Girl entering teen years


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Focus on the issues of physical, emotional, and cognitive development, as well as issues of bullying, self-esteem, and body awareness. After watching the video answer the following discussion questions.

View Girls Entering the Teen Years.


Transcript of Girls Entering the Teen Years Video

For discussion, address the following questions:

•What special problems and supports do you see demonstrated by the twin sisters?

• address the issues of early childhood development as it impacts genetics, environmental factors, and family relationships.

•Bullying is an issue for at least two of these girls. Please address how this is seen and how it impacts Claudia and Sharmaine.


Slide 1

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Dimensions of Human Behavior: The Changing Life Course Chapter 4: Early Childhood


For this presentation we are going to be talking about early childhood development which is chapter four in your books.

Slide 2

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Topics of discussion


• Physical Development

• Brain Development

• Cognitive Development

– Language Development

• Moral Development

• Personality and Emotional Development

• Social Development


We are going to be going over these six broad topics and we will be talking about the role of play in early childhood development in another presentation. It’s a very short presentation with only two other slides.

Slide 3

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Physical Development

• From ages 3 to 6 physical growth slows significantly

• Height increase 2 to 3 inches per year

• Children gain about 5 pound per year


For this presentation we are going to start talking about physical development. Infants and toddlers grow rapidly, but from ages 3-6 physical growth slows significantly. On average, height during this stage increases about 2-3 inches per year and the young child gains about 5 lbs. a year. There is great variation in the height and weight of young children. As you all know not all children from 3 to 6 are the same size or weight, It really varies depending on the child.


Slide 4

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Brain development

• By age children’s brain is 90% of its adult size

• Brain functions become more specialized

• With the development of the right hemisphere children develop the ability to reflect on the feelings and thoughts of others

• The Development of gross motor skills and fine motor skills


The brain continues to grow and is shaped by experiences throughout early childhood and beyond. By 5, the child’s brain is 90% of its adult size. This is why some researchers consider the first 5 years of a child’s life in terms of brain development the “critical years”. During this time motor and cognitive abilities increase and interconnections between brain cells are strengthened. Through lateralization, the two hemispheres of the brain begin to operate slightly differently, allowing for a wider range of activity in early childhood. Brain functioning becomes more specialized. The left hemisphere is activated during tasks that require analytical skills: including speaking and reading. The right hemisphere allows for the social-emotional component to further develop, and children in early childhood develop the ability to reflect on the feelings and thoughts of others. Because of the new developments in the brain children also obtain and refine gross motor skills such as running, jumping and hopping. Fine motor skills are also refined and children are able to scribble, draw, and cut with scissors. It is important to note that there is much variability in motor development in early childhood. One child may be advanced in gross motor skills and lag in fine motor skills. Or vice versa.

Slide 5

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Cognitive development

Pre-Operational State of Cognitive Development (Piaget)

• Pre-conceptual stage

• Intuitive stage

• Transductive reasoning: a way of thinking about two or more experiences without using abstract logic

• Ego-centrism


With the expansion of brain functions comes cognitive development. In early childhood, children fit into the second stage of cognitive development described by Piaget. This stage is called the pre-operational stage and it consists of 2 sub stages:

1. Children at the very beginning of early childhood are in the pre-conceptual stage. In this stage children develop the use of symbolic representation. That is through play children learn to use symbols and actively engage in deferred imitation. Deferred imitation if you remember from your readings is the child’s ability to view an image and then significantly later, recall and imitate the image.

2. The second stage is the Intuitive Stage. In this stage children use language to represent objects. Children are able to classify objects. Objects are typically classified based on one attribute at a time.

During this pre-operational stages children also engage in transductive reasoning, which is a way of thinking about two or more experiences without using abstract logic. Ego-Centrism is also a big concept in this pre-operational stage of cognitive development. Children in early childhood tend to perceive reality only from their own experience and believe themselves to be at the center of existence.

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Language development

• For language to exist children must be able to organize their experiences

• 4 year old children are usually speaking in sentences of 8 to 10 words

• By age 4 children understand the basic grammar rules of their language

• Children have an innate capacity for language, but the structuring of the environment through culture is what allows language development to occur


Language development is a direct extension of cognitive development because it is the mechanism by which cognitive interpretations are communicated to others. By the fourth year of life children are speaking in sentences of 8-10 words. They have mastered language well enough to tell a story mostly in words, rather relying on gestures like toddlers. By age 4 children in all cultures understand the basic grammar rules of their language, but they are overly regular in using those rules. There has been a long standing debate about how language is acquired. How much of language ability is a result of genetic process and how much of it is learned? Some people such as Noam Chomsky believe that language ability is primarily a function of genetics and that as long as the appropriate genetic materials are in place language will develop. Chomsky introduced the idea of the language acquisition device. This mechanism endows children with the capacity to derive the syntactic structure and rules of their native language rapidly. Others like B.F. Skinner argued that children learn language by imitating what they hear in the environment then being reinforced for correct usage of language. Children get positive reinforcement from their parents through smiling, laughing, and clapping. This encourages children to repeat the sounds that elicited the positive reinforcement. Neither approach is completely right. The fact is that children do have an innate capacity for language, but the structuring of the environment through culture is what allows language development to occur.




Slide 7

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Moral Development Perspectives

• Psychodynamic Approach (Freud)

o Superego

• Social Learning Approach

• Cognitive Development Approach (Kohlberg)

o Pre-conventional Level

• Empathy and Perspective Taking?


With cognitive development comes moral development. During early childhood children move from a moral sense that is based on the outside approval to a more internalized moral sense. They engage in a process of taking society’s values and standards as their own. There are 3 components of moral development in early childhood:

1. Knowledge: of the moral code of the community and how to use that knowledge to make moral judgments

2. Emotions: that produce both the capacity to care about others and the capacity to feel guilt and remorse

3. Actions: to inhibit negative impulses as well as to behave in pro-social, or helpful and empathetic manner

Moral Development has been explored from several different perspectives.

o Psychodynamic approach. Freud’s psychoanalytic theory was composed of the id, the ego, and the superego. The superego which is the conscience and the basis of moral code is developed in early childhood. Freud thought that between age 4 and 7 children would have more highly developed superegos if their parents used strict methods to inhibit their impulses; however, contemporary research indicates the opposite. That finding moral behavior is associated with parental warmth, democratic decision making, and modeling of temptation resistance.

o Another approach to moral development is the Social Learning Approach. From this approach behavior is shaped by environment reinforcements and moral punishments. Children are likely to repeat behaviors that are rewarded and they are less likely to feel tension when they thing about doing something that they have been punished for in the past. This approach also suggests that children learn moral conduct by observing behavior.

o The third approach is Cognitive Developmental Approach. This approach posits that moral development is assisted by opportunities to encounter new situations and different perspectives, and children go through stages of moral development as they age and experience new situations. Children in early childhood fit in the Level 1 of Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development. At this level moral reasoning is first dictated by rewards and punishments. This is really for children in late toddlerhood/ very early childhood. But once they are fully into early childhood their moral reasoning is based on what benefits either themselves or someone they care about.

Although these perspectives are widely used they leave out the development of empathy and perspective taking. Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s emotional condition. Empathy begins in infancy and grows throughout early childhood. By age 3 or 4 children across cultures have been found to recognize the type of emotional reaction that other children or adults might have to different situations. Perspective taking is thinking rather than feeling activity. This type of thinking grows gradually and begins between the ages of 4 and 5. Some research shows that children who show empathy and perspective taking between 4 and 5 years old are more likely to exhibit pro-social behavior and sympathy during adolescence and early adulthood.

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Personality & Emotional Development

• Psychosocial Development

• Emotional Development

• Aggression


The moral development works along with personality development and emotional development in early childhood. These things work together to begin to set the basis of our adolescent and adult personalities. Expanded cognitive skills and language along with psychosocial development and personality development gives young children the ability to understand and express their feelings and emotions. Children between the age of 3 and 5 can recognize and label simple emotions. They can also identify feelings expressed by others. Children in early childhood use creative ways to comfort others when they are upset. The ability to understand emotion continues to develop as young children have more opportunity to practice these skills. Children reared in homes in which emotions and feelings are openly discussed are better able to understand and express feelings. All emotions, including those that have been labeled negative, are adaptive. Our emotions directly affect the way that we behave.

One behavior that increases during the early childhood years is aggression. Four types of aggression are observed in young children:

1. Instrumental: aggression occurs while fighting over tools and space.

2. Hostile Aggression which is an attack meant to hurt another individuals.

3. Physical Aggression: Is exactly how it sounds. Physical force against another person

4. Relational Aggression: Involves behaviors that damages relationships without physical force.

Aggression is really an outward expression of emotion. By the end of early childhood years children learn better negotiation skills and become better and asking for what they want and using words to express their feelings. Some children continue high levels of aggression into middle childhood, but physical aggression tends to peak for most, not all, children in early childhood.

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Erickson’s Pyschosocial Development

• Initiative vs Guilt (Erickson)

– Gender Identity

– Age and sex boundaries

– Cooperative Play

– Imagination and Fantasia


Erickson labeled the stage of emotional development that takes place during the early childhood years as initiative vs. guilt. Children who pass successfully through this stage learn to get satisfaction from completing tasks. They develop imagination and fantasies, and learn to handle guilt about their fantasies.

In this stage children develop a gender identity through identification with parents of the same sex. In order to successfully complete this stage age and sex boundaries must be appropriately defined, and parents must be secure enough to set limits for their children. In the beginning of this stage children focus on the family relationships, but by the end of this stage children’s focus turns to friendships outside of the family. Children begin to participate in cooperative play and enjoy sharing and competing with friends. Children who become stuck in this stage are plagued with guilt about their goals and fantasies. They become confused about their gender identity and about family roles. These children tend to become overly anxious and self-centered.

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Social Development

• Self-Concept

• Gender Identity and Sexual Interests

• Racial and Ethnic Identity


A direct onset of this is the development of the social skills which includes:

• Self-concept

• Gender identity and sexual interests

• Racial and ethnic identity

Slide 11

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• The child’s ever-increasing understanding of the self in relation to the world begins to become organized into a self-theory

• The capacity to understand the self in relation to others leads to self-esteem

• Self-esteem is based on different values in different types of cultures


In early childhood children begin to develop a self-concept, which includes perception of oneself as a person who desires, and has preferences and abilities. During this time, the child’s ever increasing understanding of the self in relation to the world begins to become organized into a self-theory. As children develop the cognitive ability to categorize they use categorization to think about the self. The growing capacity to understand the self in relation to others leads to self-evaluation and self-esteem. Messages of love, admiration and approval leads to positive views of self and messages of rejection or scorn lead to negative views of self. In addition to these interpersonal messages, young children observe their own competencies and attributes and compare them with the competencies of other children as well as adults. Children are very aware of being evaluated by others. This really affects the development of their self-concept and self-esteem.

Slide 12

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Gender Identity

1. Making correct use of the gender label

2. Understanding gender as stable

3. Understanding gender constancy

4. Understanding the genital basis of gender


During early childhood gender becomes an important dimension of how children understand themselves and others. By age 2 children can usually accurately identify others as either male or female based on appearance. Later children understand that gender is stable; that boys grow up to be men and girls grow up to be women. Between age 4 and 7 children understand that a person’s gender does not change. That a girl dressed up like a boy is still a girl. Gender constancy has been found to be associated with an understanding of the relationship between gender and genitals. Human societies use gender as an important category for organizing life. In understanding their gender comes an increased interest in understanding their genitals and understanding their identity.

Slide 13

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Racial and ethnic identity

• By age 4 children remark on differences based on skin color and begin to identify themselves as members of a particular group

• Identification with an ethnic group between 5 and 8 years of age

• Racial/ethnic identity becomes an element of the child’s emerging sense of self

• Integration of race and ethnicity into a young child’s sense of self depends on socialization within the family.


Children first learn their own racial identity before they are able to identify the race of others. Most children begin to self-identify as a member of a racial group by age 3 or 4. Early identification of race is limited to skin color which is more easily recognized than ethnic origin. Integration of race and ethnicity into a young child’s sense of self depends on socialization within the family.


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