Child Development Essay

2517 WordsNov 8, 201211 Pages
Running Head: Child Final Child Development The study of child development evaluates infants, children, and adolescents to help understand and explain their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. This branch of psychology discusses the stages of cognitive, psychosocial, and physical growth from birth to adolescence. Both child and adolescence psychological and physical development follow a particular path and they steadily increase as the child grows. It is important to note that physical development is mostly determined by genes (Mossler, 2011). The physical developments are external such as walking, running, throwing, etc.; therefore they involve the fine and gross motor skills. The psychological and psychosocial developments incorporate the social, cognitive, and/or emotional development of the child or adolescence. In child development there are a number of perspectives that analyze these stages. They are psychoanalytic, learning, cognitive, contextual, and evolutionary/sociobiological. In addition, there are a wide range of theories that analyze child development. For this paper, I chose to discuss three theorists, Piaget, Erikson, and Skinner whose theories were pivotal to the further understanding of child development. In addition, there will be an analysis of the similarities and differences in normal versus non-normal development amongst the three theories. Also, I will briefly address why it’s important to understand the field of child developmental theories. The first theory to discuss is Jean Piaget’s Cognitive-Stage Theory, which is predominately the most used theory to explain a child’s cognitive thought processes. Piaget theorized that a child’s cognitive development grows in four stages of mental operations (Huitt, 2003). His research was based solely on observation of children and he analyzed how the children reacted to situations and

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