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Cognitive Development

Nature vs. Nurture

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It Takes Genes, But Other Means Reap Benefits

The environment in which a child is raised in plays a crucial role in his or hers cognitive development. If a child is exposed to early stimulation, he or she benefit from early development. Everyone goes through stages of cognitive development; however, environment can help to ensure the process. In my project, a few of the children referred to colleges, which makes perfect sense becaues Boston is a college town. In the studies that follow, each show that environment plays a crucial factor in cognitive development.

Children's cognitive skill development in Britain and the United States
 
Objective
 
Compare the differences of cognitive development of children raised in Britain and the United States via vocabulary, reading, mathematics, and memory of words and numbers.
 
Children and Age
 
Childhood (birth-12 yrs) (100)
Preschool Age (2-5 yrs) (160)
School Age (6-12 yrs) (180)
Adolescence (13-17 yrs) (200)
 
Tests Performed
 
McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities
Peabody Individual Achievement Test--Revised
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
 
Results
 
- Children aged 5-9 years in Britain outperform their US counterparts on reading 
   and mathematics tests
- Children aged 10-14 years show far few differences
 
Explanation
- There is an earlier age of entry for formal schooling in Britain.
 
(Michael, 2003)

Child Care in Poor Communities: Early Learning Effects of Type, Quality, and Stability
 
Objective
 
Exam cognitve development of young children in poor communities by allowing them to spend more hours early childhood programs and in center care outside of parental care.
 
Children and Age
 
Childhood (birth-12 yrs) (100)
Infancy (2-23 mo) (140)
Preschool Age (2-5 yrs) (160)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older) (300)
 
Test Performed
 
Bracken Basic Concept Scale
Child Behavior Checklist
Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale
Family Day Care Rating Scale
Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment
MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test
 
Results
 
- Studies show positive effects of high-quality center-based care on children's cognitive growth.
- Children also display stronger cognitive growth when caregivers are more sensitive and responsive, and stronger social development when providers have education beyond high school
- Children in family child care homes show more behavioral problems but no cognitive differences.
 
Explanation
  
- Children are given the opportunity to ingage in environments they would otherwise be neglected.
- Poor communities lack opportunities and encouragement
 
(Loeb, Frueller, Sharon, & Carrol, 2004)

Developmental Psychology PY241
Dr.Harris
TF: Dr.Cara Diyanni
Spring 2006
Vy Vy Vu