Child Development Theories – What Do Different Child Development Theories Mean

A woman sitting at a table with a toothbrush

The field of psychology is a vast one, containing many different areas of study. There are developmental psychology theories and practices that have been around for decades, but newer ideas about child psychology have been developing since the 1970s. Some of the newer theories in psychology are the result of new research, while others reflect the current state of knowledge. Let’s look at some of the newer development in psychology child development theories.

Individual Development – Child Development Theory

A small child sitting on a table

One of the biggest theories about child development is called Individual Development. It looks at how children vary between environments. For instance, those raised in one parent, one religion, or one culture may do very well in one type of environment, while doing badly in another. There is no simple solution to this particular problem, but there are some common elements. If a child can be raised in a comfortable home setting with positive social interactions, they tend to do better than those who have been subjected to abuse or other kinds of emotional and physical mistreatment.

The goal of most child development theories is to find out why children do the things that they do. Often, the answer lies in their genetic make-up. The environment they grow up in can make a big difference in the course of their life takes them. In other words, children who have been neglected and not given a good role model as children tend to develop unhealthy behavior patterns as adults.

Other Theories About Child Development

A woman sitting on a table

Other theories about child development are based on the idea that certain behaviors are learned, rather than forced. Some people believe that a child will only act according to what they already know. If a child has a great interest in a television program, they may want to watch it when they are young. Yet if they never see that program, it may be hard to motivate them to take part in watching it as an adult.

Many child development experts believe that children are more successful if they are allowed to choose how they act, what they want to learn, and what kind of behavior they will learn. By giving children choices and freedoms, they are more likely to act according to their nature, and not some kind of template set by others. By giving children choices in this area, they become more self-reliant and self-sufficient. In turn, they are better able to handle their feelings, and handle different social situations.

 More Popular Child Development Theories

Behavior modification, another of the more popular child development theories, suggests that children are more likely to behave if they feel as if they can easily change the way they are treated. By treating them as though they can change the way they behave, this allows them to do so. For example, if you tell your child that they must always eat their vegetables or you will leave them alone, they are likely to act the way they need to act. However, by allowing them some freedom to choose what they want to do and how they want to do it, they are more likely to understand that they can change the way they behave to fit in with society.

Summing Up 

There are many more child development theories that you can read and learn about from books or on the Internet. They are all useful in different ways. However, it is up to you as a parent to use what you learn to help your child grow and develop properly. Talk to your child, explain their behavior to them and try to understand how they think.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter