Childhood and adolescence psychology involves the in-depth study of both psychological and biological changes occurring in an infant from childhood stage until the end of adolescence. The changes occurring the life of children in the course of their development depend not only on the genetic makeup and on inherited traits but also on the environmental factors in which the child is brought up and therefore the general study of the child development adopts the term childhood developmental psychology. Different study designs are in place to facilitate effective study in childhood and adolescence, which includes; longitudinal design entailing the observation of a single entity (in this case a child) over a long period of time, the cross sectional design dealing with a groups of individuals with varying variables of study. The micro genetic design determines the behavioral changes influenced by genetic makeup and traits. While experimental design uses experimental approach to unveil the processes beneath a behavioral change.
Developmental study designs
The study of child development in changes in child’s concept of punishment as influenced by conversation uses a combination of different study approaches including cross sectional study design. According to Bjornberg and Leman, a group of one hundred and thirty three children formed a group of study with equal age of nine and half years (2008, p.958). The group represents a cross section of the entire children population and the results obtained from the sampled group would reflect the developmental changes across the population. In the study of changes in child’s concepts of punishment, the researcher reads a script on moral transgression and allows for discussion among the study group. In essence, the variable of interest in the study is gender and conversation towards fair punishment. The focus of specific variable in the study group involves experimental study design because deductions and experimental conclusions are drawn. From the study by Bjornberg and Leman on child development, gender and conversation are in focus and varied judgments on constituents of fair punishment seen after the study. The variability of the judgments between girls and boys general depend on their genetic compositions hence genetic study design applies. On the other hand, the study unveiled the differences in preference of punishment severity with interaction with others. This was because interaction and conversation with others lead to different ways of thinking and perception of situations leading to varied judgments and preferences of punishment for a period of eight weeks. This exemplified the longitudinal study design in which observation of changes took a relatively longer period of eight weeks.
Concepts of genotype- environment interactions
Child’s genetic makeup can influence subsequent behaviors depending on the environment the child grow up exposed to and this can occur in various correlations including passive, active and evocative correlations. In the case of passive, child’s behavioral characteristics directly reflect the inherited traits and the environment of rising up. Inherited traits play a major role in shaping the child’s behavior. With the active correlation, individuals have a tendency of choosing environmental exposure depending on their inherited traits. For example, sociable and outgoing people may seek different environment as compared to the shy people. In evocative correlation, an inherited trait triggers an environmental response. For example, inherent marital conflicts can create an environment of stress and tension in a marriage.
These factors influence the development of one’s behavior and as for my case, my tendency to be at peace with everybody around depends majorly on the genetic makeup acting through the passive correlation and my inclination to sociable people while avoiding the unsociable depends on the active correlation.
The study of ‘when I was little’
This study on child development by Carole, Hou and Wang (2009, p. 5102), uses the experimental study design in which researchers carry out experiments to determine child’s ability to remember past events in both China and Europe. This study explores the micro ecological system of the children in china and Europe in grade school. In this Canadian school, the children freely interact and therefore the setting provides a micro ecological system in which there is active participation of all the participants and the all exposed to the same experimental procedure of recalling their past events. The setting being in a school provides a good set up because age differences are minimal.
In my opinion, I think the researchers ensured that the data-coding assistant did not know the hypothesis because they wanted to avoid any possible manipulation of the data leading to false findings. Any manipulation of the data would mean biased results and the comparison between the earlier findings and the current finding would not give clear distinction.
The theoretical assumption was that the ability to recall past memories decreased with time and age, with young children showing increased ability to retrieve memories of past events than those older children. The finding of this study remained consistent with this theoretical assumption. Carole et. al, confirms that, “our first hypothesis that children would retrieve a greater number of memories from a later age across all ages and cultures was confirmed” (2009, p. 5180). This signifies consistency of the hypothesis and the findings.
From evolutionary point of view, child amnesia sets in due to upcoming of cultural changes and subsequent adoption of new technology changing behavioral characteristics hence leading to ease forget of the past events. Setting up of these cultural changes and technology change cognition of the child over time hence forgets the past.
This study explicitly respects the cognitive nature of the child as a research right and the researchers are careful not to side step this important right. No victimization of the children based on none remembrance or poor memory.
Child development can take a series of changes depending on the environment and inheritable traits leading to changes in behavior and lifestyle. Due to these factors, different study methods are in place to determine the trend in development of children from childhood to adolescence. These study approaches explicitly exemplify the developmental changes in psychology and therefore gives an insight as to why children behave in a certain manner.
Bjornberg, M., & Leman, P. (2008). Conversation, development and gender: A study of changes in children’s concept of punishment. Child Development, 81(2), 958-959.
Carole, P., Hou, V., & Wang, Q. (2009). “When I was little”: Childhood recollection In Chinese and Europe Canadian Grade School Children. Child Development, 80(2), 506- 518.