Part III Early Childhood: Biosocial Development Chapter Eight Body Changes Brain Development Injuries and Abuse
Body Changes The body and brain develop according to powerful epigenetic forces. biologically driven socially guided experience-expectant experience-dependent
Growth Patterns From age 2 to 6: become slimmer as lower body lengthens baby fat turns to muscle gain about 4 1/2 pounds add 3 inches to height
Growth Patterns A typical 6-year-old : between 40 and 50 pounds at least 3 1/2 feet tall Looks lean, not chubby Legs make up about half of body proportion.
Eating Habits appetite decreases young children need far fewer calories per pound of body weight
Nutritional Deficiencies Most children in developed nations consume more than enough calories. not always adequate iron, zinc, and calcium consumption of calcium lower than 20 years ago less milk more soda sugar problems Many cultures encourage children to eat sweets. birthday cake holiday candy desserts other treats
Brain Development Brains grow rapidly before birth and throughout infancy. By age 2 most neurons are connected to other neurons. substantial pruning of dendrites has occurred 2-year-old brain weighs 75 percent of what it will weigh in adulthood.
corpus callosum: long band of nerve fibers that connect the left and right hemispheres of the brain lateralization: the specialization of certain functions by each side of the brain Connecting the Brain’s Hemispheres
The Whole Brain Copy What You See Brain-damaged adults were asked to copy the leftmost figure in each row. One person drew the middle set, another the set at the right.
Planning and Analyzing prefrontal cortex : area in the front part of the brain’s outer layer under the forehead underlies higher-order cognition planning and complex forms of goal-directed behavior
Speed of Thought Proliferation of the communication pathways (dendrites and axons) results in brain growth. But most growth occurs because of myelination. myelination: process by which axons become coated with myelin, a fatty substance, that speeds the transmission of nerve impulses from neuron to neuron
Maturation of the Prefrontal Cortex maturation of the prefrontal cortex from ages 2 to 6: sleep becomes more regular emotions become more nuanced and responsive to specific stimuli temper tantrums subside uncontrollable laughter and tears become less common
Impulsiveness and Perseveration Neurons have two kinds of impulses: to activate to inhibit A balanced brain is most effective throughout life. Many young children have not yet found the right balance. perseveration: tendency stick to one thought or action for a long time
Emotions and the Brain The Limbic System: controls expression and emotion regulation. Three major areas: amygdala: tiny brain structure that registers emotions fear and anxiety hippocampus: brain structure that is central processor of memory Especially for locations
Hypothalamus: brain area that responds to the amygdala and the hippocampus to produce hormones that activate other parts of the brain and body.
Gross motor skills involve large body movement. kick a ball, ride a tricycle, etc Fine motor skills involve small body movement, esp. those of the hands and fingers. Cutting with a fork and knife, buttoning a hirt harder to master than gross motor skills typically mature earlier in girls than in boys Improved Motor Skills
Artistic Expression Artistic expression blossoms during early childhood. Maturation of brain and body is gradual and comes with practice. Young children are: imaginative creative not yet self-critical
Researchers asked young children to draw balloon and, later, a lollipop. to adults drawings are indistinguishable children quite insistent as to which was which
Injuries and Abuse More children die of violence, either accidental or deliberate, than from any other cause. In U.S., out of 100,000 1 to 4-year-olds: 10.9 died accidentally 2.5 died of cancer 2.4 were murdered
Avoidable injury Teenagers and young adults are most often killed as passengers or drivers in motor-vehicle crashes. Falls are more often fatal for the very young (under 24 months) and very old (over 80 years) than for preschoolers, for whom fatal accidents are more likely to involve poison, fire, choking, or drowning.
injury control/harm reduction: practices aimed at anticipating, controlling, and preventing dangerous activities reflect the beliefs that: accidents are not random injuries can be made less harmful
Three Levels of Prevention primary prevention: actions that change conditions to prevent some unwanted event or circumstances injury, disease, or abuse. secondary prevention: actions that avert harm in high-risk situation stopping a car before it hits a pedestrian tertiary prevention: actions taken after an adverse event immediate and effective medical treatment
Maltreatment Noticed and Defined child maltreatment: intentional harm or avoidable endangerment of anyone under 18 years of age child abuse: deliberate action harmful to child’s physical, emotional, or sexual well-being child neglect: failure to meet child’s basic physical, educational, or emotional needs
Warning Signs Often first signs of maltreatment is delayed development such as: slow growth immature communication lack of curiosity unusual social interaction
Warning Signs of Maltreatment post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) : delayed reaction to trauma or shock may include: hyperactivity hyper-vigilance displaced anger sleeplessness sudden terror anxiety confusion between fantasy and reality
Consequences of Maltreatment Impact of any child-rearing practice is affected by the cultural context. Certain customs considered abusive in some cultures but not in others. circumcision pierced ears spanking Children suffer if parents seem not to love them according to their community’s standards for parental love.
Three Levels of Prevention, Again permanency planning: effort by child-welfare authorities to find long-term living situation that will provide stability and support for maltreated child.
foster care: legal, publicly supported system in which a maltreated child is removed from the parents’ custody and entrusted to another adult or family kinship care: form of foster care in which a relative of a maltreated child becomes approved care-giver adoption: legal proceeding in which an adult or couple unrelated to a child is granted joys and obligations of being child’s parent.