InfantPsychNotesTest2-1 - Chapter 5 Infancy Physical...

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Chapter 5 – Infancy: Physical Development LJ Notes This chpt describes the processes of physical growth and development during infancy, from birth to age two. Patterns in growth in height and weight, motor development, and changes in sensation and perception occur. There are ( 3 ) key sequences of physical development or principles Cephalocaudal Development : development proceeds from the head to the tail (or to lower parts of body), from top to bottom . This development gives the brain an opportunity to participate more fully in subsequent developments. Infants gain control over their hands and upper body before they gain control over their lower body. Development proceeds from the head downward . The cephalocaudal principle describes the direction of growth and development. According to this principle, the child gains control of the head first , then the arms , and then the legs . Infants develop control of the head and face movements within the first two months after birth. In the next few months, they are able to lift themselves up by using their arms. By 6 to 12 months of age, infants start to gain leg control and may be able to crawl, stand, or walk . Coordination of arms always precedes coordination of legs. It’s motor development which occurs in the first two years of life: brain and head develops before arms and trunk, arms and trunk before legs. The head is larger relative to rest of body, arms grow longer than leg , and lower parts of body must do more growing to reach adult size. The brain regulates essentials functions like the heartbeat, the growth and development of the body and influences basic drives such as hunger and thirst. Proximodistal Development : Development proceeds from the center of the body outward. This is the principle of proximodistal development that also describes the direction of development. This means that the spinal cord develops before outer parts of the body. The child's arms develop before the hands and the hands and the hands and feet develop before the fingers and toes. Finger and toe muscles (used in fine motor dexterity) are the last to develop in physical development. The proximodistal of development is where growth starts at the center of the body and moves towards the extremities. An example of such a pattern is the early development of muscular control of the trunk and arms relative to the hands and fingers. Differentiation : As children mature, physical reactions move from global responses to specific responses. Infant’s behaviors and physical structures become more specialized and distinct. Infant engages in diffuse (spread out, disseminate, distribute) motor activity. Within few months, infant will be grasping for objects and holding onto them with more sophisticated kind of grasp. If an infant’s finger gets burned, infant may withdraw finger and thrash about and cry. If it’s a toddler, he may
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This note was uploaded on 03/22/2009 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 830 taught by Professor 346 during the Spring '09 term at Rutgers.

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InfantPsychNotesTest2-1 - Chapter 5 Infancy Physical...

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