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Children from Early Childhood through Middle Childhood - Research Paper Example

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Children from Early Childhood through Middle Childhood Name Institution Children from Early Childhood through Middle Childhood Children undergo a variety of changes from early to middle childhood in the developmental context. The considerations include their physical growth, rain and nervous system development and social and emotional development, which unfold differently among males and females…
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Children from Early Childhood through Middle Childhood
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Download file to see previous pages According to Berk (2008), this physical development is cephalocaudal (head to toe) and proximodistal (from center to extremities). From 23-30 pounds in weight, 32-35 inches in height at the age of two, the child grows to 42-43 pounds in weight, 43-44 inches in height by the age of six (onset of middle childhood). 2 to 3 inches in height and about 5 pounds in weight added each year from early childhood through middle childhood characterize the physical growth. There is an improvement in posture and balance as the child motor coordination improves (Cooper et al. 2008). Children lose the baby fat and become thinner. The main differences between girls and boys in terms of physical growth includes girls retaining more fat than boys and boys showing slightly more muscularity than girls by the onset of middle age. The factors behind the physical development during this period include the interplay of heredity and environmental factors. The environmental factors include prenatal development, nutrition, health of the child, sex of the child and broader issues such as the socio-economic considerations of the family setting (Smith and Hart, 2002). Brain and Nervous System Development There occurs a lot of synaptic growth and pruning in the brains brain and nervous development during the early to middle childhood, discerned externally as changes in cognitive development. In a healthy child, the brain increases from 70% of its adult weight to 90%, alongside marked reshaping and refining. Synaptic development reaches a peak at the age of four, where nearly double levels of synapses in comparison to adults exist. Synaptic growth and myelination requires significantly high amounts of energy. Importantly, the high synaptic growth helps achieve plasticity in the brain, enabling the child to still acquire abilities in case brain damage occurs. Plasticity levels in the brain fall as the child enters middle childhood, with the energy requirements falling to near adult levels during this period. The cerebellum- responsible for balance and control of body movement- also undergoes considerable growth during this period. Other parts of the brain that undergo marked growth during this period in comparison to any other period in human development include the reticular formation (responsible for alertness and consciousness), the hippocampus- important in memory and spatial sensing and the corpus callosum- responsible for smooth movement coordination and problem solving (Berk, 2008). As stated earlier, the physical changes in the brain and nervous system shoawcase externally as changes in the cognitive abilities in the child. In general, the child develops more self sufficiency, begins to take care of his or herself, acquires language, becomes part of the group (family and individuals around the family) and becomes more coordinated. The child also develops school readiness skills including taking instructions and identifying objects. The child’s gradual psycho-motor development proceeds from early childhood through to middle childhood, enabling the child to achieve movement coordination and balance. The child has more problem solving, instruction comprehension and identification capabilities by middle childhood largely due to the practice of skills gained from biological developments in early childhood. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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