Overview of Theories of Child Development Dorothy Stubbe, M.D. Yale Child Study Center Goals and Objectives 1. To review some of the major theories and concepts of normal human development 2. To highlight the utility and limitations of developmental stage theories 3. To utilize vignettes of a normal child to highlight key concepts in child development Outline • Historical Context of views of human development • Developmental Issues • Three Theories of Child Development • Psychoanalytic • Cognitive • Behavioral The measure of a society is its reverence for children -Arnold Gesell 1. The Nature Nurture Debates Three Centuries and Going Strong Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) Innate goodness Maturation Genes John Locke (1632-1704) Tabula rasa Experience Environment Influence of Life Stress on Depression: Moderation by a Polymorphism in the 5-HTT Gene Caspi et al, Science 2003 2. Is Development Continuous? Discontinuity Maturation Distinct stages Continuity Experience Smooth phases 3. Early vs. Late Influences Goodness of Fit Primary Parental Preoccupations Transitional Object Good Enough Mother Behavioral Learning Theories • Classical Conditioning – Pavlov – Watson– fear reaction in little Albert – John Wolpe and systematic desensitization • Operant Conditioning – Thorndike and Law of Effect – BF Skinner and Behaviorism Classical Conditioning • Classical conditioning in practice – Example: fear of doctors after vaccination • Treatments – Extinction (systematic desensitization) – Treatments of fears and phobias Operant Conditioning • Reinforcements • Positive • Negative • Punishment • Clinical Relevance • Sticker charts and positive reinforcements • Behavior plans • Parent management training • Biofeedback • Job satisfaction Important Theorists • Psychodynamic – Sigmund Freud– psychosexual stages – Erik Erikson– epigenic model of developmental stages throughout life – Anna Freud– ego psychology and defense mechanisms Important Theorists • Object relations theory – Winnicott– good enough mother and transitional object – John Bowlby– attachment theory – Margaret Mahler– separation and individuation and rapprochement crisis – Daniel Stern– Interpersonal World of the Infant and 4 senses of self (Emergent, Core, Subjective and Verbal). Cognitive-emotional-and internal development are intertwined Development Matters Gender Matters Learning Objectives: Review 1. How may we advance from the nature-nurture controversy to a deeper understanding of child development? 2. How may understanding three major schools of thought on human development inform our work in child and adolescent psychiatry? 3. Which theories of human development may be most helpful in psychoeducation of a parent on appropriate discipline techniques?