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THE PHYSICAL SELF: DEVELOPMENT OF THE BRAIN, THE BODY,

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Title: THE PHYSICAL SELF: DEVELOPMENT OF THE BRAIN, THE BODY,


1
THE PHYSICAL SELF DEVELOPMENT OF THE BRAIN, THE
BODY, MOTOR SKILLS
2
Physical Development
  • In the 1st few months, children grow nearly an
    ounce each day and an inch each month
  • First two years marked by rapid growth.
  • Doubling their birth weight by 4 to 6 months.
  • Tripling their birth weight by the end of their
    1st yr. of life (21 pounds).
  • Growth is rapid but irratic.
  • Children may stagnate in growth for days or even
    weeks before experiencing a growth spurt (over
    centimeter in a day).
  • By age 2, toddlers already have half their
    eventual adult height and have quadrupled their
    birth weight to some 30 pounds
  • From age 2 until puberty, children gain about 2
    to 3 inches in height and 6 to 7 pounds in weight
    each year

3
Changes in Body Proportions
  • A newborns head is 70 of its eventual adult size
    and represents ¼ of the infants length
  • Cephalocaudal Development
  • Trunk grows fastest during the 1st year
  • At 1yr, the head accounts for 20 of total body
    length
  • Proximodistal Development
  • During prenatal development, chest and internal
    organs form 1st followed by arms legs and then
    hands feet
  • Throughout infancy and childhood, arms legs
    continue to grow faster than hands and feet

4
Skeletal Development
  • Skeletal structure starts as soft cartilage
    during prenatal and gradually hardens
    (Ossification).
  • Discuss Epiphysis (growth centers where new
    cartilage is formed.
  • This is why infants cannot initially set up or
    balance themselves
  • Neonates skull consists of several soft bones
    that can be compressed to allow for the passing
    thru cervix and birth canal
  • Skull bones are separated by 6 soft spots called
    fontanelles
  • By age 2, these soft spots solidify leaving
    smaller seams (sutures) which allow the skull to
    expand as the brain grows larger
  • Bones in ankle/feet and wrist/hand increases as
    child matures
  • Skeletal age is often determined thru x-ray of
    hands/feet to examine bone density and
    interconnections
  • Girls mature faster than boys (This may explain
    why girls tend to be healthier and more resistant
    to illnesses)
  • African-American children develop faster than
    Caucasian children --At birth, girls are 4 to 6
    wks ahead of boys regarding skeletal maturity by
    age 12, the maturity gap widens 2 full years
  • Bones in skeletal system grow and harden at
    different rates
  • Skull and hands mature first leg bones reach
    mature development in late teens
  • In general, mature skeletal development occur by
    age 18

5
Skeletal Development Cont.
  • While children grow and develop at different
    rates, the best predictor of maturity is skeletal
    development.

6
Presence of Teeth
  • In general, infants get their first tooth around
    6 months to a year. However,
  • There are differences as a function of gender and
    ethnicity.
  • Because girls mature faster than boys and
    African-Americans mature faster than Caucasian
    infants. Both groups tend to get their first
    tooth earlier
  • In some cases, children are born with their first
    tooth
  • By age 2, children generally have all 20 of their
    primary teeth

7
Muscular Development
  • Neonates are born with all the muscle fibers they
    will ever need
  • At birth, muscle tissue is 35 water (later
    replaced by nutrients and salts) accounting for
    18 to 24 of the babies weight
  • Muscle development proceeds in Cephalocaudal and
    Proximodistal manner. Muscles in head and neck
    maturing faster than muscles in trunk and limbs
  • With growth spurts in muscles, boys make
    significant gains in strength and size
  • Variations in physical growth depends on genes
    and cultural practices
  • People from Asia, South America, Africa tend to
    be smaller than North America, North Europe, and
    Australia

8
Development of the Brain
  • Brain grows from 25 of its adult weight at birth
    to 75 of adult weight by age 2.
  • The last 3 prenatal months and the first 2 years
    after birth are termed the period of the brain
    growth spurt (more than half of brains weight
    added at this time).
  • The brain function consists of a trillion
    specialized cells that transmit
    exectrical/chemical signals.
  • Synapses
  • Neurons100 to 200 billion cells produced in
    neural tube during 2nd trimester
  • Glial2nd type of nerve cell that provide
    nourishment and encasement to neurons

9
Cell Differentation and Synaptogenesis
  • Neurons assume specialized functions as they
    migrate to certain areas of the brain
  • Synaptogenesis
  • As neurons become more specialized, the
    interconnections forms to provide for reasoning
    and problem-solving
  • Through appropriate stimulation, children develop
    appropriate synapses. Neurons that fail to
    interconnect (about half) fail to surviveThis is
    the pruning process
  • An infants brain exhibits high plasticity
    (capability of change and adaptation). As we get
    older, brain cells become more rigid and
    inflexible
  • Much research seems to suggest that early
    experiences (both in humans and animals) play a
    vital role toward brain formation.
  • Maximal development for certain talents are
    related to sensitive periods where environmental
    stimulation is necessary for brain formation

10
Cerebral Lateralization
  • The brain divides into left and right
    hemispheres.
  • Left side/brain controls right side/body and
    contains centers for speech, hearing, verbal
    memory, decision making, language, and expression
    of positive emotions
  • Right side/brain control left side of body and
    contains centers for processing visual-spatial
    information, nonlinguistic sounds such as music,
    touch sensations, and expression of negative
    emotions
  • 90 of adults are left hemisphere dominant
  • Brain lateralization was initially thought to
    occur by end of puberty.
  • Recent research identifies prenatal
    lateralization
  • Brain lateralization/plasticity remain quite high
    for the first 3 years of life. Gradually
    diminishes with age.

11
Motor Development
  • By the end of the first month, most babies can
  • Lift their chins while lying flat on stomach
  • Lift their chests
  • Reach for objects
  • Roll over and sit up with some support.
  • Motor develop has been used as a predictor for
    long-term developmental outcomes in the past
  • More recent research suggest that variations in
    motor gains do not significantly predict
    long-term developmental outcomes
  • (See Table 5.1 on page 152 for sequence of motor
    development).

12
Explanations for Sequencing and Early Timing of
Early Motor Development
  • Maturational viewpoint Biological/genetic
    blueprint determines the sequence of nervous and
    muscular system development (Downward/Outward).
  • Cross cultural studies have indicated consistent
    developmental patterns.
  • Twin study in which one child allowed to practice
    motor skills while the other not allowed to
    practice. Upon testing, no long-term significant
    adjustment outcomes.
  • Experiential viewpoint Experience/practice
    becomes vital towards facilitating motor
    development.
  • Several studies have noted cultural differencies
    in motor development due to child rearing
    practices.
  • Iranian study (children spend 1st 2 yrs lying on
    backs in cribs/feeding, little playmotor
    development significantly impacted. Delayed in
    talking, sitting up, walking. 15 of the 3 to 4
    year olds could walk.
  • Dynamical Systems Theory viewpoint Motor
    development is an active reorganization of
    previously mastered capabilities that are
    adjusted due to environmental exploration and
    curiosity dev.

13
Goldfield Study (1989)
  • Infants emergence to crawling around 7 to 8
    months.
  • Regularly turned and raised their heads to
    interesting sights and sounds
  • Developed distinct schemes for reaching and
    grasping
  • Developed distinct schemes (leg thrust movements)
    to allow for greater mobility
  • Infants development is goal directed
  • While highly dependent of maturation and
    influenced by experiences, the child is actively
    navigating and engaging the environment and
    developing more complex schemes/talents in the
    process of constructing his/her understanding of
    the world

14
Fine Motor Development
  • Birth 3 months
  • Innate and primitive reflexes (palmer grasp)
    evolve into more voluntary motor
    movements/reaching (around 2 months).
  • 3 months
  • Refined fine motor skills and improved grasping
  • Refined hand-eye coordination
  • 4-5 months
  • Refined ability to sit up and move their hands
    across their bodies.
  • Develop hand to hand movements during
    transferring of objects and development of ulnar
    grasp (grasping of objects by pressing fingers to
    palm.
  • 6 months
  • Pincer grasp develops (ability to use thumbs to
    counter the strength of fingers).
  • Refined grasping techniques facilitates changes
    in play and exploration.
  • Wheeled toys (once banged) are likely to be
    scooted soft objects are likely to be squeezed.

15
Fine Motor Development Cont.
  • As children get older, greater development of
    fine motor skills.
  • Parents and teachers facilitate development thru
    play/creativity with crayons, blocks, markers,
    etc.
  • Kids have yet to master speed with fine and gross
    motor skills….Therefore, 2 to 3 yr olds may still
    have difficulty catching and throwing a ball.

16
Exploring the New Environment
  • As children develop greater awareness of their
    competencies, they are truly experiencing a new
    environment.
  • Children Explore….Parents Childproof.
  • Children on the move……..Parents in Pursuit.
  • Motor develop facilitates development across
    other domains
  • Children with greater mobility are better able to
    explore relationships with other people.
  • Greater confidence due in part to their ability
    to retreat when they feel appropriate.
  • Children explore people as well as objects.

17
Role of Nutrition in Infancy
  • Deficiencies in nutrition during infancy can
    permanently stunt development, particularly in
    brain functioning and development
  • Breast feeding remains the healthiest option for
    ensuring infants obtain proper nutrients.
    Advantages are as follows
  • Correct balance of fat and protein. Human milk
    have higher fat content/lower protein. Essential
    for brain development/ mylenization/ nervous
    system.
  • Nutritional Completeness. Human milk has all
    that a child needs (1st 6 months). If bottle
    feeding, you need iron supplementation
  • Protection against diseases. Breast feed babies
    develop greater resistance against disease.
    Receive antibodies from mom
  • Protection against malocclusions tooth decay.
  • Digestibility. Different bacteria growth in
    body less constipation and diarrhea
  • Smoother transition to solid foods. Breast fed
    babies make a smoother transition to solid foods.
    Due in part to a greater variety of experience
    in taste thru mothers milk.

18
Nutrition/Breast feeding Cont.
  • Breast feeding declined in the United States from
    1940s to 1970s.
  • The natural childbirth movement in the late 70s
    brought a return to breast feeding in US.
  • Today, 2/3 of mothers breastfeed.
  • Generally practiced among the well-educated and
    middle social class mothers.
  • Babies, from poverty-strickened areas, who are
    breastfed are more likely to be healthy and
    survive their first year.
  • Babies breast fed exclusively for the first 6
    months would save the lives of 1 million babies
    annually (Grant, 1995).
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