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4: Early Childhood

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    • 4.1: Prelude to Early Childhood
      Overview of the physical growth and development of children between the ages of 2 and 6.
    • 4.2: Brain Maturation
      Development of the brain in early childhood, in terms of brain weight gain and growth in the hemispheres and corpus callosum.
    • 4.3: Motor Skill Development
      Development of motor skills in early childhood, through the avenues of basic locomotive skills, day-to-day activities, and childhood art.
    • 4.4: Toilet Training
      Overview of toilet training, which typically occurs during the first two years of early childhood (24-36 months).
    • 4.5: Sleep
      Recommended daily durations of sleep throughout the early childhood period.
    • 4.6: Sexual Development
      Overview of sexual development in infancy and early childhood.
    • 4.7: Nutritional Concerns
      Malnutrition is not common in developed nations like the United States, yet many children lack a balanced diet. Overview of nutritional concerns in young children, including establishing healthy eating patterns.
    • 4.8: Cognitive Development in Early Childhood
      Introduction to the section on cognitive development in early childhood. Discussion of Piaget's preoperational stage and the characteristics of preoperational thought.
    • 4.9: Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory of Cognitive Development
      Overview of Lev Vygotsky's argument that culture has a major impact on a child’s cognitive development. Contrast between Piaget's and Vygotsky's theories.
    • 4.10: Information Processing
      Information processing research in cognitive development for young children, regarding improvements in attention skills and changes in the capacity and the emergence of executive functions in working memory. Neo-Piagetians and the role played by information processing in their theories.
    • 4.11: Children's Understanding of the World
      Developmentalist research into how young children organize information and develop their own theories about the world. Includes discussion of theory-theory and theory of mind.
    • 4.12: Language Development
      Overview of language development milestones in the early childhood age group. Comparison of the language development skills in monolingual and bilingual children.
    • 4.13: Preschool
      Expected standards for preschool education. Evaluating the effectiveness of Head Start preschool programs in improving learning in young children.
    • 4.14: Autism Spectrum Disorder
      Overview of the characteristics, prevalence rates, and research into the causes of autism spectrum disorder.
    • 4.15: Psychosocial Development in Early Childhood
      Psychosocial development in early childhood, in terms of Erikson's third stage of initiative vs. guilt and the development of self-concept, self-esteem, and self-control.
    • 4.16: Gender
      Discussion of gender identity, gender socialization, and gender roles. Theories of gender development and the topic of transgender children.
    • 4.17: Parenting Styles
      The four parenting styles as proposed by Baumrid, and the role played by culture in which of the styles any particular parent favors. Discussion of the topic of spanking.
    • 4.18: Sibling Relationships
      The unique role played by sibling interactions in the psychosocial development of young children.
    • 4.19: Play
      The role of play in childhood psychosocial development, including Parten's classifications of types of play and interaction with media. Imaginary companions.
    • 4.20: Child Care
      Trends in parental time spent on child care, research into the impact of different child care arrangements on child development, and the ideal qualities of group-based child care arrangements.
    • 4.21: Child Abuse
      Overview of the categories and impacts of child abuse. A more in-depth discussion of the long-term impacts of adverse childhood experiences, including the family separation policy at the U.S. border.
    • 4.C: COVID-19 Impact on Early Childhood
      Impacts of COVID-19 on early childhood, including health aftereffects of infection and adverse childhood experiences created by the pandemic.
    • 4.R: Early Childhood (References)

    THumbnail: Early childhood in action. (Unsplash License; Ben White via Unsplash)

    This page titled 4: Early Childhood is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Martha Lally and Suzanne Valentine-French via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.