Naturalistic Observation Project - Running Head...

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Running Head: NATURALISTIC OBSERVATION OF CHILDREN 1 Observing Behaviors of Children in Their Natural Environment Elizabeth Small Husson University
NATURALISTIC OBSERVATION OF CHILDREN 2 Abstract I observed children playing and interacting to get a better understanding of their developmental levels during play, when they did not know they were being observed. I compared theories from Erikson, Piaget and Ainsworth to determine the children's responses to problems, and to see where they were in accordance to these theories. 7 children were observed in this study ranging from 3 - 10 years old, with varying sexes. I found that many of the children fit into the theories proposed Erikson, Piaget and Ainsworth without problem.
NATURALISTIC OBSERVATION OF CHILDREN 3 Observing Behaviors of Children in Their Natural Environment Children and their behaviors have caused countless controversies when it comes to whether their behavior is predictable or not. Many great researchers such as Erikson, Piaget and Ainsworth have come up with separate and unique theories regarding the development of children. Erikson’s psychoanalytic theory of psychosocial development was made up of eight stages from infancy to adulthood. During each stage, the person experiences a psychosocial crisis which could have a positive or negative outcome for personality development (McLeod, 2013). Piaget’s theory of cognitive development proposed four stages of cognitive development: the sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational period (McLeod, 2015). Ainsworth created the Strange Situation Classification (SSC) in order to investigate how attachments might vary between children and their caregivers (McLeod, 2016). The purpose of the study done on the observation of children was to understand how they interact when they do not know they are being observed, and also to see where they are in their development. In this paper, I will be discussing my observations that I had for a group of children at a local daycare center in Auburn, Maine. The children were between the ages of 2 months - 10 years. For the purpose of this observation project, I focused on the children between the ages of 3 and 10 years of age. Based on the theories given by Erikson, Piaget and Ainsworth, I hypothesize that the oldest girl (10) will care and take a maternal role for the younger children. I believe that the

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