[Home]   PSY 101    [Psychology
                Images] Development I: Prenatal & Childhood Development (Outline)

Consider these two children

Johnny W.
(Kristof, 2014, Feb. 22 & 2014, Mar. 02, NY Times)
Alex R.
  • Johnny W.Johnny is a 3 year old,  happy and friendly kid born to a single White mother. He lives in Point Pleasant, WV in a trailer with his mom who doesn't have enough money to fix her broken car.
  • However, as an infant, Johnny was deaf but it was not noticed until he was 18 months old. While medical treatment allowed him to hear, he is still having difficulty speaking. Johnny does attend preschoool.
  • In his community, 20% of children are actually born with alcohol or drugs in their systems.
  • Other difficulties faced by children similar to Johnny W. are
    • ingesting lead from peeling paint as a toddler (66.7% of homes in Mason Co., WV built before 1980).
    • living in homes with no books
    • attending weak schools (71.7% graduation rate & 63.5% college attendance rate from Johnny's local high school in 2010-11).
    • living in neighborhoods with a high level of gang violence
  • Alex is a 3 year old, happy, and friendly kid born to White parents. He lives in Manlius, NY. His father is an engineer and his mother teaches school in the Fayettevile-Manlius (F-M) school system.
  • As a newborn infant, he developed a bilateral ear infection and became significantly deaf because of fluid build-up. The problem remained even after a course of antibiotics. His parents first noticed at the age of 4 months that he didn't seem either to startle at loud sounds or to respond to his mother's voice. He was examined by his pediatrician and referred to a specialist around 5 months of age. He was fitted with ear tubes and his hearing was restored. His speech is normal for a child of his age.
  • Alex R. is enrolled in a preschool program (one of the 106 programs available in the Syracuse area).
  • The F-M school district that Alex will attend eventually is one of the best in NY State. It usually graduates 100% of its students (who, in 2010 had an average SAT score of 1718 vs. 1508 for the US) and 98% go on to college. His home is about 15 years old and contains no lead-based paint.  

How do you think each of these children will develop over the next twenty years?

What are the most important factors affecting how these children will develop?

Development is the sequence of age-related changes that occur as a person progresses from conception to death.

 Prenatal Development

[Prenatal Development]

Stages of development

1. Germinal: Conception to 2 weeks

2. Embryonic State: 2 to 8 weeks

3. Fetal State: 8 weeks to 38 weeks

Environmental Risk Factors to Fetal Development

Maternal Malnutrition

2. Stress & Emotion

3. Maternal Drug Usage

4. Maternal Alcohol Consumption

   fas 5. Maternal Illness (Infections)

6. Environmental Toxins

7. Fetal Origins of Adult Diseases

 Early Childhood

Physical & Motor Development
[Child/Adult Growth]
[Growth Chart]

Pattern = (1) cephalocaudal (head-to-foot) & (2) proximodistal (center-outwards)

Maturation = development which comes from the unfolding of genetic blueprint

Developmental Norms 

Cultural Variations

Temperament: Easy & Difficult Babies [Not in text, but important]

Temperament = characteristic mood, activity level, & emotional reactivity

Thomas & Chess: Longitudinal Study

Early Emotional Development: Attachment

Attachment = close, emotional bond of affection between child & caregivers

Separation Anxiety = emotional distress shown by infant when separated from those whom they are attached to

Patterns of Research by Harry Harlow & Mary Ainsworth

Harlow    Ainsworth 

Harlow's Baby Monkeys prefer cloth-covered to wire-covered "substitute mothers"

The Strange Situation: Experimental study of children's attachment to parents

1. Secure Attachment

2. Anxious-Ambivalent

3. Avoidant

4. Disorganized (not in book)

Cultural Differences in Attachment

Communicating: Language Development

Toward Words

Using Words

Parent-Infant Speech & Language Learning

 Personality Development: Erikson's Theory

1. Certain (invariant) order
2. Age-related
3. Qualitative change (discontinuous from past stages)

[Joan & Erik

   Erik Erikson (1902-1994)

Developmental Stage
(Approx. Age)

Freudian Stage
Erikson's Stage

Infant (0-1 yo)
Oral Basic Trust vs. Mistrust
Toddler (2-3)
Autonomy vs. Self-Doubt
Early Childhood (4-6)
Phallic Initiative vs. Guilt
Late Childhood (7-12) Latency Industry vs. Inferiority
Adolescence (13-18) Genital
Ego Identity vs. Role Confusion
Adult Transition (19-26)
(Not examined
by Freud)
Intimacy vs. Isolation
Early/Middle Adulthood (26-55)
Generativity vs. Self-Absorption
Later Adulthood/Old Age (55+)
Integrity vs. Despair

     Here is a diagram of the most important stage theories in current psychology (will open in new window) or in pdf format

   Evaluation of Erikson's Theory

Originally posted 10/6/03. Last changed on Oct 7, 2016