Laura Berk's Exploring Lifespan Development

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Paris is a place full of adventure, excitement, and fun. From childhood into adulthood, all those things help to shape us as individuals and aid in the development process. Developmental science, according to the text, Exploring Lifespan Development by Laura Berk is, “a field of study devoted to understanding constancy and change throughout the lifespan” (Berk, 3). Naturalistic observation is one of the most valid ways of studying this field. It enables one to explore and analyze the theories and subjects within the field in an in-depth manner. Berk describes this as, “going into the field or natural environment and recording the behavior of interest” (22). This method of naturalistic observation is most effective when focused on a particular…show more content…
The French family was not nearly as loud and were calm; they seemed to be very happy, relaxed, and the children did not show any signs of distress. The parents in both families had different parenting styles, but were attentive and seemed like they had good intentions in relation to their children’s enjoyment and happiness. The American child’s mother was overprotective and very cautious. By the end of the field trip, everyone in the garden knew her son’s name (OSCAR) due to her screaming it across the park every few minutes. She would not let him out of her sight long enough for him to really play and venture out the way that the French child was able to do. When he would try to explore and follow his boat as all the other children were doing, his mother would interfere by saying, “Oscar come back! Stop, we are in Paris!” The American mother’s parenting correlates with Baumrind’s authoritarian style because she is attentive to her child, but is also so overprotective to the point that she tries to control his behavior. Oscar and his mother display Erickson’s psychosocial stage of development, autonomy vs. shame and doubt perfectly. Oscar’s independence was being limited, which could lead into insecure attachment patterns and ultimately result in a lack of self-esteem into…show more content…
shame and doubt. Oscar’s boat ran into the French child’s boat and he became very distressed and uneasy. The Parisian father came to help with the collision, but Oscar would not interact with him until his mother came and interacted with him first. According to Erickson, that behavior correlates with a shame and doubt. After the receiving confirmation from his mother that it was okay to interact with the Parisian father, the Oscar became more comfortable and active. He did not feel secure enough to interact with the French father independently until his mother reassured him and gave her approval. The boats collided again and the American child said to the French child, “Our boat is in another traffic jam.” After the children got comfortable with each other, they began to play with their boats together, laugh, and talk together. They seemed to be very happy and content with each other and their boats. Of course, the environment that they were in as well as their parents had an effect on them. The amount of attention, love, support, freedom, and affection a child gets from their parent is extremely important to their development. A lack thereof can result in insecure attachment patterns displayed by the child encourage decreased self-esteem and
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