Child Development – a study in Expectations

Can a study of only two people give the same results as Hess’s study of 125 mothers in 1980? By taking two participants and recreating the same experiment, would the results be the same? The same questions were asked in the same manner but reproduced slightly different results. This actually showed a lowering of expectations of aspirations in Child Development.

This could have been due to using a smaller sample. It could also have been due to a general relaxation about the expectations of goals in Child Development. This change in attitude may have been due to the type of participant chosen. One is a father of three, the other an 18 year old female student. Similar types of participants may well have shown parallel results in 1980.IntroductionParental expectation in Child Development can be dependant on cultural beliefs.

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In societies such as Kahalapur in North India, mothers are home all day with their mothers in law and sisters in law. There, they continue to bathe children as old as eleven and to hand feed children of four and five.In another society, Orchard Town, the mothers are again home all day but alone with pre-school children. They teach them early to feed themselves. They also teach self reliance in play and cleanliness habits. However, they may postpone teaching adult skills.

The carers of all young children have broadly the same goals. Social differences may mean they prioritise teaching life skills differently. (Whiting Book one)In the Itrinic forest children are taught life skills by playing ‘grown up’ games. The boys play with miniature bows and arrows, the girls play house. Gradually it will change from a game to real life. Thus they have been trained without realising it.

In 1980 Robert Hess et al did a study on the expectations of American and Japanese mothers of their own children’s development. It was a cross cultural study with 67 mothers living in the US and 58 mothers living in Japan. Each of them had a five year old child who was her first born. Roughly half the children were boys and half girls. Hess designed the developmental expectation procedure that was used in this study.The aim of the study for this assessment was to compare two peoples view of child development.

Firstly, against each other but also against Hess’s study of 1980 and OU study of 1995. Would they reproduce similar results to the 1980 study.MethodDesign The test was a replica of Hess’s 1980 study into child development. Two participants were chosen for the test. Their answers were recorded and compared.Participants.

Participant one, was a 19 year old female student. Participant two, was a 47 year old father of three.Materials There were 29 cards with development goals printed on them. These were piled up. There was an example card with ‘ can brush teeth’ printed on it.

This was placed to one side. There was a paper gird with three boxes drawn on it. One box was marked ‘ before 4 years’. Another, ‘4, or 5 years’. And another ‘over 6 years’.

These were placed on a table. There was a summary data sheet. The development goals were split into six groups. Comprising emotional maturity, compliance, politeness, independence, social skills, and verbal assertiveness.Procedure Before completing this procedure it was tested on a pilot to ensure there would be no problems.

The pilots score is shown alongside the participants scores. Neither participant was shown this before the test. The participants were interviewed separately. They were informed of the BPS ethical code and principles and assured the test would be run under these guidelines. They were told they would be shown some cards with development goals on them. They were informed there were no right or wrong answers.

These were merely their interpretation of what age certain tasks could be achieved. The participants were shown the test card. The card was put in the box the participant thought most appropriate. For example, if the participant thought a child should be able to brush his own teeth at age 4, then the card should be put in the box ‘4 or 5 years’. The participants were then left to complete the test.

No comment was made about any decision unless the participant had a question about the test. Neither participant had access to the others answers. When the participant had finished laying the cards they were sent out for a drink and the cards were then analysed.ResultsUsing the same scoring sheet as Hess, every card in the group before four years scored three. Every card in the group four or five scored two and every card in the six or over group scored one. The scores were then transferred to the Summary Data Sheet (attached as resource C.

) These were totalled and then divided by the number of categories in that group. These were then transferred to Table A (below) for comparison with the Hess test.