Advances in fertility technology are giving couples the power to choose the sex of their baby. Claudia Kalb discusses the technology and ethics of “sex selection.”
Medical advances in surgical procedures for in utero patients are changing the way people view the earliest stages of life. Due to such improvements in science and medicine, unborn babies are now considered treatable patients, though there are ethical complications as to whether the benefits outweigh the costs.
Psychologists are learning more about infants’ social, emotional, and cognitive skills. New insights come from studying brain development, leading to a more detailed picture of the baby’s mind.
This article describes how developmentally appropriate practice by teachers and parents can enhance children’s brain development. Research is described on how experiences can affect the development of synapses and levels of stress hormones, all to support children’s cognitive, social, and emotional growth.
Our ability to remember early experiences reflects the contributions of different developmental processes. These leading scientists emphasize the roles of culture, narrative, styles of reminiscing, and gender in our ability to recall our early experiences.
The author describes recent research evidence on the role of genes and prenatal hormones in gender identity and gender-related behaviors. These findings help illuminate the interplay between nature and nurture in boys’ and girls’ behavior.
Normal children develop a theory of mind—they learn to understand other people’s feelings and points of view. These scientists describe research on the crucial role of maternal conversation and language interventions to promote children’s understanding of mental states.
Children may be influenced by the images and messages within media, so teaching media literacy in the primary grades may help children develop critical thinking and technological competence. Schiebe describes her work with examples from social studies and language arts in the classroom.
Collaborations between schools and families promote children’s academic performance, and the authors describe research and policy recommendations on such healthy interaction. Involvement is considered in light of socioeconomic, community, and cultural context as well as children’s developmental levels.
After public debate about the challenges girls faced in public education, attention has turned to boys, who receive lower grades and are diagnosed more often with learning disabilities. The author discusses many influences, ranging from temperament, evolution, and the structure of classrooms.
Young children who attend preschool seem to enjoy many later benefits in school readiness. This article addresses socioeconomic factors and legislative actions that influence young children’s preschool involvement.
Some children show resiliency, the ability to develop normally and thrive despite the presence of risk factors in their lives. This article describes factors that are common in resilient children, including heightened sensory awareness and high expectations from others.
Do childhood friendships dictate future success in the social world? Recent research suggests that they do. Interestingly, when examining social development in children, the quality of a friendship does not appear to be an indicator of how much friends influence each other.
Some children are chronically lonely. Research shows this dimension of children’s social development is linked to being rejected and victimized by peers. The authors discuss how loneliness is related to children’s emotional maladjustment and school problems.
Imaginary playmates are common in children’s lives, and they seem to promote development by providing companionship and helping children use their imagination to resolve emotional issues and problem situations.
This psychologist describes how much of children’s gender socialization occurs within same-sex social groups. Interestingly, many sex-related qualities and behaviors emerge within a group setting more than when children are alone.
Although boys are more physically aggressive, girls more commonly engage in relational aggression—verbal and interpersonal aggression. Some schools are developing intervention programs to help girls deal with their interpersonal conflicts.
Bullying involves the repeated exposure to negative actions by one or more peers toward an individual. In the past two decades, a 50 percent increase in the occurrence of bullying has been documented. Leading expert Dan Olweus outlines the typical process involved with bullying and gives supporting data for a prevention program that he has developed over the past 20 years.
Many women struggle to balance the demands of work and family. The author describes national trends and many case studies on the increasing numbers of mothers who choose to stay home rather than be employed.
This distinguished team of leading developmental psychologists summarizes research on parenting related to the interaction of nature and nurture, children’s temperament, and the roles of peers and the neighborhood.
Fathers, like mothers, struggle to balance the competing needs and pressures of work and family. Orecklin provides data on fathers’ values and behaviors and discusses how fathers balance work and home.
This article describes cross-cultural research in many different countries to examine the link between mothers’ use of physical discipline and children’s emotional and behavior adjustment. Cultural values appear to play a role not only in mothers’ use of physical punishment but their children’s response to it.
Parents seem very protective and anxious in raising their children. Hara Marano examines how “over parenting” may create anxiety and depression in children, as parents seem afraid to cut the “eternal umbilical cord.”
The role of siblings in children’s development is often neglected due to the emphasis on parent-child relations. Brody, a prominent scholar, describes research on how siblings affect children’s thinking, language, and social behavior. Brody also explores parents’ differential treatment of siblings as an important aspect of family life.
Poverty is linked to many risk factors in childhood, from family instability and violence to academic difficulties. Poor children are also exposed to more polluted environments and neighborhood crime. The author describes research evidence on the unhealthy impact of poverty, especially the cumulative effect of multiple environment risks.
Children are part of the American consumer culture. The author describes some steps to protect children, including age-appropriate advertising, restricted marketing in schools, and protections of children’s privacy.
Most people assume that only poor children are at-risk for developmental problems. The author describes ample evidence showing the perils associated with wealth—including anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
Psychologists have studied educational television to learn how children learn from it. Recent research has explored children’s viewing in terms of theories of cognitive development as well as children’s attention deficits. New attention is now given to interactive media and the power of Sesame Street to encourage children to eat healthier.
In cases of child sexual abuse, children are often crucial witnesses and informants. Thus, research is necessary to determine if children are accurate reporters of abuse and whether suggestive interviewing misleads them.
Through an anthropological study of the Bari tribe of Venezuela, the American concept of a normal family unit is challenged. Questions of culture and evolution are raised and lead to an intriguing question: Is one father enough?
Many children are now on prescription medications for physical and psychological problems. However, most of these medicines have never been properly tested for use by children. This article describes the views of pediatricians and families on this issues, as well as research and actions by advocacy groups and legislatures.
ADHD is the most common neuropsychiatric syndrome in children. Included in this article are tables outlining