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Infant Developmental Theories – Psychology Essay

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Updated: May 7th, 2020

According to Piaget’s theory of infant development, children come through six stages in their progress. The first stage starts with birth and lasts for one month. At this stage, a child shows the primary reflexes and movements. The second stage is called sensory awareness, and it occurs between the second and the forth months of child development. At this stage, children can distinguish between people and objects to choose what they like.

The next stage is the imitation, which lasts from the fourth up to the eighth months. The child understands that objects do not disappear without a trace, and if one object is hidden, it will appear again. Children begin imitate actions and sounds of the surrounding world. Goal direction is the next stage, which occurs at about the age of one year. At this stage, children develop goal-directed behavior. Experimentation is the next stage which lasts from 18th up to 54th months. Finally, the Verbalizing stage finished the infant development process.

According to Vygotsky, the stages of the childhood development come through infancy stage, early childhood period, pre-school age period, school-age period, and puberty stage. At each of these stages of development, children’s behavior presupposes some changes. Infancy child development is based on the dependency of adults and shift from passive to active behavior. It should be stated that at the infant stage of development, Vygotsky considers the separation of a child from the mother and the creation of the basis for the further development of a human being. This is the crisis period in the development, which points to the shift from one stage to another one.

Bowlby developed the theory of attachment. According to this theory, children from 4 up to 6 months are the most sensitive for the perception of the surrounding world. Following Bowlby’s theory of attachment, children survive in 3 ways, safety, safety base for exploration and internal working model. According to the safety way, an attachment is aimed at keeping and child and mother together.

Otherwise, a feeling of anxiety appears. Safety base for exploration is focused on the feeling of the existence of the security place to return. The internal working model explains the formation of the relationships understanding in a child’s mind. Further behavior of a child is based on the aspects discussed above. The care-giving behavior from parents is the central issue for consideration.

According to Ainsworth, there are specific relationships between a mother and a child during the infancy. Having called her work A Strange Situation, Ainsworth enumerates the following stages of child development about a caregiver, secure attachment, anxious-resistant insecure attachment, anxious-avoidant insecure attachment, and disorganized/disoriented attachment. At the stage of a secure attachment, a child feels safe when a mother is close.

At the anxious-resistant insecure attachment stage, a child behaves nervous wit strangers even mother is near. Anxious-avoidant insecure attachment presupposes the ignoring of a caregiver when strangers are close. Finally, the disorganized/disoriented attachment explains the anxious child’s behavior when a mother is far away from a child, and a complete ignoring in case a mother is close. Each of these stages of the development, according to Ainsworth, appear at different age periods and may last for various periods depending on the cultural peculiarities and the way of upbringing.

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