Chapter 6

Chapter 6 - Chapter 6: Physical Development- the Brain,...

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Chapter 6: Physical Development- the Brain, Body, Motor Skills, and Sexual Development General knowledge- myths vs. facts 1. Babies who walk early are NOT inclined to be especially bright. 2. The average 2-year-old IS already around half his/her adult height. 3. Half the neurons in the average baby’s brain die over the first few years of life (and are not replaced). 4. Most children walk when they are ready, and no amount of encouragement will enable a 6-month-old to walk alone. 5. Hormones have considerable effects on human growth and development until puberty. 6. Emotional trauma can seriously impair the growth of young children, even adequately nourished, healthy, non-abused ones. An overview of maturation and growth Changes in weight and height - Babies often double their birth weight by 4-6 months of age and triple it (to about 21/22 lb.) by the end of their first year of life. - Growth in infancy is very uneven . - By the age of 2, infant’s birth weight has been quadrupled and he is half his adult height (normally) if growth continued at this rate, an 18-year-old would weigh several tons and be about 12 feet tall. - Age 2-puberty: child gains about 2-3 inches and 6-7 lb. a year. - During middle childhood (6-11) child may appear to grow little. - At puberty, growth + development are once again obvious as adolescents enter a 2-3 year growth spurt: 10-15 lb. + 2-4 inches a year may be gained. - After this growth spurt, small increases are typical until full adult stature is attained in mid- to late teen years.
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Changes in body proportions - A newborn’s head is 70% of its eventual adult size and is ¼ of its total body length (same fraction as the legs). - Development proceeds in a cephalocaudal (head to tail) manner. - Trunk grows fastest during the 1 st year; at 1 year of age, the head is only 20% of total body length; from then until adolescent growth spurt, the legs grow rapidly until they account for over 60% of height increase. - During adolescence the trunk once again grows most rapidly, although the legs continue to grow rapidly at this time. - At eventual stature, legs account for 50% of height; head for 12%. - Upward growth is accompanied by proximodistal development: sequence of growth from body’s center out toward the extremities. o E.g. prenatally, chest + internal organs form first, then arms + legs, then hands + feet; throughout infancy and childhood, arms/legs continue growing faster than hands/feet. o However, this process reverses just before puberty , when hand and feet begin to grow rapidly; these extremities are the first to reach adult proportions. Skeletal development - Prenatally-formed skeletal structures are initially soft cartilage that will gradually ossify (harden) into bony material. -
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This note was uploaded on 12/18/2011 for the course PSYC 304 taught by Professor Majorieauderabiau during the Fall '08 term at McGill.

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Chapter 6 - Chapter 6: Physical Development- the Brain,...

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