Research Paper: Interpret Criteria for Child and Adolescent Development

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¶ … Child and adolescent development process is made up of about thirteen years. An inclusion the infancy and toddler stages make it eighteen years. Through these years, the child grows as well as develops in a number of ways. Several theories have been advanced in order to explain the concept of child and adolescent development. Each of these theories suggests that children develop in almost similar ways. The criteria for their successful development are numerous. Successful emotional as well as cognitive development are though of as two different and separate processes. According to Bell and Wolfe (2004,p336) the two developmental processes are intricately bound to one another. The authors indicate that the two processes are linked as well as act upon each other in processing of information as well as action.

The role of the environment

For a child to successfully develop, the emotional and cognitive developments must be considered. For a given child to develop successfully, they should be placed in an environment in which they feel safe as well as protected in order for them to explore their feelings as well as understand their own actions. The environment must be stimulating both physically and cognitively. The environment must give the children chance to see as well as be a part of the general society with a complete experience of the laid down social norms. The lack of this integral piece makes the child to be unable to function successfully.

The social expectations as well as norms play a major role in the development of the child. Bandura (1977) and Vygotsky (1978) presented the social learning theory in which they suggested that the child develops as well as experiences the society in zones.The manner in which the social zones interact hugely affects the development of the child. Bandura (1977) suggested that a child learns behavior as well as concepts via the interactions with the society. These behaviors that they learn also influence their thinking as well as their beliefs. Other scholars suggest in certain ways, the society plays an integral role in the development of children. This is related to the fact that for children to develop as well as learn their behavior. The children therefore strive to make their behavior fit the given society. Behavior, thinking pattern as well as learned behavior are all linked.

The criteria for a successful child and adolescent emotional and cognitive development is a conducive environment that allows a particular child to develop as well as achieve their individual needs while allowing them to learn about the society within which they live. This is to take place in a manner that their actions never hinders their ability to be part an parcel of the society. This particular criterion is heavily dependent on the ability of the child to interpret the nature of their own surroundings as well as to successfully be able to interact with the environment. It is worth noting that children with disabilities are inherently disadvantaged in terms of their emotional as well as cognitive development since they have a limitation when it comes to their ability to engage themselves in social growth successfully. This therefore indicates that physical development is an important element of both emotional as well as physical development.

A review of the development of the learned behavior indicates that for one to understand the normal child and adolescent development, it becomes easier recognize the link between the physical development. In other words, the entire development process is closely intertwined. A successful growth and development of a child and an adolescent produces an individual who is able to live as well as interact in a given society. Brofenbrenner's theory of development is the one of the best theories in explaining the physical as well as cognitive development of a child and an adolescent. His theory on the micro as well as macro systems that work together in order to allow a given child to develop is a suggestion that all the elements of the developmental process are interrelated closely. A delay in any part of the development as would therefore end up affecting all the areas of development (Papalia et al.,2006,p.38). As children develop physically, they begin to understand as well as recognize that they have serious limitations that the have on their body.

Wilson (1975) pointed out that there is a biological aspect of all behavior.His work relied on science in the evaluation of he biological as well as social development of a child (Papalia et al.,2006).This therefore means that children who have delayed physical development would ultimately experience a delay in their cognitive and emotional skills.

Physical development in children

According to Tanner (1989), physical development occurs from birth to fifteen, twenty years as infants change from weighing averagely 3.5 kg and 50 cm in length to a full-grown adult. Proportion of the physical features, change from relatively large head and tiny torso to small head, long torso and limbs. Children between two and five years change from chubbiness to longer arms, legs and trunks. Cartilage changes to bones and their bones become harder shaping to protect the internal organs. All their primary teeth should be in place and are able to chew effectively. Boys develop more muscle and girls fatty tissue. At three years, an average child weighs 13 Kg and at five 16 kg. Atkinson (1984) says at two years, a child can walk up and down the stairs, self feed using a spoon, draw circles. At three, the child should stand and walk on tiptoe, jump from steps, ride a tricycle, unbutton cloths and draw a face among other activities. At four, the child can aim and throw a large ball, run, brush own teeth and walk backwards. At five, the child should skip rope, run fast, put on own cloths and use a pair of scissors.

Cognitive development

According to Santrock ( 2007), Piaget demonstrated that after a child's second year, there was occurrence of a new qualitative psychological functioning. This stage is referred to as preoperational and is marked with mental operations that are sparse and logical. Piaget shows that the child learns to interpret objects by images, words and drawing them. The child has a firm concepts and mental reasoning but able to perform limited mental tasks. Piaget outlined that the symbolic function sub-stage occurs between the ages of 2-7. At this stage children think in images and symbols but cannot yet process information in a logical way. Here other abilities include language development and pretend play. At this stage, a child is not able to differentiate between their perspective and other peoples. Piaget argues that children choose their own view of what they are exposed to rather than the actual view as seen by others. Santrock ( 2007),further explains that between 4 and 7 years children ask many questions, they are inquisitive and start using primitive reasoning. This piaget named the intuitive thought sub-stage. Here a child wants to know why things are the way they are and there is development in interest of reasoning. Here children get to the realization of the existence of vast knowledge but unaware of how they know it. They tend to focus more attention on one thing. Children at this stage are not aware of conservation, according to Santrock, Piaget performed a task to elaborate on this point. He presented a child with identical beaker with the same amount of liquid and the child did not notice the difference. When the liquid was poured into a tall and a thin container, children younger than seven concentrated on the size and shape of the container rather than amount of liquid. Piaget says that a child, who fails this task, is going through the preoperational stage (pp. 225-230).

Social and emotional development

A child's socialization process starts in the family. This is where the child learns to interact with other people. Eric Erikson articulated psychological development stages that human beings go through from childhood to adulthood. Munley (1975), revealed that psychosocial development as described Erikson, related with vocational-choice behavior and development of college students. Erikson (1963) explained that between 18 months and 3 years, the child begins to explore their environment. With the parents' security, the child venture at will. The child constantly learns the environment and can indulge in things that are harmful to health and safety. At this age as they gain muscular mobility, the child begins to fulfill some of their needs and develop a sense of autonomy. Too much restriction to perform these tasks may lead to development of shame and doubt about their ability. Erikson further explores the age between three and six; he calls it the purpose stage. He claims that children in this category struggle with initiative verses guilt. Bee and Boyd (2009) describe this stage as a period that the child is faced with difficulties of planning and developing a sense of judgment. Children learn to tke initiatives and their activities would involve risk taking behaviors.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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