Early Childhood Development

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Chapter 7: Physical and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood
I. Physical Development A. Skeletal Growth: Between 2 and 6, 45 new epiphyses (cartilage to bone growth centers) form and are used to determine skeletal age
1) Teeth: girls tend to lose teeth earlier, malnutrition delays their development, and obesity accelerates the process a) Exposure to smoke triples the likelihood of tooth decay
b) 30% of U.S. preschoolers have tooth decay (60% by age 18) due to poor diet and inadequate healthcare
c) More likely to affect low SES children (12% U.S children in poverty have untreated tooth decay
B. Brain Development
1) Between 2 and 6, brain weight increases from 70% to 90%
2) As formation of synapses, cell death, myelination, and
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Typical characteristics include decreased GH secretion, very short stature, immature skeletal age, and serious adjustment problems.
E. Nutrition
1) Preschoolers appetites decline because of relatively slowed growth and wariness of dangerous foods
2) Preferences in food are imitationary and culturally linked
F. Infectious Disease
1) Infectious disease and Malnutrition
a)Of the 10 million annual deaths of children under 5 worldwide, 98% are in developing countries and 70% are due to infectious disease
b) Disease is a major hindrance to physical growth and cognitive development (Decreases appetite and makes it harder to absorb nutrients) 1) Most deaths due to diarrhea can be prevented by oral rehydration therapy and zinc supplements
2) Immunization: dramatic decline of childhood diseases. About a quarter of U.S. preschoolers lack essential immunizations
G. Childhood Injuries
1) Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of childhood mortality in industrialized nations. Auto accidents, drownings, and burns are the most common injuries during early and middle childhood
2) Factors related to childhood injuries: occur w/i a complex ecological system
a) Boys 1.5x more likely than girls to be
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Motor Development and Play
A. Gross Motor Development: 1) Flexibility 2) Balance 3) Agility 4) Force
B. Fine Motor Development: printing the alphabet, drawing, instruments
C. Sex Differences

III. Piaget’s Theory: The Concrete Operational Stage: (7-11) marks a major turning point in cognitive development, thought i s far more logical, flexible, and organized than it was earlier
A. Conservation: evidence of operations (mental actions that obey logical rules)
1. Reversibility: the capacity to think through a series of steps and then mentally reverse direction, returning to the starting point
2. Classification: focus on relations between a general category and two specific categories
3. Seriation: the ability to order items along a quantitative dimension a) The concrete operational child can seriate mentally (transitive inference)
4. Spatial Reasoning a) cognitive maps - their mental representations of familiar large-scale spaces
B. Limitations of Concrete Operational

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