review the information––theories, research, developmental concepts, milestones, and other unique features of this stage

This assignment requires a minimum of 3 (three) hours of observation/meeting of an individual – you can choose any age over the lifespan. The assignment consists of observation, handwritten or typewritten notes, samples of work/activities from the person, any interview/questionnaire/survey/informal discussion information, research background,and a final report about the individual’s development that is observed and learned.

After choosing an age-group to study, you will review the information––theories, research, developmental concepts, milestones, and other unique features of this stage. You will then, based on this information, create a data-collection tool. This tool can be a questionnaire, interview schedule, survey, etc. You will employ this tool to collect the data for your report. You will meet, observe, or interact (as the case may be) with the participant and collect onsite/in-field data. You will then connect this information to the theoretical viewpoints and recent research. You will search for 5 (five) peer-reviewed research articles from professional journals using Library databases. You will integrate the results from these studies and the information from the textbook (at least 5 citations) into your final report. The scholarly articles should have been published within the past 10 years and add value to the discussion of the age group.

Paper Format

  • Length: 3-4 full pages, plus a cover page and reference page.
  • Sources: Textbook, class notes and any additional academic resources.

Grading Criteria

  • 80 pts. – Fulfillment of the assignment objective described above.
  • 20 pts. – Clearly written paper, including an introduction, an organized flow of ideas, a conclusion, appropriate grammar, and spelling. Please remember that we have a Writing Center, within the Academic Skills Center, to assist.2



    Beginning Development in Infancy and

    Implications of Early Emotional and Physical Development

    Susan E. Villalobos

    North Lake College


    Beginning Development in Infancy and

    Implications of Early Emotional and Physical Development

    As an infant enters the world and takes its first breath, what will life be like for them?

    How can we begin to determine what kind of person they will become? Will they be funny,

    smart, happy, troubled, mentally disabled, healthy, unhealthy, etc.? So many variations exist amongst individuals that it becomes a great debate as to how development occurs and contributes to an individual’s uniqueness. The importance of early emotional and physical development in infants is best illustrated through the direct observation and understanding of the interplay of nature vs. nurture.

    First of all, the importance of early emotional development in infants has sparked much debate with regard to the impact of the nature vs. nurture. Santrock (2008) indicates that supporters of heredity being the major proponent in development firmly believe that the basic growth tendencies in children are pre-wired genetically. For example, I met with and observed a three-year old child to examine the basic emotional growth tendencies. In particular, I was interested in examining the personality traits this child exhibited and how much they resembled her parents’ personality traits. The child was very calm and tranquil as she played with her toys. She asked if I wanted to play and was pleased when I said “yes”. The interaction with her was pleasant as we played dolls with one another. In making a case for heredity in personality traits, one must also examine the parents. Incidentally, both parents are calm and even-tempered as well. After examining the child, I see a strong case for these traits being inherited from her parents.

    Equally important, many parents may gaze upon their children and wonder how each child can be so different. When asked about their children’s temperaments, parents frequently remark about extreme personality differences in their children as they come from

    different families (Lamron, 2016). Although many factors play a part in the development of a child’s personality, nature appears to play an integral role in that development. In this case, the child I examined did not have any siblings. It would have been interesting to examine her siblings and see if there were variances in their personalities. Also, with regard to nurture, would the child’s personality have differed from the parent’s personality if she would have had siblings? It cannot be denied that nature plays a huge part in shaping our personalities. However, behavioral genetic research consistently reveals that temperament is genetically influenced (Lamron 2016). Therefore, it leads one to believe that although there is a strong genetic factor with regard to personality, the environment can shape one to acquire or modify traits in which they have inherited.

    Also, with the many other factors that encourage healthy physical development, the dynamic systems theory seeks to explain how growth and development of motor skills takes place in the infant over time. First of all, Santrock (2008) explains that the dynamic systems theory attempts to show how motor skills for perceiving and acting are central to an infant being motivated to act and use perception in order to fine tune their movements. However, it appears that not only having a goal or the need and want for something is the only factor at play. The nervous system, physical properties of the body and environmental support all must be at a mature level in order to progress and improve as illustrated by Santrock (2008). A perfect representation of this theory comes to mind when thinking of a story the parents of the child I observed stated that they had no idea how to encourage her to advance to this stage. It had not occurred to them until the grandparents visited and said “You need to put a toy or something that she wants a few feet away so she has a desire to move.” Sure enough, once they placed one of her favorite toys a few feet away she took off after it. Looking back, I imagine she may have advanced to that level sooner if they had created a goal for her as stated and exemplified in the dynamic systems theory.


    Kamran, F. (2016). Are Siblings Different as ‘Day and Night’? Parents’ Perceptions of Nature vs. Nurture. Journal Of Behavioural Sciences, 26(2), 95-115.

    Santrock, J.W. (2008). Life-span development (11th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw Hill

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