Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood

Table of Content

Parents label early childhood, which extends from 02 to 06 years, as the problem, the troublesome or the toy-age; by educators as the Pre-school-age; and by psychologists as the Pre-gang, the exploratory, or the Questioning-age. Physical development proceeds at a slow rate in early childhood but the physiological habits, whose foundations are laid in babyhood, become well established.

Early Childhood is regarded as the teachable moment for acquiring skills because children enjoy the repetition essential to learning skills; they are adventuresome and like to try new things; and they have few already-learned skills to interfere with the acquisition of new ones. Speech development advances rapidly during early childhood as seen in improvement in comprehension as well as in the different speech-skills.

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This has a strong impact on the amount of talking young children do & the content of their speech. While emotional development follows a predictable pattern, there are variations in this pattern due to intelligence, sex, family-size, child training and other conditions. Early Childhood is the pre-gang age – the time when the foundations of the social development, characteristic of the gang-age of the late childhood, are laid. It is also a time when companions play an important role in the socialization process.

Play in early childhood is greatly influenced by the motor skills children have acquired, the degree of popularity they enjoy among their age-mates, the guidance they receive in learning different patterns of play, and the socio-economic status of their families. In accuracies in understanding are common in early childhood because many childish concepts are learnt with inadequate guidance and because children are often encouraged to view life unrealistically to make it seem more exciting & colourful.

Early childhood is characterized by morality by constraint – a time when children learn, through punishment & praise, to obey rules automatically. It is also the time when discipline differs, with some children subjected to authoritarian discipline while others are brought up by permissive or democratic discipline. The common interests of early childhood include interest in religion, in the human body, in self, in sex and in clothes.

Early childhood is often referred to as the critical age in sex-role typing because, at this time, the important aspects of sex-role typing are mastered, especially learning the meaning of sex-role stereotypes and accepting & playing the sex-role approved for members of their sex. Different family relationship – parent-child, sibling and relationships with relatives – play roles of different degrees of importance in the socialization of young children and in their developing self-concepts. The important physical hazards of early childhood include mortality, illnesses, accidents, unattractiveness, obesity and left-handedness.

Among the most important psychological hazards of early childhood are unsocial content of speech, inability to establish the empathic complex, failure to learn social adjustments due to lack of guidance, preference for imaginary companions or pets, too much emphasis on amusements & too little on active play, unfavourable emotional weighing of concepts, inconsistent discipline or discipline that relies too much on punishment, failure to be sex-role typed in accordance with the approved pattern of the social group, deterioration in family relationships and unfavourable self-concepts.

Happiness in early childhood depends more on what happens to children in the home than outside the home. We are so easy to pass aside the problems of the world until it has an impact on our lives. In today’s world there is a killer that stalks the homes of your family friends and neighbors. This killer is not after certain types of people but after children it does not faction on race or culture.

It kills one in every 100 children each year and causes drama medical situations to all it touches. It has a name that we over look and we think it can never happen to anyone you know. We close a blind eye on it as we search the streets seeing it everywhere. It is in our news papers magazines TV and entertainment it is child Obesity.


Economic issues play a part in the development throughout childhood, but particularly during the first few years of life. Children born to mothers who live in poverty or are poorly educated typically have lower birth weight, and more health issues during infancy and childhood. Parental income can be a predictor of adulthood health. In addition, lower-income families may have fewer resources for emotional and physical health, of parents and children. This can affect or retard the overall development of a young child.

Social Issues 

Social issues also have a profound impact on early childhood development. The social conditions of the parents or caretakers can have a direct effect on the language, social, and emotional development of the child, often with permanent results. This impact can be seen as early as 18 months, and according to the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study –Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K), children in low-income homes most often lack the social skills needed to enter kindergarten. In addition, a secure and loving attachment to a parent or caretaker is essential for long-term emotional, physical, and intellectual growth and stimulation.


Healthy nutrition has a direct impact on the health, physical, and emotional development of a child in the first years of life. Nutritional deficiencies can result in the retardation of physical growth and poor overall health and may have long-term effects on the intellectual and physical development of a child into adulthood. Nutrition has also been directly linked to the income level of the home.


The environment in which a child lives has many direct effects on their development. Children in low-income communities are exposed to higher levels of toxins, pollution, poor water quality, higher noise levels, and lower overall safety. Lower-income communities also tend to have fewer resources for families, lower levels of access to health care, and fewer safe places for children to play. Children in poverty-level homes are also more likely to be exposed to lead-based paint, which can have permanent health effects.

Some theories, though, consider the social and emotional factors that contribute toward children developing moral agency, including the capacity for self-control and social engagement.

  • Accepted Practices 1. Sigmund Freud proposed that during early childhood, children adopt the same moral practices as their same-sex parent. Then, he argued, children attempt to observe these practices and experience feelings of guilt–or hostility turned inward–when they do not.
  • Fixed Standards 2. Jean Piaget concluded that during the earliest years of childhood, children see rules and justice as fixed or permanent properties of the world. Children, therefore, expect punishment to inevitably follow when they break a rule.
  • External Rewards 3. Similarly, Lawrence Kohlberg theorized that children do not have internalized moral values, but instead that they reason morally on the basis of understood punishments and rewards for behavior. Kohlberg concluded that, at this stage, children obey because they are told to do so.
  • Prosocial Behavior 4. Morality develops in early childhood, William Damon proposed, through the encouragement of prosocial behavior by both peers and parents. Feelings f empathy and encouragement from others, concluded Damon, shape the moral development of early childhood.
  • Global Empathy 5. Martin Hoffman likewise theorized that children have an inborn “global empathy” that supports their moral development. Through this innate empathy, Hoffman contended, children learn to consider what the feelings of others might be and how their actions may affect those feelings.

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Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood. (2018, Jun 17). Retrieved from

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