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- Infancy & Childhood -


From Zygote to Newborn - three periods

    The Germinal Period - From the moment of conception until 14 days later. The first 10 days constitute the most dangerous journey.

    The Period of the Embryo - From 14 days until 56 days after conception. During this time all major external and internal body structures begin to form.

    The Period of the Fetus - From the ninth week after conception until birth. Age of viability (about 22 weeks). During this period Amniocentesis can detect many genetic defects including Down syndrome.


    Teratology is the study of birth defects is a science of risk management. Teratogens are the agents and conditions that can impair prenatal development.

New  Teratogen affect is influenced by:

     1. The Timing of Exposure
         2. The Amount of Exposure
             3. Genetic Vulnerability

Specific Teratogens:

Major Diseases

    •  Rubella
       •  HIV

Medicinal drugs:

    •  Tetracycline
        •  anticoagulants
            •  bromides
                •  anticonvulsants
                    •  phenobarbital
                        •  retinoic acid
                            •  most hormones
                                •  nonprescription drugs such as aspirin, antacids, & diet pills

   New  Pregnant women should avoid any medication unless it is recommended by a doctor.


Drugs & Prenatal Development

Psychoactive Drugs:

•  Alcohol can = FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)
   •  Tobacco
       •  Marijuana
           •  Heroin
               •  Methadone
                   •  Cocaine
                       •  Solvents


Newborn's Abilities

    Genetic developmental - Conception - The creation of life begins when the motherís egg and fatherís sperm fuse and eventually produce an embryo; however, before this can happen both egg and sperm (gametes) must be produced. The sperm and egg have 23 chromosomes each, a normal human cell has 46 chromosomes or 23 pairs of chromosomes.

    Brain growth - early brain growth is rapid & widespread, this phenomenal increase is called Transient Exuberance.

Sensory development:

•  Link to Faces New
 
    Vision - by 3 to 6 months an infant can visually recognize mom, by 3 to 4 years of age vision is at adult levels.

•  Link to Hearing New

    Touch - well developed in newborns.
 
    Smell & Taste - well developed in newborns.
 
    Depth perception - occurs at around six months - A novel piece of apparatus used to test for the falling affordance, is called the 'visual cliff'. It consists of a raised central platform with a horizontal sheet of plate glass on either side. Under the glass, on one side only, there is a large drop to the ground below - this is the 'cliff'.

Motor development
 
Cephalocaudal- Motor development in the upper portion of the body develops quicker than the lower part of the body.
Proximodistal - Motor development in the middle part of the body develops quicker than the outer part of the body.

•  Link to Chart of Developmental Norms New

Emotional Development

   Temperament - The manner of thinking, behaving, or reacting characteristic of a specific person.

Kinds of temperament:

•  Easy babies (40%)
   •  Slow-to-warm-up babies (15%)
       •  Difficult babies (10%)
           •  No-single-category babies (35%)

Temperament & emotional interaction - Signposts:

•  Social smilingshim 4 to 6 weeks
•  Anger, surprise, & sadness shim 3 to 4 months
•  Fear shim 5 to 7 months
•  Shame & shyness shim 6 to 8 months
•  Contempt & guiltshim 24 months

•  Link to Attachment New


•  Link to Jean Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development New

Three Theories of Social Development:

•  Link to Freud's Psychosexual Stages New

•  Link to Erikson's Psychosocial Stages New

    Bandura's social cognitive theory  emphasizes the social origins of behavior in addition to the cognitive thought processes that influence human behavior and functioning. Bandura's social-cognitive approach represents a break from traditional theories by proposing that cognitive factors are central to human functioning and that learning can occur in the absence of direct reinforcement. That is, learning can occur simply through observation of models & in the absence of reinforcement.


General Psychology
Robert C. Gates