icon icon icon icon icon

Taking a Closer Look at Child Development Theories

14.09.2021 | 10:43 am
child psychology Dubai

Child development theories are those that focus on how a child grows and transforms over childhood. These theories are comprehensive and include a broad spectrum of markers such as emotional, social, and cognitive growth. 

These theories came forth within the first half of the twentieth century, through a range of experts known as behaviorists. These skilled individuals have shaped the foundations of child psychology. 

Here are some well-known theories:

Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory

Cognition has to do with the thought process behind a person’s actions and behaviors. It is also an indicator of how these thought processes make us interact with the world around us. Piaget’s idea might seem simple but was a breakthrough in child psychology at the time. He said that “children think differently than adults”. 

His theory included four stages of cognitive development:

-In the sensorimotor stage, occurring from birth to two years old, an infant gains knowledge through simple sensory perceptions and limited motor abilities. 

-The pre-operational stage is for those between 2 to 6 where a child learns the value of language. 

-In the concrete operational stage between 7 to 11, a child has a better grasp on mental and logical problems. However, they still do not understand abstract concepts.

-Formal operational stage occurs from 12 to adulthood, where children learn about abstract concepts and improve logical thought. 

Bowlby’s Attachment Theory

According to this theory, the relationship between a caregiver and a child plays a big role in the social relationships made by the person during adulthood. Bowlby suggested that everyone is born with the basic need of attachment. It’s part of the child’s survival strategy to survive. Caregivers and children tend to do behaviors that need proximity. 

From this theory came another of attachment styles. Those children who receive love and care are more secure in their future relationships, while those who don’t might have an avoidant or disorganized attachment style. 

Bandura’s Social Learning Theory

This theory states that the simple process of conditioning and reinforcement doesn’t form the basis of human learning. Behaviors are also learned through observation. Other’s actions truly influence how and what a child learns. While watching is an important component, so is listening. This is not only true for real individuals such as parents or peers but also for books and films. 

How knowing these theories can help parents

These theories form the fundaments of child psychology and ring true even to this day. The knowledge gained from them can truly help parents understand their children better. For more information or advice, reach out to Neuropedia Neuroscience Centre, Dubai. Call 04 343 1113.