Individual differences Essential whenever we wish to explain how individuals differ in their behaviour. .

age and gender .Example of individual differences • Environment • Genetics • Behavior • Personality • Intelligence • Learning disabilities / learning disorders • Physical factors such as body size.

CHILD DEVELOPMENT Aspects of child development • Physical Growth • Motor development • Cognitive/Intellectual development • Social-emotional development • Language .

.Physical Growth • • Individual differences in height and weight Influenced by family genetic factors & environmental factors • At some point physical development is strongly influenced by individual differences in reproductive maturation.

• After age 1. . The legs are about one third the length of the body at birth and one half in the adult. Because the body proportions change this means that not all of the body segments grow by the same amount. • The head is proportionally large and the legs proportionally short during childhood. At birth the head is one quarter of the length of the body compared with about one sixth in the adult. and by 2 years. growth in height usually continues at a fairly steady rate of approximately 2½ inches (6 centimeters) per year until adolescence. a baby's growth in length slows considerably.


5 years boys again overtake girls (who have mostly stopped growing taller). http://www. Boys continue to grow taller past the age of 15 and average over 5 inches taller than girls by the time they are 18.5 years and by 13. The characteristic differences between boys and girls occur at puberty in response to changes in hormones produced by the body. A boy's growth spurt occurs around 12.htm .• At around 10.coachr.5 years. girls begin to grow faster and become taller than boys by over an inch.org/growth_and_development.


and be instructed on specific movements. normal individual differences are strongly affected by opportunities to practice. • After the infant period.Motor Development • Depends in part on the child's weight and build. observe. .

infants must perceive something in the environment that motivates them to act and then use perceptions to fine-tune their movements. (2011). 2009) Santrock. United States: McGraw Hill. • To develop motor skills. J. infants assemble motor skills for perceiving and acting. Child Development. . W.• According to dynamic systems theory. • Motor skills represent solutions to the infant’s goals (Clearfield & others.

For example For example. Some children learn to walk earlier than their same-age peers. Child crawling Child standing . most infants learn to crawl before they learn to walk. while others may take a bit longer.

. and when they want to move.• Babies learn to walk only when maturation of the nervous system allows them to control certain leg muscles. when their legs have grown enough to support weight.

remember. symbolise information. but schooling for children in industrialized countries is based on the assumption that these differences are not large.Cognitive/Intellectual Development Definition The capacity to learn. . and to solve problems • Individuals differ in the ages at which they achieve specific cognitive abilities.

• The human brain is not fully developed until late adolescence or in the case of males sometimes early adulthood. It is important that parents know what to expect from their child as they develop and to be sure that the expectations they may have for their child at a given age are realistic. .

sadness. • Children who are active and angry as infants can be expected to be active and angry as older children. • In the first few months they only experience happiness. adolescents and adults. and anger.Social-emotional Development • The intensity or expressiveness of emotions can vary greatly from one normal child to another. • Newborn infants do not seem to experience fear or have preferences for contact with any specific people. .

Atypical development of social-emotional characteristics may be mildly unusual. or may be so extreme as to indicate mental illness. .

In the late 1980s the phonological deficit hypothesis has become the dominant explanation. Early identification enables children to receive help before they fail. is characteristic of a small proportion of children who later display normal language use. Atypically delayed language development may be diagnostic of autism. writing and spelling commensurate with their intellectual abilities. basic phonological skills and acquiring basic building blocks means that dyslexics have to invest too many resources in just coping with the basics rather than acquiring new information or skills. Poor language development also accompanies general developmental delays such as those found in Down syndrome. from subtle speech impairments to mispronunciations to word-finding difficulties. Dyslexia is a significant topic in child development as it affects approximately 5% of the population (in the western world). and regression of language may indicate serious disabilities like Rett syndrome.Language • Slow Expressive Language Development (SELD) a delay in the use of words • • • • coupled with normal understanding. Dyslexic children show a range of differences in their language development. . The difficulties in early articulation. Such children often have difficulties with long-term verbal learning such as months of the year or learning tables. Essentially it is a disorder whereby children fail to attain the language skills of reading. The most common phonological difficulties are limitations of verbal short-term memory and phonological awareness.

Infant's brain has not matured enough to allow the child to talk.The brain has developed further and with help from others. the child will have the capacity to say and understand words. . • Two years old .For example • Four-month-old .

despite normal IQ and adequate educational opportunity.• Dyslexia is commonly defined as a specific difficulty in learning to read. . • It is a disorder of development that primarily affects the acquisition of literacy and the most widely accepted view is that it lies on the continuum of language disorder.


.GENETICS Behavior Genetics: Predicting Individual Differences Behavior Geneticists study our differences and weigh the relative effects of heredity and environment.

Heritability Heritability refers to the extent to which the differences among people are attributable to genes. What percentage of the difference among people’s height can be attributed to their genes? 90% .

900 births at age 20 1 in 300 births at age 35 1 in 30 births at age 45 1 in 600 male births Klinefelter syndrome (XXY) Fragile X syndrome Turner Syndrome (XO) An extra X chromosome causes physical abnormalities Hormone therapy can be effective An abnormality in the X chromosome Special education.Chromosomal & Gene Linked Abnormalities Name Down syndrome Description An extra chromosome causes mild to severe retardation and physical abnormalities Treatment Surgery.  infant stimulation. learning and language therapy disabilities. speech can cause mental retardation. or short attention span A missing X chromosome in females can cause mental retardation and sexual underdevelopment Hormone therapy in childhood and puberty No special treatment required More common in males than in females 1 in 2.000 male births XYY Syndrome An extra Y chromosome can cause above-average height .500 female births 1 in 1. and special learning programs   Incidence 1 in 1. early intervention.

• to learn from experience. • to adapt effectively to the environment. IQ.IQ • Intelligent quotient. • to overcome obstacles by taking thought. . • to engage in various forms of reasoning. Individuals differ from one another in their ability • to understand complex ideas. a score derived from one of several different standardized tests designed to assess intelligence.


or store information. analyze. . • These problems can make it difficult for a student to learn as quickly as someone who isn't affected by learning disabilities.LEARNING DISABILITIES / DISORDERS • Learning disabilities are problems that affect the brain's ability to receive. process.

. • reasoning. and • doing math.• The skills most often affected are: • reading. • speaking. • listening. • writing.