Essay on Child Psychology

1920 Words Sep 30th, 1999 8 Pages
I. Purpose of paper: Child Psychology, study of children's behavior-including physical, cognitive, motor, linguistic, perceptual, social, and emotional characteristics-from birth through adolescence. Child psychologists attempt to explain the similarities and differences among children and to describe normal as well as abnormal behavior and development. They also develop methods of treating social, emotional, and learning problems and provide therapy privately and in schools, hospitals, and other institutions. Two critical problems for child psychologists are (1) to determine how environmental variables (such as parental attitudes) and biological characteristics (such as health) interact and influence behavior, and (2) to …show more content…
The accumulated results of all the major studies reported over a period of 20 years provided information about patterns and rates of child development, as well as age norms for a wide verity of behaviors. Both professional workers and parents to assess children's development use these norms. One problem with the observational studies was that they emerged from an interest in evolution and genetics. Consequently, environmental influences were largely dismissed as unimportant and were excluded from (Kroll 1995). About the time observational work was flourishing, other researchers were writing about the role of the environment in children's development and behavior. Sigmond Freud, who emphasized the effects of environmental variables on development, particularly stressed the importance of parental behavior during infancy. To the present day, Freud's theory continues to influence child psychologists (Wieten 1998). Kroll (1995) helped me to learn of an American psychologist named John B. Watson who also stressed the role of the environment in shaping children's development. His views were consistent with those of Behaviorism, an approach to psychology that had a great impact in the 1950's on research about children. Although behaviorists emphasize environment, they almost totally deny the influence of biological variables on development. Their basic

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