Read the Chapters (ATTACHED) then respond regarding the content of each Chapter as you would in a face-to-face class. State your point of view.
Please don't summarize the reading. Try to make this an interaction like one that would occur in a live classroom.
Length should be at least approximately 300 words per Chapter for full credit.
Chapter 9: Middle Childhood: Physical and Cognitive Development
Summary Children begin middle childhood with many of the characteristics of younger children. Their body proportions and motor skills resemble those of younger children, and their thinking is preoperational and often magical. As children mature through middle childhood, they become more adult-like. Their body proportions are more similar to adults, as is their use of language. They are able to carry out complex mental activities, to think about themselves and others, and to participate in a wide range of socially interactive activities.
Children grow steadily during middle childhood. As they mature from early childhood to adolescence, their weight doubles, their body proportions change, and their baby teeth are replaced by permanent dentition. Much brain development occurs in the cortex, and neural pathways are created and strengthened that allow for increased executive functioning. Neural pathways strengthened through myelination and automatization also allow children more control of their bodies and motor behaviors. Physical development is supported by play as well as good nutrition.
Physical and brain changes that occur during middle childhood support a tremendous amount of cognitive growth. Conversely, the repetition of newly acquired cognitive skills strengthens neural connections. Cognitively, children during middle childhood develop competencies and strategies that allow them to reason and use logic. They learn to read, write, and do basic arithmetic through their use of concrete operations. Among the cognitive functions that Piaget described as concrete operations are reversibility, grouping, seriation, and conservation. Together, these emerging abilities allow children to better appreciate cause-and-effect relationships and to interact with their environments with more intention.
Another way to conceptualize children’s cognitive development is to consider it in terms of the way information is processed. During middle childhood, children develop structures that allow
them to attend to new information and store it for later retrieval. New information is acquired through sensory memory, processed through short-term memory, and stored in long-term memory. Improved information processing allows children to selectively attend, and to improve the efficiency with which they gain new knowledge and skills. In addition, they gain the ability to think about the way they think, a phenomenon known as metacognition.
Children begin elementary school with language skills that are similar to those of adults. They know grammar and syntax and use complex sentences. As they mature, their vocabularies expand and they begin to comprehend words that have abstract meanings. With abstract reasoning comes the ability to see other perspectives and to develop socially and emotionally.
Chapter 10 Reading The Elementary Years of Middle Childhood Emotional and
Summary The context of children’s lives changes during middle childhood. Children are more independent, less reliant on parents, and more involved in school and community. Their social development reflects gains they have made physically, cognitively, and emotionally, and is influenced by a variety of factors. Physical and brain changes, cognitive advances, emotional regulation, and social awareness work together to promote the child’s developing competencies and self-concept.
Improved cognitive abilities pave the way for emotional development. Children can use their cognitive abilities to calm themselves in uncomfortable situations and to add complexity to their self-concepts. In middle childhood, children become more aware of others and how others feel. Emotional intelligence develops as children process information about their own and others’ emotions and use that information to guide their thoughts and actions. Being aware of others also allows children to make comparisons. Children compare their emerging skills to those of their peers and judge themselves to be competent or inferior. These judgments form the basis of self-esteem and contribute to children’s self-concepts. Emotional development and cognitive development together influence social development. An important component of social development is moral development, which would not be possible without concurrent gains in cognition. As children mature, they acquire a more complex set of guidelines and principles to help them distinguish between right and wrong. These morals are attained through social interaction and observation and become ensconced through practice. Central to moral development is emotional development, and in particular the ability to be empathic. In middle childhood, as children
come to appreciate others, they become able to sense how others feel. Having a sense of how others feel further guides social interaction.
Being able to think about people and relationships is known as social cognition. Through social cognition, children learn about themselves. They gain understanding of how they are viewed by others and thus modify their self-concepts. Social cognition, along with emotional intelligence, social perspective taking, and moral development also makes friendships, healthy peer relationships, and pro-social behavior possible. Being accepted by peers seems to be associated with happiness, higher self- esteem, fewer behavioral problems, and better school performance.
Friendships are a unique form of peer relationship. The ability to make friends develops in stages that parallel cognitive development. Through friendships children gain companionship, support, intimacy, and affection. Not having friends puts children at risk. Those who do not have friends or who are rejected by peers are less likely to engage in pro-social behaviors, and more likely to be hostile or aggressive.
Aggression may be reactive or proactive. Reactive aggression often is seen in children who misinterpret the intentions of others. Children who demonstrate proactive aggression, on the other hand, are deliberate about their behavior. Proactively aggressive behaviors are intended to harm, and the perpetrators may be considered bullies. Bullies, as well as victims, tend to be children who have gaps in their social skills and are rejected by peers. It is often the case that victims turn to bullying behaviors themselves.
In addition to peers and friendships, there are a number of other social influences on development during middle childhood. Participation in sports provides opportunities to enhance communication, cooperation, empathy, and connection. Team sports in particular seem to be associated with higher self-esteem; however, children who participate in certain sports such as wrestling and martial arts also tend to exhibit aggression.
During the elementary years, children spend many hours in front of video screens, watching television, playing games, or interacting with digital technology. The more hours they spend in front of video screens, however, the less time they have to spend sleeping, engaging in outdoor activities, studying, or interacting with family and friends. Spending many hours in front of video screens is also associated with being overweight.
With or without television, video games, and computers, elementary-aged children spend less time with parents than they did when they were younger. Parents and families have an important role in helping children feel safe, secure, and supported. Although a slightly decreasing trend from decades past has been observed, many elementary children experience the divorce of their parents. One in three children in middle childhood is likely to live with a single parent, foster parents, grandparents, or other relatives. These types of living situations often place stressors on children and decrease the availability of tangible and intangible resources from which they could benefit. Increased stress and decreased resources often contributes to negative outcomes; however, the right balance of protective factors such as appropriate parenting and support mediate these outcomes. Development in middle childhood is impacted by an ever-expanding social context. The interactive influences of school, peers, media, and family all contribute to the developing child’s readiness for adolescence.
Chapter 11 Reading: The Adolescent Years: Physical and Cognitive Development
Summary This chapter focused on adolescent physical and cognitive development, including during early adolescence (ages 11–14) and mid-adolescence (ages 15–18). The chapter began with a brief discussion about how adolescence is a distinctively different period that is often associated with a certain degree of fascination captured through various forms of media. Adolescence used to be characterized as a period of “storm and stress,” but the current view is that most adolescents mature in a gradual, mostly continuous manner and navigate through adolescence without major disturbances. The impact of culture on adolescence was addressed, as well as some new challenges that adolescents in contemporary society are forced to deal with that weren’t prevalent years ago.
The first section of the chapter dealt with physical development and the many significant changes that affect the adolescent in various ways. In separate sections, male and female development was addressed, including physical growth, primary and secondary sex characteristics, and differing rates of development. A general discussion of what is associated with puberty was covered, as well as information about adolescent health and eating disorders.
The second section described the cognitive changes that occur during adolescence, including a discussion about brain development and the contributions of Piaget, who developed the concept of formal operational thinking. The chapter included information about the structural and functional changes that occur relative to informational processing and then addressed the stages of moral development. This section included a discussion of how adolescents experience school, describing gender and ethnic differences in achievement and the dropout problem. Finally, David Elkind’s concepts of the invincibility fable, the personal fable, and the imaginary audience were presented.
Chapter 12 Reading The Adolescent Years: Emotional, Identity, and Social
Summary This chapter included a discussion of emotional and identity development. A general discussion about how hormonal changes influence emotions was included, as well as specific information about anxiety and depression, two common emotional problems that affect many adolescents. Signs, symptoms, and who is most vulnerable to depression were described, as well as the connection between adolescent depression and suicide. In terms of identity development, both Erikson’s and Marcia’s theories were described, as well as gender and ethnic considerations relative to identity development.
The second section of the chapter was about social development, including the influence of both family and peers on adolescent development. With regard to family, the chapter discussed four parenting styles—authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and ignoring—and how these styles affect the parent–adolescent relationship. Seltzer’s social identity theory is described in this section, as well as peer relationships, peer pressure, and romantic relationships and dating. Other topics addressed included substance abuse, delinquent behaviors, violence and gang membership, adolescent sexuality, career development, and stages of vocational decision making.
With each generation it seems as if the challenges facing adolescents are more substantial. Consider the fact that all adolescents have the typical developmental tasks to deal with (which many do quite successfully), but in addition there are situational issues that affect more and more youth: living in divorced or blended families, growing up in abusive households, dealing with addicted parents, living in poverty, being victimized or bullied, and so on. As helping professionals we
have an obligation to help adolescents living in a contemporary society to grow up without giving up.
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