Topic 4 – Short-Essay Questions

Instructions: Complete the following short essay questions. While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. Use the textbook and additional resources to complete the assignment and to support responses. Submit this worksheet at the end of Topic 4.

1. Compare and contrast behavioral, social-cognitive, and cognitive theories of development.

2. Using ethological theory, explain why insecurely attached babies will probably have more relationship problems in life compared to securely attached children.

3. Compare and contrast Piaget’s first three stages of cognitive development.

4. Use Baumrind’s theory to show how parenting styles and discipline intersect.

5. Compare and contrast how preschoolers and school-aged children cope with divorce. Examine the best options for custody.

6. Using physical and cognitive arguments, explain how adolescence and emerging adulthood differ from each other.

7. Explain how Baumrind’s theory can be used to stave off some of the problems of adolescence, including teenage pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, and substance abuse.

8. Using the theories of Erikson, Marcia, and Ginsberg, explain how an adolescent and an emerging adult can be guided toward selecting a suitable career.

Behavioral, social-cognitive, and cognitive theories of development all attempt to explain how individuals develop over time. Behavioral theory focuses on how behaviors are learned through reinforcement and punishment. Social-cognitive theory emphasizes the role of social experiences in shaping behavior and cognition, particularly the importance of observational learning and modeling. Cognitive theory, on the other hand, focuses on the development of mental processes, such as attention, memory, problem-solving, and reasoning. While these theories share some similarities, they differ in terms of the aspects of development they prioritize, the factors they believe are most important in shaping development, and the interventions they suggest for supporting development.

Ethological theory suggests that attachment between infants and caregivers is an innate and adaptive response to ensure the survival and safety of the child. Secure attachment leads to the development of a secure base from which the child can explore the environment, whereas insecure attachment can lead to a sense of anxiety and mistrust that may interfere with the child’s ability to form positive relationships later in life. Insecurely attached babies may be less likely to seek support from others when they need it, and they may be more likely to experience conflict and difficulty in forming trusting relationships in adulthood.

Piaget’s first three stages of cognitive development are the sensorimotor stage (0-2 years), the preoperational stage (2-7 years), and the concrete operational stage (7-11 years). In the sensorimotor stage, infants develop the ability to coordinate sensory input with motor actions and form simple mental representations. In the preoperational stage, children become increasingly able to use symbols to represent objects and ideas but struggle with logical reasoning and understanding of conservation. In the concrete operational stage, children become capable of more sophisticated logical reasoning and conservation, but they may still struggle with abstract or hypothetical thinking.

Baumrind’s theory of parenting styles suggests that parents can be characterized as authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, or uninvolved based on the degree of control and warmth they provide to their children. Discipline strategies, such as punishment or rewards, can be used in conjunction with parenting style to reinforce desired behavior or discourage unwanted behavior. For example, an authoritative parent may use positive reinforcement and logical consequences to guide their child’s behavior, whereas an authoritarian parent may rely on punishment and harsh discipline to control their child’s behavior.

Preschoolers and school-aged children may experience divorce differently. Preschoolers may struggle with changes in routine and may experience anxiety or regression in behavior, whereas school-aged children may have a better understanding of the situation but may feel anger or sadness about the loss of their family unit. Custody arrangements should prioritize the best interests of the child, taking into account their emotional and developmental needs. Joint custody arrangements that prioritize consistency and stability may be the most effective option.

Adolescence and emerging adulthood are two distinct developmental stages. Adolescence typically refers to the period of development from roughly 10 to 18 years of age, whereas emerging adulthood refers to the period from 18 to the mid-20s, characterized by increased independence and exploration of identity. Physical changes, such as puberty, are a hallmark of adolescence, whereas emerging adulthood is marked by greater cognitive complexity and increased engagement in career planning and decision-making.

Baumrind’s theory of parenting can be used to promote positive outcomes in adolescence by emphasizing the importance of warmth, clear communication, and appropriate levels of control. Parents who adopt an authoritative parenting style may be more likely to promote positive outcomes in their adolescent children, such as lower rates of substance abuse and delinquent behavior. By establishing clear rules and boundaries while also providing support and guidance, parents can help their children navigate the challenges of adolescence.

Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development suggests that adolescents and emerging adults are