Child Psychology

Topics: Jean Piaget, Psychology, Developmental psychology Pages: 6 (1924 words) Published: October 8, 1999
I.Purpose of paper:

Child Psychology, study of children's behavior-including physical, cognitive, motor, linguistic, perceptual, social, and emotional characteristics-from birth through adolescence. Child psychologists attempt to explain the similarities and differences among children and to describe normal as well as abnormal behavior and development. They also develop methods of treating social, emotional, and learning problems and provide therapy privately and in schools, hospitals, and other institutions. Two critical problems for child psychologists are (1) to determine how environmental variables (such as parental attitudes) and biological characteristics (such as health) interact and influence behavior, and (2) to understand how behavioral changes influence one another. I chose to write about child psychology because thinking of all the subjects we have been introduced to in my psychology class, I have found this to be the most interesting. At first I thought of researching a subject I was not familiar with, but after analyzing many topics I still had the urge to learn more about child psychology. I figure, if I write on a subject I find interesting I should get a decent grade. Child psychology is a very important and vast field in psychology. The more we are able to understand the psychology of children, the better we may understand why people turn out the way they do. Hopefully in doing so, we may have a clearer understanding of what has negative effects on child development. Therefore, we can revolve around the negative and focus more on the positive. Resulting in a better future for everybody. Content:

Both Plato and Aristotle wrote about children. Plato believed that children are born with special talents and their training should stress those talents. His views are consistent with modern thinking about individual differences and education. Aristotle proposed methods for observing children's behavior that were forerunners of modern methods. Fore many countries thereafter, little interest was shown in the development of children because they were regarded only as miniature adults. In the 18th century the French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau seemed to echo Plato when he stated that children should be free to express their energies in order to develop their special talents. His view suggests that normal development occurs best in nonrestrictive, supportive environment. Similar concepts are popular today (Kroll 1995). In the 19th century, Charles Darwin's theory of evolution provided an impetus for the scientific examination of child development. He emphasis on the survival behavior of different species stimulated an interest in observing children to identify their adaptive behaviors and to learn about the inheritance of human behavior. These studies were of limited scientific value because they lacked objectively and often failed to describe adequately he behaviors being observed, making validation impossible (kroll 1995). Scientific research in child development flourished from the early 1900's. One major stimulus was the introduction (1916) by the American psychologist Lewis Terman of the test known today as the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test. This test led to a number of studies about children's intellectual development. In the 1920's scientists at more than a dozen leading universities began large-scale observational studies of children and heir families; these included the Berkeley Growth Study at the University of California (started in 1929 and still active today), the Fels Growth Study at Antioch College, and the Harvard Growth Studies. All used the longitudinal method, in which the same children are observed and tested at over a specific time period (The Volume Library 1990: Volume 2). The American psychologist Arnold Gessell established a research institute at Yale University in the 1920's for the sole purpose of studying children. He developed the technique of analyzing...
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