Child Development

Theories of the child's mind

  Introduction A good way of approaching any theory is to try and diagnose what serious purpose might be animating the author. Researchers into child development are conscious of having to carry three responsibilities. One responsibility is to explain why the child’s mentality is as it is during the tortuous route to adulthood. Any theory […]

Dynamical systems approaches (child development)

  Introduction When a liquid is heated from below, convection patterns may form in which warm currents rise to the surface in the centers of tightly packed hexagons, while the cooler parts of the liquid sink to the bottom at the boundaries of the hexagons. Such patterns are ‘self-organized’ in the sense that they arise […]

Methods in child development research

  This part reviews a number of the key aspects of methodology used in the study of child development. It is emphasized that each of them has appropriate applications, which stem from questions about development arising from the theories in Part I. The final section considers the sometimes neglected ethical issues that can arise from […]

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (child development)

  Introduction During infancy through early childhood and on into adolescence, there occur fascinating changes in cognitive, social, and motor development that can be inferred to reflect changes in brain development. Certain postnatal biological correlates of these developmental changes such as myelination and synaptogenesis have been studied in detail in animal models and in human […]

Clinical and non-clinical interview methods (child development)

  Introduction Interview methods typically involve face-to-face interaction between a researcher and a participant, with the researcher asking questions and the participant giving verbal answers. In child development studies, interview methods have been used with various types of participants, most notably children, parents, and teachers, to investigate many aspects of development, and to address a […]

Cross-cultural comparisons (child development)

  Introduction The study of individual development across cultures ideally requires longitudinal research conducted in a range of societies, with data on individuals as well as cultural contexts. Such a combination implies a large investment of time and effort. Most cross-cultural research is cross-sectional, and the relatively few longitudinal studies tend to be limited both […]

Cross-species comparisons (child development)

  Introduction Two children don ‘Ninja Turtle’ dress and proceed to engage in rough-and-tumble play (i.e., mock combat). Among mammals, such play fighting, as it is better known in the animal literature, varies from being completely absent in some species to being very common in others. The question of why such play exists and why […]

Developmental testing (child development)

  Introduction Developmental testing refers to the assessment of infants’ or children’s abilities across a number of domains in relation to their age, through the use of standardized tasks and procedures. Although certain aspects of traditional intelligence are usually measured, developmental testing entails a more comprehensive approach, with multiple areas of child functioning, such as […]

Observational methods (child development)

  Introduction Observational methods admit to a variety of meanings, but two stand out. According to the broader of the two meanings, they might include procedures by which informed observers produce narrative reports, such as those by Jean Piaget or Charles Darwin and other baby biographers when describing the development of their infants. Such reports […]

Parent and teacher rating scales (child development)

  Introduction Rating scales are important research tools; they have not only advantages, but also some disadvantages. To ensure their advantages, certain challenges have to be confronted. In what follows, consideration is given to the pros and cons of rating scales and to such challenges as the application of these research tools to the study […]