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Exploring Lifespan Development: Child Perspectives Term Paper

Article Description

Mesman, van Ijzendoorn, and Bakermans-Kranenburg are the authors of the article about parental sensitivity and its role in the establishment of family relationships and child development. The peculiar feature of this work is the author’s attention to ethnic minority families and the challenges they have to deal with regularly. Child development is a process that cannot be stopped or neglected. In this article, child development is discussed from the behavioral perspective in psychology. The investigations of Mary Ainsworth proved that material sensitivity played a crucial role in child development and promoted positive outcomes (Mesman, van Ijzendoorn, & Bakermans-Kranenburg, 2013). However, it is suggested not to use material sensitivity as the only concept for consideration in child development discussions, but try to take into consideration environmental changes, different behavioral models, and the needs of children, parents, and families.


The purpose of the article under consideration is to examine the effects of parental sensitivity on children aged between 0 and 5 years in ethnic minority families. It is expected to define mean-level differences with majority parents and investigate the possible impact of socioeconomic factors on child outcomes (Mesman et al., 2012). The authors identify the connection between child behavior, family characteristics, and cultural factors. In addition, parental sensitivity is discussed in terms of family stress that may be caused by low incomes, single parenting, or teenage pregnancies.

Article Type

The authors of the article use a systematic literature review as the main research method. There are two hypotheses that have to be discussed in this study. On the one hand, the “no group difference” hypothesis is used to prove that despite the existing mean-level differences in human behaviors and cultures, culturally specific experiences cannot determine developmental processes (Mesman et al., 2012). On the other hand, there is the “group differences” hypothesis in terms of which the connection between family characteristics and child behavioral problems can be proved (Mesman et al., 2012). The chosen systematic literature review helps to evaluate several observational studies to clarify when parental sensitivity cannot be neglected and has to be supported by all family members and researchers.


With the help of the chosen research method, the authors are able to find little evidence for cultural explanations for child development. However, parental sensitivity is proved as a significant issue in positive child development that occurs in ethnic minority families. In this type of family, a low level of sensitivity is observed. It is explained by the presence of constant stressors and the inability to recognize child problems on time. Children’s well-being may be improved in case certain interventions to reduce family stress and enhance parental sensitivity are developed.


This article can be used in future research as a significant contribution to an understanding of parental relationships that are demonstrated in families with some socioeconomic problems. For example, there is an idea that the positive involvement of fathers, as well as the high quality of mother-father relationships, may reduce the number of negative outcomes in child development (Mesman et al., 2012). Positive sibling relationships can protect children in different ways, and the findings of this article that are supported by more than 20 studies can be used to promote new research and definite interventions.

Important Lessons

There are several important lessons that can be learned about the content of the article. First, the authors demonstrate how to establish and achieve research goals relying on the available material. Second, the authors show that there can be millions of studies on a similar topic, and it is necessary to make a right and properly weighted choice and stick to it during the whole writing process. Finally, the content of the article is helpful due to the identification of the main problems and challenges that may be observed in ethnic minority families and change a child’s developmental process. The psychology of a child is a complex issue, and an understanding of external factors in positive development is required.

Appropriateness to Developmental Psychology

This article fits into the overall field of developmental psychology in several ways. First, Berk (2013) explains that the quality of caregiving has to be properly identified in all families. Sensitive caregiving promotes the protection and security of all children. Second, Berk (2013) talks a lot about socioeconomic status in child development. This article focuses on this factor and defines the main outcomes of financial aspects in children’s development. Finally, stressful situations and factors in families are discussed by numerous researchers. This article, as well as the chosen textbook, is based on the evaluation of stressors in child psychological development.

Article’s Peculiarities and Differentiation from Other Sources

The peculiar feature of this article is a successful and clear combination of the results that have been taken from multiple studies. The authors are able to not only enumerate the factors and socioeconomic problems in families and their connection to child development but also think about new steps that can be taken to reduce stress and support ethnic minority families. In comparison to magazines’ and newspapers’ articles, this article has a clearly defined hypothesis and a theory that help to understand the importance of family involvement in child development, the worth of parental sensitivity, and the necessity to reduce stress and financial concerns to support children and their families in their int


Berk, L.E. (2013). Exploring lifespan development (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Mesman, J., van Ijzendoorn, M.H., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J. (2012). Unequal in opportunity, equal in process: Parental sensitivity promotes positive child development in ethnic minority families. Child Development Perspectives, 6(3), 239-250. Web.

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"Exploring Lifespan Development: Child Perspectives." IvyPanda, 22 Oct. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/exploring-lifespan-development-child-perspectives/.

1. IvyPanda. "Exploring Lifespan Development: Child Perspectives." October 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/exploring-lifespan-development-child-perspectives/.


IvyPanda. "Exploring Lifespan Development: Child Perspectives." October 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/exploring-lifespan-development-child-perspectives/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Exploring Lifespan Development: Child Perspectives." October 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/exploring-lifespan-development-child-perspectives/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Exploring Lifespan Development: Child Perspectives'. 22 October.

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