Middle Childhood Profile
Trauma is a major psychological issue affecting most people in society, including children. Many children in American society are exposed to various traumatic events. A traumatic event is defined as an event that threatens death, injury, or physical integrity of others or self and causes terror, horror, or helplessness when it occurs. Traumatic events include physical, sexual, school, community, and domestic abuse. Adolescents and children vary in the nature of how they respond to trauma. The reaction of young people may be influenced by their cultural/ethnicity factors, developmental level, exposure to previous trauma, preexisting family problems, and available resources. However, many adolescents and children express some distress or change in behaviour in the acute recovery phase from traumatic experiences. It is also important to note that not all short-term responses are problematic, and some changes in behaviour may reflect adaptive measures to cope with a challenging or hard experience. Most of these reactions displayed by adolescents and children exposed to traumatic events are identical or similar to behaviours that mental health professionals see in their daily practice.
Types of Trauma and Examples of Major Events That Can Cause Trauma
Trauma is defined as the emotional response a person has to an extremely negative event. The main types of trauma are chronic, acute, and complex trauma. Acute trauma arises from a single dangerous or stressful event. Complex trauma arises from several traumatic events, while chronic trauma arises from prolonged exposure to highly stressful events such as bullying, child abuse, and domestic violence. The main causes of trauma that can impact fetal development are intimate partner violence, motor vehicle accidents, toxic exposure, falls, and burns. Intimate partner violence is the sexual, physical, emotional, or financial abuse caused by a partner in an intimate relationship. The rate of intimate partner violence increases during pregnancy and is associated with fetal and maternal morbidity. It is also associated with abruption of the placenta. Individuals who experience trauma because of intimate partner violence have a higher mortality rate than pregnant patients experiencing unintentional trauma. Women experiencing intimate partner violence can experience violence, including punching, slapping, spitting, biting, burning, strangling, and controlling access to healthcare. Motor vehicle accidents can be caused by mechanical issues or careless driving, causing an impact that may abrupt the placenta. The occurrence of falls during pregnancy increases after 20 weeks of gestation when the uterus and fetus have developed, and there is a softening of muscles and ligaments, creating balance issues because of a shift in the woman’s centre of gravity forward. Toxic exposure could be caused by unintentional or intentional poisoning.
Major Physical Developmental Milestones Normally Achieved During Middle Childhood and the Impact of Trauma
One of the main physical developmental milestones that occur during middle childhood is body shape and composition changes. During middle childhood, body fat increases in preparation for the growth phase occurring during adolescence. This increase occurs earlier in girls compared to boys. Children at this stage may become concerned about their physical appearance, especially if they gain too much weight (Pulkkinen, 2017). Such changes may also create trauma due to traumatic experiences such as bullying. Boys may also feel intimidated if they do not experience the same muscle growth as others. This is based on the fact that individuals experience a significant growth in muscle strength during this stage an increase in stamina and motor skills. Children develop motor skills that are required to perform complex movements, allowing them to participate in different physical activities. They may also experience a temporary decrease in balance and coordination during puberty due to rapid growth. Trauma may arise among children who are unable to perform a physical activity well because this causes frustration.
Major Cognitive Milestones Normally Achieved During Middle Childhood and the Impact of Trauma
Piaget argues that children in early childhood are in the preoperational development stage, in which they learn to view the world symbolically. From 7 to 11 years, children continue developing in what is referred to by Piaget as the concrete operational stage of cognitive development. This incorporates mastering the use of logic in a solid way. The child can use logic to address problems connected to their own direct experience but has challenges solving hypothetical problems or more abstract problems (Schneider, 2010). The child applies inductive reasoning, which considers thinking that the world reflects an individual’s personal experience. Piaget argues that children at the middle childhood stage experience growth in vocabularies and experiences, hence building schema and being better positioned to classify objects in different ways. Classification can incorporate new ways of categorizing and arranging information. These classifications may include a hierarchical structure. During middle childhood, children can also learn and remember content because of an improvement in how they view and store information (Lecce & Bianco, 2018). As they enter school and gain more information about the world, they develop more categories for concepts and learn various strategies for retrieving and storing information. Children at this age also have a better comprehension of how well they are performing on a task and can assess a task’s difficulty. They adapt studying strategies to deal with difficulties as they arise. Children who are unable to develop their vocabulary on time and understand things quickly may face trauma due to the development of a feeling of being inferior.
Major Social and Emotional Milestones Normally Achieved During Middle Childhood and the Impact of Trauma
One of the emotional milestones that children achieve during middle childhood is self-concept. Children at this age have a more realistic sense of self compared to those in early childhood due to a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Family, peers, and teachers can influence the child’s self-concept and the messages they send about the worth of a child. The second milestone is the development of friendships. Children at this stage develop friendships to create new opportunities to learn social skills such as negotiating differences and communicating with others (Pulkkinen, 2017). They get ideas from each other about how to perform specific tasks, what to wear, how to become popular, what to say and how to act. The third milestone is social comparison and bullying. Social comparison enables children to evaluate their knowledge, skills, and personal qualities, but it may also create a feeling of inferiority, hence creating trauma.
Ways to Reduce the Impact of Trauma on the Developing Child
One of the strategies that can be taken to reduce the impact of trauma on the developing child is assuring the child that he or she is safe. Creating a feeling of safety allows the child to freely express themselves and develop a positive mindset. The second strategy is explaining to the child that he or she is not responsible for the traumatic experience that happened. This eliminated blame, hence eliminating too much thought on the traumatic event, which plays a significant role in gradually forgetting the trauma and dealing with it before its impact is severe.
Traumatic events result from experiences that, in most cases, are beyond a person’s experience. Children are vulnerable to traumatic experiences because of their weak emotions and inability to express themselves clearly. Changes in a child’s life as a result of their growth development may also result in trauma, especially if the growth does not match with those of children around. It is, therefore, important to understand the causes, signs, and symptoms of trauma to predict whether a child is at risk of experiencing trauma or not.
Lecce, S., & Bianco, F. (2018). Working memory predicts changes in children’s theory of mind during middle childhood: A training study. Cognitive Development, 47, 71-81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2018.04.002
Pulkkinen, L. (2017). Human development from middle childhood to middle adulthood. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315732947
Schneider, W. (2010). Memory development in childhood. The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive Development, 347-376. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444325485.ch13
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You will need to write this week’s assignment using 7th edition APA formatting, and you must cite your sources within your paper, not just on the reference page. The more quotes you use, the higher the similarity report is. Try to use your own words but still cite the source you are getting it from. The rubric is on the lower right side of the assignment under tasks.
If you turn in a paper less than the required minimum number of words, I will return it to you to be resubmitted, and it will be considered late even if I have to re-open for a new date to reassign it. Please pay attention to the details of the assignment as well as the rubric.
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-enrol 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:
1. A definition of trauma and examples of major events that can cause trauma.
2. Major physical developmental milestones normally achieved during middle childhood (height, weight, physical coordination, etc.) and the impact of trauma.
3. Major Cognitive milestones normally achieved during middle childhood (intelligence, memories, schemas, etc.) and the impact of trauma.
4. Major social and emotional milestones normally achieved during middle childhood (developing trust and friendships, controlling emotional displays, developing mental health problems, etc.) and the impact of trauma.
5. Identify some ways to reduce the impact of trauma on the developing child.
6. A minimum of three scholarly references to include the course textbook.
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