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PSY 324

Childhood and Adolescence

Exam 1 Study Guide 9th ed.

Chapter 1 Theoretical and Social Issues


A note about tests Tests are in a multiple-choice test format. For each concept covered in the study guide, you should be prepared to recognize the definition of the concept recognize an example of the concept Because the incorrect answers are drawn from the textbook, you need to be prepared to discriminate among closely-related concepts. You will be better prepared to do this if you identify similarities and differences among the concepts as you study them identify how each example presented in the chapter illustrates the concept My best advice on how to prepare for the exams is to follow the study tips in the document titled How to Study for the Exams (in the Study Guides area). Introduction to Chapter 1 Chapter 1 discusses theories and points out two ways that scientific theories are valuable. What the book doesn't point out is that non-scientific "personal" theories do the same things. They guide our observations and they suggest what we should do. Personal theories are the "common sense" ideas we have about children. They can be dangerous, because they are often only partly correct or only correct in very specific situations. If we are guided by personal theories that arent completely correct or that don't apply to the specific situation, we are in danger of misinterpreting the situation and making poor decisions. For example, lots of parents believe that children need to be punished in order to learn respect for authority. (I'm talking about punishment, not discipline. We'll get into the difference between punishment and discipline later in the course.) This personal theory is limited because it doesn't take into account the relationships among the three parts: punishment, learning, and respect for authority. Scientific theories explain that punishment results in learning to fear and dislike the punisher and learning to use punishment as a means of getting what you want and controlling others. It also explains that respect is based on trust (confidence that the authority figure will not hurt you) and on having important things in common with the authority figure (such as, interests, attitudes, values, and goals). The scientific theory doesn't make a judgment about whether punishment is right or wrong, but it does describe what the effects of punishment are. It explains why punishment is not an effective way of teaching children respect for authority. Another example of a limitation of personal theories is that they provide different explanations for our own behavior vs. other people's behavior. (The psychological process is called attribution.) When I fail a test, it's because the test was unfair or too

PSY 324

Childhood and Adolescence

Exam 1 Study Guide 9th ed.

hard. When someone else fails a test, it's because that person didn't study hard enough. Scientific theories force us to find a way to use the same set of rules and ideas to explain everyone's behavior. The social policy part of chapter 1 shows that children's well-being has a lower priority in the U.S. than in most other industrialized nations in spite of the U.S. being the wealthiest of those nations. In addition, the U.S. is the only government in the world that has not ratified the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. As a result, privately-funded organizations have taken on the responsibility of attempting to increase our government's attention to children's needs and rights. Periods of Development 1. Learn the age ranges associated with the various periods of development from infancy through adolescence. (pp. 5-6) Note that early childhood is often referred to as the preschool years. Either middle childhood or late childhood can be used to refer to the entire range of about 6 to 11 years (roughly corresponding to the grade school years). Many times, it is helpful to use the term middle childhood to refer to the range of about 6-8 years (roughly Kindergarten through 2nd grade) and late childhood to refer to the range of about 9-11 years (roughly 3rd through 6th grades). In societies with a long transition period from adolescence to adulthood, that transition period (roughly ages 18-25) is called emerging adulthood. Theoretical Issues 2. Define theory. (p. 6) 3. Identify the two basic uses of theories. (pp. 6-7) 4. Note these characteristics of theories: they are influenced by cultural values, they are subjected to scientific verification, no single theory covers the whole range of issues in human development. (pp. 6-7) 5. Identify the three basic theoretical issues about development. (p. 7) 6. Describe the issue of continuous vs. discontinuous development. Define continuity, discontinuity, and stage. How does discontinuity relate to the concept of stages? (pp. 78) 7. Describe the issue regarding whether there is one course of development or many. Define contexts. (p. 8) 8. Describe the nature-nurture controversy. Define nature and nurture. (pp. 8-9) 9. Describe the stability vs. plasticity issue in development. (p. 9)

PSY 324

Childhood and Adolescence

Exam 1 Study Guide 9th ed.

10. Describe a balanced view of the three basic issues about development. (p. 9) Resilient Children 11. Identify two personal characteristics of a child and two characteristics of the child's social environment that affect resilience. Define resilience. (pp. 10-11) Theories of Human Development 12. Describe the psychosocial stages associated with middle childhood (industry vs. inferiority), adolescence (identity vs. identity confusion), and emerging adulthood (intimacy vs. isolation). (Table 1.1) 13. Describe the basic idea of social learning theory. Define social learning (also known as modeling, imitation, and observational learning). What is the name of the theorist associated with social learning theory? (p. 18) 14. How does social-cognitive theory differ from social learning theory? Define selfefficacy. (p. 18) 15. Describe the basic idea of cognitive-developmental theory. (p. 19) 16. Define sensorimotor thinking and the age range commonly associated with it. Sensorimotor thinking is based on knowledge in the form of actions (motor responses) that are associated with sensations either from internal sources or from the environment. (Table 1.2) 17. Define preoperational thinking and identify the age range commonly associated with it. Preoperational thinking is based on knowledge in the form of concepts, symbols, or images that are mental representations of objects and events. (Table 1.2) 18. Define concrete operational thinking and identify the age range commonly associated it. Concrete operational thinking is based on concepts and hierarchical relationships among concepts. (Table 1.2) 19. Define formal operational thinking and identify the age range commonly associated with it. Formal operational thinking, like concrete operational thinking, is based on concepts and hierarchical relationships among concepts. The difference is that concrete operational thinking requires some real objects or events to be present in order for the person to be able to think operationally, whereas formal operational thinking can occur in the absence of real objects or events. (Table 1.2)

PSY 324

Childhood and Adolescence

Exam 1 Study Guide 9th ed.

20. Describe the basic idea of ethology and define sensitive period. Ethology is based on the idea that there are predetermined behaviors within the individual that will appear at a certain time in development in response to specific experiences or environmental conditions. (pp. 23-24) 21. Describe the basic idea of Vygotskys sociocultural theory. (p. 25) 22. How do cultures differ when viewed from the sociocultural perspective on development? (p. 25) There are several brief examples on page 25. Read !Kung Infancy (p. 26) for a more complete example. Social Issues 23. What percent of U.S. children live in poverty? (p. 33) How does the U.S. rank in relation to other industrialized nations in terms of childhood poverty? (Table 1.4) 24. What percent of U.S. children have no health insurance? (p. 33) Note that more children are uninsured than any other age group in the U.S. Also, note that the U.S. ranks next to last of industrialized nations in public expenditures on health. (Table 1.4) 25. Note that the U.S. ranks at the bottom of 28 industrialized nations in teenage pregnancy. (Table 1.4) 26. How has cultural individualism in the U.S. affected children in terms of poverty, health insurance, and child care? (p. 35) From an individualist perspective, who is responsible for providing food, clothing, shelter, child care, health insurance for children? 27. What are some examples of the rights of children included in the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child? (p. 37) Note that the U.S. is the only government in the world that has not ratified the Convention. 28. Children in the U.S. are always in danger of being forgotten or given a low priority in governmental policies. Note that child development researchers and advocacy groups are working together to support public policies that protect the well-being of children. (p. 37) Two of the most important organizations are: Society for Research in Child Development - http://www.srcd.org/, Children's Defense Fund - http://www.childrensdefense.org/,

PSY 324

Childhood and Adolescence

Exam 1 Study Guide 9th ed.

Chapter 2 Research Strategies


Introduction to Chapter 2 Research methods are designed to obtain useful (reliable and valid) information. In everyday life, information that is reliable and valid is just as important as it is in scientific research. As adults, if we want to understand a child, we'll get more useful information if we follow the principles of scientific research: (a) avoid observing only those things we want to see or hear, and (b) try to discover the child's ideas and feelings rather than assuming that we know what they are. After covering some basic ideas about research methods, we will look at the ethical principles in research. In this section, the focus is on children's rights when they are participants in research. One of the special precautions taken at universities is that a Human Research Review Board reviews every research project involving children under the age of 18. The Review Board will not approve starting a research project until it meets stringent standards for protecting the children involved. Something not mentioned in the book is the ethical requirement for anyone who teaches about child development to cover childrens research rights and how to protect them. You will find ethical standards for research with children at http://www.srcd.org/about.html. (Type ethical standards in the search window.) Research Methods 1. Define naturalistic observation. What is the greatest strength of naturalistic observation? (pp. 42-43 and Table 2.1) It often isn't easy and sometimes it's nearly impossible for parents be in a position to observe children in the classroom, on the playground, or at a party with their friends. Think about what kinds of naturalistic observations are possible and what parents miss if they don't do these things. 2. Describe the structured observation method. (p. 44 and Table 2.1) Structured observation is often equated with laboratory experiments, but it can be used in any situation where the observer (researcher) can exercise some control over the conditions of observation. We do this often as parents, without realizing that we are conducting experiments," when we give a child a new responsibility to see how the child handles it, such as when we give a child a chore the child hasn't done before or let the child stay home alone for the first time. Can you think of other examples in which a parent can set up a structured observation? 3. Describe the clinical interview method. Note that the major limitation of the clinical interview method involves the accuracy with which people report their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Researchers using interviews must always remember that

PSY 324

Childhood and Adolescence

Exam 1 Study Guide 9th ed.

people are not always good at putting their thoughts and feelings into words. (p. 46 and Table 2.1) When parents talk to a child or adolescent, how often are they really trying to get a full picture of the child's thoughts and feelings (in the style of a clinical interview) vs. trying to make a point? 4. How does the structured interview method differ from the clinical interview method? (pp. 46-47 and Table 2.1) Note that tests and questionnaires are forms of the structured interview method. 5. Define ethnography. Note that a unique aspect of ethnography is that the researcher becomes immersed in the culture and observes it from the perspective of a participantobserver in the culture being studied rather than remaining an outside observer as in other research methods. (pp. 51-52 and Table 2.1) Reliability and Validity 6. Define reliability. (p. 54) 7. Define validity. (p. 54) Research Ethics 8. Define protection from harm. (Table 2.5 and p. 67) Psychological harm is difficult to define precisely. However, at least two ideas are always examined in judging potential harm. Severity of negative feelings or psychological discomfort should never be more intense than the level of negative feelings or psychological discomfort children commonly experience in supportive environments. No negative feelings or discomfort should persist beyond the research session. By the time the child walks out the door, anything negative must be gone and forgotten. As you can imagine, researchers have to be very creative to find acceptable ways of studying things that are psychologically painful or harmful to children. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Policy for Protection of Human Research Subjects (section 46.102, http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/ ), "Minimal risk means that the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research are not greater in and of themselves than those ordinarily encountered in daily life or during the performance of routine physical or psychological examinations or tests." 9. Define informed consent. What are two special considerations regarding informed consent in research with children? (Table 2.5 and p. 67) 10. Define debriefing. (p. 69)

PSY 324

Childhood and Adolescence

Exam 1 Study Guide 9th ed.

11. Why is deception an especially serious issue in research with children? Berk notes that children rely on a basic faith in the honesty of adults to feel secure. (p. 69) If deceived, children may leave the research situation with their belief in the honesty of adults undermined. (p. 69) To be safe and to feel safe, children need to be able to trust the adults who are responsible for them, including researchers.

Chapter 5 Physical Growth


Introduction to Chapter 5 This chapter covers many details about physical growth during childhood and adolescence. Because this is a psychology course, I have limited the physical growth topics to those that have important behavioral (psychological) consequences. Most children who are developing physically within the normal range do not experience major effects of physical growth during childhood and adolescence. Certainly, children who have unusual physical characteristics or abilities are often affected by those characteristics and by people's reactions to them. But, for the average child, there isn't anything in physical growth that has a major impact on their behavior or feelings until they reach puberty. Within puberty, I have focused on the psychological and social consequences rather than the physical processes themselves. Again, this reflects one of the traditional differences between a developmental psychology perspective and a child development perspective. Psychologists are less interested in the development of bones, muscles, and physical skills for their own sake than for their effects on feelings or behavior. Dramatic increases in obesity during recent decades have prompted researchers to conduct more studies of how obesity develops in infancy, childhood and adolescence. As a result, it has become clear that childhood obesity has serious psychological and social consequences in addition to lifelong health problems. Because of the psychosocial impact of obesity, I have included it as an important topic for you to study. Obesity 1. Define obesity. What percent of American youngsters are obese? (p. 198) Note that many factors contribute to childhood obesity: genetics, parental feeding practices, maladaptive eating habits, and physical inactivity. (pp. 198-199) 2. Note the relationship of television viewing to gains in body fat during childhood shown in Figure 5.14. Children who watched more than 3 hours per day gained 40% more fat than children who watched less than 1 hours per day. (p. 199) 3. How would you describe the psychological consequences of obesity based on the textbook material? (p. 200)

PSY 324

Childhood and Adolescence

Exam 1 Study Guide 9th ed.

Puberty 4. Define puberty. (p. 203) Moodiness and Conflict 5. List three factors that contribute to adolescent moodiness. (p. 207) 6. Is there an increase in conflict between adolescents and their parents beginning around puberty in the U.S. and other industrialized countries? (p. 208) Early and Late Maturation 7. What two factors account for differences in psychological and social adjustment between early and late maturing adolescents? (p. 209) 8. How does fitting in with peers relate to the problems associated with early maturing girls and late maturing boys? (p. 209) 9. Describe the adult (long term) psychological adjustment of early maturing girls. (pp. 209-210) Eating Disorders 10. Define anorexia nervosa. (p. 210) 11. Define bulimia. (pp. 211) 12. How do anorexics and bulimics differ in terms of how accurate their body image is, how aware they are of their own abnormal eating habits, how they feel about their eating habits, and how motivated they are to get help? (pp. 210-212) Sexuality 13. About what fraction of adolescents report discussing sex-related topics with their parents? (p. 212) Note in the Applying What We Know box, effective strategies for communicating with adolescents about sexual issues. (p. 213) 14. Contrast the messages about adolescent sexuality received by adolescents from adults in their lives (parents and other adult relatives, teachers, etc.) as opposed to the broader social environment (e.g., peers, media). (pp. 212-213) 15. During the past decade, there was a slight trend toward more conservative sexual beliefs and activity among adolescents, largely due to what two factors? (pp. 213)

PSY 324

Childhood and Adolescence

Exam 1 Study Guide 9th ed.

16. Note that roughly30% of 9th graders and about 60% of 12th graders in the U.S. have ever had sexual intercourse. (Figure 5.14) 17. What are the common characteristics of sexually active adolescents presented in the textbook? (p. 214) The long and varied list reminds us that adolescent sexuality reflects many factors and a wide range of issues. Simplistic views of adolescent sexuality do not help either parents or society deal with the issues effectively. 18. What fraction of sexually active adolescents either does not use contraceptives at all or use them ineffectively? (p. 214) An important point not covered in the textbook is that access to contraceptives normally does not make adolescents more likely to become sexually active. In most cases, contraceptive use is an afterthought, beginning after an adolescent has been sexually active for some time. This point is important because many parents are worried that their teenagers will be more likely to become sexually active if they have access to contraceptives. 19. What final conclusion is presented in the textbook regarding the role of genetic and environmental factors in the development of homosexuality? (p. 215) In spite of some very good research on this, scientists have not been able to identify either biological traits or experiences that are unique to homosexuals. Many things that are common among children who eventually develop homosexual preferences are also common among children who develop heterosexual preferences. To make things even more complicated, it is important to recognize that: (1) many individuals are neither exclusively heterosexual nor homosexual at any given time, and (2) many individuals express different orientations at different times in their lives. 20. How does the rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in U.S. teenagers compare to that of other developed nations? (p. 217) 21. Note the teenage birthrate in the U.S. (40/1000) is about 4 times the average of other industrialized countries (10/1000). (p. 217 and Figure 5.16) 22. What are three broad areas in which teenage parents' lives become worse after having a baby? (p. 218) 23. What are four features of effective sex education programs and what aspect of sex education is the most controversial? (p. 219) Sex and the "Good Kid" Now that you have studied the characteristics of sexually active teens, information about adolescent pregnancy, and strategies for reducing teenage sexual activity, I'm concerned

PSY 324

Childhood and Adolescence

Exam 1 Study Guide 9th ed.

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that this material may give you a false sense of security. Most parents whose adolescents do not have the characteristics listed in the textbook are overconfident that their teenagers won't be sexually active. Sadly, many "good kids" from good families do become sexually active during adolescence. Many of these kids get good grades, are involved in their school and/or community, have friends, have good values, go to church, and act responsibly in many areas of their lives. They are dramatically different than the characteristics listed in the textbook. They appear to be exceptions to the rule. Oddly, there are many of these "exceptions." The following is a partial list of danger signals that may indicate an otherwise "good kid" is facing pressure to be sexually active. The adolescent is in long-term dating relationship. There is a substantial age difference between the adolescent and his or her dating partner. The adolescent is a member of the popular group at school, or wants to be a member of the popular group. The adolescent lacks the social skills and concepts to deal specifically with sexual situations.