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Middle Childhood Profile-Nora

Middle Childhood Profile-Nora

Definition of Trauma

The American Psychological Association (2021) describes trauma as the emotional reaction to a devastating event such as an accident, sexual assault, or disaster. Immediately following the occurrence, shock and denial are typical reactions. Later in time, reactions might include strained relationships, unforeseeable emotions, flashbacks, and physical symptoms like nausea and headaches. Even though it’s normal to have these feelings, some individuals struggle to move on with their normal lives. Some of the major events that might cause trauma include: witnessing death, terrorism, natural disasters, serious illness, war, domestic abuse, rape, and physical injury, such as one caused by a severe car accident. Middle childhood is a highly sensitive period, and trauma experienced during this time could have a damaging and long-lasting impact socially, physically, and on a child’s emotional growth. Hence, constant family support is needed to help the child through such negative experiences.

Physical Milestones in Middle Childhood and Trauma Effects

The middle childhood stage comprises children in the age bracket of 6 to 12 years. These older children grow both cognitively and physically just like infants, preschoolers, and toddlers, although at a slower rate. Physical development during middle childhood is characterized by major variations in growth patterns due to genetics, environment, nutrition, hormones, ethnic origin, and gender, among others. Most boys who experience preadolescent growth spurt growth at 11 or 12 years, whereas girls experience similar growth at 9 or 10. Children who are subject to inadequate medical attention or nutrition face the risk of impeded or stunted growth. At the onset of the middle childhood stage, children usually have acquired a leaner and more athletic appearance. Before the onset of puberty, boys and girls still have matching body proportions and shapes. They grow about 3 inches and gain roughly 7 pounds every year. At the onset of puberty, they mature sexually into adults and teenagers. Girls are generally smaller and have less muscle mass but might become larger than boys later in puberty. Once boys begin sexually maturing, they eventually surpass girls’ agemates in terms of weight and height development. It is during this period that issues of obesity are common.

According to Ding et al (2017), children who are exposed to trauma tend to develop depression. Poor eating habits that result in obesity, bulimia, or anorexia might be coping tactics for depression (Jordan, 2020). In fact, research shows that childhood trauma is a major predictor of obesity in the middle childhood stage (McKelvey, Saccente & Swindle, 2019). Youth who have previously experienced trauma are also disposed to suffer from body dysregulation, which causes them to either over-respond or under-respond to sensory stimuli. In some cases, they might manifest hypersensitivity to light, touch, smells, or sounds or might manifest analgesic conditions, where they are unaware of internal sensations, touch, or pain (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, 2021). Consequently, they may injure themselves without feeling pain, be unaware of the physical problems they suffer from, or complain of chronic pain in body parts with no underlying physical causes.

Cognitive Milestones in Middle Childhood and Trauma Effects

During middle childhood, growth in the frontal lobes occurs, helping them in planning, ethical decision-making, social judgment, and reasoning. Damage to the frontal lobes part of the brain might result in poor judgement making, unwarranted emotional outbursts, and poor planning ability. Middle childhood is the time for a concrete operational stage where children make use of logical operations and thoughts. In addition, they have well-formed short- and long-term memories and aspects such as working memory capacity, usage of other memory strategies, and increased ability to pay attention.

Children who have undergone complex trauma histories might experience challenges in thinking clearly, problem-solving, or reasoning. Such children might have trouble planning ahead and acting appropriately for the future. When faced with constant threats, children aim all their internal resources towards survival. If their bodies adapt to constant stress response situations, they might have difficulty calmly thinking through a problem and consider other alternatives (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, 2021). They may find difficulty in acquiring new skills or acquiring new information. In addition, they may have trouble sustaining curiosity or attention or experience distractions from trauma reminder responses. Similarly, they may manifest deficits in abstract reasoning skills and difficulty learning. Haskins (2016) claims that middle childhood is a sensitive time to instability and disruption, and trauma on children might impact their cognitive skills, such as performance at school and attention capacity.

Social and Emotional Milestones in Middle Childhood and Trauma Effects

During middle childhood, children have made great strides in their ability to recognize their emotions and those of others. They are able to control their emotions and communicate them with language and expressively. At this stage, children are also more likely to show increased independence from their family and parents, value their friendships and seek acceptance from peers, which boosts their self-esteem. They develop strong friendships with similar sex members and, increase trust, and show control and understanding of their emotional displays. They may experience embarrassment and guilt, have growing sexual interest and awareness in the opposite gender, have a strong desire to have their opinions respected and sought, and may challenge their family members (Department of Human Services, 2017).

However, trauma-exposed children are likely to experience withdrawal and depression, efforts made to distance themselves from feelings of guilt, shame, humiliation, and lessened capacity to feel emotions. They also tend to have reduced self-esteem or confidence and experience post-trauma-specific fears. Eating disturbances like anorexia tend to develop at this stage (Kurz et al., 2016). Even though normal children tend to experience some emotional and social problems during this stage, those who have undergone trauma have worse experiences that cause major mental health and behavioral problems.

Reducing the Impact of Trauma

To lessen the impact of trauma, it is important to advise parents to seek support for themselves to be able to manage their emotional responses and shock. Family support and understanding is of major importance to children as they can help them develop trust and a sense of security. It is also important to listen to and tolerate the child’s retelling of the traumatic event, respect their fears and give them time to cope. The child also needs to be reassured that behaviors or feelings that feel out of control or babyish, like night wetting, are normal after a traumatic event and that they will overcome it with time. The child also needs to be encouraged to talk about their feelings, worries, and mental review of the traumatic images and provide opportunities for the child to make choices and experience control in their daily activities (DHS, 2017). Constant communication should be maintained with school staff to monitor how the kid is coping with school demands, and the necessary emotional, social and academic help should be offered where necessary. Such steps will help the child through the trauma and provide a path to recovery.


American Psychological Behavior. (2021). Trauma.

Department of Human Services (DHS). (2017). Child development and trauma guide.

Ding, H., Han, J., Zhang, M., Wang, K., Gong, J., & Yang, S. (2017). Moderating and mediating effects of resilience between childhood trauma and depressive symptoms in Chinese children. Journal of affective disorders211, 130-135.

Haskins, A. R. (2016). Beyond boys’ bad behavior: Paternal incarceration and cognitive development in middle childhood. Social Forces95(2), 861-892.

Jordan, D. T. L. (2020). Human Behavior and the Social Environment. University of Arkansas.

Kurz, S., Van Dyck, Z., Dremmel, D., Munsch, S., & Hilbert, A. (2016). Variants of early‐onset restrictive eating disturbances in middle childhood. International Journal of Eating Disorders49(1), 102-106.

McKelvey, L. M., Saccente, J. E., & Swindle, T. M. (2019). Adverse childhood experiences in infancy and toddlerhood predict obesity and health outcomes in middle childhood. Childhood obesity15(3), 206-215.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network. (2021). Effects.


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Middle Childhood Profile-Nora

For most children, life develops in a typical fashion with relative stability but every year a number of events occur that can significantly impact a child’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. For this assignment, you will examine the impact of a disaster on a developing child. Watch the video, Sixth Stop and read the two articles “Emotional Problems Remain for Children Impacted by Katrina” and “Life After the Storm: Children Who Survived Katrina Offer Lessons” in the T3 Study Materials folder. Engage in research and compare the development of a typical child to one who has been put under the duress of extreme circumstances.

Nora resides with her parents in southern Florida. Recently her area was hit by a hurricane significantly damaging her home. Nora, her parents, and her infant brother are now residing with the family in a three-bedroom home. Nora’s parents were facing some financial difficulties recently and did not have hurricane insurance on their home. It is unclear when they will be able to move back into their home. Nora is now outside of her school district and will have to re-enroll if she doesn’t move back in the next two weeks

Write a 750-1,000-word paper comparing the development of a 6-12-year-old child experiencing extreme hardship to one that grows in more typical circumstances:

  • A definition of trauma and examples of major events that can cause trauma.
  • Major physical developmental milestones are normally achieved during middle childhood (height, weight, physical coordination, etc.) and the impact of trauma.
  • Major Cognitive milestones are normally achieved during middle childhood (intelligence, memories, schemas, etc.) and the impact of trauma.
  • Major social and emotional milestones are normally achieved during middle childhood (developing trust and friendships, controlling emotional displays, developing mental health problems, etc.) and the impact of trauma.
  • Identify some ways to reduce the impact of trauma on the developing child.

    Middle Childhood Profile-Nora

    Middle Childhood Profile-Nora

  • A minimum of three scholarly references to include the course textbook.

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