Stages of Development

Critical Thinking Questions

What are some known teratogens, and what kind of damage can they do to the developing fetus?

Hint:

Alcohol is a teratogen. Excessive drinking can cause mental retardation in children. The child can also have a small head and abnormal facial features, which are characteristic of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Another teratogen is nicotine. Smoking while pregnant can lead to low-birth weight, premature birth, stillbirth, and SIDS.

What is prenatal care and why is it important?

Hint:

Prenatal care is medical care during pregnancy that monitors the health of both the mother and fetus. It’s important to receive prenatal care because it can reduce complications to the mother and fetus during pregnancy.

Describe what happens in the embryonic stage of development. Describe what happens in the fetal stage of development.

Hint:

In the embryonic stage, basic structures of the embryo start to develop into areas that will become the head, chest, and abdomen. The heart begins to beat and organs form and begin to function. The neural tube forms along the back of the embryo, developing into the spinal cord and brain. In the fetal stage, the brain and body continue to develop. Fingers and toes develop along with hearing, and internal organs form.

What makes a personal quality part of someone’s personality?

Hint:

The particular quality or trait must be part of an enduring behavior pattern, so that it is a consistent or predictable quality.

Describe some of the newborn reflexes. How might they promote survival?

Hint:

The sucking reflex is the automatic, unlearned sucking motions that infants do with their mouths. It may help promote survival because this action helps the baby take in nourishment. The rooting reflex is the newborn’s response to anything that touches her cheek. When you stroke a baby’s cheek she will naturally turn her head that way and begin to suck. This may aid survival because it helps the newborn locate a source of food.

Compare and contrast the four attachment styles and describe the kinds of childhood outcomes we can expect with each.

Hint:

With the authoritative style, children are given reasonable demands and consistent limits, warmth and affection are expressed, the parent listens to the child’s point of view, and the child initiates positive standards. Children raised by authoritative parents tend to have high self-esteem and social skills. Another parenting style is authoritarian: The parent places a high value on conformity and obedience. The parents are often strict, tightly monitor their children, and express little warmth. This style can create anxious, withdrawn, and unhappy kids. The third parenting style is permissive: Parents make few demands, rarely use punishment, and give their children free rein. Children raised by permissive parents tend to lack self-discipline, which contributes to poor grades and alcohol abuse. However, they have higher self-esteem, better social skills, and lower levels of depression. The fourth style is the uninvolved parent: They are indifferent, uninvolved, and sometimes called neglectful. The children raised in this parenting style are usually emotionally withdrawn, fearful, anxious, perform poorly in school, and are at an increased risk of substance abuse.

What is emerging adulthood and what are some factors that have contributed to this new stage of development?

Hint:

Emerging adulthood is a relatively new period of lifespan development from 18 years old to the mid-20s, characterized as a transitional time in which identity exploration focuses on work and love. According to Arnett, changing cultural expectations facilitate the delay to full adulthood. People are spending more time exploring their options, so they are delaying marriage and work as they change majors and jobs multiple times, putting them on a much later timetable than their parents.