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PSY 375 Infancy and Early Childhood Development Paper.

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R u n n i n g H e a d : I N F A N C Y A N D E A R L Y C H I L D H O O D D E V E L O P M E N T
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Infancy and Early Childhood Development
Name
PSY 375
January 17, 2011
Instructor

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   
Infancy and Early Childhood Development
All aspects of development begin in infancy and continue throughout one’s entire
lifetime. Some believe that infants and young children are greatly influenced by their
surrounding environment. Early in life, cognitive and social aspects of development are shaped
and molded quite easily. Language and speech, perception, and motor skills are also influenced
early in a child’s life. Parents and family members play a large role in a young child’s life, which
is why they also have a significant impact on the child’s development. As a young child reaches
school age, he or she will also begin to adapt to an educational atmosphere, which will in turn
affect his or her cognitive development and social skills.
Family Influences
After a baby is born the brain begins to go through developmental changes as a result of
both heredity and experience. Early childhood experiences can be split into two categories,
experience-expectant and experience-dependent. Expectant experiences include common and
somewhat universal experiences shared by most babies. This can include experiences such as
love from parents or families, perception of surrounding objects, and recognizing facial
expressions (Berger, 2008). Dependent experiences are less universal and more individualized
depending on the infant’s environment and surroundings. Different cultures and family belief
systems come into play in dependent experiences. It is the experience-dependent aspects of
development that create diversity among infants and young children.
An infant’s parents or caregivers are significant in his or her early stages of development.
If an infant is raised in a neglectful atmosphere, he or she may experience lasting damage as a

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