Invitation to the Life Span by Kathleen Stassen Berger

The Developing Person
Through the Life Span 8e
by Kathleen Stassen Berger
Chapter 11- Middle Childhood:
Biosocial Development
PowerPoint Slides developed by
Martin Wolfger and Michael James
Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington
Reviewed by Raquel Henry
Lone Star College, Kingwood
A Healthy Time
Middle childhood: about age 6 to 11
• The healthiest period of the entire life span
Slower Growth, Greater Strength
• Growth is slow and steady; self-care is
• Children depend less on their families
• Muscles become stronger, can run faster
• Are able to eat enough, or too much
• Earlier malnutrition is evident in height
• Improved medical and oral care in the U.S.
A Healthy Time
Physical Activity
• Benefits:
– Better overall health, including less asthma
– Less obesity
– Appreciation of cooperation and fair play
– Improved problem-solving ability
– Respect for teammates and opponents of
many ethnicities and nationalities
Health Problems in Middle Childhood
Childhood Obesity
• Body mass index (BMI)- A person’s body weight in
kilograms divided by the square of height in meters.
• Overweight- In a child, having a BMI above the 85th
• Obesity- In a child, having a BMI above the 95th
Why Childhood Obesity?
• Heredity: can be genetically predisposed
• Parenting: infants not breast fed, too much
T.V., drink soda, no exercise, poor family
eating habits
• Social influences: school lunches, snack
machines, subsidies for corn oil but not
fresh veggies, food advertising, etc.
Health Problems in Middle Childhood
• A chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways that
makes it difficult to breathe.
– Signs and symptoms include wheezing, shortness of
breath, chest tightness, and coughing.
• Some experts suggest a hygiene hypothesis for
the current increase in all allergies.
– Contemporary children are overprotected from viruses
and bacteria
Prevention of Asthma
• Primary: changes in society such as
better ventilation, less pollution, etc.
• Secondary: decrease among high-risk
children by breast feeding, family exercise,
less dust, smoke and cockroaches
• Tertiary: prompt use of injections, inhalers
and hypoallergenic materials
Brain Development
• Maturing corpus callosum helps balance
and two-handed coordination
• Myelination speeds up thought & behavior
• Prefrontal cortex begins to plan, monitor
and evaluate
Brain Development
• Reaction time: time it takes to respond to
a stimulus physically or cognitively
• Selective attention: ability to concentrate
on some stimuli while ignoring others
• Automatization: process in which
repetition of a sequence of thoughts &
actions makes the sequence routine
Measuring the Mind
• Aptitude:The potential to master a specific
skill or to learn a certain body of knowledge.
• IQ test: A test designed to measure
intellectual aptitude.
– Originally, intelligence was defined as mental age
divided by chronological age, times 100--hence
the term intelligence quotient, or IQ.
• Achievement test: A measure of mastery or
proficiency in reading, mathematics, writing,
science, or some other subject.
Measuring the Mind
• The most important aptitude for school-age children
is intellectual aptitude, or the ability to learn in
school, which is usually measured by an IQ test.
• Flynn effect - The rise in average IQ scores that has
occurred over the decades in many nations.
Criticisms of Testing
• No test can measure the complexities of
the human brain
• Studies show that people inherit a set of
abilities and not a general intellectual
• Scores on tests change
Multiple Intelligences
• Robert Sternberg (1996):
− Academic: IQ and achievement tests
− Creative: imaginative endeavors
− Practical: everyday problem solving
These are significant in adulthood when
practical intelligence is more relevant than
academic intelligence.
Multiple Intelligences
• Howard Gardner (1983, 1999, 2006)
− 9 intelligences: linguistic, logicalmathematical, musical, spatial, kinesthetic,
interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic,
− people excel in some more than others
− influential in education, especially with
Brain Scans
• One way to measure the mind is to
measure the brain
• Interpretations of brain scans are
• Brain fitness correlates with physical
Children with Special Needs
Developmental Psychopathology
• Links the study of typical development with
the study of disorders.
• Comorbid-presence of 2 or more unrelated
disease conditions at the same time in the
same person
Children with Special Needs
Several lessons from developmental
psychopathology apply to everyone:
1. Abnormality is normal. Most people
sometimes act oddly, and those with serious
disabilities are, in many respects, like everyone
2. Disability changes year by year: Someone
who is severely disabled at one stage may
become quite capable later on, or vice versa.
Children with Special Needs
3. Life may be better or worse in adulthood.
Many infants and children with serious
disabilities (e.g., blindness) become happy and
productive adults. Conversely, some conditions
(e.g., bipolar disorder) become more disabling at
4. Diagnosis and treatment reflect the social
context. According to the DSM-IV-TR, "nuances
of an individual’s cultural frame of reference"
must be considered before a diagnosis is
rendered(American Psychiatric Association,
2000, p. xxxiv).
Children with Special Needs
• Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD): A condition in which a person is
inattentive, impulsive, and overactive and
thus has great difficulty concentrating for
more than a few moments.
• Bipolar disorder: A condition where the
person has extreme mood swings that are
not caused by outside experiences.
Children with Special Needs
• Learning disability: A marked delay in a
particular area of learning that is not
caused by an apparent physical disability,
by mental retardation, or by an unusually
stressful home environment.
• Dyslexia: Unusual difficulty with reading;
thought to be the result of some
neurological underdevelopment.
Children with Special Needs
• Autism: developmental disorder marked by
an inability to relate to other people normally,
extreme self-absorption, and an inability to
acquire normal speech.
• Autistic spectrum disorder: Any of several
disorders characterized by impaired
communication, inadequate social skills, and
unusual patterns of play.
– Asperger syndrome- disorder characterized by
extreme attention to details and deficient social
Special Education
• Whether a child is designated as needing
special education is not straightforward
• Changing laws and practices:
−least restrictive environment (LRE)
−response to intervention
−individual education plan (IEP)
Cohort and Culture
Cohort and Culture