StartingOut

Chapter

Part One

StartingOut

Chapter1: StudyingtheChild:MapsandGuides

Chapter2: TheoriesofDevelopment:MapMakers

Chapter3: Conception,Heredity,andEnvironment:ManyPaths

Chapter4: PrenatalDevelopmentandBirth:OntheRoad

© Image Source/Corbis

Chapter

Grown-ups love figures.

—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

When you tell them that you have made a new friend,” the little prince contin-ues, “they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say, ‘What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he col- lect butterflies?’ Instead, they demand: ‘How old is he? How many brothers has he? How

much money does his father make?’ Only from these figures do they think they have learned

anything about him.”

Science, too, asks “grown-up” questions that are impersonal and objective. It asks, “How

do average 4-year-olds think?” “What path will they take on their journey to maturity?”

“How can they be made to understand reality?” “In what ways must they change to be

more like adults?” It seldom asks questions like “What does Marilyn feel about rainbows?”

“What does Cindy know of spiders and sugar and silver strings?” “Why does Robert some-

times cry in the middle of the night?”

As is made clear in the four chapters that make up Part One, the grown-up science that

studies children deals mainly with the composite, average child. But in this text, we pause

often to remind ourselves that there is no average child—that the concept is simply an

invention made necessary by our need to make sense of children. And although we ask

many questions that require figures as answers, we are always aware that every child is on

a very personal journey, that each may take very different routes and look at very differ-

ent things along the way. So we stop occasionally to notice that Marilyn sings when she

sees rainbows, and that Cindy has dreamt the magic that binds spiders and sugar and silver

strings. And we ask, too, what it is that makes Robert cry.

Chapter1

StudyingtheChild: MapsandGuides

© Baerbel Schmidt/Thinkstock

FocusQuestions 1. How have ideas about

childhood changed over the years?

2. What are some of the “universal” rights of children?

3. How do we study children?

4. What are some of the criteria that should be used in evaluat- ing developmental research?

ChapterOutline

1.1 OrganizationofChildren’s Journeys: Exploring Early Childhood Historical and Current Views of Childhood Snapshots of Childhood Why Look at History?

1.2 Children’sRights Research with Children United Nations Convention: Children’s

Rights

1.3 DevelopmentalPsychology Early Explorers of Child Development Later Explorers Why Study the Development of Children? Recurring Issues and Beliefs

1.4 MethodsofStudyingChildren Observation Correlational Studies

Experiments Longitudinal and Cross-Sectional Research Sources of Developmental Variation: Age

and Cohort Influences

1.5 EvaluatingDevelopmentalResearch Are the Samples Representative? What Do Intergroup and Cultural

Differences Really Mean? Do Conclusions Rely on Autobiographical

Memory? Do Results Depend on Subject Honesty? Is There a Possibility of Experimenter Bias? Might There Be Subject Bias? Is the Research Ethical?

SectionSummaries

FocusQuestions:Applications

PossibleResponsestoThoughtChallenges

StudyTerms

1

Chapter1

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet Eating of curds and whey Along came a spider and sat down beside her And frightened Miss Muffet away —Anonymous Nursery Rhyme

When it was Jason’s turn to share during circle time in Marie’s kindergarten class, he brought to class something none of the children had ever seen before: a live black widow spider which he had gotten from an uncle. “Where my uncle lives,” he informed the class, adjusting his glasses, “there’s things that can kill you, like snakes and black widows.”

Jason is a solemn little guy, dead serious about most things. When he wears his glasses, he looks like a small professor.

It was a very large female black widow spider in a glass jar; the entire class crowded in to have a closer look. “Just the lady ones can kill you,” Jason explained. “See the red thing on her bel- ly? That means she can kill you if she wants. My uncle got bit by one and he nearly died.”

“Is there anything else you want to say about your spider before we put her away?” the teach- er asked. “Yes,” Jason announced solemnly. “My uncle keeps my aunt under his bed.”

There were gasps of amazement; nobody laughed.

“I’m sure he was just joking,” said Marie. “Nobody keeps his wife under their bed.”

“My uncle does,” said Jason, very gravely. “I heard her voice under the bed.”

He’s such a sober little child, so honest, so serious. What if his uncle really . . . ? Shouldn’t someone do something?

Later that week at the parent-teacher meeting, Marie checked with Jason’s mother about the story. Jason’s mother laughed. Apparently the uncle wanted to discourage Jason and his sister from playing under the bed so he told them that’s where their aunt was. And when they went to look, he projected his voice and croaked in a high-pitched tone, “If you come any closer, little children, I’ll eat you!”

So they didn’t go any closer and nothing ate them.

OrganizationofChildren’s Journeys: Exploring Early Childhood Chapter1

1.1 OrganizationofChildren’s Journeys: Exploring Early Childhood

You and I are grown up; we’re not scared of things under the bed, are we? Unlike little chil- dren, we know there’s nothing there. We can look all we want and nothing will eat us. You can’t fool us just by projecting your voice. We recognize lies and we know that magic isn’t real. Don’t we?

Little children don’t know these things. Part of growing up is learning them—learning what to expect, becoming familiar with what’s out there, sorting fact from fancy, reality from wishes, tears from laughter.

Describing differences among infants and children, and explaining how these differences come about, is mostly what this text is about.

Children’s Journeys is divided into three parts (Table 1.1). Part One is a four-chapter introduc- tion. Chapter 1 is, in a sense, about maps and guides. It explains what developmental psychol- ogy is and how psychologists study children. Chapter 2 introduces the mapmakers—those who developed the theories that guide our attempts to understand developmental change. Chapter 3 looks at the many paths the human journey makes possible: It deals with our genetic origins and with the influence of environmental context. Chapter 4 puts our subject, the developing child, on the road: It looks at systematic changes that occur from conception through birth and at important influences on the unborn child. Parts Two and Three look at physical, intellectual (cognitive), social, and emotional changes and processes during infancy1 (birth to age 2) and earlychildhood (ages 2 to 7 or 8).

HistoricalandCurrentViewsofChildhood

Strange as it may seem to us, childhood as we generally understand it is not a universal phe- nomenon. What is universal is the fact that in all cultures infants are born at similar levels of

1 Boldfaced terms are defined in the glossary at the end of the book.

Table1.1Organization of Children’s Journeys: Exploring Early Childhood

Part Ages Chapters

One:StartingOut — 1 Studying the Child: Maps and Guides

2 Theories of Development: Map Makers

3 Conception, Heredity, and Environment: Many Paths

4 Prenatal Development and Birth: On the Road

Two:Infancy Birth to 2 years 5 Physical and Cognitive Development in Infancy: First Excursions

6 Social and Emotional Development in Infancy: Little Forays

Three:Early Childhood

2 to 7 or 8 7 Physical and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Side Expeditions

8 Social and Emotional Development in Early Childhood: Happy Jaunts

OrganizationofChildren’s Journeys: Exploring Early Childhood Chapter1

biological immaturity. Also, patterns of biological maturation—such as learning to walk—are highly similar in all social groups.

But the experience of being a child can vary dramatically in different social contexts, as shown by studies in ethnography (studies of different cultures). For example, in the box Across Cultures: Mari: A Mayan Child: Liam, A North American Child, we see how Mari’s life is unlike the lives of most children in the industrialized world. Much of the reason for this difference, explains Gaskins (1999), is that this Mayan society has different views of childhood. Among other things, these Mayans believe that adult work activities are so important that all child- hood activities must be structured around them. Play is given little importance, and parents spend little time speaking with their children other than to admonish them or give them direc- tions. This is in sharp contrast with the predominant North American view that emphasizes and caters to the child’s wishes and interests, and that stresses the importance of play and of verbal and social interaction.

It is partly because the experience of childhood is not universal that our views of childhood, and the theories that we use to explain human growth and development, are often valid only for children from social groups similar to our own.

SnapshotsofChildhood

Much of this text reflects North America’s contemporary attitudes toward childhood— attitudes that are loving, nurturing, concerned. That she shares these attitudes is partly why Liam’s mother so willingly abandons her chores to read to him or to play with him, and lets him determine when she will speak on the phone and when she will take him to the beach and to the zoo and perhaps even to Disneyland or the moon—or maybe just into the back yard. His journey through early childhood will be vastly different from Mari’s.

It has not always been so. In fact, even today it isn’t always and everywhere entirely so, as the following historical snapshots of children show.

We should note at the outset that historical snapshots are not always very accurate. For one thing, there are few records of what life might have been like before the “print cultures”— those societies that leave written records. When Ariès (1962) attempted to uncover what the lives of medieval European children were like, he was forced to put together fragments gathered from many sources such as historical paintings, school and university regulations, and people’s diaries. Relying on records such as these might result in a biased view of what childhood was really like for medieval children.

Snapshot 1: Antiquity

Our view of childhood during antiquity—the historical period before the Middle Ages—is even less reliable than that relating to medieval times. Nevertheless, some writers have con- cluded that prior to the Middle Ages, and perhaps even into the seventeenth century, children were not really considered human beings. There are some who believe that infanticide— legally defined as the killing of infants soon after birth—might have been relatively common in antiquity (Harris, 1982; deMause, 1975). Others argue that the examination of the skel- etal remains of infants who lived during that time suggests that this was not likely the case (Engels, 1980).

OrganizationofChildren’s Journeys: Exploring Early Childhood Chapter1

A C R O S S C U LT U R E S :

Mari, A Mayan Child; Liam, A North American Child

Mari is 18 months old. During a typical morning of a typical day, explains Gaskins (1999), she spends all her time in or close to the small compound where her family lives. Her parents are both busy, as are all her older siblings. No one plays with her; no one even speaks with her except to tell her not to do things—like going into the mud or dropping a rock into her sister’s washtub. To stop her from interfering with important household chores, she is told to feed the chickens. She takes a gourd filled with dried corn and scatters it near the house. For a while she watches as the chickens eat. Later her mother tells her and her 3- and 5-year- old siblings to go and feed themselves. They spend most of the next hour picking, cleaning, and slowly eating the fruit that grows in and around the compound. “From the begin- ning to the end of this scene,” writes Gaskins (1999), “Mari has said nothing to anyone” (p. 32).

Liam is also 18 months old. During his typical morning, his fa- ther is away at work, but his mother is at home. She, too, like Mari’s mother, has important household chores to perform. While she works, Liam plays with his toy car, driving it around the kitchen floor. When he bangs into his toy box, a book falls out. He picks it up and toddles over to his mother. “Read it,” he says, and his mother cheerfully puts her work aside and sits to read the book to Liam. But she doesn’t just read: She asks questions; she explains and elaborates; she fills her reading with startling visions of magic. “What’s this?” “What’s that?” “Is that a blue fish or a red fish?” “What would you do if you had a truck like that?” “Let’s pretend you’re the tiger.”

While they’re reading, Liam’s father phones. “I wanna talk,” Liam says. His mother hands him the phone. When Liam tires of his dad, his mother takes the phone again, but Liam will not wait. “Read,” he says. “I have to go,” Liam’s mother explains on the phone, “Liam wants me to read to him.” Smiling, she returns to the book.

ToThinkAbout: Young Mayan children, says Gaskins (1999), spend very little time in imaginative or “pretend” play. Most of their play time involves large-motor activities such as climbing trees, chasing each other, or chasing bugs. In contrast, as we see in Chapter 8, North American children spend a great deal of time in various forms of pre- tend play.

What sorts of beliefs do you think these cul- tural differences reflect? How important are cultural beliefs about childhood?

© Karen Kasmauski/Science Faction/Corbis

© Hemera/Thinkstock

OrganizationofChildren’s Journeys: Exploring Early Childhood Chapter1

Snapshot 2: The Concept of Childhood in Medieval Europe

By the Middle Ages there had been some improvements in the treatment of children. But McFarland (1998) notes that these improvements required centuries, and, in retrospect, were sometimes not all that significant. In contrast, improvements in how the world currently treats its children can be measured in decades rather than in centuries.

That improvements in the treatment of children were not very dramatic is implicit in Ariès’ account of medieval childhood. For example, he describes a mother who has just given birth to her fifth child and who is very depressed at the thought of having one more mouth to feed, one more body to clothe. A neighbor consoles her: “Before they are old enough to bother you,” she says, “you will have lost half of them, or perhaps all of them” (1962, p. 38).

That the idea of childhood was still largely undeveloped is evident in the many ways in which children appeared to be viewed as nothing more than miniature adults. Thus they were sel- dom given toys designed especially for them. And they were quickly sent to work or given adult-like responsibilities. Perhaps, suggests Ariès, parents and society didn’t see them as innocent and helpless creatures in need of nurturing and guidance.

Snapshot 3: Childhood in Eighteenth-Century Europe

Historical accounts of the lives of eighteenth-century European children are often shocking descriptions of abuse and cruelty—perhaps because, like today, the most flagrant and hor- rible abuses are the most sen- sational and the most likely to have been recorded.

For example, Siegel and White (1982) report the case of a 7-year-old British girl who stole a petticoat—which doesn’t seem like that ter- rible a crime. Still, she was brought to trial, convicted, sentenced—and hanged!

Eighteenth-century European attitudes toward children were reflected not only in the ways children were treated by the courts, but also in the ways many were treated by their parents. Kessen (1965) reports that in the crowded and disease-riddled slums of eighteenth-century European cities, thousands of parents abandoned unwanted children in the streets or on the doorsteps of churches. Foundling homes—so-called because they looked after found children—sprang up all over Europe in an attempt to care for these children. But most of them died in infancy (before the age of 2 years). Kessen (1965) reports that of 10,272 infants admitted to one foundling home in Dublin in the last quarter of the eigh- teenth century, only 45 survived to the age of 5. In fact, before 1700, even if a child were not

ThoughtChallenge1.1

The main point of Ariès’ account of the lives of medieval children is that childhood is a concept that is invented and elaborated by societ- ies. What sort of evidence is there in this painting that the concept of childhood had not yet been invented?

Please see PossibleResponsesto ThoughtChallenges at the end of this chapter.

▲ What we know of how children were viewed and treated in the past is often based on highly unreliable records—such as this seventeenth- century painting. © Getty Images

OrganizationofChildren’s Journeys: Exploring Early Childhood Chapter1

abandoned, the chances of surviving till the age of 5 were less than one in two. Most died of diseases, including the plague.

The high mortality rate of abandoned children was not restricted to eighteenth-century Europe but was characteristic of the other side of the Atlantic as well, even into the nineteenth cen- tury. It seems that with few exceptions, children in infant asylums in the United States before 1915 died before the age of 2 (Bakwin, 1949). This was mostly because many were sick before they were abandoned, or if not, they later succumbed to one of many serious contagious dis- eases such as scarlet fever, whooping cough, or diphtheria.

Snapshot 4: Child Labor in the Nineteenth Century

The nineteenth century brought some improvement in the status of children in Europe, and abandonments decreased drastically. Sadly, this appears to have been at least partly because of children’s increasing economic value as workers. In thousands of factories and mines, chil- dren as young as 5 or 6 years, male and female, worked 10 hours a day or more at grueling labor in conditions so hazardous that many became ill and died (Kessen, 1965).

Conditions in North America were, in some instances, not very different from those that pre- vailed in parts of Europe. Clement (1997) reports that in cities and industrialized areas, many children were employed in factories and cotton mills. In rural farm families, female children were expected to sew and cook and clean even when they were only 4 or 5. Male children were expected to work around the barn and in the fields as soon as they were physically able.

▲ Children working in an American textile mill, surrounded by dangerously spinning machinery. Those who worked in mines had an even more difficult lot. © Bettmann/Corbis

OrganizationofChildren’s Journeys: Exploring Early Childhood Chapter1

Snapshot 5: The Developing World Today

The twentieth century, too, still has its share of ignorance, cruelty, needless pain, and suffer- ing. More than 50 of the world’s developing nations have under-5mortalityrates(U5MR) greater than 70 per 1,000 children born alive—a rate many times higher than is common in developed countries (Tracking progress in child survival, 2005). In, Afghanistan, for example, about 257 of every 1,000 newborns die before age 5, a rate 32 times higher than in the United States and more than 60 times higher than in Japan or the Scandinavian countries (see Figure 1.1).

The United Nations reports that as recently as 1990, some 4,500 infants died each day from measles, tetanus, and whooping cough, and another 7,000 from diarrheal dehydration (Grant, 1992). Pneumonia added significantly to this total, and starvation more than doubled it. As a result, even in 1990 more than 30,000 children died each day from preventable causes. That was about 10 million preventable child deaths a year, almost 2 million of them from vaccine- preventable diseases.

Have conditions for the world’s children improved very much in recent decades? In some ways, yes. Following massive worldwide efforts, coverage rates for immunization have increased dramatically. As a result, deaths from the six major diseases for which children are immunized (measles, tetanus, whooping cough, tuberculosis, polio and diphtheria) have been greatly reduced (Figure 1.2). Sadly, however, as many as one-third of the world’s children are born in poverty, especially in areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa (Gordon, Nandy, Pantazis, Pemberton, & Townsend, 2003). Many of them have limited access to shelter, inadequate nourishment, scarce clean water, and little or no medical care.

Canada 6

United States 8

Mexico 17

Brazil 22

United Kingdom

6 France

4

Sierra Leone 194

India 69

Afghanistan 257

China 21

Figure 01.01

Africa 132

Angola 220

Albania 125

Australia 6

Japan 4

Sweden 3

Norway 4

0–50 51–100

101–200 201–300

United Arab Emirates

8

Andorra 4

Figure1.1:Under-5MortalityRatesforSelectedCountriesper1,000LiveBirthsin2008

Higher mortality rates are associated with the least developed countries. Source: UNdata

OrganizationofChildren’s Journeys: Exploring Early Childhood Chapter1

Snapshot 6: The Industrialized World Today

The vast majority of children who are born into relative affluence are born to parents living in the world’s industrialized countries. These children come into a world astonishingly rich in resources; they have access to a staggering wealth of information and entertainment.

Sadly, this doesn’t mean that all is perfect with children of the industrialized world. For exam- ple, even in North America, immunization is not universal even though it is mandated for all children prior to starting school. Some parents are afraid of the possible adverse effects of immunization—which are very rare. Some believe it might cause autism—a supposition now largely discredited (Rudy, 2009). Others believe that it might damage the child’s immune sys- tem, that it might cause diabetes, or that the diseases it is meant to prevent are no longer suf- ficiently common to be dangerous. Some even believe it doesn’t work and that the scientific community is divided about the wisdom of immunization. Others object on religious, moral, or ethical grounds.

Although the possibility of adverse reactions to immunization cannot be completely dis- counted, the medical and scientific community unanimously believes in its effectiveness and its enormous health benefits (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011). Yet many parents seek and obtain exemptions for their children—an act that not only exposes their children to unwarranted dangers, but also endangers other children, especially those who have compro- mised immune systems. As a result there are still outbreaks of preventable and sometimes fatal childhood illnesses in certain areas.

Even in industrialized countries, many children are shockingly poor. For example, in the United States, nearly 20% of all children live in families whose incomes are below the poverty level and about twice that number live in low-income families (National Center for Children in Poverty̧ 2011).

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FIGURE 01.02 Figure1.2:DecliningWorldInfantMortalityRatesfrom1950tothePresentwith Projectionsto2050.

Infant mortality has declined dramatically since 1950 and is projected to continue doing so, but at a slower rate, until at least 2050. Source: UNdata World Population Prospects: the 2008 Revision. United Nations Population Division. Retrieved July 21, 2011 from http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?d=PopDiv&f=variableID%3A77

OrganizationofChildren’s Journeys: Exploring Early Childhood Chapter1

There have been dramatic social changes in recent decades. For example, the percentage of never-married 25- to 29-year-old women increased from 27 in 1986 to more than 46 in 2009 (Number, Timing, and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 2009). Also, divorce rates increased enormously during the last century. At any given time, about 1 in 10 children in the United States lives in a one-parent family. In about 80% of these families, the mother is the single parent (America’s families and living arrangements, 2010). Coupled with this, demographic (population) changes have resulted in smaller families, reduced birthrates, more childless couples, and greater proportions of young adults (resulting from previous increases in birthrates) and elderly people (resulting from medical advances).

Another important change, the effects of which are discussed in Chapter 8, is associated with the role of the media in people’s lives, especially children’s.

Some observers argue that the net effect of these changes is that recent decades are less child-centered than had been anticipated. Among other things, childhood in our industrial- ized times brings with it a high probability of being looked after by a series of strangers, most likely outside the child’s home. It includes, as well, the probability of losing a father or a mother for much of the time of growing up—or at least of losing some of their interest and attention, and perhaps some of their affection as well. Childhood now brings the possibility of major adjustments if one or the other of the parents remarries, particularly if step-siblings are brought into the family.

There was a time, not very long ago, when the things that most children feared were highly predictable: pain, death, spinach, supernatural beings, and things that go bump in the night. Recent decades have added some new fears: concerns over whether or not parents will divorce; anxieties related to being left alone; worry associated with the likelihood of having to make new adjustments; and, too often, dread associated with wars.

But this paints too bleak a picture. The challenges and the changes of recent decades don’t overwhelm all children and are not always a source of loneliness or despair. For many children, these are challenges and changes that result in strength rather than in weakness, in a sense of community rather than alienation, in joy rather than sadness.

WhyLookatHistory?

These historical snapshots are important not so much for what they tell us about the lives of children (although that, too, is interesting and important in its own right), but because they emphasize the extent to which we are products of our particular social, cultural, and historical realities. In today’s jargon, we are products of our contexts. So, to understand the lives of chil- dren, we need to know something of their contexts—that is, something of their families, their schools, the economic and political realities of their times, their place in history and in culture. It’s a point that is repeated often in this text and emphasized in the “Across Cultures” inserts, which look at the lives of children whose contexts are not the average North American context.

In a sense, we are all a little like the children described in these inserts; none of us is the typical, average child of which this text speaks. Not only is each of us the product of an absolutely unique assortment of genetic material (unless we have an identical twin), but we are also products of experiences that are influenced more than a little by the social-cultural contexts of our lives.

Imagine how different your life might have been had you been born in medieval times.

Children’sRights Chapter1

1.2 Children’sRights If you had been born in early medieval times, there is a chance that you might have been used as a plaything for the game of babytossing—one of the sports by which the gentry amused themselves. Basically, baby tossing involved throwing infants from one gamesman to another. One unlucky baby-tossing victim was King Henry IV’s infant brother, who was killed when he fell while being tossed from one window to another (deMause, 1974).

Throughout history, children have died not only in sport but for other causes, too. Had you been a parent in Massachusetts in 1646, you would not have had to put up with unruly off- spring. Say you had a son who wouldn’t listen to you, who was making your life miserable. All you would have had to do was drag him before a magistrate, establish that here was a defiant and rebellious kid, and, as long as he was 16 or more, they’d put him to death for you! That was the law (Westman, 1991).

By the twentieth century, the courts would no longer hang or shoot problem children; the once-absolute control that parents and various agencies had over the lives of children had been weakened considerably. Yet it was still possible for parents and teachers to get rid of the worst troublemakers. One way of doing this was to “voluntarily” commit them to mental institutions (“voluntarily” because parents and guardians simply “volunteered” them) (Farleger, 1977). Until recently, such children had no legal recourse, no matter how badly they felt they had been treated. Now, however, the courts have determined that children cannot be brought in for “treatment” without their “informed consent” (Informed consent, 2011).

In the twenty-first century, evidence of increasing concern with the rights of children is apparent not only in court deci-

sions but also in two other important events: (1) the adoption of ethical principles to guide research concerning children; and (2) the formulation and widespread international accep- tance of a code of children’s rights. Now most industrialized countries have developed a variety of child protection systems that typically focus on improving the well-being of chil- dren and ensuring their optimal development (Gilbert, Parton, & Skivenes, 2011). (See In the Classroom: No Child Left Behind for an illustration of some of the implications of children’s rights for teachers.)

ResearchwithChildren

The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) provides an important list of prin- ciples for research with children (SRCD Ethical standards for research with children,2007). These principles recognize that research is unethical when procedures are stressful or poten- tially harmful, when a child is coerced into participating, when a child’s privacy is invaded, and when unfair incentives or deception are used. The principles specify that permission of

▲ Many of the world’s children live in poverty and are abused and exploited. But in North America, we live in a kinder age marked by a variety of child protection systems that focus on the well- being of children and on their optimal development—as this budding scientist well illustrates. © Creatas/Thinkstock

I N T H E C L A S S R O O M :

No Child Left Behind

TheSchool: Wes Morland Elementary

TheSituation: Third-grade students Sam Plotkin, Sarah Benny, Josh Edwards, Josefina González, and Cheekie Liu have requested transfers to Harriet McKinley Elementary School with transporta- tion to be paid for by the district. The parents of five other third-graders have asked for free tutor- ing; several others have demanded after-school programs. Although the district is dangerously short of funds, it must agree to each of these requests.

Explanation:Wes Morland Elementary has failed to meet AdequateYearlyProgress(AYP)tar- gets three years running. These are targets mandated by a law signed into effect in 2002, known as the NoChildLeftBehindAct. The main purpose of this act is to ensure that all students meet specific state-wide standards in mathematics and reading. It also formalizes the right of students to be taught by highly qualified teachers. It requires that all publicly funded schools improve each year, demonstrating their improvement by meeting AYP targets so that by the year 2014, all students will have achieved mandated levels of proficiency. Schools such as Wes Morland Elementary that do not meet AYP targets are required to take specific steps to improve. If AYP targets are not met two or more years in a row, students are given the option of transferring to another school. Schools that don’t meet AYP targets for a third consecutive year must offer free tutoring and supplementary ed- ucational programs for their students. Missing AYP targets yet a fourth year can lead to “corrective action,” including the possibility of replacing staff and school programs. Continuing failure to meet targets can lead to a restructuring of the entire school or even to the school’s closure.

ToThinkAbout:Critics agree that the goals of NCLB are beyond reproach. But many are con- cerned about the possible negative consequences of what is termed “high-stakes” testing, where student performance on tests can have profound repercussions for schools and teachers. What do you suppose some of these negative consequences might be?

Children’sRights Chapter1

children and their parents must be obtained before conducting child research. Furthermore, consent must be “informed” in the sense that all are fully aware of any aspect of the research that might affect their willingness to participate.

A 1939 study of stuttering among children is often used as an illustration of unethical research. Sometimes called the Monster Study, it was conducted on 22 orphan children, some of whom had normal speech, but 10 of whom were identified as stutterers (Reynolds, 2003). Half of each group received “positive” speech therapy: Experimenters praised their verbal fluency and their pronunciation. The other half received “negative” therapy: They were ridiculed and belit- tled. Those who had been identified as stutter- ers were told their speech was even worse than other people thought. And those whose speech had been normal were told that the staff had concluded they had all the symptoms of a child who is beginning to stutter, that they would eventually wind up like so-and-so who was the worst stutterer in the orphanage. Sadly, these fictitious predictions and diagnoses apparently became true in some cases—a fact that has allegedly ruined some lives and led to a number of lawsuits.

ThoughtChallenge1.2

How many ways can you think of in which the Monster Study violated accepted ethical principles of child research?

1.2 Children’sRights If you had been born in early medieval times, there is a chance that you might have been used as a plaything for the game of babytossing—one of the sports by which the gentry amused themselves. Basically, baby tossing involved throwing infants from one gamesman to another. One unlucky baby-tossing victim was King Henry IV’s infant brother, who was killed when he fell while being tossed from one window to another (deMause, 1974).

Throughout history, children have died not only in sport but for other causes, too. Had you been a parent in Massachusetts in 1646, you would not have had to put up with unruly off- spring. Say you had a son who wouldn’t listen to you, who was making your life miserable. All you would have had to do was drag him before a magistrate, establish that here was a defiant and rebellious kid, and, as long as he was 16 or more, they’d put him to death for you! That was the law (Westman, 1991).

By the twentieth century, the courts would no longer hang or shoot problem children; the once-absolute control that parents and various agencies had over the lives of children had been weakened considerably. Yet it was still possible for parents and teachers to get rid of the worst troublemakers. One way of doing this was to “voluntarily” commit them to mental institutions (“voluntarily” because parents and guardians simply “volunteered” them) (Farleger, 1977). Until recently, such children had no legal recourse, no matter how badly they felt they had been treated. Now, however, the courts have determined that children cannot be brought in for “treatment” without their “informed consent” (Informed consent, 2011).

In the twenty-first century, evidence of increasing concern with the rights of children is apparent not only in court deci-

sions but also in two other important events: (1) the adoption of ethical principles to guide research concerning children; and (2) the formulation and widespread international accep- tance of a code of children’s rights. Now most industrialized countries have developed a variety of child protection systems that typically focus on improving the well-being of chil- dren and ensuring their optimal development (Gilbert, Parton, & Skivenes, 2011). (See In the Classroom: No Child Left Behind for an illustration of some of the implications of children’s rights for teachers.)

ResearchwithChildren

The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) provides an important list of prin- ciples for research with children (SRCD Ethical standards for research with children,2007). These principles recognize that research is unethical when procedures are stressful or poten- tially harmful, when a child is coerced into participating, when a child’s privacy is invaded, and when unfair incentives or deception are used. The principles specify that permission of

▲ Many of the world’s children live in poverty and are abused and exploited. But in North America, we live in a kinder age marked by a variety of child protection systems that focus on the well- being of children and on their optimal development—as this budding scientist well illustrates. © Creatas/Thinkstock

I N T H E C L A S S R O O M :

No Child Left Behind

TheSchool: Wes Morland Elementary

TheSituation: Third-grade students Sam Plotkin, Sarah Benny, Josh Edwards, Josefina González, and Cheekie Liu have requested transfers to Harriet McKinley Elementary School with transporta- tion to be paid for by the district. The parents of five other third-graders have asked for free tutor- ing; several others have demanded after-school programs. Although the district is dangerously short of funds, it must agree to each of these requests.

Explanation:Wes Morland Elementary has failed to meet AdequateYearlyProgress(AYP)tar- gets three years running. These are targets mandated by a law signed into effect in 2002, known as the NoChildLeftBehindAct. The main purpose of this act is to ensure that all students meet specific state-wide standards in mathematics and reading. It also formalizes the right of students to be taught by highly qualified teachers. It requires that all publicly funded schools improve each year, demonstrating their improvement by meeting AYP targets so that by the year 2014, all students will have achieved mandated levels of proficiency. Schools such as Wes Morland Elementary that do not meet AYP targets are required to take specific steps to improve. If AYP targets are not met two or more years in a row, students are given the option of transferring to another school. Schools that don’t meet AYP targets for a third consecutive year must offer free tutoring and supplementary ed- ucational programs for their students. Missing AYP targets yet a fourth year can lead to “corrective action,” including the possibility of replacing staff and school programs. Continuing failure to meet targets can lead to a restructuring of the entire school or even to the school’s closure.

ToThinkAbout:Critics agree that the goals of NCLB are beyond reproach. But many are con- cerned about the possible negative consequences of what is termed “high-stakes” testing, where student performance on tests can have profound repercussions for schools and teachers. What do you suppose some of these negative consequences might be?

Children’sRights Chapter1

UnitedNationsConvention:Children’sRights

A United Nations convention on the rights of the child held in 1989 culminated in the formula- tion of an extensive charter of children’s rights (Convention on the Rights of the Child, 2011).

The international charter of children’s rights is based on the following four general principles:

• The rights are to apply to all of the world’s children equally, without discrimination or distinctions of any kind.

• In all actions that involve children, their best interests shall be the most important consideration.

• All the world’s states shall do their utmost to ensure child survival and optimal development.

• Children have the right to be heard.

These four principles are reflected in the specific rights discussed in the charter (Table 1.2).

Table1.2The Charter of Children’s Rights A universally accepted proclamation of the United Nations asserts that, among other things, every child has specific birthrights.

CategoryofRights ExamplesofRights

Civil rights and freedoms A name and a nationality from birth

Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion

Protection of privacy

Protection from torture or other degrading treatment or punishment

Protection from capital punishment and life imprisonment

A family environment Parents having the primary, but state-assisted, responsibility for care and upbringing of children

From which children cannot be taken unless it is clearly in their best interests

The responsibilities of which will be assumed by the state should the child be deprived of a family

Safeguarding of health and welfare

The right to life

The right to the highest attainable standard of health

The provision of special care for those with special needs

The right to an adequate standard of living

Education, leisure and recreation

Free and compulsory education for all children

School discipline that respects the child’s dignity

School programs geared toward social and physical as well as mental development

Special protection measures

The assurance that no child under 15 shall take direct part in war or be recruited into armed forces

Special treatment by courts of law, taking into consideration the child’s age, and directed mainly toward rehabilitation rather than punishment

Freedom from fear of exploitation

Children’sRights Chapter1

Rights of Protection versus Rights of Choice

As Jones and Welch (2010) point out, children’s rights as outlined by the United Nations Committee on Rights of the Child are geared toward (1) providing optimal, growth-fostering conditions for them; (2) protecting them from abuse and exploitation; and, (3) allowing them to participate in decisions that affect them. Note that the first two of these are essentially rights of protection whereas the third is a right of choice.

In many instances, as Runeson, Proczkowska- Bjorklund, and Idvall (2010) note, granting chil- dren rights of choice as though they were mini-adults is a misuse of the concept of chil- dren’s rights. Young children lack the maturity and the knowledge required for making the best choices in their own lives. Six-year-old Elvira has the right to adequate nutrition, medical care, and education. But, understandably, she does not have the right to make all her own nutritional, educational, and medical choices. Many of those choices are her parents’ respon- sibility. And even if her parents are unable to convince her that she should eat her broccoli because it’s good for her, they can at least ensure that she doesn’t eat only candy bars.

It’s important to note that these United Nations “rights” of the child are principles and not enforceable laws. As a consequence, there are uncounted violations of children “rights” throughout the world—and at home, too. (See Figure 1.3 and Across Cultures: Children and War for examples of violations of children’s rights.)

▲ Six-year-old Elvira has many rights of protection— but fewer of choice. Her parents may well allow her the right to choose not to eat her broccoli. But it is their responsibility to make sure her nutritional choices are not harmful. © Tim Pannell/Corbis

ThoughtChallenge1.3

In spite of the wide-scale acceptance of the Charter of Children’s Rights, thousands of chil- dren die needlessly each day—mainly of vaccine- preventable diseases, starvation, diarrheal dehydration, and wars. What should be done about this situation? What can be done?

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Figure 01.03

Figure1.3:Children LivingInPovertyin the UnitedStates

This figure includes only children under 18 living at home. Black and hispanic children are more likely to live in poverty than are white children. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1011, Table 711

Children’sRights Chapter1

A C R O S S C U LT U R E S :

Children and War

My good friend, Joseph Minimoto, died in 1987. He died largely as a result of World War II, although he was only a child when that war started and he lived in California, where none of the fighting took place. But when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, caught up in the general hysteria that swept the United States, issued order number 9066 giving the U.S. military the right to exclude from certain areas and activities all U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry. It also established the right to detain these citizens, without legal recourse, in what were termed “relocation camps.” Ten such camps were set up in the United States and some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry—some no more than one-eighth Japanese—were imprisoned in remote encampments surrounded by barbed wire. Joe and his family were sent to Heart Mountain Camp in Wyoming. It opened on August 12, 1942, and didn’t close until November 10, 1945.

Joe never forgot those sad, frightened, and hungry years. Both of his Japanese grandparents and his father died in the camp. All three suffered from tuberculosis. His mother, a descendent of the Cheyenne Dog Soldier tribe of Wyoming, was heartbroken and never recovered. She died a few years after their release from the camp.

Joe survived another four decades. He spent his last years fighting the ravages of a long- undiagnosed case of tuberculosis. The doctors guessed he had contracted the disease in the camp.

One year after Joe died, the U.S. government passed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988—popularly referred to as the Japanese-American Redress Bill. It provided for a written apology, signed by the president of the United States, for every person of Japanese ancestry who had been interned during the war. It also awarded monetary compensation of $20,000 per person.

Joe received neither.

ToThinkAbout:During the twentieth century alone, more than 60 million people have been killed in wars—of which there are approximately 30 ongoing as of this writing. Nearly a dozen of these are described as major conflicts, in which more than 1,000 people are killed each year (GlobalSecurity.org, 2011). In medieval times, wars typically killed only soldiers. Even as recently as the First World War, 95% of those killed were military personnel. But now, wars kill about four times more civilians than fighters, and the majority of those killed are women and children (Bellamy, 1996). During the last decade of the twentieth century, more than 1.5 million children have been killed by wars. Even if they are not killed or physically wounded, many children who are exposed to war or interned in war camps subsequently manifest a variety of psychological symptoms, including depression and behavioral problems (Jordans, Tol, Komproe, & de Jong, 2009).

▲ Manzanar national historic site monument—site of one of the best-known World War II “reloca- tion” camps. © iStockphoto/Thinkstock

DevelopmentalPsychology Chapter1

1.3 DevelopmentalPsychology Psychology is the science that studies human behavior and mental processes. Developmental psychology is the division of psychology concerned specifically with the journey through the lifespan, beginning with conception and prenatal development, and ending with death. It looks at changes that occur over time and at the processes and influences that account for these changes. Development itself includes all the processes and changes whereby individu- als adapt to their environment. Because adaptation involves growing, maturing, and learning, these processes are important concepts in the study of development.

Growth refers to physical changes such as increasing height and weight. Note that these are mainly quantitative changes: they involve increments (additions) rather than transformations. Maturation describes changes that are more closely related to biology and heredity than to a child’s environment. Sexual unfolding during pubescence is an example of maturation.

Learning refers to changes that occur as a result of environmental influences. Learning is defined as all relatively permanent changes that result from experience rather than simply from maturation, growth, or the temporary effects of factors such as drugs or fatigue.

Note that in almost all aspects of human development, maturation, growth, and learning interact to make adaptation possible. This is especially evident in early childhood. For example, learning to walk requires not only that the child’s physical strength and muscular coordination be sufficiently advanced (growth and maturation) but also that there be an opportunity to practice the different skills involved (learning).

Developmental psychology undertakes two important tasks: observing children and their prog- ress in adapting to the world, and trying to explain that adaptation. (See Concept Summary: Important Definitions in Child Development.)

EarlyExplorersofChildDevelopment

The study of children is a relatively recent enterprise, closely tied to social changes that occurred in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century attitudes toward children and to intellectual movements reflected in the writings of philosophers and early scientists. In addition, advances in biology and medicine and the increasing availability of elementary education contributed significantly to the development of child psychology.

ConceptSummary:ImportantDefinitionsinChildDevelopment

Term Definition

Psychology The science that studies human thought and behavior

Developmentalpsychology Division of psychology concerned with changes that occur over time and with the processes and influences that account for these changes

Developmentinvolves:

Growth

Maturation

Learning

Physical changes; primarily quantitative

Naturally unfolding changes, relatively independent of the environment (for example, physical changes of the brain during prenatal development; the changes of pubescence that lead to sexual maturity)

Relatively permanent changes in behavior that result from experience (rather than from maturation, fatigue, or drugs)

DevelopmentalPsychology Chapter1

Closely associated with the beginnings of the study of children were people such as the British philosopher John Locke and the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

John Locke

The child is basically a rational creature, Locke informed his late seventeenth-century col- leagues. Children have nothing in their minds when they are born: Their minds are like blank slates—the tablets on which ancient philosophers wrote before there were chalkboards and smartboards. This belief is known as the doctrine of the tabula rasa. It holds that at first there is nothing in the infant’s mind. But experience changes that, said Locke, because children quickly absorb the knowledge and habits that are given to them. Furthermore, he explained, children are highly responsive to rewards and punishments and must be carefully and firmly disciplined.

In the highly puritanical age in which Locke lived, discipline and self-control were considered absolutely fundamental to successful child rearing. And discipline tended to be harsh and unforgiving. In Locke’s (1699) words, “If you take away the Rod on one hand, and these little Encouragements which they are taken with, on the other, How then (will you say) shall Children be govern’d? Remove Hope and Fear, and there is an end of all Discipline” (p. 33).

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Rousseau’s child, described in his book Émile (first published in 1762), is not at all like Locke’s child. This is not a child who is a «blank slate,” neither good nor bad until the rewards and punishments of experience exert their influence. The child is “naturally good” (a “noble sav- age”), Rousseau insists: If children were allowed to develop in their own fashion, untainted by the corruption and evil in the world, they would undoubtedly be good when grown: “God makes all things good; man meddles with them and they become evil” (Rousseau, 2004/1762, p. 3).

Although both Locke and Rousseau are closely associated with the beginning of the study of children, their ideas led to very different conceptions of childhood. Locke’s description of the child as a passive creature molded by the rewards and punishments of experience parallels B. F. Skinner’s theory (Chapter 2). Rousseau’s view of an active, exploring child developing through deliberate interaction with the environment is reflected in the work of Jean Piaget (also Chapter 2).

LaterExplorers

Although the science of child psychology owes much to early “child philosophers” such as Rousseau and Locke, its beginnings are usually attributed to the first systematic observations and written accounts of children, undertaken by people such as G. Stanley Hall, Jean Piaget, and John Broadus Watson.

G. Stanley Hall

The American, G. Stanley Hall (1891), who became the first president of the American Psychological Association, was profoundly influenced by Charles Darwin’s theory of evolu- tion. “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,” Hall insisted, borrowing a phrase popularized by German scientists such as Haeckel (Richards, 2008). This one short phrase summarizes Hall’s conviction that the development of each individual in a species (ontogeny) parallels the evolu- tion of the entire species (phylogeny).

DevelopmentalPsychology Chapter1

As evidence for this theory, Hall described the evolution of children’s interest in games, noting how these seem to correspond to the evolution of human occupations and lifestyles. Notice, said Hall, how a child becomes progressively inter- ested in games corresponding to each of the major periods in human evolution: an arboreal existence (for example, climbing on chairs and tables); a cave-dwelling existence (crawling into small spaces, making tiny shelters with old blan- kets); a pastoral existence (playing with animals); an agricultural existence (tending flowers and plants); and finally an industrial existence (play- ing with vehicles).

One of Hall’s most important contributions to the study of children was his pioneering use of questionnaires, lists of questions designed to uncover the thoughts, the emotions, and the behaviors of children. He often presented his questionnaires to adults, asking them to remem- ber what they had felt and thought as children. Always, he tabulated, summed, averaged, and compared the results of his questionnaires, a true pioneer of the application of scientific pro- cedures and principles to the study of human development. Also, Hall wrote extensively for the lay public, and was highly regarded as one of the important “popularizers” of psychology and purveyors of child-rearing advice (Brooks-Gunn & Duncan Johnson, 2006).

Jean Piaget

Like G. Stanley Hall, the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget was heavily influenced by Charles Darwin. Piaget’s early training was in biology, a field in which he received a PhD at the age of 22. Uncertain about what to do next, he spent a year wandering around Europe, working at a psychoanalytic clinic and in a pair of psychological laboratories, one of which was under the direction of Théodore Simon, the originator of the famous Stanford Binet intelligence test. While working with Simon, Piaget became fascinated by children’s responses to test ques- tions, and especially by their incorrect answers. This marked the beginning of his very long and enormously productive career as an investigator of the development of children’s minds.

Children, Piaget explains, are born with a small repertoire of reflexive behaviors and correspond- ing mental underpinnings. As a result of interacting with the world, exercising these behaviors (assimilating, in Piaget’s terminology) and modifying them (accommodating), the brain struc- tures that underlie them change. These changes are reflected in a series of stages that describe the systematic development of the child’s capabilities. At each stage, the child’s ability to reason and understand becomes progressively more logical, culminating in the intellectual power of the adult. Piaget’s model of the child’s cognitive development became one of the most highly researched and applied descriptions of child development in the twentieth century.

▲ G. Stanley Hall believed that children’s inter- est in climbing trees (or crawling into small spaces) is evidence that individual development parallels the development of the entire species. This belief (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny) has been largely discredited. © Rolf Brenner/Corbis

DevelopmentalPsychology Chapter1

John B. Watson

A well-known American pioneer of child psychology was John B. Watson (1914), who intro- duced an experimental, learning-based approach to the study of development. His influence, as well as that of Skinner, shaped a model that came to dominate child study through the early part of the twentieth century. This model looked for the causes of developmental change among the rewards and punishments of the environment and viewed the child as the passive recipient of these influences, much as had Locke.

The theories of Watson and Piaget, along with other important contributors to the study of children, such as Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, Burrhus F. Skinner, John Bowlby, Lev Vygotsky, Urie Bronfenbrenner, and Albert Bandura, are discussed in Chapter 2. (See Concept Summary: Pioneers in the Study of Children.)

WhyStudytheDevelopmentofChildren?

In this child-centered age, we study children for various reasons, not least because we want to understand how we become what we are. Our study of child development is intended to provide us with information about (1) the sorts of behaviors we might expect from children at different ages, (2) the optimal experiences for children at different developmental levels, and (3) the nature of developmental problems and the best treatments for them.

As a result, the study of children provides a wealth of information that is of tremendous practical importance for teachers, nurses, counselors, physicians, child welfare professionals, clergy, and parents. With greater understanding, we become better parents, better teachers, better clinicians—and the children in our care have a better chance of becoming happy, pro- ductive, healthy individuals.

RecurringIssuesandBeliefs

A number of important questions have served as recurring themes in developmental psychol- ogy. The issues that underlie these questions have guided much of its research and theorizing, and are reflected in its most important beliefs.

ConceptSummary:PioneersintheStudyofChildren

Pioneers IdentifyingBelief

John Locke (1632–1704)

Tabula rasa: Children are like empty vessels, passive recipients of the effects of experience, in need of direction and discipline.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778)

The natural child: Children are active, inquiring, and basically good unless society corrupts them.

G. Stanley Hall (1884–1924)

Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny: The development of the individual mirrors the development of the human race.

Jean Piaget (1896–1980)

Stage-bound cognitive development: Development progresses through a series of stages as a result of assimilating (using the environment for already-learned activi- ties) and accommodating (changing behaviors—and mental structure—in the face of environmental demands).

John Broadus Watson (1878–1958)

Give me a dozen healthy infants and I will make of them what I will: Children are shaped by the rewards and punishments of their environments

DevelopmentalPsychology Chapter1

• Is it best to view the child as an active, exploring organism, discovering or inventing meaning for the world, as Rousseau argued? Or is it more useful to emphasize, as did Locke, the effects of rewards and punishments on a more passive child? Today, the predominant view is of an active, exploring child deliberately attempting to create meaning out of the world (Rousseau’s view, reflected in Piaget’s theory). At the same time, most psychologists recognize the importance of reward and punishment (Locke’s view, reflected in learning-based approaches such as Skinner’s).

• What are the relative effects of genetics and environments on the developmental process?

This question has been the source of one of the main controversies in psychol- ogy: the nature-nurturecontroversy. Extreme points of view on this issue main- tain either that the environment is mainly responsible for whatever children become (nurture) or that genetic background (nature) determines the end result of the developmental process. The dominant position today is that nature and nurture aren’t forces that act in opposition; rather, their interaction determines developmental outcomes.

• Is development a continuous, relatively uninterrupted process, or does it consist of separate stages?

As is true for most of the recurring ques- tions in human development, there is no simple answer. Stages in developmental psychology are a distinct sequence of age- based steps in the development of under- standing or competencies. Many important developmental theories are stage theories (for example, those of Piaget or Freud). But it has been difficult to identify abilities or competencies that invariably appear at a predetermined age and develop in a fixed, predictable sequence. We don’t develop like caterpillars—cocoon to butterfly to egg to caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly, each stage undeniably different from the one that precedes or follows it. Many of our characteristics appear to be subject more to continuousdevelopmentthan to stages. Nevertheless, stage theories are useful in organizing the facts of human devel- opment and in helping us understand and talk about them.

None of these issues has been completely resolved. Perhaps they cannot be, and perhaps history will show that they weren’t very important in any case. What is important is to keep in mind that what we think and say about children—the questions we ask and some- times the answers we are prepared to accept—are strongly influenced by our assumptions and beliefs.

▲ In Peter Pan, James Barrie informs us that “When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skip- ping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.” This is not one of the beliefs that currently drives developmental research—although it’s not hard to imagine that this urchin’s laughter might well awaken fairies. © Jim Cornfield/Corbis

MethodsofStudyingChildren Chapter1

1.4 MethodsofStudyingChildren In all scientific fields, there is basic research and applied research. Basic research, also called pure research, is driven by curiosity and is designed to expand our fundamental knowl- edge. Its goal is not to invent or produce something. In early childhood research, for example, basic research might try to answer questions such as: What happens in children’s brains when they look at colors? What can the child hear at birth?

In contrast, applied research is motivated by a desire to solve practical problems. Applied research in early childhood development might be designed to find ways of teaching language skills to children with autism, or of improving social relations among kindergarten children.

Research in early childhood is both basic and applied: Some of it is designed to expand our knowledge, and some is aimed at very practi- cal questions. But doing research with children is not always an easy undertaking.

As we shall see in Chapter 5, most of us are victims of a curious phenomenon labeled infan- tileamnesia: We remember virtually nothing—

at least consciously—of our infancies or even of our early preschool days. So powerful and general is infantile amnesia that Newcombe and Fox (1994) found that 9- and 10-year old children were generally completely incapable of recognizing photos of their preschool class- mates. Yet, years later, most adults can identify photos of over 90% of their elementary school classmates.

As a result of our infantile amnesia, when we try to make sense of the mind and emotions of infants, we can’t rely on our memory of what it was like to be an infant. Nor can prever- bal infants speak of their own thoughts and feelings. Hence, much of what we know of the private lives of young children is based on inferences we make. However, these are scientific inferences: They are based on careful, controlled, and replicable observations.

Observation

Observation is the basis of all science; so the study of children always begins with observation. Child development researchers use two types of observation: naturalistic and nonnaturalistic.

Naturalistic Observation

Naturalisticobservation occurs when children are observed without interference in natu- ral (rather than contrived) situations—for example, at home or on the playground or in school. Psychologists who observe children and write diarydescriptions of their behavior (sequential descriptions of behavior at predetermined intervals) are using naturalistic obser- vation. Similarly, psychologists might describe continuous sequences of behavior (specimen descriptions), behaviors observed during specified time intervals (timesampling), or spe- cific behaviors only (event sampling). All are examples of naturalistic observation. Note that in each of these methods, children’s behavior remains unaffected by the observation (Table 1.3).

ThoughtChallenge1.4

Some argue that basic research, while interesting, is largely a waste of time. What arguments can be made for and against funding basic, as opposed to applied research?

MethodsofStudyingChildren Chapter1

Table1.3Naturalistic methods of observing children

Method Description Mainuses Example

Diarydescription Regular (often daily or weekly) descriptions of important events and changes

Detecting and under- standing major changes and developmental sequences in specific areas

Investigator makes daily notes about child’s behavior, noting specific changes such as increases in vocabulary

Specimendescription Detailed description of sequences of behavior, detailing all aspects of behavior

Studying individual children in depth; not restricted to only one or two predetermined characteristics

Investigator makes video records of uninterrupted sequences of child’s behavior for later analysis

Timesampling Behaviors are recorded intermittently during brief, regular time periods

Detecting and assessing changes in specific behaviors over time

Investigator records kindergarten child’s disruptive behaviors during 5-minute spans, once every 30 minutes

Eventsampling Specific behaviors (events) are recorded during the observational period; other behaviors are ignored

Understanding the nature and frequency of specific behaviors (events)

Investigator notes each time child bangs her head on the wall

Source: Based in part on Wright, 1960.

The methods of naturalistic observation may be used in combination. For example, time and event sampling are often used together. Time sampling specifies when observations will be made; event sampling specifies what behavior will be observed. For example, in a study of preschoolers’ playground behavior, an investigator might use a checklist to record instances of specific behaviors such as laughing, yelling, fighting, or cooperating (event sampling), and observe each child for five-minute periods at two-hour intervals (time sampling).

Nonnaturalistic Observation

Nonnaturalisticobservationinvolves methods and situations designed to have an effect on children’s behavior—in contrast with naturalistic observation, where children are observed in natural settings and the investigation is designed not to affect ongoing behavior. Nonnaturalistic observations are sometimes termed clinical if they involve the use of interviews or question- naires. When investigators attempt to manipulate or change a child’s environment, the result- ing studies are experimental. Experiments are described later in this chapter.

CorrelationalStudies

Many studies in child development try to discover whether there is a relationship between two variables (characteristics that can vary). Does parental divorce affect first-graders’ school performance? Are attractive children better liked by teachers?

Studies designed to answer questions such as these typically result in a measure of correla- tion—a mathematical indication of relationship. Say, for example, you look at the relationship

MethodsofStudyingChildren Chapter1

between physical child abuse and later criminality, and you find, as did Currie and Tekin (2006), that about twice as many abused children—compared with those who aren’t abused—are later charged with criminal offenses. This would be an example of a positivecorrelation: As incidence of physical abuse increases, incidence of criminal behavior also increases.

Similarly, if two variables decrease jointly, that too is a positive correlation. For example, a Swedish study indicates that programs that are effective in decreasing alcohol consumption also have the effect of decreasing instances of violence toward officials (Mansdotter, Rydberg, Wallin, Lindholm, & Andreasson, 2007). Hence there is a positive correlation between declin- ing alcohol consumption and declining violence.

Now suppose you look at the relationship between social phobia (an intense fear of social situations and interactions) and parenting styles, and you find, as did Bitaraf, Shaeeri, and Javadi (2010), that authoritative (as opposed to authoritarian) parenting is closely associated with social phobia. This would be an example of a negativecorrelation: The more authori- tative the parenting, the lower children’s scores on measures of social phobia (Figure 1.4). (The effects of parenting styles are discussed in Chapter 8.)

Many correlationalstudies in developmental psychology are retrospectivestudies. They are retrospective because they try to identify relationships by looking back at a child’s history (retro means backward) to see how factors in the past are related to present behavior.

A. Positive correlation: As one variable increases or decreases,

the other tends to do the same

C. Low, or no, correlation: One variable cannot be predicted from the other. They are unrelated.

B. Negative correlation: As one variable increases,

the other tends to decrease

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In A (high positive correlation), those who scored well on test 1 also scored well on test 2—and vice versa. In B (high negative correlation), those who did well on test 1 did poorly on test 3. And in C, there is little relationship between scores on the two tests.

MethodsofStudyingChildren Chapter1

What Does Correlation Mean? The Correlation Fallacy

The Currie and Tekin (2006) study found a high positive correlation between child abuse and criminal charges in adulthood. Is this evidence that abuse causes criminal behavior?

The simple answer is no, there is no proof of causation here: To conclude that there is illus- trates the correlationfallacy. A high correlation between two variables never tells us what causes what. Nor does it exclude the possibility that an unexpected, confounding variable— termed a thirdvariable—might be involved. In this study, for example, one possible third variable might be that the personality characteristics of children who later engage in criminal acts contribute to parents abusing them. It is also possible that the personality characteristics of abusive parents, rather than the abuse itself, is a more direct cause of criminality—as might also be the economic and social conditions of the abusive home. Each of these is a possible, confounding, third variable.

As an example of the occasional absurdity of determining causation solely on the basis of correlation, consider that there is a clear, positive correlation between the number of teeth young children have at any given time and their language sophistication. That, of course, does not prove that having many teeth helps youngsters speak and understand languages—nor that increasing language skills leads to the growth of new teeth! Instead, other third variables related to learning and maturation account for this correlation.

Even though correlational studies cannot establish that one thing causes another, the presence of a correlation is a necessary condition for inferring causality—necessary but insufficient. If child abuse does lead to criminality, there will be a positive correlation between measures of the two. So, though a correlation may be highly suggestive, only a carefully controlled experi- ment can come close to establishing causation.

Experiments

The experiment is science’s most powerful tool for gathering observations. An experiment is distinguished from naturalistic observations in that it requires the systematic manipulation of some aspect of a situation. In an experiment, the observer controls certain variables (char- acteristics that can vary)—called independentvariables—to investigate their effect, or lack of effect, on other variables, termed dependentvariables.

For example, researchers wanting to conduct an experiment to examine the hypothesis (sci- entific prediction) that immunization causes autism would need to immunize a large group of children. The incidence of autism in this group would later be compared with that in another group of children who were not immunized but are comparable to the first group in all impor- tant ways. In this illustration, immunization is the independent variable; it is under the experi- menter’s control. Incidence of autism is the dependent variable.

A simple experiment of this kind uses an exper- imental group made up of participants who

ThoughtChallenge1.5

The “immunization causes autism” experiment has been conducted in a number of ways and by a variety of people. The hypothesis has been firmly rejected (see Rudy, 2009). Yet many have noticed a correlation between immunization and autism. How might this be explained?

MethodsofStudyingChildren Chapter1

are treated in some special way (for example, immunized). The object is usually to discover whether the special treatment (independent variable) has a predictable effect on some out- come (dependent variable). To ensure that any changes in the dependent variable are due to the treatment, the experimental group is compared to a controlgroup. The control group must be as similar as possible to the experimental group in all relevant ways except that it does not experience the special treatment (Figure 1.5).

It is important to recognize that the results of experiments can be believed with confidence only when those results have been replicated—that is, when the same outcome can be observed in repetitions of similar experiments. In addition, the measurements that are used need to have validity (they need to measure what they claim to measure) and reliability (they need to measure accurately).

Measuring personality characteristics or developmental progress is not like measuring weight or height. Much of our measurement is indirect, and our measuring instruments are often crude and inexact. Even measures of characteristics such as intelligence, which has been extensively investigated, theorized about, and for which there are hundreds of different tests,

Hypothesis: Labeling items in the home fosters language skills in 4- and 5-year-olds

Child participants are randomly assigned to one of two groups

Measures of language skills for the experimental group are compared with

those of the control group

Dependent variable

Independent variable

Experimental group

(This group’s homes are filled with colorful, highly legible

labels placed on hundreds of household items, toys, and

pieces of furniture.)

Control group

(No labels are placed in homes of the control group.)

Figure 01.05

Figure1.5:Asimpleexperimentaldesign.

In this illustration, investigators are testing the hypothesis, labeling items in the home fosters language skills in 4- and 5-year-olds. Note that hypotheses can generally be worded as “if-then” statements. The “if” part of the statement is the independent variable (if I label items in the home . . .); the “then” part is the dependent variable (then children will develop more advanced language skills).

MethodsofStudyingChildren Chapter1

▲ A longitudinal study of development follows the same people over a period of time. It is highly useful for providing information about changes that occur within individuals over time. To study the development of this little girl from the first photo to the second photo would have taken more than two decades. © iStockphoto/Thinkstock

have limited validity and reliability. This always needs to be taken into account when looking at developmental research.

LongitudinalandCross-SectionalResearch

There are two broad approaches to studying human development: A longitudinal study observes the same subjects over a period of time; a cross-sectional study compares dif- ferent subjects at one point in time. For example, there are two ways of investigating differ- ences in the rules used in games played by 2-year-olds and 6-year-olds. One way is to observe a group of 2-year-old children at play, and then four years later observe the same children again. This is the longitudinal approach, which, for these purposes, is more time-consuming than necessary. Similar results could be obtained by simultaneously observing several groups of 2- and 6-year-old children and then comparing them directly.

Sometimes a longitudinal investigation is designed to continue beyond the lifetime of a single investigator (or team of investigators). For example, the Terman study of giftedness began in the early 1920s and continues today (Terman, 1925; Millar, 2010). This can present problems and disadvantages, among which are the following:

• Higher cost in money and time

• The fact that instruments and methods may become outdated before completion

• The possibility that some of the research questions will be answered in some other way before the project is finished

• The loss of participants over time

MethodsofStudyingChildren Chapter1

It should be noted that many of the problems associated with longitudinal research apply only to longer-term research. But not all longitudinal research is very long-term. Longitudinal stud- ies of infant development might span only weeks, or perhaps only days or hours.

Cross-sectional and longitudinal approaches are both essential for studying human develop- ment. For some questions, a longitudinal approach is necessary despite the time and cost involved. If investigators want to discover whether intelligence test scores change with age or remain stable, they need to observe the same children at different times. A cross-sectional approach cannot give us information about changes that occur over time within a single indi- vidual because it looks at each individual only once.

SourcesofDevelopmentalVariation:AgeandCohortInfluences

Human development is defined as change over time. Developmental researchers are mainly interested in changes related to age: For example, how are 5-year-olds different from 3-year- olds? However, change in human development isn’t always related only to age: It can also be related to other influences.

Cohort-Related Effects

For example, let’s say that in 1970, I gave a vocabulary test to eight groups of 5-year-olds representing all geographic, ethnic, and social dimensions in my country. Then, 10 years later, I retest the same eight groups (a longitudinal study) and I find that there has been a 300% increase in vocabulary size. Can I conclude that this 300% increase is a normal age-related change?

Perhaps not. Maybe something quite unrelated to age has happened between 1970 and 1980 to account for this 300% increase in vocabulary (like the proliferation of computers, star- tlingly effective educational television programming, changes in nutrition, or other factors). The observed changes might be a function of factors related to experiences specific to this birthcohort (individuals born during the same period).

Birth cohorts are always of a specific initial size and composition. But the size decreases as members die, until it finally disappears completely. And before it disappears, its composition often changes as well. For example, because men die sooner than women, the male-female ratio of a cohort usually changes over time. Similarly, racial composition might also change as a result of different mortality rates.

What is especially important for the developmental psychologist is that a cohort may be subject to a variety of experiences that are very different from those to which members of other cohorts are exposed. For example, my grandmother’s cohort dates to the turn of the twentieth century and includes people who were born into a world without electricity, tele- vision, computers, and airline travel. These cohort-related influences might be important in explaining why an 8-year-old in 2015 might be quite different from an 8-year-old in either 2025 or 1925.

Separating the Effects of Age and Cohort

One of the challenges that developmental researchers face is that of separating the effects of age and cohort. For example, because two different cohorts are involved, a cross-sectional

MethodsofStudyingChildren Chapter1

study doesn’t allow the investigator to determine whether differences between age groups are due to age- or cohort-related factors. Similarly, generalizations based on a longitudinal study might apply only to the specific cohort under investigation and not to other cohorts who have had different historical experiences.

One way of overcoming these problems is to use what are termed sequentialdesigns (Tudge, Shanahan, & Valsiner, 1997). Essentially, these studies involve taking series of samples at dif- ferent times of measurement. One well-known sequential design is the time-lagstudy in which different cohorts are compared at different times. For example, a time-lag study might compare 10-year-olds in 2006 with 10-year-olds in 2008, 2010, and 2012 (Figure 1.6). Because subjects are of the same age when tested but were born in different years, they belong to dif- ferent cohorts. Consequently, observed differences among the groups might reveal important cohort-related influences. (See Concept Summary: Methods of Studying Children.)

Figure1.6:RepresentationofThreeResearchDesigns

Years inside the figure indicate time of testing. Vertical columns represent possible time-lag stud- ies (different birth cohorts; different times of measurement; same age). Horizontal rows represent possible longitudinal studies (same birth cohorts measured at different times). Diagonals represent possible cross-sectional studies (different birth cohorts examined at one point in time).

2012

2010

2008

2006

2004

2002

2012

2010

2008

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Bi rt

h co

ho rt

(y ea

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Time lag study

Longitudinal study

Cross-sectional study

Figure 01.06

EvaluatingDevelopmentalResearch Chapter1

ConceptSummary:MethodsofStudyingChildren

Method MainCharacteristics

Observation The basis of all science. Observation is naturalistic when children are observed without interference in natural rather than contrived situations (time or event sampling, diary descriptions, or specimen descriptions). Nonnaturalistic observation may involve struc- tured interviews or questionnaires, and may be experimental.

Correlational study

Looks for relationships between two (or more) variables. A correlation exists when changes in one variable are accompanied by systematic changes in another. The existence of a correlation is necessary but insufficient for inferring causality.

Experiment Involves systematic attempts to manipulate the environment to observe the effects of independent variables on dependent variables. Science’s most powerful means of estab- lishing cause-and-effect relationships.

Longitudinalstudy A study in which the same participants are followed over a period of time.

Disadvantages: Time-consuming; expensive; possibility of subject loss; looks at only one cohort.

Advantages: Essential for studying change within individuals.

Cross-sectional study

A study in which participants of different ages are studied at one point in time.

Disadvantages: Not sensitive to change within individuals; cannot separate the effects of age from cohort effects.

Advantages: Less time consuming; less expensive; provides clear answers for some questions relating to group differences.

Time-lagstudy A study in which participants of the same age are compared to each other at different points in time (hence comparisons of different birth cohorts when they are the same age).

1.5 EvaluatingDevelopmentalResearch In practice, research methods are determined by the questions researchers want to answer. If you are interested in knowing whether children have more affection for cats than for dogs, you might simply compare the number of children who have dogs with the number who have cats (naturalistic observation). Alternately, you might ask a sample of children which they like best (interview technique). Or you might arrange for different children, alone and in groups, to meet different cats and dogs and assess the children’s reactions (perhaps through simple visual observation, or by measuring their heart rates and other physiological functions).

Note that each of these approaches might lead to somewhat different answers for the same questions. Even if there are more cats than dogs in the homes of your subjects, children might really like dogs better (but their parents do not). And maybe, even if they do like dogs better, more would be afraid of dogs than of cats because strange dogs are somewhat more frightening than strange cats. An important point to keep in mind as you evaluate some of the studies described in this text is that answers are sometimes partly a function of research methods used.

Truth in psychology, as in most disciplines, is relative. The validity of research conclusions can seldom be judged as absolutely right or wrong, but must instead be evaluated in terms of how

EvaluatingDevelopmentalResearch Chapter1

▲ Research samples need to represent the population to which results are to be generalized. Investigators limiting their research to this convenient sample of bright little infants attending a private educational center might discover amazing cognitive and social achievements by age two. But those results would tell us little about how average 2-year-olds develop. © Comstock/Thinkstock

useful, clear, consistent, and generalizable the conclusions are. If research results apply only to the situation in which they were obtained, they are not very valuable.

When evaluating psychological research, there are a number of important questions you should ask.

AretheSamplesRepresentative?

As we just saw, the conclusions of developmental research are usually intended to be gen- eralized to an entire population—that is, to the entire group of individuals (or objects, or situations) with similar characteristics. For example, all fifth-grade American children defines a population; all left-handed, brown-eyed 4-year-olds make up another population.

In most cases, the populations that are of interest to a researcher are too large to be entirely included in the study. What the investigator does, instead, is select a representative sample from this larger population. One of the simplest and most effective ways of ensuring that the sample is representative is to use randomsampling. Chances are that a large enough sample picked at random from a population will be very similar to the population in all important ways.

In many cases, however, experimenters are limited to samples that are convenient and avail- able. Psychologists who want to study vocabulary development among 3-year-olds seldom have access to a random sample of 3-year-olds drawn from the entire population. Their sam- ple will more likely be limited to one or two local pre-school groups. And although their find- ings might have far-ranging applicability, there is always the possibility that these convenient samples differ in important ways from the general population.

EvaluatingDevelopmentalResearch Chapter1

WhatDoIntergroupandCulturalDifferencesReallyMean?

There is a large body of research indicating that some Asian groups perform better than American students on measures of mathematics achievement (for example, Liu, 2009). Does this mean that Asian students are more intelligent than American students? That their educa- tional system is better? That their curriculum is more deliberately aimed at producing good “test-takers”? That they are more highly motivated?

The fact that children from different cultures, or from different groups within one culture, often perform differently on various tests and in different situations underlines the impor- tance of asking two questions: (1) Are the tests and assessment procedures we’re using suit- able for different cultures? and (2) What might cause the observed differences? Conclusions based on research conducted only with North American samples may not be valid in Western

Europe or in third-world countries—that is, they may lack ecologicalvalidity. Similarly, research conducted only with white middle-class subjects in North America should not be generalized to the entire population. (See In the Classroom: Hiroki’s About Average, Like Everybody Else.)

I N T H E C L A S S R O O M :

Hiroki’s About Average; Like Everybody Else

ThePlace:Komatsudani preschool

TheSituation:A group of American educators has come to observe this East-side Tokyo pre- school. After school, they meet with the teacher, Fukui-sensei.

Observer 1: The little boy with the yellow shirt, over on that side . . .

Fukui-sensei: His name is Hiroki.

Observer 1: He’s so intelligent compared to the others.

Observer 2: Yes, wow, so quick . . .

Fukui-sensei: Oh no, he’s average like everybody else.

Observer 1: But he seems so gifted.

Observer 2: Yeah, he always finished his work first. And then he sang that song for everybody.

Fukui-sensei: But surely you don’t think speed is the same thing as intelligence. And he sings not because he’s so intelligent, but because of his great need for attention.

(Source: Based in part on Tobin, Wu, & Davidson, 1989, p. 24.)

ToThinkAbout:Different cultures sometimes have dramatically different views of important char- acteristics such as intelligence—and very different attitudes toward competition, cooperation, and achievement. How might these differences impact the behavior of children from different cultures?

ThoughtChallenge1.6

How many plausible explanations can you think of for apparent international differences in achieve- ment—such as in mathematics? How might you attempt to determine whether these differences are real?

EvaluatingDevelopmentalResearch Chapter1

DoConclusionsRelyon AutobiographicalMemory?

When Hampsten (1991) studied the diaries and letters of American pioneer women, she found that life had been harsh and difficult for their children. Most children had to work hard at very young ages, many were exposed to a variety of physical dangers, and many died or were maimed. But when the children, as adults, wrote accounts of their childhoods, they described tons of happy experiences— and almost no bad times. Would the accounts have been different had they written them when they were children?

Perhaps. We don’t really know. But we do know that autobiographical memory is highly unreliable. Researchers who use people’s recollections to understand the past must take into consideration the possibility of unintentional distortions.

DoResultsDependonSubjectHonesty?

Researchers must also consider whether subjects might distort the facts intentionally, espe- cially when personal matters are being researched. Comparisons of adolescent sexual behav- ior today with behavior characteristic of adolescents several generations ago are typically unreliable, at least partly for this reason. Given prevailing attitudes toward sexual behavior, it is not unreasonable to suppose that today’s adolescents are more likely to be more open about sexual behavior than adolescents of the 1920s might have been.

IsThereaPossibilityofExperimenterBias?

Some research indicates that investigators sometimes unconsciously bias their observa- tions to conform to their expectations. One way of guarding against experimenter bias is the double-blind procedure, where experimenters, examiners, and participants remain unaware of either the expected outcomes of the research or of which participants are mem- bers of experimental and control groups.

MightThereBeSubjectBias?

Subject bias may also affect the outcomes of an experiment. In a highly publicized experiment, two psychologists compared ways to increase productivity among workers in the Hawthorne plant of the Western Electric Company in Chicago. In successive experiments, workers were subjected to shorter working periods, longer working periods, better lighting conditions, poorer lighting conditions, long periods of rest, short periods of rest, bonuses or no bonuses, and a variety of other conditions. Under most of these conditions, productivity apparently increased, an observation that led to the conclusion that if subjects are aware that they are members of an experimental group, performance may improve simply because of that fact (Roethlisberger & Dickson, 1939).

▲ Children from different cultures sometimes perform very differently on the same test, a fact whose meaning is often completely unclear. © Hemera/Thinkstock

EvaluatingDevelopmentalResearch Chapter1

Although the Hawthorneeffect, as it is now called, is usually accepted as fact in social sci- ence research, more recent research has shown that it is not always apparent or very significant (Chiesa & Hobbs, 2008). Nevertheless, the possibility that the outcome of an experiment might be affected by participants’ desire to please investigators should always be taken into account.

IstheResearchEthical?

Finally, as an informed and concerned consumer of research, you need to ask how ethical the research is. Were participants informed or were they duped into participating? Was their privacy safeguarded? Was the research justified by its potential contribution to basic or applied research?

Developmental psychology no longer tolerates research that in any way jeopardizes the physi- cal or mental well-being of children, or that fails to recognize their uniqueness and worth. And it recognizes more clearly than ever that each child’s journey is different. Some take a direct, highly predictable passage to their destination; others saunter along different paths. (See Concept Summary: Evaluating Developmental Research.)

ConceptSummary:EvaluatingDevelopmentalResearch

Issues ChecklistofImportantQuestions

Sampling Is the sample a good representation of the population to which the observations and conclusions are meant to apply?

Ecologicalvalidity Is there something special or unique about the social, cultural, or historical context in which observations are made that might reduce the generalizability of the findings?

Subjectmemory Does the investigation rely on human memories and has the possibility of systematic or random distortion been taken into account?

Subjecthonesty Does the validity of the observations depend on the honesty of participants who might have a reason to distort the facts?

Experimenteror subjectbias

Is there a possibility that experimenters’ or subjects’ research-related knowledge and expectations have influenced observations?

Ethicalissues Have the rights of all participants been considered and safeguarded?

FocusQuestions:Applications Chapter1

SectionSummaries 1.1 OrganizationofChildren’s Journeys: Exploring Early Childhood This text deals with human development, the processes by which children adapt to their environment. The notion and worth of childhood is not universal and has changed historically (for example, there is evi- dence of selective infanticide during antiquity, high infant mortality in medieval times, wide- spread child labor in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and increasing concern with the social, physical, and intellectual welfare of children in recent decades—but not everywhere).

1.2 Children’sRights Children’s rights include assurances of ethical standards for research with children, as well as the nearly universal adoption of a United Nations Charter of children’s rights. The legal rights of children in today’s industrialized societies are primarily rights of pro- tection rather than choice (the right to adequate medical and educational care, to affection and love, to a peaceful environment, to the opportunity to develop).

1.3 DevelopmentalPsychology Psychology is the study of human behavior and thought; developmental psychology is concerned with systematic changes over time including growth (physical changes), maturation (biologically based changes), and learning (changes due to experience). Early pioneers of child study included John Locke (tabula rasa) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (noble savage). Later pioneers were G. Stanley Hall (ontogeny recapitulates phy- logeny), Jean Piaget (stage-bound cognitive development), and John B. Watson (we become what we are as a function of our experiences). Recurring issues concern the relative influence of heredity and environment and the question of whether development is continuous or occurs in discrete stages.

1.4 MethodsofStudyingChildren The basis of the science of child development is obser- vation, which may be naturalistic (nonintrusive) or nonnaturalistic (clinical questionnaires or interviews, or experiments). Correlational studies look at relationships among variables, and are often retrospective (go back in time). Correlation does not prove causation. In an experi- ment, an investigator controls independent variables to determine whether they affect depen- dent variables (outcomes). Developmental studies can be longitudinal (the same children studied at different times), or cross-sectional (different children compared at the same time). Developmental psychologists are mainly interested in changes associated with age rather than with cohort effects related to historical influences.

1.5 EvaluatingDevelopmentalResearch The value of research results depends on sample representativeness, ecological validity, subject memory and honesty, lack of experimenter or subject bias, and consideration of ethical issues.

FocusQuestions:Applications 1. How have ideas about childhood changed? Compare inferred medieval attitudes

toward children with the most common current North American attitudes.

2. Whataresomeofthe“universal”rightsofchildren? Research the question: When, if ever, should the state interfere in the home with respect to the care and upbringing of children?

3. Howdowestudychildren? Ask a simple, specific, important question about the devel- opment of children. Outline how you might find an answer for your question.

PossibleResponsestoThoughtChallenges Chapter1

4. Whataresomeofthecriteriathatshouldbeusedinevaluatingdevelopmental research? Write out a checklist of questions you might use to evaluate a child develop- ment study described in a published article.

PossibleResponsestoThoughtChallenges PossibleResponsetoThoughtChallenge1.1: Ariès notes that there seemed to be a ten- dency for early European artists to portray children as miniature adults rather than as chil- dren, evident in that the dress, the activities, and the facial expressions of the children often seem more adultlike than childlike. Also, it was almost as though no one had yet noticed that young children’s heads are larger than those of adults relative to the rest of their bodies, that their legs and arms are somewhat shorter, that their expressions are often less serious, less preoccupied.

In fact, however, using the way children were depicted in old paintings as evidence of a lack of appreciation of childhood would probably not convince a judge in a court of law. Science, too, needs more evidence.

PossibleResponsestoThoughtChallenge1.2: Violations of ethical principles in this study include: (1) the fact that there was possibility of harm to the children; (2) use of participants who, because they were orphans, would not have the option to decline without negative consequences; (3) lack of informed consent in that children were not told what the purpose and possible effects of the research would be; (4) use of deception in that all children thought they were receiving speech therapy; (5) use of research methods that demeaned participants.

Further Reading: The main details of the study can be found at http://www.nytimes. com/2003/03/16/magazine/the-stuttering-doctor-s-monster-study.html?src=pm. But for other research that suggests that the initial study did not support the hypothesis that non-stutterers can be “talked into” becoming stutterers, see Ambrose, N. G., & Yairi, E. (2002). The Tudor Study. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 11(2), 190–203.

PossibleResponsestoThoughtChallenge1.3: What should be done is a matter for our consciences; what can be done is clearer. Each of these causes of child mortality can be pre- vented or reversed through a combination of global immunization, distribution of food sup- plies, and oral rehydration therapy (for diarrheal dehydration). Further, the effects of each of these causes of infant and child death—vaccine-preventable diseases, diarrheal infection, and poor nutrition—can be lessened enormously through something as simple as breast-feeding. For wars, the solutions are not quite so simple.

PossibleResponsestoThoughtChallenge1.4: Advocates of applied research caution that because there are so many pressing problems that urgently require solutions, research fund- ing should go to practical, applied research. Otherwise, they argue, the human journey as we know it is in danger of ending. Others counter that basic research is an essential precursor to applied research. If we had done only applied research, they insist, we would still be investi- gating how to improve our clubs and our spears

PossibleResponsetoThoughtChallenge1.5: Autism is often diagnosed at around the age of 2—which is about the time that most children have recently been vaccinated. Hence the correlation—but not the causation.

StudyTerms Chapter1

PossibleResponsetoThoughtChallenge1.6: The group that achieves at the highest level might do so for a variety of reasons: they are more intelligent; they have higher levels of the ability or talent being measured; their teachers are better; they spend more time studying the tested subjects; their motivation is higher; parents help them more; they spend less time watching television or playing video games; they spend less time working outside of school; they have better test-taking skills; the tests are biased . . . and on and on. There are always many plausible reasons for believing, or not believing, what we think (want?) to be correct.

StudyTerms Adequate Yearly Progress

(AYP) antiquity applied research baby tossing basic research birth cohort contexts continuous development control group correlation correlational studies correlation fallacy cross-sectional study dependent variables development developmental psychology diary descriptions doctrine of the tabula rasa double-blind procedure early childhood

ecological validity ethnography event sampling experiment experimental group growth Hawthorne effect hypothesis immunization independent variables infancy infanticide infantile amnesia learning longitudinal study maturation naturalistic observation nature-nurture controversy negative correlation No Child Left Behind Act nonnaturalistic observation

ontogeny phylogeny population positive correlation psychology questionnaires random sampling reliability retrospective studies sample sequential designs specimen descriptions stages third variable time-lag study time sampling under-5 mortality rates

(U5MR) validity variables