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A Child's World: Infancy Through Adolescence 13th Edition

A Child's World: Infancy Through Adolescence (13th Edition)

Book Edition13th Edition
Author(s)Martorell, Papalia
PublisherMcGraw-Hill, Inc.
Aspects of Physical Development
checkpoint can You
Health and Safety
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Mental Health
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Chapter 12, Aspects of Physical Development, checkpoint can You, Exercise 01

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The rate of growth in children generally slows down during middle childhood. Typically, a child gains about 5-7 pounds a year and grows about 2 inches per year. During middle childhood (ages 6 to 12), children tend to slim down and gain muscle strength and lung capacity, making it possible to engage in strenuous physical activity for long periods.

  • In middle childhood, physical development is more subtle and continuous than earlier. School-age children's bodies gradually get bigger, and they show advancement in gross and fine motor development and coordination.
  • One result of the slower rate of growth is improved motor skills (movement of muscles). Children of this age tend to sharpen their abilities to perform gross motor skills such as riding a bike and fine motor skills such as cutting their fingernails.   
  • Children who do not receive adequate nutrition or medical attention may be at risk for stunted or delayed growth. For example, children who live in countries where malnutrition is not a problem tend to be taller than children who live in countries where malnutrition is a problem.
  • Racial and ethnic variations might impact physical growth because ethnic practices determine the activity levels and dietary practices which influence the type of activities individuals engage in, that ultimately impacts growth. For example, individuals of the Hispanic culture tend to have more fruits and vegetables in the diet in comparison to others, whereas individuals belonging to the Western culture tend to have the lowest level of physical activity, resulting in obesity and other chronic illnesses. 

Verified Answer

During this period, children's muscle strength, motor skills, height, weight, and stamina increase. Children acquire the motor skills necessary to perform complex movements, allowing them to participate in various physical activities. Most girls experience a preadolescent growth spurt around the age of 9 or 10, while most boys experience the same growth spurt around age 11 or 12. 


Racial and ethnic variations also are seen. For example, the onset of puberty (a series of physical changes through which a child's body matures into an adult's body capable of sexual reproduction) occurs earlier in African-American children than it does in Caucasian children.

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