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Childhood adolescence and adulthood development

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Society
Wordcount: 2333 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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What are the major milestones related to physical developments in early and middle childhood? Briefly describe these milestones?

There are several milestones connected to physical developments in early as well as middle childhood. Physical developmental change might take place as an outcome of genetically-controlled courses known as maturation, or even as a product of varied environmental factors and learning. However, developmental change most frequently involves an interface between the two. Age-linked development periods and cases in point of defined intervals include: ages 0-1 month (newborn); ages 1 month – 1 year (infant); toddler (ages 1-3 years); ages 4-6years (preschooler); ages 6-13 years (school-aged child) and (ages 13-20) adolescent (Kail, 2006).

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Aging which is also a physical development appears to concurrently occur in two major separate domains throughout all of the adulthood stages which include: primary aging and secondary aging. According to Stoker (2008), primary aging entails the ordinary, innate body progression from early maturity till death; but, secondary aging comprise progression linked with health habits, disease and/or environmental influences. During middle age aging begins to be considered in decline and loss in lieu of maturation and growth (Stoker, 2008). Nonetheless, Stoker states that some neurological and physiological advancement associated with it which never passes till early maturity. For example, reaction blockage in the frontal lobes as synchronized by the limbic system is never entirely developed till young adulthood, as well as (VO2 max) heart and lung power which does never get to optimal heights until the young adult years. Stoker (2008) hints that immune functioning related to B cell and T cell also counts young adults’ aging.

In the middle mature age secondary aging starts to have an important effect on the functioning of body neurology and physiology. A case in point is where both behavior and lifestyle choices, like alcoholism and depression, can impact significantly on neurological structure as well as cognitive ability (Stoker, 2008).

During later adulthood, it is realized that the deprivation of dendrite redundancy, do correspond to a fall in synaptic plasticity, which in turn starts to effect concrete real-world reaction times. In addition, presbyopia and presbycusis is far-off more superior during the later adult years. According to Stoker (2008) this is partly due to blood flow loss to the areas affected and collective environmental factors, like time of working in very noisy factories, etc…

The physical developments which come about during adolescence period are brought about through the introduction of gonadotrophic hormones. This hormone is released by the pituitary gland of the endocrine glands, particularly during the onset and the entire duration of puberty (Boyd & Bee, 2006). According to Boyd and Bee (2006), the release of hormones such as testosterone in boys and estrogen in girls do cause the manifestation of both principal and secondary sex uniqueness by about the age of adolescent. Indeed during the first few years of puberty, the male and female reproductive organs matures up and are capable of respectively producing sperm in boys and ovum in girls. In the early adolescence stage, young women do begin their menarche (menstrual cycle). Moreover, the cerebral cortex does thicken for the duration of adolescence and by extension some parts of the brain is myelinated; and brings with it supplementary effectiveness in the neural pathways (Boyd & Bee, 2006).

Physically, there is also a notable heave in both lung and heart size and a decline in the rate of heart beat. In addition, at adolescence the bones situated in the forelimbs mature to nearly adult levels, with maturity startlingly occurring more rapidly in girls than boys. This hand bone maturity gives a timely boost in coordination. On the other hand, boys do outpace girls in development as well as thickening of the muscle during the adolescent ages, resulting into a surge in the strength of boys.

What are the major milestones related to cognitive developments in early and middle childhood? How does cognitive changes from early to middle childhood?

Physical development in a child attracts corresponding augment in cognitive abilities of the cerebral cortex and by extension neural pathways. It is highly believed that correlation exists between physical development and cognitive development. For instance, a French speaking Swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget did trust that the cerebral expansion spurts which occur during adolescence stage of human growth brings with a novel stage of cognitive development which he referred to as the formal operational stage. According to Piaget, during this formal operational stage an adolescent duly begins to grasp both abstract logic and reasoning (Patterson, 2008). Besides, it is during adolescence stage that the aptitude to control memory as well as cognitive activities begins to bear fruits in the areas such as memorization, text learning and even face recognition. Further still, amplifications in working memory competence give the adolescent the capacity to comprehend figurative language, proverbs and metaphors. What’s more, advances in supposed logic permits an adolescent to guess the perceived effect of some actions and even behaviors. According to Patterson (2008), these advances allow for the accomplishment of invented audiences (mainly built from an apparent peer group). In This manner the adolescent has the rare ability to theorize and memorize about other individual’s perceptions and by extension impressions of themselves; while, a little child only manages to view situations, circumstances and behaviors from their personal perspective. Patterson (2008) further hints that cognitive developmental advances are also directly connected to both experience and learning. That this applies mainly to higher-level cognitive abilities like abstraction that relies to a considerable degree on formal education.

What role does Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory and Vygotsky’s Social Constructivist Approach play in understanding cognitive development in early and middle childhood?

Vygotsky was a theorist who posited that children gain knowledge via hands-on experience, just as Jean Piaget promptly suggested. However, as opposed to Jean Piaget, he did argue that prompt as well as responsive involvement by the mature adults once a child is on the periphery of learning a new task might duly assist the child learn new tasks. He called this Social Constructivist Approach which deals with the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). His Social Constructivist Approach helps understand and builds upon the knowledge already children have with the new knowledge that the adults can aid the child to learn (Vygotsky, 1998). A very good example where a parent can assist a child is when the parent “helps” a child to clap or merely roll its hands till it can clap and roll its hands alone (Cultural, Communication, and Cognition: Vygotskian Perspectives, 1985). Vygotsky’s principal focus was on the cultural role in influencing the pattern of the development of the child. Vygotsky claimed that any single function in the cultural development child does appear twice: initially, at the social phase (between people), and later, at the personality stage (inside the child). Vygotsky also posited that cognitive development was a gradual process which saw era of predicament in child growth during which time there is a valuable transformation in the mental functioning of a child (Vygotsky, 1998).

On the other hand, Swiss theorist Jean Piaget did pose reliably that a child learns aggressively via the play process. That it has to interact with the environment. He suggested on that regard that the role of mature adult in helping out the child get knowledge was merely to facilitate and if need be provide suitable learning materials to enable the child to interact with the surrounding and at the same time construct. Piaget actually applied Socratic questioning to engage the child to reflect and reproduce on what initially they were doing. He would attempt to get the child to see inconsistencies in their explanations. He further developed developmental stages. Piaget’s approach is applied in school curriculum sequencing and by extension in the preschool centers of pedagogy.

What are the major milestones related to socioemotional development in early and middle childhood? What types of changes occur in peer relationships from early to middle childhood?

According to Stoker Coy (Sunday, October 4, 2009), there exists 3 levels which bare 2 sub-stages each to give details regarding moral development all through an individual’s lifetimes: 1) Conventional level-Stage i: interpersonal conformity, mutual interpersonal expectations and relationships; Stage ii: conscience and Social system (known as the Law and Order). 2) Preconventional level-Stage i: punishment and obedience orientation; Stage ii: Instrumental purpose, exchange and individualism and finally the Postconventional level-Stage i: Social contract or utility and individual rights; Stage ii: Universal ethical principles. Stoker writes that these progresses in moral reasoning do overlap, concurrently exist, and further begin and end over a lifetime. Nevertheless, he hints that certain general rules applicable are that children never reason usually over stages (i) or (ii) of level 2, and that nearly all adults reason at stages (i) and (ii) of level 1, the Conventional level. It is the third stage, the postconventional moral reasoning stage which is in the immeasurable minority including the adult population. However, it constitutes those who believe that there exist a set of moral pronouncements that surpass all other concerns. Peer friendships turn out to be greatly important and quite central to social world of a child in the adolescent years. Stoker Coy (Sunday, October 4, 2009) writes that adolescents do highly price virtues like loyalty and faithfulness while in peer relationships and even tend to obtain friends with whom they share same beliefs on things like drug use, academic, sex, smoking, achievement, relational status, as well as echelon of social skills. Additionally, peer group conformity climaxes at about the age13 years and apparently fades when an adolescent develops enough self-esteem and consequently begins to build a concrete and substantial idea of self (Stoker Coy (Sunday, October 4, 2009).

To recognize Kohlberg’s justice and also Eisenberg’s empathy Stoker states that the development of emotion as well as moral rationale like role-taking skills, do assist with the control of anger and the evasion of unsociable behavior. In that regard Stoker hints that if an adolescent for instance is able to be taught to see clearly a certain situations from another individual’s perspective, then such a person is a lot more likely to evade delinquent behavior.

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How can families impact the development of young children?

Monumentally, families nurture, shape and model children into who they later become. For that matter, good influence can be encouraging whereas bad influence can be motivating. Both types of influences can bare positive and/or negative impact. For instance, a child brought up in an abusive and alcoholic home might grow into a doctor focusing on victims of abuse, or they may perhaps become an abuser or alcoholic themselves. In this case, it can go either way. However, either way it is duly influenced by their family and general background. Besides, if a family have good manner then chances are high the child will emulate and practice it in the future since the child have stages of growth and they grasp ideas swiftly. Without a family, a child never actually knows what is expected of him and/or what to expect from others. Devoid of order and kind, solid discipline, the child might fail to develop self-discipline. As a result, he could become unmotivated, out of control, and crave excitement. His life may well be another roller-coaster journey. Cadigan (April 25, 2008) writes that the attributes that children obtain directly from parents or other mature family members are fourfold. They include personality, physical and cognitive abilities, behavioral health as well as race and/or ethnicity. She suggests that family is obliged to provide both formal and informal support to the child. The child also grasps and eventually acquires physical and cognitive abilities of family members including the members’ behavioral health. Since child forms the basis of learning and apparently children generally learn very first, they acquire learn and get the economic status of the member of their family (Cadigan April 25, 2008). The members of a family should therefore practice desired attributes they would like to be depicted in their infants.


Boyd, D. and Bee, H. (2006). Lifespan development. 4th Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Allyn Bacon.

Cadigan Karen. (April 25, 2008). Early Childhood Policies from Ecological and Family Impact Perspectives. Retrieved May 23, 2010.

Cultural, Communication, and Cognition: Vygotskian Perspectives. (1985). Cambridge University Press. Retrieved May 23, 2010.

Kail, R.E (2006). Children and Their Development. 4 Ed. Prentice Hall. Retrieved May 23, 2010.

Patterson C (2008). Child Development. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Stoker Coy. (Sunday, October 4, 2009). Adolescence and Adulthood Developmental Stages

Vygotsky, L.S. (1998). Child psychology. The collected works of L. S. Vygotsky: Vol. 5. Problems of the theory and history of psychology. New York: Plenum.


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