Plasticity involves the degree to which characteristics change or remain stable. Development is contextual. Things like biological makeup, physical environment, cognitive processes, social, historical, and cultural contexts. Main three sources that impact development: ●Normative age-graded influences are biological and environmental influences that are similar for individuals in a particular age group (Puberty, beginning school, retirement). ●Normative history-graded influences - common to people of a generation due to historical circumstances they experience (Economic change [great depression], war, political upheaval, technological revolution, the role of women in society). ●Non-normative life events are unusual occurrences that have a major impact on an individual’s life. The occurrence, pattern, and sequence of these events are not applicable to many individuals (Death of parent of a young child, a disaster or accident, lottery win). Developmental StagesInfancy ●The period from birth to 18 or 24 months ●Extreme dependency Early Childhood ●Extends from infancy to about 5 or 6 years ●Becoming more self-sufficient ●School readiness skills ●Play with peers (particularly imaginative play) Middle and Late Childhood ●Extends from 6 to 11 years ●Skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic are learned ●Exposure to larger world and its culture Some areas of the brain develop earlier than others. Current belief is that infants' brains are waiting for experiences to determine how connections are made.
Sleep ●Newborns divide sleep time between REM & non-REM sleep ●For young infants night begins with REM sleep ○Each cycle lasts about 1 hour ●Infants spend about one-half of their sleep in REM sleep ○Most adults spend about ⅕of night in REM sleep ○Routine important - regular times/methods of waking, feeding, & sleeping Rooting Reflex: When the infant’s cheek is stroked, the infant will turn its head to the side that was touched Moro Reflex: Automatic arching of back and wrapping of arms to center of body when startled Grasping Reflex: Infants hands close around anything that touches the palm Sucking Reflex: Infants suck when something comes in contact with their mouth Some reflexes continue throughout life; others disappear within months