October 7, 2013
Information regarding child growth comes from many sources. Theorists Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Lawrence Kohlberg, and Erik Erikson help understand developmental growth emotionally, mentally, and physically through each one's theory. The stages of development include early childhood (two to six years), middle childhood (six to 12 years), and adolescence (12 to 18 years) (StateUniversity.com, 2013). The definitions are similar from one researcher to the next although the ages may vary. For example, researchers usually define early childhood with the age group of two to six yet in the United States the age ranges from two to five because formal schooling begins at the age of five in the United States. "The definitions of these stages are organized around primary tasks of development in each stage, though the boundaries of these stages are malleable" (StateUniversity.com, 2013, par. 2).
The developmental changes evolve more slowly in the early childhood stages as compared to infancy. Physical changes include the loss of "baby fat," the legs become longer and thinner, and they move around with improved dexterity (Landers, 2013). Parents notice that their children begin to talk incessantly using complete sentences. Children at this age listen intently to interesting stories. In early childhood, preschoolers become possessive with their belongings or with an object that they are playing with, asserting their rights by the "mine" theory. If they possess a strong sense of self, they are more capable of reasoning and cooperating in resolving a dispute (Berk, 2010). Physical changes correspond to the changes in cognitive, language, and social behaviors (Landers, 2013). Physical changes also take into consideration heredity factors and environmental forces. An example of environmental issues affecting the growth of a child is the failure to thrive...