Learning and Developmental Theories

Family members; especially parents and primary caregivers, can use psychological learning theories to predict family behaviours, and maintain family dynamics. Each different theory, where applicable, is also be maintained differently. Learning theories vary, and allow different methods for parents, teachers, and other caregivers; to assist in the learning process at all life stages.

Language and Education Influence Development

During my research as a new mom; I came across a website focused on Community Based Psychological Support. I would like to share this link as it provide valuable information with regards to developmental stages, cognitive thought creation, and abstract thinking.

http://psychosocial.actalliance.org/default.aspx?di=65400

Picture References

http://zanl13.wordpress.com/about/

http://www.psychologynoteshq.com/kohlbergstheory/

http://psychosocial.actalliance.org/default.aspx?di=65400

psychoruchi.wordpress.com

blog.lib.umn.edu

Article References

American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological

Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Brooks, J. (2013) The Process of Parenting (9th ed.). Toronto, ON: McGraw-Hill.

Cartmill, E. A., Hunsicker, D., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2014). Pointing and naming are not redundant: Children use gesture to modify nouns before they modify nouns in speech. Developmental Psychology, 50(6), 1660-1666. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1504147806?accountid=14391

Kaufman, J., Tarasuik, J. C., Dafner, L., Russell, J., Marshall, S., & Meyer, D. (2013). Parental misperception of youngest child size. Current Biology, 23(24), R1085-R1086.             doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.10.071

Malekpour, M. (2007). Effects of Attachment on Early and Later Childhood. The British Journal of Developmental Disabilities. 53(2):105, 81-95.

Martinez-Conde, S., (June 2, 2014) “Youngest kids are bigger than their parents think”. Scientific American. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/illusion-chasers/2014/06/02/baby-size/ htm

Meyer, D., Sara Wood, S., & Stanley, B. (2013). Nurture is nature; Integrating brain development, systems theory, and attachment theory. The Family Journal 21(2) 162-169.

Shaffer, D.R., Kipp, K., Wood, E., & Willoughby, T. (2013). Developmental psychology: Childhood and adolescence (4th Canadian ed.). Scarborough, ON: Nelson/Thomson.

University of Warwick. “Use of gestures reflects language instinct in young children.” ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605083453.htm (accessed July 2, 2014).

 

THE 5 MAIN DEVELOPMENTAL THEORIES

 

Mary Ainsworth’s strange situation study, and the attachment theory provides families with different styles of parenting, and can aid parents with a secure or an insecure child during their development.

Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development; provides parents with guidelines as to what they should be experiencing with their children at each stage, and how to form secure attachments at each stage.

Psychosexual development is a central element of the psychoanalytic sexual drive theory, that human beings, from birth, possess an instinctual libido (sexual energy) that develops in five stages identified by Freud.

Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory; also known as the human ecology theory, identifies the influence of different environmental systems that individuals interact with.

Life-Span Perspective; explains and aids a person to grow, develop, and decline by integrating new concepts into old frameworks for understanding.

Selective Optimisation with Compensation; theory created by Paul Baltes, and is used to describe the relationship between age-related changes and shifts in behavioral and cognitive styles of thought.

Life-Course Perspective; is used to analyze peoples development in terms of social, cultural, and structural contexts.

PIAGET’S MODEL OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT

Piaget’s roughly 60 year old model of cognitive development draws from different fields. These fields include the sciences, such as; biology and genetics, alongside the arts; such as philosophy and epistemology. Piaget believed that in order to observe the process of thought formation in humans; the best place to start was with a tabula rasa, a blank slate; a child.

According to Piaget; children develop as a product of complex interaction. This interaction is dependent on the maturation of the nervous system and the development of language.

This means that children mature based on their social interaction with the physical world around them. As every parent knows; kids respond to stimuli around them. These are recognizable at different stages of developmental maturity. Children develop thoughts during the very first years of their lives. These thoughts become more abstract as the child grows through each developmental stage into adulthood. Piaget’s theory is used as a reference schema for identifying and directing the rational; cognitive, thought processes made by children.

“Parental misperception of youngest child size”

Martinez-Conde, S., (June 2, 2014) “Youngest kids are bigger than their parents think”. Scientific American.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/illusion-chasers/2014/06/02/baby-size/ htm

The author of this article suggests that parents of multiple children tend to see a larger contrast in size depending on the age of the child and how many siblings there are to reference; by memory. This article suggests that recent research indicates there is a ‘baby illusion’ that causes parents to see their youngest child as being smaller than they are in reality. This does not change with age; the ‘illusion’ is that the youngest child always seems smaller than his or her siblings when using them as a point of reference.

Kaufman, J., Tarasuik, J. C., Dafner, L., Russell, J., Marshall, S., & Meyer, D. (2013). Parental             misperception of youngest child size. Current Biology, 23(24), R1085-R1086.             doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.10.071

Kaufman, J., Tarasuik, J. C., Dafner, L., Russell, J., Marshall, S., and Meyer, D. (2013) suggest in their article; entitled Parental misperception of youngest child size that there is such a phenomenon as the ‘baby illusion’. The study hypothesizes that parents who experience the ‘baby illusion’ are in fact doing this out of an innate allocation of care, and resources. This is found to be true for the youngest child because they seem to require more care no matter their age; as per their parents’ perceptions as well as reality.  Authors state that “parents misperceive their youngest children as exaggeratedly small, [which] may have an adaptive value, leading to greater parental care…” (Kaufman, J., Tarasuik, J. C., Dafner, L., Russell, J., Marshall, S., & Meyer, D. 2013:165).  The article suggests that this is a result of the nature and nurture response parents adapt when they have young children to care for.

            I agree with the article. From my experiences as a new mom; of a nearly 7 week old baby girl, I can understand this theory and support the hypothesis that parents always see the youngest child as smaller. I also believe this goes for parents who become grandparents as well. My daughter was born 5lbs 1oz, I was born 7lbs 4 Oz, and my younger brother was very sick at birth and weighed only 4lbs 7oz. I held my brother several times when he was born, but looking at him now and holding my daughter (who weighed almost a full pound more at birth) she seems so much smaller than him. My mother who just became a grandmother also seems to feel my daughter was smaller than my brother was at birth. This phenomenon which I now know is scientifically called ‘the baby illusion’ also seems to be a result of the natural instinct in parent to nurture their children, especially the smallest.

According to Malekpour “[i]n general, attachment is the emotional bond that individuals form with their caregivers over the course of their infancy. [Furthermore;] [t]he quality and timing of attachment could determine the quality of later development” (2007:82). Primary caregivers are the principal builders of the emotional bonds that infants develop. Therefore secure emotional attachment with mother/father/caregiver is fundamental in the process of human development and influences later relationships; either positively or negatively. In order for an adult to form safe and secure relationships they must have experienced a secure foundation of emotional attachment from their primary caregiver(s) in their childhood. This feeling of security then expresses itself as a “secure base from which to explore self and the world” (Malekpour, 2007:91).

In the absence of ‘proper parenting’; children tend to display insecure attachments in both childhood and adulthood. This can in turn lead to ‘a lifetime difficulties’ (Shaffer, D. R., et al. 2013). Such difficulties include, but are not limited to; fewer intimate/close relationships, higher likelihood of illness, and the potential for antisocial behaviours. Finally, Inconsistency in emotion and rejection or carelessness from the primary caregiver, during childhood, can lead to maladjusted adults.

References

American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological

Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Malekpour, M. (2007). Effects of Attachment on Early and Later Childhood. The British Journal of Developmental Disabilities. 53(2):105, 81-95.

Shaffer, D.R., Kipp, K., Wood, E., & Willoughby, T. (2013). Developmental psychology: Childhood and adolescence (4th Canadian ed.). Scarborough, ON: Nelson/Thomson.

Different models and theories used in family dynamic, and development, research provides insights into a person or a child’s current behaviors in relation to their development. They are important for parents, and family members alike, because they apply cross-culturally to the contemporary family; and allow developmental insights.

University of Warwick. “Use of gestures reflects language instinct in young children.” ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605083453.htm (accessed July 2, 2014).

This first article discusses the employment of childhood language development theories. The article states that children “instinctively use a ‘language-like’ structure to communicate through gestures” (ScienceDaily: 2014). This statement applies to one of three main theoretical perspectives of language acquisition. This falls into the nature side of the nature vs nurture argument. Psychologists who believe that “human beings are innately endowed with biological linguistic processing capabilities…” (Shaffer, D. R., Kipp, K., Wood, E., & Willoughby, T., 2013:429); meaning that children not only have a language acquisition device, but that they also have the capacity to create-language. This is interesting and relates to this article because even gestures are a form of language that must be acquired or created.

Cartmill, E. A., Hunsicker, D., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2014). Pointing and naming are not redundant: Children use gesture to modify nouns before they modify nouns in speech. Developmental Psychology, 50(6), 1660-1666. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1504147806?accountid=14391

http://search.proquest.com/docview/1504147806?accountid=14391

Cartmill, E., Hunsicker, D., and Goldin-Meadow, S., agree that children use gesture to represent words and modify nouns. The article suggests that paying close attention to the visual gestures children make can allow for a linguistic interpretation; in turn this creates a physical reaction to the demand. Authors reported that they were able to identify particular correlations between gesture and speech.  Authors determined, through their research, that “children combine speech and gesture (rather than the ability to use a word and gesture together) that predicts the acquisition of new constructions in speech” (Özçalis¸kan & Goldin-Meadow, 2005 cited in Cartmill, E., Hunsicker, D., and Goldin-Meadow, S., 2014). This is supports the newspaper article from ScienceDaily entitled Use of gestures reflects language instinct in young children. Authors of that article also suggest that hand gestures are crucial to the development of language in childhood.

MY OPINION

I also agree with both articles, research supports that non-verbal communication from newborn to young childhood develops patters in speech and develops language for later in life. Being a mother myself; I can honestly admit that without hand gestures or non-verbal communication I would be lost. My newborn cries for many different things yet it is her gestures that help me to clarify what she is actually ‘asking’ for or ‘in need’ of. For example; when she cries from hunger her mouth usually makes a sucking donut like shape; when she cries in her sleep and needs nothing but to express herself, she usually pushes the blankets off with her hands and makes fists, gesturing that she does not want to be woken but is in fact having a vivid dream.

Nurture Is Nature: Integrating Brain Development, Systems Theory, and Attachment Theory

ARTICLE LINK: Assignment 1 Article Used

This article discusses the influences of nature and nurture on childhood and future development. Authors reference three developmental theories including; attachment theory, neurobiology, and systems theory. Through investigating the relationships between infants and their caregivers; childhood development can be examined and improved. This article addresses the need for both biological and interpersonal development during ones lifespan. For the purpose of this article, authors define; biological processes as nature; while interpersonal processes are defined as nurture. Methodology involved examining emotions observed and reported.

Through integrating both nature and nurture into a child’s life; optimal development should be evident, and supported by clinical observation (doctors visits). In order for physical processes of development to occur (nature), interpersonal processes are necessary (nature) at all stages of development, especially early childhood. This article concludes that throughout early brain and childhood development doctors should be able to observe; both, the consequences and processes of nurture being nature.

Humans are born with a small arrangement of emotions they can express. These emotions are expressed verbally (through cries, laughter, coos and kaas), physically and emotionally. This means that emotions must be learned, and those that each child is born with must be progressively enhanced through learning. Because infants must learn emotions; the authors of this article state that children must witness and manipulate emotions and actions before they can experience them. This is why the article sides with nurture as being more integral to childhood development; biological processes cannot naturally progress without the proper nurturing and tools.

REFERENCE

Meyer, D., Sara Wood, S., & Stanley, B. (2013). Nurture is nature; Integrating brain development, systems theory, and attachment theory. The Family Journal 21(2) 162-169.

nature-nuture

Nature: Babies are born with the inherent biological means to survive. Meaning they have the proper biological components to ‘tell’ the world what they need; even if it is not done verbally but visually and orally. This is completed using body language and cries.  My daughter responds to sounds, smells and sights because of nature and biology. This response to stimuli is integral to childhood health and development; especially considering a child cannot feed him/herself. Nature forms the basis of the attachment children, more so newborns, develop with their mother, father and other caregivers/close family members.

Nurture: The first thing I did to comfort my daughter as we welcomed her into this crazy world; was skin-to-skin contact. I literally held her naked body on my chest and cried. I didn’t feed her for at least 2 hours after she was born, nor did I do anything else but hold her, stare at her in disbelief, and love her. She cried the entire time the nurses and doctors were checking her for any signs of distress. But the minute she rested her body on my chest she stopped crying, and wrapped her fingers around my finger. All she needed was her mom. Finally; food cannot be acquired by the child themselves under a certain age; be it formula or breast milk.

Both nature and nurture equally influence a child’s health; during the first few years of life it is necessary that the child have the natural need to seek nurturing.

One a side note: Given that I am recently a new mom; this discussion topic is very intriguing. So let me start off by saying that I look forward to reading everyone’s responses and thoughts on this matter.

My daughter responds to sounds, smells and sights because of nature and biology. The same goes for the sound of her father’s voice, and the smell of him after work. I swear the minute he walks in the door she cries until he picks her up, and she will simply fall back asleep in his arms. She’s only a month old-tomorrow. , Sometimes she simply needs love; she doesn’t need to eat, nor does her diaper need to be changed, and so far we have found no other explanation. As far as breast feeding moms go, it is integral to ensure that the mother is healthy in order to properly nurture her child and produce enough healthy milk to feed their children. Both nature and nurture equally influence a child’s health; during the first few years of life it is necessary that the child have the natural need to seek nurturing.

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THE INFLUENCE OF TEXTING, AND TECHNOLOGY, ON CHILDHOOD LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND COMPOSITION

INTERESTING; PERSONAL, STAND POINT

Because children acquire 5 main language components; I believe that these 5 components would be dramatically influenced by ‘texting’.  However; in my opinion, the final component would be the most affected by texting and the use textual language both in and out of technological communication.

Frist there is phonology which deals with a languages sound system. Sound systems are altered during texting in order to create an easier message which is faster to compile and ‘send’.

Secondly morphology deals with how we form words from phonological sounds. Texting uses short forms that do not follow the rules for creating phonological sounds.

The third component of language is semantics, which is the understanding of possible morphological combinations.

The fourth aspect of language is syntax; which are the rules that regulate the way sematic morphemes; both bound and free, form sentences when they are combined. Texting offers a means to communicate without full words. For example; lol was a short form created to symbolize the words laugh out loud which later became a word itself.

The final and fifth language component is the guidelines for using effective language in the appropriate social settings. In the world of technology; this language component can also be extended to forms of technological language (Shaffer, D. R., Kipp, K., Wood, E., & Willoughby, T., 2013:429).

Furthermore; children who were raised using, or around texting and textual language accommodations, may use them in their own speech through having learnt them in their environment. Because “children have often used the correct forms of many irregular nouns and verbs…before they learn any grammatical morphemes” (Brown, 1973; Mervis and Johnson, 1991 cited in Shaffer, D. R., et al. 2013:416) they would most certainly also use irregular terms or short forms of common words associated with texting.

Finally since each component of language builds off of the previously learned/mastered component; and texting can influence the use of each component, pragmatics would be the most influenced by the use of technological language.

REFERENCES

American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological

Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Shaffer, D.R., Kipp, K., Wood, E., & Willoughby, T. (2013). Developmental psychology: Childhood and adolescence (4th Canadian ed.). Scarborough, ON: Nelson/Thomson.