Psychology Social Development Term Paper

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Psychology

Social Development Across the Lifespan

Social development is very important to most people. Social development allows people to develop friendships, form intimate relationships, get married, have families, and form successful relationships with their families. Social development is something that begins in infancy and continues through to late adulthood, with changes occurring throughout each stage. Social development will now be traced through the following stages: infancy and toddlerhood, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood.

Social development in infancy and toddlerhood focuses on the relationship between the child and the parents. Even as a very young infant, children often fear strangers. This also relates to attachment, where infants and toddlers become attached to other family members and especially their parents. During the toddler years, children do begin to interact with other children. This occurs as children become able to understand and respond to the emotions of others. I have observed this with infants and toddlers and have noticed how the play together by repeating what the other does. I have also noticed that infants and toddlers also seem more relaxed and comfortable with their parents.

In early childhood, children become more social and interact more with other children in the form of play. As a child develops, the way the play changes as they become more and more social. The first stage is nonsocial activity, where children play on their own. This changes and becomes partly social children begin parallel play. This means that they play near other children and often play in similar ways, but do not actually interact with the other child. The next stage is associative play, where children begin to interact by swapping toys and talking to each other about their play, but still do not actually play together. The final stage is cooperative play, where children share playing. For example, they might build something with blocks together. I have observed this in children and have seen how younger children will watch each other and copy each other, but will not actually play together. I have also noticed that young children often don't seem able to manage playing with other children. For example, I have seen an older child try to join in with a younger child and help them build a castle with blocks. The younger child didn't seem to understand this and became upset. It seemed that the younger child assumed that the older one was taking their game away from them. Another way that social development changes in early childhood is that the child begins to form friendships. As Berk (251) notes, "As yet, friendship does not have a long-term, enduring quality based on mutual trust." Instead, a friend is just someone you play with, share with, and spend time with. Berk does note that early friendships provide social support to children and helps them to fit in.

The next stage of development is middle childhood. In this stage, friendship becomes much more important. Children at this age often become part of groups with others similar to them. This is different to early childhood, where children will be friends with anyone. I have noticed this with children and have seen that young children will swap friends from day-to-day, while older children have a set group of people they consider friends and this group does not change. I have also noticed that younger children seem to decide to be friends with another person based only on whether or not they are a similar age. However, older children are more selective will be friends with people that are the same gender and share similar interests. Berk (322) describes this saying that peer groups form based on "similarity in sex, ethnicity, and popularity." In middle childhood, one-on-one friendships also form. I have noticed this and have seen that younger children don't often have one best friend, while older children do. This change is one where being friends is no longer about just doing things together. It is also about understanding each other, helping each other, and supporting each other. It is also important to notes that a child's parents and family are still important to them socially at this stage.

The next stage of the lifespan is adolescence. During… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Psychology Social Development.  (2005, May 1).  Retrieved January 27, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/psychology-social-development-across/74801

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