Child Psychology Essay

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Child Psychology I. Purpose of paper: Child Psychology, study of children’s behavior-including physical, cognitive, motor, linguistic, perceptual, social, and emotional characteristics-from birth through adolescence. Child psychologists attempt to explain the similarities and differences among children and to describe normal as well as abnormal behavior and development. They also develop methods of treating social, emotional, and learning problems and provide therapy privately and in schools, hospitals, and other institutions. Two critical problems for child psychologists are (1) to determine how environmental variables (such as parental attitudes) and biological characteristics (such as health) interact and…show more content…
In the 19th century, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution provided an impetus for the scientific examination of child development. He emphasis on the survival behavior of different species stimulated an interest in observing children to identify their adaptive behaviors and to learn about the inheritance of human behavior. These studies were of limited scientific value because they lacked objectively and often failed to describe adequately he behaviors being observed, making validation impossible (kroll 1995). Scientific research in child development flourished from the early 1900’s. One major stimulus was the introduction (1916) by the American psychologist Lewis Terman of the test known today as the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test. This test led to a number of studies about children’s intellectual development. In the 1920’s scientists at more than a dozen leading universities began large-scale observational studies of children and heir families; these included the Berkeley Growth Study at the University of California (started in 1929 and still active today), the Fels Growth Study at Antioch College, and the Harvard Growth Studies. All used the longitudinal method, in which the same children are observed and tested at over a specific time period (The Volume Library 1990: Volume 2). The American psychologist Arnold Gessell established a research institute at Yale University in the 1920’s for the sole purpose
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