September 22, 2011
Developmental psychology is a field within psychology that is concerned with describing and understanding how individuals grow and change over their lifetimes (Kuther). It is separated into three developmental levels; physical, social, and cognitive. At different ages all three of these levels are developing in some form or another. Developmental psychology can be broken up into three main age groups; infancy, childhood, and adulthood.
Infancy makes up the first year of life. Development is rapid in all three levels during infancy. Physically a baby doubles in height and quadruples in weight during the first year (WGBH Educational Foundation). From birth to six months of age, newborns movements are mostly reflexive ( University of Illinois Board of Trustees). Reflexive movements are those such as rooting, grasping, and Moro reflexes. By four to six months most babies can hold their heads steady, sit with support, and roll over. Around eight to ten months they start to crawl, and by twelve to fourteen months have taken their first steps. They have also usually mastered the grasping technique needed to pick up smaller objects. By two years of age, they can walk up and down stairs, and are more active in this period than in any other in their lives ( University of Illinois Board of Trustees).
Erik Erikson is a psychosocial psychologist most known for his stages of psychosocial development. His first stage covers birth to eighteen months and is known as trust vs. mistrust. In this stage infants can learn whether the outside world, especially their caregivers, is trustworthy or not (Harder). The outcome of this stage is critical in setting the tone for how children develop socially for the rest of their lives. If they learn their caregivers cannot be trusted to take care of their basic needs, they may have difficulty developing social bonds...