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Child psychology term paper

"A lusty cry, low tolerance for frustration, and hyperactivity at twelve months are possible signs of athlete or criminal, while gentleness and timidity might mark the beginnings of artist or anxious adolescent. Exposing the infant to many caregivers is assumed to create permanent emotional insecurity; physical affection and reliable care by a single caregiver, especially the biological mother, are supposed to inoculate the young child against an easy vulnerability to later threats. Faith in a connection between early childhood and the succeeding years also permeates our views of the growth of those qualities that are characteristic of all children, for most theorists believe that each of the universal milestones grows out of earlier competences. But there is another way to view the changes that characterize psychological development. One can maintain that, even though all children pass through the same sequence of milestones--for example, babbling, speaking single words, and then complex conversation--there is no dependent relation between successive abilities: that is, the capacity that underlies the speaking of sentences might not require a prior capacity to speak single words."

"His dependence on other human beings for care and comfort centers his interest in them. Even in early infancy he shows this interest by looking and smiling at his attendants, by babbling to get their attention, by crying when they leave him and smiling when they reappear. From such simple beginnings an infant progresses to distinguishing between familiar and unfamiliar persons and friendly and unfriendly approaches. Later he learns to distinguish other social characteristics of the individuals in his environment and begins to develop simple notions of the contrasting social roles of children and adults, men and women, fathers and mothers, and persons engaged in different occupations. Along the way he learns too something about himself. He learns what is required of him in ways of behaving in our society and how he feels about these requirements. He learns also what other people-his parents, playmates, relatives, and neighbors--think about him. Out of such interaction with the persons in his environment he develops whatever ideas he has of himself as a unique individual as well as a member of a social group.

In the process of interacting, he likewise develops and experiments with a variety of ways of behaving. These reflect his drives and desires, his level of development and ability to communicate, as well as the influence of the socializing process under gone by all children in all societies. Are there discernible stages in these social developmental processes and do we know what contributes to them; what for instance makes a stoutly resistant two-year-old develop into a cooperative agreeable kindergarten child?"

"Although those families represent exceptional manifestations, well within everyone's experience are cases of shared family beliefs, attitudes, or behavior patterns. Evidence for this can be found in many autobiographies, as well as in more systematic analyses from researchers. The study of intergenerational transmission now represents a considerable area of research, and has attracted the attention of anthropologists, sociologists, and political scientists, as well as psychologists. The transmission of psychological characteristics from parent to child has long been recognized as a fundamental process of human development. Early psychological research into this training process was guided by Sigmund Freud's theoretical writings on identification ( Freud, 1923). Robert Sears' investigations into identification and social behavior ( Sears, Rau, & Alpert, 1965), and Lawrence Kohlberg's analysis of identification and moral development ( Kohlberg, 1963) are but two examples of the attention this process has received from prominent psychological researchers."

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