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Class 03 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.
  • another difficulty faced by children similar to Johnny W. is the danger of ingesting lead from peeling paint as a toddler. (66.7% of homes in Mason Co., WV built before 1980)
  • 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 95-98% of its students (who, in 2016 had an average Reading/Math Combined SAT score of 1144 vs. 1060 for the US and 1052 for NY State) and 98% go on to college. His home is about 15 years old and contains no lead-based paint.  

school comparison

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: Exploring the world
[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


developmental milestone differences

Cultural Variations

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

Early Emotional Development: Attachment

Harlow    Ainsworth 

1. Secure Attachment
2. Anxious-Ambivalent (Resistant)
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)

We develop within a psychosocial world and face demands at each stage of development to grow and change.

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

1. Trust versus mistrust (~ birth to about 2 years old)

2. Autonomy vs. Shame-Doubt (~ ages 2-3)

3. Initiative vs. Guilt (~ ages 4 to 6)

4. Industry vs. Inferiority (~ ages 7 through 12)

     Here is a diagram of the most important stage theories in current psychology
   Evaluation of Erikson's Theory

Originally posted 10/6/03. Last changed on Sept. 2, 2020