DEVELOPMENTFrom cradle to grave -- major issues, methods, prenatal development, theories I. Development involves the processes and stages of growth from conception across the life span. It encompasses changes in physical, cognitive, and social behaviors. II. Major issues A. Nature versus nurture-are we more affected by heredity or environment?B. Continuity versus discontinuity-is developmental change gradual, or do we progress through distinct stages? III. MethodsA. Cross-sectional research involves studying a variety of ages at a given point in time.B. Longitudinal research follows the same group of subjects for many years.C. In cohort-sequential research, several age groups are studied periodically.D. Historical research revolves around the particular historical circumstances of an era IV. Prenatal development A. Physical development 1. Cephalocaudal (head to tail) development2. Proximodistal (from the center outward) development C. Genetics 1. Genotype refers to the total genetic composition of a person.2. Phenotype refers to the observable features of the person. D. Teratogens are disease agents, drugs, and other environmental agents that can cause birth defects during the prenatal period. V. Infancy A. Physical development 1. Growth rate declines throughout infancy but is faster than during any other postnatal period.2. Maturation and learning combine to determine skill development and replace reflexes. B. Social development 1. Harry Harlow's surrogate mother research with monkeys demonstrated the importance of contact comfort.2. Attachment style a. Secure attachment means the infant seeks proximity, contact, and interaction with the caregiver after separation.b. Insecure attachment means the infant cannot be calmed or ignores the caregiver after separation.c. Stranger anxiety peaks at about 6 months; separation anxiety peaks at about 18 months. E. Cognitive development 1. Infants show a preference for face-like patterns2. Visual cliff experiments suggest that infants perceive depth by the time they are able to crawl. Childhood and Adolescence I. Childhood A. Physical development 1. more extensive neural networks continue to develop in the brain2. Growth rate continues to decline B. Social development 1. Interaction with the environment provides a sense of gender identity.2. A greater sense of independence develops as peer relationships begin to become more important. C. Cognitive development continues at a rapid rate. There are advances in the areas of 1. Leaming2. Language3. Thinking skills II. Adolescence A. Physical/ sexual development-pubertyB. Social development 1. Peer groups take on an increasingly important role.2. Opposite-sex relationships gradually become less recreational and more intimate C. Cognitive development 1. Capability for logical, hypothetical, and introspective thinking develops2. Growing awarenesss of one's own mental processes develops-metacognition Adolescent development relates to many important societal problems, such as suicide, teen pregnancy, and eating disorders.
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