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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.
Foundations of Psychosocial Development
Development Issues in Infancy
Development Issues in Toddlerhood
what's your view
checkpoint can You
Contact with Other Children
checkpoint can You
Children of Working Parents
checkpoint can You

Chapter 8, Foundations of Psychosocial Development, checkpoint can You, Exercise 01

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The mentioned behaviors lead to essential social and emotional development. 


Crying is an early means of communication.

  • This behavior increases for the first two months after birth, peaking at about six weeks, and tends to lessen by the fourth or fifth week.  
  • Crying is not associated with negative consequences in later life, however, infants who are difficult to soothe and very fussy are more likely to have an increased risk of behavior problems.    
  • The most detrimental consequences of not providing comfort to infants during heightened crying are linked with brain damage or even death.
  • Varied crying is a sign of cognitive development in children as they are able to communicate their needs as well as regulate their expression with respect to the caregiver's reaction or facial expressions. It is also related to social competence and positive development. 


Smiling fosters emotional and social communication:


  • Infants begin to grin or beam when they are two or three months old and begin to chuckle as early as they are four months old. 
  • Smiling indicates an infant's emotional stance and is essential for sharing emotional state with others. 
  • Soon after anticipatory smiling emerges around 8 to 10 months of age which are early forms of communication in infants. 
  • Giggling and laughter while interacting with mothers show cognitive development as they show awareness in interaction. The infant responds to the environment by such active exchange between them and the caregivers which is a precursor of social and emotional development. 

Verified Answer

For an infant, the mentioned behaviors are important means to develop social skills. They also ensure the survival, health, and development of the baby. Therefore, understanding these behaviors is important to meet the child's needs.


The emergence of this behavior early in life is essential for the following reasons:

  • There are four patterns of crying which signify different needs namely, hunger, anger, pain, and frustration, which are helpful in communication of infant needs.
  • Smiling is elicited by seeing familiar faces and in response to parents smiling at them. This type of social smiling enables social and emotional interaction. Giggling and laughing are signs of cognitive development of the child as they start making sense or are aware of the environment and start responding to it actively.
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