Sample Psychology Research Paper on Child Psychology

Introduction

Child development encompasses the emotional, biological and psychological changes that happen to an individual from birth to the end of adolescence. As such, Kids grow up, in particular, cultural, social, physical, historical and economic circumstances that influence their lives in positive or negative ways (Papalia, Olds & Feldman, 2002). Equally, it is evident that the socio-cultural setting of children can have great effects on their growth. Consequently, Nature refers to every evolutionary factor that have influenced and shaped the genetics that individuals inherit from their ancestors and parents. For instance, the color of my eyes and hair are similar to those of my mother, I have great verbal skills like my father and I am of the same height as my mother. On the other hand, Nurture denotes everything that influences people since they began to grow or various environmental factors that affect individuals since they were conceived. As such, there are various positive environmental factors that helped me enhance my genetic potential for logical thinking, fast processing of information, and excellent memory. Finally, a child’s psychology development depends on both nature and nurture factors like teachers, parents, inherited genes, siblings, peers/friends, culture and society (Montgomery, 2011).

How Nature and Nurture Contributed to My Development

All aspects of my behavior development have always been affected by both nurture and nature, operating together. Similarly, I usually study all my behavior in relation to both nurture and nature because they always interact as well as work together. In reality, nature determines and influences a wide range of my potentials as a human being. Equally, nurture has influenced the way that I have actualized my potential through being hindered or helped by bad or good environmental inputs. Additionally, I am a biological organism, and my genes are continuously decoding data for the various chemicals that constitute my brain and body (Montgomery, 2011). For instance, I have got family genetics that offer me a big advantage in enhancing my verbal intelligence. However, I am also affected by various environmental inputs in the name of nurture to the extent that they hurt or help me in ways that my genes cannot control or predict. Hence, as a child my parents gave me a good diet, and they allowed me to exercise a lot in order to develop a healthy brain (Montgomery, 2011). Equally, I am raised in a family that encourages me to continue with my verbal skills because my parents are good in communicating. Furthermore, my parents raised me in an exciting environment so as to stimulate my mind. For example, they always placed me in cribs with numerous stimulating toys and they spend hours interacting and playing with me. As a result, the mental stimulation activated my brain cells as my logical skill developed, and I became intelligent (Junn & Boyatzis, 2013).

How Cognition has changed across My Lifespan

Cognition refers to the process through which people learn about the globe as well as the objects found in it (Piaget, 1972). For this reason, individuals tend to comprehend the connection between these objects and the world. At the age of two to four years, I was very active and involved myself in various creative activities including drawing and comprehending models, simple maps, and photographs. Additionally, I was able to tell the distinction between non-living and living objects. At the age of four to seven, I recognized the repercussions of transformations in situations that were familiar. Four years later, I was able to read mental states of people and their beliefs. Equally, I managed to suppress response that I perceived inappropriate. Similarly, I was able to think in a logical and more organized way whenever I came across any tangible information. I also managed to navigate environments that were familiar, provide clear directions and comprehend the connection between objects. However, as an adolescent, I can think abstractly in distinct situations.

In light of the above, my cognition has been influenced by distinct factors and circumstances.  Some of them have occurred spontaneously and frequently as a result of my interaction with peers, conversation with my parents, siblings and other children while playing out in the field.  As a consequence of these interactions, I have gained a wide range of skills such as language skills, problem-solving skills, logical and scientific reasoning, and academic achievement. Cognitive theorists such as Piaget (1972), contend that children are conceived with innate potential for rational thinking. These potential is enhanced by children interacting with their environment. For instance, as a child and an adult, I assimilate information via the senses and process it. As my cognitive abilities advanced, my spiritual, moral and language abilities equally advanced. During my childhood years, I could not fluently speak English, but as an adult I have good communication skills that have developed through the years. Besides, as I interacted with other young children, I became increasingly aware that people hold distinct views regarding religion and other issues in the society (Vygotsky, 1962).

How My Educational Environment Helped and Hindered My Learning Pre-K through High School

At Pre-K, I found learning with other young kids extremely complex as it was embedded in relationships. However, the learning relationship provided me with level ground to construct meaning about the world, others, and about self. Teachers often utilize their content knowledge and child development knowledge to evaluate, implement and design experiences that enhance learning and optimal development for all school going children (Vygotsky, 1962). Their utilization of observations by thoroughly comprehending children communities, cultures and families helps in the learning process. For instance, at Pre-K, my tutor enhanced my critical thinking, problem-solving skills, social and academic competence within a challenging and supportive environment. Despite the challenging learning experiences, I learned to be a competent and confident learner.

In fact, a supportive, safe and healthy environment both at Pre-K and high school helped me learn in a very powerful way. For instance, through this environment, I was encouraged to be more inquisitive, innovative, and a risk taker. Besides, such learning environment encourages leadership competencies because dedicated, excellent and competent tutors want to offer their services in such conditions (Montgomery, 2011). However, some school environments hinder an individual learning ability. For instance, schools located in places where gang members dominate and frighten both teachers and students. For instance, some teachers might not be willing to discipline kids for fear of being attacked, or their cars destroyed. Equally, students do not freely participate in sports with other neighborhood schools because they need security guards to escort them to the sports event. Such a place hinders an individual learning capacity. To make a school a safe place to enhance learning requires a constant and thoughtful attention to safety and security of facilities. As such, schools need to have clear procedures and policies for staff and student’s conduct, as well as effective and frequent communication with the school community, and families (Montgomery, 2011).

My learning was also hindered by students whose primary objective was to inflict physical and psychological harm through bullying, harassment and intimidation. However, the school administration did everything to ensure that this habit was not practiced by students. For instance, the school administration enhanced safety on playgrounds, bus stops, in classrooms, hallways and lunch rooms. Social exclusion, hateful language and teasing not only hindered my learning, but also my psychological well-being and physical adjustment.

How My Language Development Intertwined With My Cognitive and Social Development

My language development greatly depended on my social development. Theorists such as Piaget (1932) and Vygotsky (1962) perceive language development as complex relations between the environment and the child. The interaction is often influenced by cognitive and social development. My language development was enhanced by my constant communication with those who were around me including parents, peers and teachers. My mother was influential in my language development. She thought me how to spell various words and to construct sentences using those words. Equally, my siblings influenced my language development in a positive way as I could imitate how they spoke, and repeat what they said.

The roles of Parents, Siblings, Peers/Friends, and Society in My Development

Parents

My parents influenced me in a positive manner because they were accepting, demanding, responsive and they emphasized in interacting and discussing issues with me. As a result, they influenced my development directly based on the genes that I inherited from them. The genes I got from my parents made me develop hair color, eye color, body shape, temperament, and complexion that are similar to those of my parents.  Additionally, my identity and personality traits are significantly influenced by genes and environmental factors including my parents. Moreover, there are three primary types of attachment children have with their parents: ambivalent, avoidant, and secure (Papalia, Olds & Feldman, 2002). Therefore, as a child I exhibited secure attachment to my parents because I used to be upset when my parents left but when they returned I would be happy. As such, a child with secure connection with his/her parents is more empathetic, resilient, curious, and has got a greater self-esteem (Papalia, Olds & Feldman, 2002). Furthermore, the interactions between my parents and I have influenced the temperament that I have. Equally, my parents influence on the development of my personality helped me to enhance my behavioral and emotional self-regulation. Consequently, I have high standards of moral reasoning because my parents influenced my moral development in a positive way. My parents taught me to behave and act in an ethical manner as well as being able to distinguish between bad and good acts. Hence, when my parents noticed any negative behavior they always intervened by correcting the behavior or disciplining me with the intention of helping me to internalize moral principles. Finally, most parents influence their children’s motives, personality, values attitudes as well as how they interact with their peers (Junn & Boyatzis, 2013).

Siblings

My elder sibling engaged in helping, caregiving, teaching, and leadership roles while at home. As the second born, I grew up imitating or learning from the actions of my elder sibling. Equally, I found myself speaking the same way my elder sibling spoke and I could act like him when playing. As a result, my elder sibling influenced my language, actions, and the way I reacted to issues at home. Similarly, when my parents were not at home, my elder sibling would take care of me. Consequently, I became more socially, linguistically, and cognitively competent during my early years. Furthermore, I started to take an active role in the interactions between my siblings as I was the one who always initiated more games. Through interacting with my brother I was able to learn how to manage disagreements, how to interact with other kids, and I was able to manage both negative and positive emotions (Montgomery, 2011).

 

 

Peers/Friends

The relationship with my peers gave me a great opportunity for enhancing my interpersonal skills, gaining support, and learning cooperation. During my adolescent years, I was comfortable to share my issues with my peers because they were significant sounding boards to me. Equally, I could resolve my internal conflicts once I discussed my problems with my peers without arousing guilt or anxiety. Additionally, my friends respected my competencies, hence allowing me to cultivate an identity based on my skills, especially social and athletic ones. Furthermore, the peers that I have in social institutions offer me with personal and practical guidance regarding behavior and relationships in general. Similarly, my peers have shaped my attributes and behavior in a positive way because they are always critical and honest when evaluating me. I was able to develop my compromise and cooperation skills while I interacted with my peers (Junn & Boyatzis, 2013). Likewise, I have experienced issues to do with perspective-taking, competition, altruism, and empathy while socializing with my peers.

I have many friends that have assisted me to develop an understanding about self-esteem and self-definition. Moreover, getting along with my friends has enabled me to develop my social skills and enhance my rational conscience. Currently, my scale of values has developed, and I can distinguish between positive and negative social attitudes. Finally, my peers have made to appreciate my self-worth and self-esteem; hence I can now explore and develop my strengths. Nonetheless, I have met some peers who have influenced me in a negative manner through peer pressure. For instance, some peers would pressure me to engage in vices like drinking alcohol, vandalism, drug use and other risky behaviors. Nonetheless, I was able to avoid and deal with such pressures, and I am currently focused on my strengths so as to achieve my academic goals (Junn & Boyatzis, 2013).

Conclusion

I grew up in a society where people were being differentiated in terms of biological, gender and race differences. As such, the gender ideology created a culture of stereotyped roles of women and men in society. Hence, I grew up knowing that accessing resources, level of societal participation, hierarchy and social position were determined by an individual’s gender. Equally, social institutes like the family, caste systems or religious systems; legal and political structures; educational and economic institutions as well as the mass media influence people’s growth in various ways (Montgomery, 2011). The institutions mentioned above gave me different meanings and understandings about gender, love, politics, and religion. As a result, I can use the various aspects of society to improve on my strengths and focus on my studies knowing that I understand who I am. Furthermore, peers, parents, the society and my siblings influenced my development in a great way. As such, all aspects of my behavior development have always been affected by both nurture and nature, operating together.

 

References

Junn, E., & Boyatzis, C. (2013). Child Growth and Development 13/14. Dushkin Pub Group.

Montgomery, H. (2011). An Introduction to Childhood: Anthropological Perspectives on Children’s Lives. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Papalia, D. E., Olds, S. W., & Feldman, R. D. (2002). A Child’s World: Infancy through Adolescence (9th Ed.). New York, NY:  McGraw-Hill.

Piaget, J. (1932). The Moral Judgment of the Child. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.