Theories of Infant Development

Theories of Infant Development

The Effects of The Infancy Period on The Formation of Individual Differences Fogel Chapter 12 Created by Ilse DeKoeyer-Laros, Ph.D. Overview Chapter 11

Development as a Complex Dynamic Process Research on Continuity between Early and Later Development Perinatal Factors Motor Development Parental Contributions Risk and Disadvantage Culture Gender Intellectual Development Temperament

Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors Development as a Complex Dynamic Process This chapter is intended as a bridge between infancy and the preschool years There is no clear demarcation between these two periods a number of factors suggest that the infancy period is not completely over until late in the third year of life

Development as a Complex Dynamic Process Researchers hope is that evidence of strong prediction will lead us to discover ways to break down the grip of early experiences on negative outcomes by discovering new treatments or interventions Advocates for early intervention and early enrichment programs look to evidence of strong prediction to make a case for their work

this logic is somewhat contradictory, since strong prediction implies a lack of change Development as a Complex Dynamic Process Medical research operates on this principle once a link between a gene or a virus and some disease is found, researchers can then seek out treatments that deal with the root cause of the disease

Development as a Complex Dynamic Process People who are against investing money in early childhood education and intervention programs, who would prefer to see public and private funds invested in helping older children succeed at school or preventing crime, take this kind of research as an argument for their position

Development as a Complex Dynamic Process research shows a lack of ability to predict later from early factors research saying that infancy has no value, in the sense that early experiences or predispositions are unimportant for later outcomes Development is a Complex Dynamic Process

Development is a complex process involving many factors No single early factorsuch as the prenatal environment, parental sensitivity, or infant temperamentpredicts later outcomes 100% of the time most factors turn out to be both necessary and influential for later outcomes, but only some of the time, and only for some people and not others Development is a Complex

Dynamic Process The phases of an individuals life are never completely unconnected; there is always some influence of the earlier phases on later ones Perhaps the most salient example of apparent developmental disconnection is the life cycle of moths and butterflies Development is a Complex Dynamic Process

here we have stages of development that are so radically differentlarva, cocoon, and adultthat it seems almost certain that the experiences of the larva, for example, could not impact on the adult there are such influences the olfactory (smell) experiences of the larva have been shown to influence the food choices of the adult Development is a Complex

Dynamic Process In humans, developmental processes of the infant are embedded in social dyadic and family systems families are embedded in the multiple and interconnecting systems of the larger society and culture Development is a Complex Dynamic Process In complex systems, changes in one factor

are likely to affect other factors in such a way that the system as a whole adapts to the change in any single part We have seen countless examples of this kind of system effect, as infants and parents, siblings and peers, and families and cultures affect each other in a variety of ways Development is a Complex Dynamic Process

Developmental outcomes are typically the result of a large number of factors acting in combination Development is a Complex Dynamic Process What is the developmental process by which desirable and undesirable outcomes are formed? if a child exhibits a desirable tendency early in life, we would like to find ways to preserve it

if he or she suffers an unfortunate circumstance early, we would wish to bring the individual back to a closer approximation of typical development and behavior Development is a Complex Dynamic Process When systems are perturbed by some risk factor, the response of the whole system is not necessarily a change for the worse often the system achieves a kind of dynamic

balancing act in which it returns to a stable mode of functioning Development is a Complex Dynamic Process a good example is the development of some premature infants due to the compensatory actions of the parents to provide extra support and stimulation for their infant at risk, the developmental course of the infant may approach that of full-term infants, and

the family system may return to a stable mode of functioning following an earlier period of stress and uncertainty Development is a Complex Dynamic Process alternatively, system dynamics may progressively move a child and family off the typical developmental course a continuing spiral of negative effects that amplify each other is the cycle of persistent poverty, ill

health, infant disadvantage, and maladaptive parental behavior Development is a Complex Dynamic Process some family systems achieve stable states of positive functioning, becoming selfrighting after a trauma, others become unstable due to the dynamic interactions between family members and between the family and society

Development is a Complex Dynamic Process Research on the development of all species of animals suggests that the more complex the system and the more alternatives available (formal and informal supports, economic resources), the more likely it is that these multiple facets of the system will eventually absorb and defuse the negative effects of the initial trauma

Development is a Complex Dynamic Process The more the continued trauma depletes the system of resources, the more likely that the child will develop some type of developmental difficulty Lack of resources constrains development and forces individuals into the limitations of their heredity and their early experiences

Development is a Complex Dynamic Process Availability of resources (home, family, nutrition, support, etc.) opens development up to a wider range of possibilities Development is a Complex Dynamic Process No two individuals respond the same way to the same situation

Individuals vary in how they are affected by any single factor in infancy that contributes to later developmental outcome suffering abuse as an infant does not guarantee that individuals will go on to abuse their own infant Development is a Complex Dynamic Process only a small proportion of abused children become

child abusers the IQ range of children who were prenatally exposed to alcohol can range from retarded to having normal intelligence there is a range of severe to mild retardation even in the case of major genetic disorders, such as fragile X syndrome there is a wide range of outcomes, even when individuals have some things in common at an earlier point in time

Development is a Complex Dynamic Process A number of theories of development suggest that such variability and complexity of outcome is the rule rather than the exception Behavior ecology theory suggests that species evolve because each individual is different if everyone were the same, there would be no opportunity for natural selection to guarantee survival

Development is a Complex Dynamic Process species evolve because those individuals who are best able to survive live long enough to reproduce Dynamic systems theories suggest that very small perturbationsbutterfly effects may have unpredictable consequences for the growth of the system

Development is a Complex Dynamic Process Determinism the view that all natural phenomena are the result of some specifiable cause or a series of interlocking causes Indeterminism is the idea that not all natural phenomena can be predicted from known laws or principles the weather as a complex system in which

chaotic or indeterministic factors play a role Development is a Complex Dynamic Process Another example of an indeterministic process is the history of society many natural processes are historical processes in the sense that they are not simple accumulations of past events they are uniquely emergent creations that can never be exactly repeated

Development is a Complex Dynamic Process Indeterminism, magic, and butterfly effects are just as much a part of human development as determinism and logic Development is a Complex Dynamic Process Although some aspects of developmental change are determined by specifiable

sequences of events, many outcomes are indeterminate Development is a Complex Dynamic Process Individuals are continually open to opportunities that they do not plan and cannot predict a baby may discover an important contingency between his or her own behavior and something in the environment merely by chance

the meaning of the infants attempt is clarified by an adult, who explains to the child what he or she just did Development is a Complex Dynamic Process The child decides, in the emotion of the moment, to take the risk of jumping into something new and unknown or to stay within the safety of what is already understood

Development is a Complex Dynamic Process There are two basic principles for developmental change one is that development is a complex multifactor process the other is that no two individuals respond in the same way to the same factorvariability and the opportunity to capitalize on chance outcomes is inherent to the developmental

process Research on Continuity between Early and Later Development Developmentalists generally talk about lasting individual differences in terms of the concept of developmental continuity continuity is the extent to which aspects of the individual are preserved from one age to another

Research on Continuity between Early and Later Development The existence of developmental continuity means that a particular sensitivity or ability acquired in infancy is likely to affect the functioning of the individual in some way at later ages Perinatal Factors The existence of developmental continuity means that a particular sensitivity or ability

acquired in infancy is likely to affect the functioning of the individual in some way at later ages Perinatal Factors The data suggest that the effects of ones heredity are nondeterministic not everyone with the same types of genes or chromosomes will inherit the phenotypic characteristic typically associated with those genes or chromosomes

those who show the phenotypic features, will have a great deal of variation Perinatal Factors some genetic structures have a higher probability of being expressed in the phenotype these structures are typically associated with severe disorders Perinatal Factors

The genetic contributions to behavior, cognition, emotion, and personality have a much lower probability of being expressed universally in the phenotype because many genes are involved and because they require a specific set of environmental contingencies in order to be expressed Perinatal Factors Hereditary influence is an example of

continuity in which there is a consistency between early and later factors an early factor (the genes) is consistently related to a later outcome (for example, PKU or temperament) strict continuity is observed only in some cases it is more typical for environmental mediating factors to influence the way those genes are expressed or not expressed in the individual Perinatal Factors

One behavior geneticist has claimed that the influence of the genes in explaining individual differences in outcomes is so strong that family influences make few differences in childrens personality and intellectual development unless the family is abusive or outside the typical range Perinatal Factors Mary Shirley, reached a similar conclusion

she wrote that although the personalities of the babies are undoubtedly influenced by training and treatment, strong characteristics are not ironed out by training Perinatal Factors The most recent research evidence suggests, on the contrary, that these statements are true for only a very small percentage of individuals most people are susceptible to a wide variety

of influencesfrom family and societythat can limit or expand their genetic potentials Perinatal Factors Newborns are susceptible to a wide range of perinatal problems ranging from oxygen deprivation to low birthweight For all infants, the period immediately following birth is a time of adjustment from intrauterine to extrauterine life

Perinatal Factors An infant who suffers from one or more risk factors in the perinatal period may be unable to cope with the typical stresses of the first months of life and therefore may fall behind in developmental progress Perinatal Factors Research has found that many perinatal problems can be at least partially alleviated by a supportive environment

in a multiracial, multiclass sample of 670 infants born on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, all groups of childrenregardless of race, social class, or age of motherhad about the same proportion of perinatal complications In this sample, 13% suffered moderate complications, and 3% had severe complications Perinatal Factors group membership predicted how well the infant recovered from the complication.

children born into lower-income families were less likely to recover fully by age 2 by age 10, the effects of perinatal problems had all but disappeared for all the groups, but children from lower-income groups had lower scores on intelligence tests and were doing worse in school than children from middleincome groups Perinatal Factors This research shows that betweenindividual variability is multidetermined in part by perinatal factors and in part by

later environmental factors Perinatal Factors The more stressful the environment and the fewer economic and social support systems the parents have, the more likely it is that infants will not recover quickly from perinatal risk factors The continuity with negative outcomes tends to be related to the total number of risk factors and/or traumas, which have an

additive effect Perinatal Factors In addition, even the same traumatic situation, if it continues over a long period of time, can also have cumulative effects. Short periods of harsh discipline, malnutrition, stress, or family instability have far less serious developmental outcomes than if those factors persist over many years

Perinatal Factors However, if there are adequate economic resources, if the parents are not under psychosocial stress, and if the perinatal complications are not too severe, the effects are usually not continuous over the long term Perinatal Factors Continuity arises because of consistency

in the environments to which the infant is exposed environments that either alleviate or exacerbate the early risk factor Perinatal Factors In some cases, preterm infants may even be at some advantage with respect to full-term babies at equivalent gestational ages (the time since conception), preterms have had more

experience outside the uterus than full terms preterms begin to babble at earlier ages than full terms, presumably because they have had more exposure to auditory stimulation at the same gestational age Perinatal Factors Another general proposition to emerge from this research is that the more severe the perinatal disorder, the more likely that long-term effects will be continuous

infants who have very low birthweight (VLBW, less than 1,500 grams), for example, do less well in sensorimotor development during the first half year than other preterms Perinatal Factors Healthy preterms weighing more than 3,000 grams, on the other hand, do as well on sensorimotor tests as full terms Perinatal Factors

By the gestational age of 2 years, when most preterms have caught up with full terms, VLBW infants are more passive, less attentive, and less securely attached to their mothers than the full terms of the same gestational age some VLBW infants have continuing motor, social, cognitive, and attentional deficits at preschool and school age Perinatal Factors

Other extreme factors, such as auditory neurological deficits measured at birth that relate later to impaired auditory sensitivity Other forms of severe brain damage at birth, have also been found to be related to later cognitive and sensory impairment Early visual impairment is associated with slower development in all domains during the preschool period Perinatal Factors

Types of early-onset teratogens, especially those that occur during the periods of rapid growth of the limbs, organs, and brain, are generally continuous with later disorders, such as fetal alcohol syndrome and later learning disabilities Perinatal Factors Recent research suggests that there is a continuity between exposure to particular

types of teratogens, and violence in adulthood, especially for males Perinatal Factors Even in the worst cases of risk, there is variability in outcome between individuals Downs syndrome infants, for example, are better at daily living skills and communication if they come from cohesive families with sensitive parents

Perinatal Factors Findings from continuity studies suggest important ways to reduce the risk of serious disorders by means of simple interventions in the prenatal and perinatal periods Perinatal Factors Maternal stress during pregnancy has the potential to affect fetal and infant development

One research project examined two-yearold childrens behavior in relation to maternal stress due to a natural disaster, a destructive ice storm, during pregnancy Perinatal Factors mothers who reported more objective stress such as damage to the home, personal injuries, loss of power and water, exposure to falling power lines and branches during that time had children whose play was less mature and less creative, and whose motor development was delayed at

age 2 years the effects were greater if the storm occurred during the first two trimesters of pregnancy and the effects of the objective stress were more predictive of toddler behavior than the mothers self-reported subjective feelings of stress Perinatal Factors Objective stressors are ongoing similar to the effects of poverty, which is also ongoing

outcomes are not the result of a single prenatal factor but rather a combination of ongoing factors that affect parent and child well-being Perinatal Factors These findings discussed in this section represent many types of continuity for example, the deformation of a limb or a disorder of auditory neurology reflects absolute consistencies in which the affected

organ reaches a final state during early life and does not change later Perinatal Factors the effects of very low birthweight could be part of an absolute consistency associated with brain damage, or they could reflect a general retardation of developmental progress and thus be an example of consistency in relation to the group these babies continue to score lower than full

terms even after many years Perinatal Factors If infants are not at risk, their behavior in the perinatal period seems not to predict any later aspects of infant functioning Perinatal Factors One study found virtually no perinatal behavior that predicted the behavior of children in the preschool years. The

success (or lack of success) with which the mother and infant adjusted to each other during early feedings does not predict later mother-infant interaction patterns Perinatal Factors These studies on both typically developing and at-risk infants speak to the newborns buffering against difficulties of early adjustment

Infants have a self-righting ability given an appropriately responsive environment, the more mild perinatal complications may not create any lasting organismic deficits Perinatal Factors Perhaps if mothers are not under stress and are predisposed to providing competent care, the infant at risk evokes more maternal attention and solicitude than typically

developing infants this increased solicitude may be a factor in alleviating the early deficits over the first year or two of life, even for infants who are have severe deficits such as VLBW or teratogen exposed infants Perinatal Factors This hypothesis is further supported by an intervention study to train mothers of preterms in responsiveness, which

showed that infants with VLBW were most likely to improve In certain circumstances, the environment can provide compensation for individual variation in perinatal factors Perinatal Factors While the childs development normalizes, there way be subtle and hard-to-detect factors by which the effects of early experience persists, at least in some

individuals nineteen-year-olds who had been born pre-term, for example, while otherwise no different from full-term peers at their age, were more emotionally vulnerable to separations from parents and significant others Perinatal Factors this may be possibly an unconscious participatory memory of the early separation during hospitalization

Motor Development Environmental stimulation of particular motor systems does advance the infant receiving that stimulation in the short term, compared to other infants infant motor development in Africa, where infants are given a rigorous program of exercises and stretches, leading to an earlier onset of sitting, standing, and walking than in Europe and North America

Motor Development Differences in environmental stimulation do not lead to long-term differences even though the exercised babies may sometimes achieve a motor milestone earlier, it does not mean that as preschoolers they will be superior in motor development to babies who achieved their milestone at a later date there does not seem to be any continuity between early motor practice, physical stature

and weight, and later developmental outcomes Motor Development Relatively little research has been done in the area of long-term effects of enhancing early infant motor development, so drawing any general conclusions at this time would be unwarranted Motor Development In infants at risk physical and motor

stimulation can have an important remedial effect leading to catch-up growth this is especially the case if infants have moderate to severe disorders of self-regulation or a pervasive sensorimotor problem such as autism unless these conditions are treated with some type of intervention program, they are likely to remain stable and continuous into the preschool years and later Motor Development

For most infants, nighttime sleep duration increases and the number of night wakings decreases over the first three years sleep duration and night waking during the first year does not predict these factors in the third year there is no developmental continuity Motor Development a small percentage of children in the first year

had difficulty getting to sleep and re-settling back to sleep when they awoke at night these children were more likely to have sleep and self-regulation problems at 3 years of age Motor Development The general conclusion that extra motor stimulation in the first two or three years of life does not contribute to lasting individual differences unless the infant is at risk, does not apply for older children

Motor Development In the preschool and later years, practice with a motor skill does have a definite effect on later ability when children are taught sports, art, dance, gymnastics, and music training and guidance during this period does in fact lead to later excellence in those areas and may be a critical period for their development

Motor Development it is more difficult to achieve high levels of expertise in athletics and the arts unless training begins before adolescence Motor Development Some preschool children may have a particular facility and desire for one area of endeavor or another this has not been shown to be related to hearing

Mozart in the womb or being given aerobic workouts during the first few years of life if the child does not exhibit early desire and facility, however, early intensive skill testing and training are not advisable for the majority of children under the age of 3 years Motor Development A preschool education program that is responsive to the needs of the individual child and has the resources to challenge

each child at his or her level of interest seems to be the most useful approach Parental Contributions Maternal Employment & Child Care There does not appear to be a direct continuity between maternal employment or child care and later child developmental outcomes the long-term effects are mediated by other factors such as maternal sensitivity and

number of hours working per week do Parental Contributions Maternal Employment & Child Care one of the major risks related to maternal employment is for the mother herself, especially if she has an economic need to work but would prefer to stay at home, or if she is highly career motivated and suffers from role overload

in some cases, these mothers may have some difficulty establishing a secure relationship with their infants Parental Contributions Maternal Employment & Child Care Little is known about the long-term effects of maternal employment during infancy on later child development and the issue is clouded by methodological problems in the research

Parental Contributions Maternal Employment & Child Care The risks in child care lie primarily in the quality of care available and the age at which the child attends the risks are highest for infants under one year who do not have supportive family environments and who are in poor-quality care these children may fare worse than their peers in

preschool and kindergarten Parental Contributions Maternal Employment & Child Care The research, however, is difficult to interpret because of methodological problems and differences across studies The severity and duration of these effects vary greatly across infants some infants who are reared in low-quality child care show no deficits, while others do

Parental Contributions Attachment Research on attachment has found consistency between early and later factors in the relationship between parental sensitivity in the first year and later security of attachment between security of attachment at age 1 year and later social and intellectual competence in

preschool Parental Contributions Attachment Consistency of process is shown by similarity of attachment security between the ages of 1 year and 6 years, even though the specific types of attachment behavior differ at each age Parental Contributions

Attachment Consistency between early and later factors occurs as insecure children are more likely to have emotion regulation problems (fearfulness, anxiety) and psychosomatic complaints (headache, stomachache) during middle childhood Parental Contributions Attachment Long-term longitudinal studies show

continuity of attachment into adulthood, and in some cases, into the next generation Corresponding to the Ainsworth Strange Situation Test (ASST) for infants, there is an Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) that assesses the security of attachment of adults to their own parents and to their romantic partners Parental Contributions Attachment

evidence in some studies suggests moderate continuity between childhood ASST and AAI done during adolescence and adulthood and no relationship between the ASST (except for disorganized attachment, see below) and the AAI in other studies Parental Contributions Attachment Maternal security on the AAI is related to the childs attachment security on the

ASST mothers who remember being accepted when they were children by their own mothers were more likely to be sensitive to their own infants Parental Contributions Attachment Teens who are rated as dismissive on the AAI (denying and devaluing attachments) are more likely to have less sensitive mothers during infancy than teens who

rated their adult attachments as more secure The effects of infant experiences are mediated by other life events during childhood, such as parental divorce Parental Contributions Attachment There is a moderate predictability between attachment security in infancy and ability to resolve conflicts and shared emotions in

romantic relationships in early adulthood Parental Contributions Attachment Disorganized attachment in infancy also shows consistency between early and later factors children with disorganized attachments are more likely to show behavior problems at all later school ages and more likely to develop psychopathologies in childhood and adolescence

separation anxiety disorder, oppositional disorder, depression, phobias, and dissociation there is variability in the severity of the outcomes across individuals Parental Contributions Attachment The internal working model of attachment, suggests that individuals acquire particular expectations from their early social relationships that carry over into other

relationships because internal working models are relatively stable and are changed only very slowly, they may account for the long-term consistencies in attachment across time Parental Contributions Attachment there is variability across families while most attachments remain stable, some infants will change their attachment security,

becoming either more or less secure over time Parental Contributions Caregiving & Disciplinary Styles Guided participation is based on following up the childs spontaneous interests and actions, structuring those actions in ways that enhance the childs competence and sense of participation, and then allowing the child to take increasing responsibility parents who use more guided participation with

their children are more likely to have children with more-advanced language and cognitive skills. Parental Contributions Caregiving & Disciplinary Styles Guided participation is also related to authoritative parenting styles that combine respect for the childs interests and points of view with parental firmness in the enforcement of rules

such child outcomes as independence, cooperativeness, and social competence have been associated with authoritative parenting Parental Contributions Caregiving & Disciplinary Styles Parental proactive behaviorpreparing the environment or the child for anticipated positive outcomesis part of guidance and authoritative disciplinary styles

infant compliance is more readily assured if parents use proactive planning and guidance strategies, rather than confrontational approaches Parental Contributions Caregiving & Disciplinary Styles Social competence, intelligence, attentional control, emotion regulation, and language ability during early childhood are correlated with maternal vocalization, contingent

responsiveness, mother-infant synchrony, and parenting involvement during the first two years and in the third year with parental proactive behavior, such as providing opportunities to interact with other people and to explore the environment Parental Contributions Caregiving & Disciplinary Styles Lack of maternal responsiveness during infancy also predicts disruptive behavior

problems during early and middle childhood and the effect is consistent across cultural groups Maternal depression during early infancy predicts infant cognitive development at 18 months and preschool language, cooperation with peers, and behavior problems Parental Contributions Caregiving & Disciplinary Styles The research in this area is not entirely

conclusive global measures of parenting often are not sensitive to variations in disciplinary style that depend on the nature of the infraction and the responsiveness of the child to adult interventions there are cross-family and cross-cultural differences in caregiving that are difficult to compare on any absolute scale of parental effectiveness or sensitivity Parental Contributions

Caregiving & Disciplinary Styles all of the findings in this area are based on correlations, which has two implications: the parents style could be shaped by the childs behavior, at least in part the correlations are typically positive but small, meaning that while a general association exists between caregiving and child behavior, there is a wide variability between families Parental Contributions

Caregiving & Disciplinary Styles While many children who experience maternal insensitivity during infancy will have behavior problems or attachment difficulties, there are others who do not have such difficulties Parental Contributions Caregiving & Disciplinary Styles Sensitive parenting matters parental figures are a necessary and

irreplaceable part of infant development We need to know whether the continuity between caregiving and later outcome for the child is sustained by: factors inherent in the child over time consistency of adult care over time an ongoing transaction between the adult and the child in which the interaction promotes consistent behaviors in both participants

Parental Contributions Caregiving & Disciplinary Styles Consistency, or a lack thereof, could also derive from the influence of mediating factors on the parent-infant dyad, such as the effect of social supports and economic advantage and disadvantage Parental Contributions Poverty Poverty is a clear case where consistency

of negative outcomes can be maintained over long periods in the absence of other mediating factors Children and parents from poor families suffer more from depression, poor peer relationships, social withdrawal, and low self-esteem Parental Contributions Poverty Children are more likely to have physical

ailments, school problems, aggressiveness, deviant behavior and language and cognitive deficits Cyclical processes tend to maintain these negative outcomes over time stress, nutrition, health, and behavior interact to create increasingly negative patterns Parental Contributions Poverty On the other hand

some poor children can thrive depending upon circumstances children who come from homes that focus on promoting child development, that value education, and that provide support and protection from the stresses of poverty do better than those children not provided with these buffers some children show resilience that allows them to transcend their circumstances Parental Contributions

Stress Stress may be due to economic deprivation disease; hospitalizations and other extended separations family changes due to relocation or parental or sibling death extreme conditions of social unrest such as those created by war, persecution, natural disaster, or famine; and migration or flight as refugees

Parental Contributions Stress The research is complicated, detailed in some areas and not in others, and often dependent on personal recollections it can be concluded that a single stressful incident in early infancy has negligible long-term effects multiple or long-term stresses create cyclical patterns of increasing risk and deprivation and are more likely to be associated with long-term emotional or behavioral disorders in later

childhood Parental Contributions Stress Research on the neurophysiological processes related to stress, such as elevated levels of cortisol from overactivation of the HPA axis, shows that ongoing parental stress in early infancy is correlated with elevated cortisol in their 4 -year-olds

Parental Contributions Stress Relationship stress and insecure attachment can also over-activate the HPA axis leading to long-term susceptibility to even minor stress and a pre-disposition to depression Parental Contributions Stress Even with multiple or long-term stressors,

however, some children show remarkable resilience and adaptability In some cases, an early stressor can prepare an individual to adapt to a similar stressor later in development as when children who are repeatedly separated from parents in child care become less susceptible to the effects of routine separation from parents Parental Contributions

Stress Some stressors can make people hypersensitive to repeated exposures as in the example of the 3-year-old boy who did not like to be wrapped up in a cloth when getting a haircut because doctors had wrapped him in a blanket while stitching up an injury he had received when he was a baby There is a great deal of variability in how a stressor will affect someone and how long

the effect will be felt Parental Contributions Parental Psychopathology There is only a small correlation, or none at all, between maternal psychopathology and later child outcome the chances of the child being affected are increased if: there is a familial genetic predisposition the child is temperamentally inhibited or aggressive

there are a series of environmental and familial stressors the attachment relationship is insecure Parental Contributions Parental Psychopathology Chances of the child being affected are reduced if: there is a sensitive non-pathological parent available the child has good self-regulatory control

the child perceives the environment to be secure and supportive Parental Contributions Child Abuse & Neglect Not all parents who were abused as children will go on to abuse their own children Not all children who had been abused will show negative outcomes Long-term effects of child abuse are more likely if the adult has:

low self-esteem a history of mental illness, depression, violence, or is a teen parent Parental Contributions Deprivation of Normal Parental Care Total deprivation of parental care is rare in humans The closest analogies are infants reared in institutional settings such as orphanages orphanages are almost non-existent in North

America and Western Europe abandoned children are placed in foster or adoptive care institutionalization is more common in Eastern Europe, Russia, and China many international adoptions to the US are from these countries Parental Contributions Deprivation of Normal Parental Care

The worst cases of institutional deprivation lack of adequate nutrition, stimulation, and affection -- have come from Romania a team of researchers from Great Britain has been studying these Romanian children and their developmental outcomes many of these children suffered from language and cognitive delays, brain abnormalities especially in the limbic and prefrontal areas that develop the most rapidly in infancy and are responsible for basic functions and self-regulation, social and emotional

problems, attention deficits and hyperactivity Parental Contributions Deprivation of Normal Parental Care some childrens deficits were more severe than others more severe cases were institutionalized for longer than 6 months if the children were placed in an adoptive family, their risk decreased

a small minority appeared to have sustained brain damage that was resistant to the experience dependent development possible in the adoptive family environment Parental Contributions Interventions for at-risk infants Early intervention programs, such as Head Start and other parent-infant programs do make a difference especially for children and parents from lower

income groups or from dysfunctional families, and especially when the intervention contains some parent-educational component either in the home or at the program center Parental Contributions Interventions for at-risk infants High-quality educational child care, when combined with responsive care at home, can boost cognitive performance for poor children during the preschool period

Parental Contributions Interventions for at-risk infants Malnutrition can have severe short- and long-term effects on reducing infant energy, emotional responsiveness, attention, and play Interventions involving nutritional supplementation are generally successful if they are accompanied by parent-child behavior interventions to enhance

maternal sensitivity Parental Contributions Interventions for at-risk infants In a study done in Colombia, malnutrition was treated in one group with only food supplementation for the entire family and in another group with food supplementation plus parent education during home visits the children in the group that received supplementation plus parent education were

taller and heavier at the age of 6 years, and there were fewer cases of mental retardation than in the food-only group Parental Contributions Interventions for at-risk infants Interventions designed for premature infants have also shown signs of success the most successful interventions combine long-term pediatric care with parent education and family support

these programs enhance childrens cognitive and behavioral development and also increase the competence and enthusiasm of the parents Parental Contributions Interventions for at-risk infants One problem with intervention research is that the populations of children served vary enormously between locations even clearly outlined interventions will vary in their application according to location, staff

training and interpretation, and the reactions of the children and their families Parental Contributions Interventions for at-risk infants The Mother-Child Home Program, which has been found to work well with disadvantaged children in the United States, was relatively ineffective in a broader-based population of children in Bermuda

Parental Contributions Interventions for at-risk infants Some programs work some of the time for some groups, overall, intervention programs provide an important source of enrichment and encouragement for parents who are under social and economic stress Short-term relief from stress may be as valuable as any long-term developmental

benefit Parental Contributions Interventions for at-risk infants Virtually all researchers and practitioners agree that early intervention is important and should continue for many years into the future Culture There are many cultural differences in

child-rearing styles cultures differ, broadly speaking, according to whether they focus on individual development and achievement or on the family and the group in some cultures older children are expected to provide child care for their younger siblings Culture In collectivistic cultures, children are socialized from an early age to:

respect authority give their time to support the family avoid standing apart from the group many Asian, African, Latin/Hispanic, Native American, and other indigenous cultures are collectivistic

infants reared in collectivistic cultures achieve selfrecognition in the mirror (the existential self) later than children reared in individualistic cultures Culture Cultural influences can have a great deal of impact on: social and emotional processes such as sharing empathy self-disclosure

gender-specific behavior depending upon cultural attitudes toward traditional or nontraditional sex-role orientations. Culture There is a great deal of variability within cultures not all people raised in the North American culture of individuality are self-seeking and achievement oriented many people from collectivistic cultures are

focused on getting ahead at the expense of others Culture Culture interacts with all the other developmental factors the cultural interpretation of poverty in North America may not be the same in South America poverty may affect development differently in these two hemispheres

this suggests that sensitivity to the differences between ethnic and cultural minorities in a nation is likely to facilitate child development Gender By 3 years of age, children are beginning to express a gender identity and to adopt gender roleappropriate behavior It has been difficult to establish the extent to which individual differences in the genderrole orientations (from traditional to

egalitarian) of children are consistent with any factors in their prior history research has not yielded any strong conclusions Gender Individual differences in gender-role orientations exist from a young age differences do not possess a high degree of any form of continuity over time continuity of gender-role orientation may not emerge until later childhood or young adulthood

the gender-role socialization behavior of the parents (selecting gender roleappropriate toys for children), especially that of the father, is strongly related to the fathers prior history and beliefs about gender roles Gender Sex differences during infancy have been related to factors other than gender-role socialization males seem to be more vulnerable to the

effects of environmental stress in homes that are overcrowded, noisy, or confusing, males show deficits in their cognitive development females growing up in similar environments do not Gender environmental opportunities to explore large areas in the home are more beneficial for the long-term cognitive development of males than females

females, but not males, who are provided with a great deal of stimulus variety (different colors, shapes, and textures in the home) show higher levels of cognitive development Gender higher levels of androgens (hormones associated with masculinity) at birth are correlated with lower scores on spatial ability for girls at 6 years variations in androgen level have no effect on

variability of spatial ability in boys There are individual differences among boys and among girls such that the general pattern does not hold for everyone Gender The reasons for these long-term continuities are not entirely clear, it may be that boys and girls process information differently or that they require different

types of environmental inputs in order to maintain their levels of cognitive growth this has been called the environmental specificity of long-term effects Gender Environmental specificity occurs when certain aspects of the environment are more effective in promoting specific types of competencies than others, or when certain aspects of the environment are

effective in promoting development in some children but not in others Intellectual Development Environmental specificity effects have been found in long-term continuity studies of factors in early infancy that promote cognitive and intellectual development early exposure in the first year to an enriched home environment with a variety of inanimate objects and to contingently responsive

inanimate objects leads to greater skill in problem solving and exploratory play in the second year Intellectual Development the provision of age-appropriate play materials during the first two years strongly predicts a childs Stanford-Binet IQ score at 41/2 years, as well as elementary school achievement test scores between 5 and 9 years of age

Intellectual Development The development of spatial relations and perspective taking can best be predicted by avoidance of noise, confusion, and environmental overcrowding during the first two years Exploratory play skills in the second and third year are best enhanced by caregivers providing objects that respond when the child moves them and a variety of objects in the first year

Intellectual Development These factors, plus a well-organized environment and the use of ageappropriate play materials, are the best predictors of a childs ability to invent new means and plan effective strategies Intellectual Development The variability of the efficiency of their information processing in the first six months predicts cognitive developmental

outcomes in a habituation task, some infants habituate rather quickly and require less looking time overall to process the visual stimulus Intellectual Development Efficient information-processing strategies in early infancy are correlated with higher childhood standardized cognitive and language development test scores infants who at 4 months continued to fixate on an

unchanging stimulus had lower intelligence test scores in middle childhood efficient information processing, especially when combined with a maternal style focusing on directing the infants attention to tasks, leads to more advanced cognitive and language outcomes Intellectual Development More-specific measures of language behavior and its antecedents have also revealed strong predictive patterns

verbal interaction with the child in the early years of life, is one of the strongest and most distinctive predictors of later language competence in toddlers and preschoolers interventions for children at risk for poor language acquisition have been successful by training parents to talk with and read to infants Intellectual Development children who stutter are helped when parents talk more slowly, giving the children time to take their

turn in the conversation at their own pace these effects compound over time, so that children who talk early and competently also read earlier and are more advanced conceptually; thus, they have a head start on the literacy skills required for schooling Intellectual Development In play tasks: some 1-year-old infants are more focused on the particular toy and persist in exploring

many of the toys properties others show more-variable attention spans they will move rapidly from one toy to the next without spending much time investigating the individual properties of each these babies seem to move restlessly between things without fully appreciating the properties of any one item Intellectual Development Babies who are inattentive at 1 year also

tend to be inattentive at age 3 and later score lower on intelligence tests Intellectual Development The childs environment and information processing abilities during infancy play some role in the prediction of later intelligence these factors interact and no one factor can account for all the variability children who suffer from poor information

processing during the first six months will vary in their outcomes some scoring low and some scoring higher on IQ tests during later childhood Intellectual Development It is possible to enhance cognitive development for some children by talking with and reading to them There is no evidence that extra cognitive stimulation during infancy can create a

genius Temperament There is limited evidence for continuity in infant temperament most of the research focuses on continuity with respect to group ranking, which is also called stability only when children fall into extreme groups on irritability, emotionality, reactivity, or inhibition can long-term stability be observed

Temperament stability in infant temperamental characteristics is more likely to be seen in the short termsix months to a yearrather than over several years at older ages, stability can be seen for several years or more, but transformation and change are the rule just as often as stability Temperament

Many of the factors that account for shortterm continuity of temperament are likely to change over the long run infant irritability is one important temperamental dimension irritability is associated with a number of prenatal and perinatal risk factors, such as prematurity As the effects of prematurity attenuate over time, the early forms of irritability that may persist over the first year disappear or change in the second year

Temperament new factors, such as developmental challenges of autonomy and parent-child attachment, begin to account for individual differences in irritability and other temperamental factors in the second year for a few children, first-year irritability persists into the second year, but most lose their infantile irritability some children transform it into more age-appropriate patterns of negativity such as anger and defiance

Temperament Some children, under certain conditions, will show long-term continuity of temperament this can occur when the parents have a temperamental pattern similar to that of the infant when both parent and infant show temperamental inhibition and shyness, their mutual interaction enhances the possibility that their genetically based inhibition will continue to be manifested in the phenotype

Temperament Research shows that statistical significance in long-term continuity does not mean that all children remain the same over time We are still a long way from understanding the genetic, environmental, age, and context-specific conditions that promote continuity and change in temperament

Temperament Like intelligence and gender effects, temperament is continuous for some children under some conditions The study of temperament is confounded by inconsistencies in the definition of temperament and by the difficulty of obtaining reliable and valid measures Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors

Many factors in early infancy have significant effects on outcomes in childhood and adulthood The prenatal and perinatal environment, genetics, parental sensitivity, culture, gender, and temperament, among many other things, play a role in creating the individual person Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors

Two major principles: no one of these factors can work in isolation (development is multifactorial and complex) no two individuals are affected in the same way by any one factor or any set of factors acting in combination (there is an inherent between-individual variability in developmental process and outcome) Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors

These two principles are not independent from each other this can be illustrated by the results of a study in which infants were tested on the Bayley Mental Scale at 4, 8, 12, and 18 months their performance later assessed on the Reynell Developmental Language Scales at 2, 3, and 4 years the quality of the infants home environments were also studied in this longitudinal study involving 148 infants

Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors If we look at the early Bayley scores as predictive of the later language scores at 2 years, there was no relationship infants who scored low on the Bayley test could be developing typically at 2 years in the areas of language or they could be slower than average the same two outcomes were possible for

children who had more typical scores on the Bayley test in the first year Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors The home environment is more important for some infants, and the early psychomotor abilities, as measured by the Bayley score, are more important for the others There is variability in outcome within each

of the groups some infants with low Bayley scores had higher language scores than others within the group, even though the whole group was in the low range Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors Multifactor processes with betweenindividual variability have been found for virtually every research study in which more than one factor is measured on the

same group of infants (Wachs, 2000). Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors maternal smoking during pregnancy has known effects on neurological development of the fetus, with long-lasting effects on the child. pregnant women who smoke, however, are more likely both to be depressed and to be poor depression and poverty affect the mothers behavior during pregnancy, which creates

neurological deficits and an infant who is more likely to succumb to the combined effects of maternal depression and poverty after birth Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors Children who are malnourished are more likely to be living in a home with low stimulation value and low parental responsiveness parental negligence is probably affected by poverty

and stress, which compounds the effects on an already weak child Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors One factor amplifies the effects of other factors if fewer risk factors are present, the effects will be different and specific to the particular combination of factors

Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors The age of exposure to a particular factor is an important interacting factor in determining outcome this is seen in prenatal development, when teratogens have a much more serious effect if the exposure occurs at critical periods in the formation of an organ system non-parental child care has different effects on younger and older infants

Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors Children may be affected in one domain of functioning and not in another maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy, affects neurological development but not physical development attachment disorganization affects psychosocial functioning but not intelligence

Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors One should distrust any claims that a single factor from early infancy has lasting outcomes for all infants exposed to it Traumas can be serious in the short term, but they do not always have lasting effects Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors Products and interventions that promise to

make a child into a genius by exposing the infant to Mozart prenatally or providing extra cognitive stimulation during the first year of life also do not have consistent outcomes some children may benefit, but many will not Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors Development is a complex dynamic system that resists simple explanations

Each babys life is as rich and complex as an adults in the sense that there are no easy answers, only more questions Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors Babies should be afforded healthy, safe, enriched, and loving opportunities these factors promote development without question research clearly shows that people are more

likely to become healthy, happy, productive, and intelligent if they have these things Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors Parents, educators, practitioners, and policy makers need to understand, that while infants benefit from having these opportunities, we cannot predict with certainty that a particular event or program will have particular outcomes

intelligence, social skills, and emotional control are promoted in healthy, safe, and loving environments these abilities are more likely to be deficient in impoverished and insensitive rearing conditions Developmental Systems of Multiple Interacting Factors Parents, educators, practitioners, and policy makers need to understand, that while infants benefit from having these

opportunities, we cannot predict with certainty that a particular event or program will have particular outcomes intelligence, social skills, and emotional control are promoted in healthy, safe, and loving environments these abilities are more likely to be deficient in impoverished and insensitive rearing conditions Final Thoughts One of the problems with research on

long-term developmental outcomes is that the factors presumed to have an influence are conceptualized in terms of reliable and valid measurements The very process of measurement, as a tool for quantitative research, requires that the measures be relatively insensitive to the daily life of the individual child Final Thoughts There is an inherent opposition between

the demands for standardized measurement in quantitative research and the basic principles of development showing that each person is special, unique, and individual Final Thoughts Few studies observe the process of development within individuals to determine how they solved daily problems and did or did not maintain their

equilibrium to stay on course Final Thoughts Research that looks at developmental processes rather than just the outcomes would be based on case study qualitative methods until there are more such studies, conclusions about how to foster desirable development and how to remedy early risk factors are going to be oversimplified

Final Thoughts Multiple factors are involved but we do not know how they might operate for a particular person Development is a continuously unfolding process of change Infants are remarkably adaptable and uniquely individual Day-to-day change is subtle, sometimes regressing rather than going forward

Final Thoughts Indeterministic factors in development chance occurrences and serendipitous events that happen without planning or premeditation things we cannot explain, that do not seem logical human development and relationships, without a bit of magic and uncertainty, are dry and inhospitable creativity, surprise, and the excitement of the

unknown keep pulling us forward as much as our genes and environments push us from behind Final Thoughts An individual whose developmental fate is determined by a predictable set of causes and effects could not also be open to the opportunity for discovery, exploration, risk taking, and personal growth in the absence of predictable guarantees

Final Thoughts Infancy is a particularly magical time because much of what the infant does is not logical, deliberate, or scientific Infants are grounded in their own ecological experiences Not until late in the second year infants begin to seek control over external events, defy or try to change their world, and reason according to a set of community standards

Final Thoughts Events that occurred during infancy do in fact have some impact on later life, even if we cannot trace that impact to a specific event for specific people whether or not we can consciously remember our infancy, patterns of movement, thought, and feeling from infancy persist in our minds and bodies and contribute to the person we are today

Final Thoughts it is not necessary to consciously or conceptually remember something, from any age period in your life, for it to have an influence over you conversely, just because you remember something does not mean that it had a major influence on who you are today Final Thoughts

We are historical beings: who we are is partly the result of who we were the specific links between our past and present, however, are unlikely to ever be fully sorted out We are always transforming the past as we make it into the present, and there are indeterministic factors that enter into this transformation

Final Thoughts As you encounter infants and young children in personal and professional roles, and as you enter into the infants world through the lessons and exercises in this book, you will have to piece together the general principles from current research with your own personal experiences. It will be up to you to bridge the gap between the abstract and the specific. In doing so, you will be rewarded with a deepening understanding of human life and

human development, with all its richness and surprises

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