Intheir book, “How children develop,” Siegler et al. (2014) developa case for the psychological development of young children through anintensive and well-researched study. The book is highly resourcefulin the field of psychology as it covers challenging topicsperceptively, offering summaries at the end of each topic to help thereader recap the main concepts easily. This study focuses on chapters5, 6, 13, and 14. These chapters address matters concerning theactions and development of infants, development of language andsymbol use, peer relationships, and moral development respectively.These chapters highlight key concepts in the development of children,forming a formidable chain that is highly relevant to psychologists.This paper offers a response to the learning objectives of each ofthese chapters from a personal perspective.
Chapter5: Seeing, Thinking, and Doing in infancy
Thefifth chapter of Siegler et al. (2014)’s book offered newperspectives regarding the development of infants’ sense ofcognition, perception, learning and action. I was fascinated to learnthe fast rate at which these developments occur. Moreover, I nowunderstand the link between these seemingly interdependentdevelopmental aspects. It is also interesting that the development ofthese aspects is different in older children as compared to infants,as I often thought that they follow the same path. I therefore learntthat infancy is a critical developmental stage, forming thefoundation of later personality and cognitive functioning.
Chapter5 also presents a fresh perspective on technical aspects ofdevelopment during infancy. Through the study, I am now able toembrace and apply the preferential-looking technique that is usefulin infant perception studies. Additionally, I am able to apply theviolation-of-expectancy procedure that is useful in the study ofinfant cognition. Additionally, the chapter was helpful in aiding myunderstanding of how various theories such as Piaget’s theory areinterrelated in the prior studies of infant development.
Iagree with most ideologies raised in this chapter since they arebuilt on credible research. Siegler et al. (2014) use relevantillustrations at the end of each subtopic, making it easy tounderstand the application of the arguments in real life. Moreover,the use of charts and graphs to demonstrate the findings of theresearch enhances one’s understanding. This enables me to embracethe concepts of the chapter with ease since I understand theirimplications.
However,I tend to disagree with the uniformity implied in this chapter.Children are unique in their development as they depict differentgenetic makeup as well a social background. These factors influencethe rate of their development, and it is thus dangerous to generalizetheir development. Allowing room for these variations will thereforebe necessary to make the concepts herein applicable in a globalperspective.
Duringinfancy, children are unable to communicate most of their needsverbally. It is hard to determine whether your child is developingnormally or not in this case since s/he will not complain. Theconcepts in this chapter are thus applicable in real life as theyoffer a checklist to help stakeholders determine that the child isdeveloping normally.
Chapter6: Language Development and Symbol Use
Ienjoyed chapter 6 Siegler et al. (2014)’s book because I can easilyrelate to the arguments raised therein. The approach of the chapteris realistic, and it pointed out the differences between language andsymbols in a clear manner. This was a fresh perspective for me sinceI always thought the use of symbols, forms part of the languagedevelopment in children. I also understood the meaning andimplication of babbling in children’s development, as well as themechanism of acquiring language at this stage. Additionally, thechapter offered clear insight into the factors that must be presentfor language acquisition to occur.
Inchapter 6, Siegler et al. (2014) allocated the differentdevelopmental stages different language skills, enabling me tounderstand why children do not acquire all the skills at once. Forinstance, I now understand why children comprehend what is said, waybefore they can be able to utter their first word. This is becauseaccording to the authors, language comprehension is a pre-requisiteto language production. The chapter also explored some technicalaspects such as phonological, semantic, pragmatic, and syntacticdevelopment as it relates to language use.
Thebreakdown of the complex stages of language development is credible,especially since the explanations are clear and realistic. I agreethat when children acquire a language, they must understand thephonemes of the language, followed by the morphemes, syntax, andconversational conventions in that order. This is because even adultsfollow these stages when learning a new language and the same styleis used in teaching language in classrooms.
AlthoughI agree with most concepts raised in this chapter, I am a bitskeptical about the difficulties implied in acquiring languagebetween the age of five and puberty. Although it is true that mostpeople have a good mastery of their first language acquired duringinfancy, I believe young and older children have a very highpotential of acquiring a new language between age 5 and puberty. Forinstance, this is a school going age, and educators take theopportunity to teach children second languages in schools at thistime. Moreover, I have observed young children who relocate to newregions acquire the language used in the new region with much ease.Thus, I believe that age five to puberty is still a conducive age toacquire a new language. Additionally, some adults are able to acquirethe fine details of a new language with more ease than even childrencan. This implies that language acquisition depends on multiplefactors besides age.
Theinformation gained through the study of this chapter is valuable inunderstanding child psychology. It is applicable in various aspectsof life including offering instruction and counseling to parents whowish to understand the developmental stages of their children.Gaining this knowledge is the first steps in ensuring children gaintheir potential through the maximum use of external and internalfactors that affect their language acquisition. The information isalso valuable in schools that teach children language skills.
Chapter13: Peer Relationships
Chapter13 exceeded my expectations since I have never associated peerinfluence with infancy. Most people associate peer relationships withadolescence, and it is rare to examine the relationship that childrenform with their peers. This drew my attention as I learnt theinfluence peers have on child development in preschool interactions.I was also fascinated by the dynamic nature of friendships childrenform through different ages and across the gender divide. Apparently,although children of either gender develop friendships based ondifferent factors, boys attach different meanings to theirfriendships as compared to girls in this early age.
Chapter13 also gave me insight into the negative effects peer rejection hason child development. Apparently, children also form sociometricstatus that divides them, and this is dependent on the child and hisor her family (Siegler et al., 2014). Among the four sociometricstatus identified, some gain desirable status through popularitywhile others gain undesirable status prone to rejection. Therefore,some of the groups are likely to experience peer rejection because ofvarious predisposal characteristics. This is a sad outcome since thisconcept implies that social classes and segregation is embedded inthe society from birth.
Iagree with the chapter’s notion that children are affected bydifferent sociometric factors. This is because they live within asociety that is influenced by social, cultural, and economicdivisions. Since children model their character after their seniors,they are likely to imitate the same reactions to differences in classamong themselves. The media also plays a role in enhancing thissegregation, where materialism is upheld as the determinant factor ofhuman value.
However,most children I have observed do not comply with the set divisions intheir society. I find children extremely tolerant of diversitynaturally, and they are able to interact with other people equally.This is irrespective of status since the name does not mean anythingto children at this stage. However, a few children are so brainwashedthat they subscribe to these derogatory aspects of life. Thiseventually forms their character as public speakers and even incommanding the attention of a group of people.
Peerrejection from an early age can lead to a serious charactermal-development in the future. Understanding the premises and effectsof this concept will enable me to offer credible advice to parentswhose children are prone to peer rejection. I will also be able toidentify the characteristics that predispose the children torejection, and advise parents and guardians on how to reduce theimpact of such environments through their socialization styles aswell as attachment styles.
Chapter14: Moral Development
Ofall the chapters in Siegler et al.’s book, I found the fourteenthchapter to be the most technical one. Rather than build on therealistic aspects of child development, the chapter explores moraldevelopment from a theoretical perspective. The comparison betweenPiaget’s theory and Kohlberg’s theory was insightful, and I nowunderstand the criticisms of either theory as they apply to moraldevelopment. Moreover, I can now apply the different levels of moraldevelopment in explaining the child psychology, as well as considerits criticisms to offer the best advice.
Moraldevelopment is a critical aspect of child psychology as it determinesthe personality of a child in adulthood. Through this chapter, Igained valuable information about the factors that influence thisdevelopment (Siegler et al., 2014). For instance, I understand theeffect of a family’s socialization practices on the development ofa child. These include communication values, opportunities forsocialization, attachment styles, and parenting and disciplinestyles. In this case, children may develop aggressive behavior, whichmay take the form of instrumental or reactive aggression. It is alsointriguing that one can identify anti-social children from an earlyage, and understanding the distinguishing characteristics of suchbehavior is essential in molding character before it is too late.This is especially the case since aggression progresses in differentlevels.
Iagree with the chapter concept that there is a thin line betweenbiology and socialization as determinant factors of character. Thisforms the oldest debate of nature versus nurture, where one has todetermine whether the moral development of an individual is a factorof heredity or an influence of the environment. In the case of childpsychology, it is hard to determine whether the character a childadopts is a result of his genetic makeup, family socialization, peerinfluence, or cultural impact. Additionally, these factors areintertwined, and this makes it harder to distinguish the effect ofone of the factors in a child’s moral development.
Moraldevelopment is a complex process that cannot be explained by justthree models. Several scholars have undertaken studies on thesubject, and they do not seem to agree on the fundamental aspects ofthe subject. Although this chapter does the topic justice, I feelthat it should offer a wider range of theories to make acomprehensive comparison. This will determine all the factors onwhich moral development in infancy is dependent.
Moraldevelopment is an important aspect of every human being’s life. Theconcepts covered in this chapter are important in understanding andhelping children develop into morally upright human beings. In theirdiversity, and through the several illustrations given in thechapter, the concepts can help shape the behavior of children from anearly age. Irrespective of the factors involved in the development ofmorality, it is essential for parents and teachers alike to focus onthe various perspectives of character development. As an instructor,I hope to identify and seek to rectify the different flaws inchildren’s characters in collaboration with their parents andguardians.
Inbrief, Siegler et al. (2014) focus on various aspects of childdevelopment in their book “How Children Develop.” The four chosenchapters for this analysis explore different topics relating to themain theme of child development. For instance, the fifth chaptersurveys seeing, thinking and doing in infancy. Here, it explores thedifferent levels of physical and cognitive development duringinfancy. The sixth chapter, on the other hand, explores languagedevelopment and symbol use in children. This is insightful inrelating the process of language acquisition, a concept that helpsparents and instructors understand and support young children. In thethirteenth chapter, the authors analyze various aspects of peerinfluence in early childhood. This is a fresh perspective, as peerinfluence is often associated with older children and adults. In thefourteenth chapter, Siegler et al. (2014) analyze the dynamic topicof moral development. The chapter is in-depth and comprehensive,allowing readers understand the different implications of moraldevelopment in child development. Overall, the concepts raised in thebook are highly applicable in real life scenarios. They are helpfulfor psychologists, parents, guardians, teachers, and everyone whowishes to understand child psychology. Infancy is the formative ageof human beings, and this indicates the importance of understandingand maximizing development at this age.
Siegler,R.S. DeLoache, J. S. Eisenberg, N. & Saffron, J. (2014). HowChildren Develop.New York: Worth Publishers.
FirstChapter: Seeing, Thinking, and Doing in Infancy
SecondChapter: Language Development and Symbol Use
ThirdChapter: Peer Relationships
FourthChapter: Moral Development