should understand that if a sibling or friend discusses suicide, it should be called to the attention of an adult. A suicidal gesture should not be viewed as attention getting, but as an anguished cry for help.

The mid-1960s marked the start of an alarming, three-decade long increase in rates of suicide by young white males, a tragic incline that has...
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