3 Stages of Child Development: Early, Middle, Adolescence - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-09-11
3 Stages of Child Development: Early, Middle, Adolescence - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Child development
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1873 words
16 min read


There are three broad development stages in a child, which include early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence. The stages are defined manly according to the primary tasks that are involved in the stages. For instance, in the early childhood stage which is between the birth of a child and when they reach eight years old involve the development of a child to stage where they can be able to interact effectively with other people and have the ability to take care of themselves (Bandura 2017). Therefore this stage is mainly one that involves skill development in the children.

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Middle Stage

The middle stage is considered as not that important, and even for some theories such as psychoanalytic theory by Freud refers to the stage as latency. It is a stage when the children are between the eight and twelve years. The last stage is where the children are between twelve and eighteen years. It is characterized by accelerated growth and the stage where individuals reach sexual maturity. In the case study, Carlos is in the middle stage since he is nine years old. Here are various theories that explain the development of individuals, which include cognitive, biological, environmental, social, and biological, social, and psychosocial theories.

Childhood Stage

In the early childhood stage, there are rapid changes in language development and the child's cognitive processes, and thereby the children perform well at school and have a higher level of functioning. Language plays a very important role in the development of cognitive skills since it allows the child to easily communicate with others and solve issues that arise. At this stage, according to the social development theory, there is growth in the social, emotional skills, which include a child being able to identify gender, have good peer relations and also they can be able to differentiate right and wrong (Hoemann, Xu & Barrett, 2019).

The middle childhood stage is where the children can earn the values of society. At this stage, there is a slow growth relative to the other stages. They have a strong influence on their families and can develop strong peer relations. Some of the trends that can be observed at this stage include eating disorders, drug use, depression, and prevalence in school violence. The last stage of adolescence, which is mainly characterized by sexual maturation and is a very important period for cognitive development. It is also characterized by the confusion between the role one is supposed to lay in the society and identity (Krebs-Carter, 2019). Also, the individuals may experience a lot of mood swings, which may be attributed to hormones or a reaction to the physical, social, and cognitive changes around the individuals.

The child development theories explain how individuals grow and change in the course of their childhood. The biological theory of development explains development in the form of physical changes. It can be described as the progressive change in size, function, and shape of the body in the life of an individual. The biological development of a child, especially an unborn or a newborn, maybe heavily affected by environmental influences such as teratogens and maternal nutrition. The health of a child at his point heavily depends on the caregiver and the mother since their health is dependent on what they eat. The growth of the fetus mainly depends on the maternal diet. Such factors, such as maternal diet, should, therefore, be considered as vital in child development since they affect the growth of the fetus and later on the growth of the child. The psychosocial theory explains that the conflicts that occur in every stage of child development have a huge impact on how the child grows in terms of their behavior and personality. When the children encounter the challenges they have to earn to solve them; otherwise, they will be stuck, and they might not support development as they are supposed to.

Behavioral Theory

The behavioral theory explains the development of an individual from the behavior aspect of the individual. Most of the time, their behaviors are affected by the environment, and therefore they react to the stimuli, rewards, and punishments that the environment gives them. The cognitive theory is mainly concerned with the thought processes of an individual and how it develops in the different stages (Pluess et al. 2018). According to this theory, the way a person interacts and understands the world depends on how the thoughts of a person develop. For instance, during the early childhood stage, mental behavior is limited to simple responses that are caused by sensory stimuli. In the middle stage, the children do not understand logic well and cannot take another person's point of view. They cannot as well mentally manipulate information. In adolescence, stage individuals develop the ability to think and also develop other skills, for example, deductive reasoning, systematic planning, and logical thought.

The social theory mainly focuses on the attachment of children to their parents and friends and their ability to interact freely at different stages. According to this theory, the relationship with caregivers, especially at the early stages, determine the development of an individual (Bjorklund, & Causey, 2017). The attaches developed in the early stages help in their survival in that they ensure that the children get the right care. According to his theory, observation plays a great role since the children emulate what they observe their caregivers doing, such as the language used and other actions. This can be referred to as social learning, which influences the development of an individual.

Some of the development concerns in the early childhood stage include the delay of communication patterns in a child; for instance, Carlos can be seen to have difficulties in socializing, which is an area of concern. It is also a concern if the child is performing poorly academically, given that most of the things that they are taught are basic and should, therefore, not be hard to the children (Nijhof et al. 2018). The poor academic performance may be an indication that the child is not developing in the right way, and there may be issues that affect that which needs to be solved.

Carlos from the case study can be seen to belong to the middle childhood age. It can be even that he is well natured and groomed, and he is also polite, meaning that the social learning background is good since he has been taught good values and has grown up in a loving family. At this stage, children tend to seek emotional assurance from their parents (Sunarni, 2018). At the age of nine, children may develop early puberty, and they begin to face a lot of physical and emotional difficulties since they are approaching adolescence. This may cause their grades to fall and also affect their social life. Some of the developmental concerns that can be seen in Carlos are the fact that he is not performing well academically and is also struggling socially. According to the biological theory, children at this stage start becoming stronger and have smoother muscle control. This, in turn, increases their interests and physical capabilities.

According to the theories, children are supposed to be able to handle conflicts, and according to the social theory, they are supposed to have more skills that enable them to interact with others well. This, however, is not the case for Carlos since he is having difficulties in socializing with others, which becomes a developmental concern. According to the theory, since the children in this stage are growing their independence, they are supposed to seek more relationships apart from those they have with their family. Most of the children at this stage will want to belong to a certain group that establishes the place in the social order. They, however, start developing fears such as their parents dying and actual disasters that replace their childhood fears of, for example, monsters.

According to the cognitive theory, children at this stage pursue their interest, whether watching movies or reading books related to their interests. They may also face bigger challenges at school as more is expected of them. For instance, math becomes more complicated since they start learning new things such as multiplication and division. However, they tend to catch up, and therefore it becomes an area of concern if they do not; as stated earlier, if a child fails to overcome a challenge faced in the different development stages, than it may affect the overall development and how the children turn out in future. Therefore it a concern that Carlos's grades are falling, and it is a matter that requires t be looked at.

Multiculturalism may be one of the factors that lead to a delay in the development of a child. Cultural identity affects the emotional, social, cognitive, and physical development of a child. For instance, the cognitive development of a child may affect the child's creative nature. A child growing up in a home where there are many different cultures that may affect him in that they may be unable to catch up with the languages spoken (Manning, Baruth, & Lee,). A child needs to identify with a certain culture since it gives them identity and helps them grow emotionally, socially, and physically. Multiculturalism and diversity may, therefore, have both positive and negative impacts on children when growing up. Therefore if Carlos was brought up in a multicultural environment, he might have issues socializing with others since he may lack identity where he may not identify himself with one specific culture.

Some of the interventions that need to be made to address the developmental concerns of Carlos include allowing Carlos to have a lot of playtime with his friends. By doing this, he will have more time to interact with his agemates and may develop some of the social skills needed. He should be encouraged to participate in group activities to increase his interaction with others (Sluckin, 2017). Another intervention could be engaging the child in brainstorming activities such as solving puzzles that are not so hard, and this way, they will be able to think more and have a cognitive development (Guralnick, 2017). As a result, they may improve their grades at school. The last intervention that could be made is to give them a conducive environment where they are encouraged to express themselves freely. It will teach them to express themselves openly and hence create good relationships with other children. They should also be taught some of the emotions such as anger and how to control it, which will encourage them to have smooth interactions with their peers.


Bandura, A. (Ed.). (2017). Psychological modeling: Conflicting theories. Transaction Publishers.

Bjorklund, D. F., & Causey, K. B. (2017). Children's thinking: Cognitive development and individual differences. Sage Publications.

Guralnick, M. J. (2017). Early intervention for children with intellectual disabilities: An update. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 30(2), 211-229.

Hoemann, K., Xu, F., & Barrett, L. F. (2019). Emotion words, emotion concepts, and emotional development in children: A constructionist hypothesis. Developmental psychology, 55(9), 1830.

Krebs-Carter, M. (2019). Ages in Stages: An Exploration of the Life C cle based on Erik Erikson's Eight Stages of Human De elopement.

Manning, M. L., Baruth, L. G., & Lee, G. L. (2017). Multicultural education of children and adolescents. Taylor & Francis.

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