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Modern Theories Of Child Development – Relevance

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There has a been a growing poll of question on the relevance of studying theories of child development. This article will give you an insight on that, as well as highlights and concrete explanations of four different theories of child development.

What is Child Development

Child Development has to do with the emotional, mental, physical and language changes that occur in a child from birth to the beginning of adulthood. During this process, there will be an increasing sense of independency.

Child Development encompasses the totality of skills a child masters during their lifetime including; physical skills, cognition, social interaction, emotional regulation, sensory awareness, speech as well as language progression and mastery.

The process of child development is greatly influenced by environmental factors, genes (genetic attributes from birth parents) as well as circumstances during prenatal life.

Also child development can be influenced and enhanced through intentional therapeutic intervention as well as some very right home-based practices.

Four (4) Modern Theories of Child Development

Theories of child development helps to shed light on how children grow and change over the course of childhood through adulthood.

In order to better understand different processes of development especially for children, a number of different theories has been coined to help explain various aspects of child development.

There are so many theories of child development as has been proposed by researchers and theorists. These theories are also pointers to the specific age of a child when hitting a specific developmental milestone.

Related: “Values to Inculcate in Middle Childhood”

Erikson’s psychosocial Developmental Theory

Erik Erikson was an important personality in the field of psychoanalytics and psychological development.

Erikson theory of child development presented a framework for organizing human growth through all stages of human life, into eight distinctive stages, focusing on social interaction and conflicts that arise during different stages of human development.

He was also famous with the popular phrase ‘Identity Crisis’ .

His eight-stage theory of human development described this process from infancy through death. At each stage of development, people are faced with developmental crisis that influences later growth.

Bowlby’s Attachment Theory

This theory proposed by John Bowlby is one great research on the social development of children.

Bowlby asserts that early relationship with care-givers informs greatly the development of a child, and continue to influence social relationships throughout life.

This theory proposed that children are born with an innate need to form attachments. Such attachments helps survival by ensuring that children receives care and protection. These attachments are characterised by behavioral and motivational patterns.

Researchers have also expanded upon Bowlby’s original work and have suggested that a number of different attachment styles exist. Children who receive consistent support and care are more likely to develop a secure attachment style, while those who receive less reliable care may develop an ambivalent, avoidant, or disorganized style.

Behavioral Child Development Theories

The behavioral school of thoughts is of the belief that all human behavior can be described in terms of environmental influence.

The behavioral theory of child development sheds light on how environmental interactions influences a child’s behavior.

This theory is based on works of theorists such as John B Watson, and B.F. Skinner.

This theory centers mainly on how experiences shapens who a child is or is going to be.

Bandura’s Social Learning Theory

This theory is based on the works of psychologist Albert Bandura, a prominent figure in the field of psychology, and the Professor Emeritus at Stanford University.

His theory states that much child’s learning comes from simple observations.

Bandura’s theory of child development suggests that observation plays an important role in learning. This observation however does not necessarily has to be in the form of watching a model live.

Children hence learn by listening to verbal instructions, as well as watching both fictional or real character display behaviors in either books or films.

Albert Bandura’s social learning theory is widely relied upon today by many professions and industries.

Relevance Of the Study Of Modern Theories Of Child Development

The study of child development and it’s theories has become more famous in recent times as their is a growing need to understand what informs different pattern of behavior in people, especially if informed by childhood experiences and happenings.

Also read:Social and Emotional Development in Children”

The relevance of studying modern theories of child development are as follows:

  • Study of child development theories enables a researcher see the progress and limitations of child development from different perspectives, as this will help coin a more comprehensive study into the vast topic.
  • Modern theories of child development further expands the facts that the study of child development cannot be really established by one particular school of thought.
  • It enables the researcher further understand the complexity of the humans mind.
  • The study of modern theories of child development enables the researcher understand the skills and behavior of different children; why they will eat certain food and reject others, and why children at different stages react differently to certain things.

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