Unit 4 Psychology Edexcel RN Child Psychology

Again, like in the criminal psychology RN, long and dense, full of detail.

These RN include: 

-Key assumptions and some short definitions

-Methodology- Naturalistic observations and their use in child psychology, structural observations and their use in child psychology, case studies and their use in child psychology, evaluation of observations and case studies in ethical terms, longitudinal studies and cross-cultural studies.

-Bowlby's theory of attachement and the MDH (includes Harlow and Zimmerman 1959 study on Rhesus monkeys)

-Ainsworth's Strange situation and the cross-cultural research (detailed examples are Japan and Germany)

-Deprivation including studies by Robertson, Spitz, Cocket and Tripp and Rutter-Isle of Wight. (Study in detail= Bowlby's study of 44 juvenile thieves 1944). In this section there's also a part about reducing the effects of privation.

-Privation including studies by Freud and Dann 1951 and Koluchova and the Czech twins. (Study in detail=Genie's study by Curtiss 1977). In this section there's also a part about if the effects of privation are reversible)

-Autism- characteristics, biological and cognitive explanation and two ways it affects child development.

-Daycare- description, two studies and factors that affect it.

-Key issue- does childcare have negative or positive effects on children?

-Practical- content analysis

I hope it works for your revision!

Good luck in your exams! ;)

(If you have seen my criminal psychology RN, these RN are a bit longer)

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  • Created on: 15-01-12 21:03
Preview of Unit 4 Psychology Edexcel RN Child Psychology

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Unit 4
Child Psychology

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Key assumptions- how it is used and why it's important
Interested in infants and young children
2 parts to child psychology: research (to understand a child) and practice (to
help children with problems)
Look at how children develop from birth to adolescence.
At children's emotional development.
At how little or no care affects children.
At how attachment or lack of attachment affects later relationships as adults.…read more

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Naturalistic observation research methods
Conducted in child's natural setting
Observation is not planned--controls not put in place.
Qualitative (descriptions of child's activity) + quantitative (tallying) data are
E.g. researcher that wants to investigate child's play goes to a playground.
E.g. researcher that wants to investigate child parent rs goes to a home.
Ecological v- Carried out in a natural setting to observe children
acting/interacting normally.
Demand characteristics- children influenced by being observe, may act
abnormally.…read more

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Little interpretation or inference needed, so valid data.
To understand real behaviour and therefore help children with problems develop
appropriate behaviour.
To have an understanding of the environment that the behaviour takes place in.
Time sampling- chunks of time allocated to see what behaviour happens during
each specific time. E.g. child with aggressive problem. Not observed all day,
observed at science lesson, at a family dinner and at the bus.
Interventions- if we can observe certain triggers for certain behaviours (e.g.…read more

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Activities must not harm child + need consent from parent or legal guardian.
Use of structured observations in child psychology
Set up situations or times to watch a child's problematic behaviour. This
behaviour is recorded.
The observers want to know then and why the problem behaviour occurs.
A- antecedent- what triggers the behaviour. E.g. being questioned by a teacher.
B- behaviour- what is the behaviour. E.g. silence and refusal to answer.
C- consequence- what happens as a result of the behaviour e.g.…read more

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Researcher bias- subjective as researchers may become close to child and
loose objective view.
Used in situations that wouldn't be ethical to use other research method, e.g.
Conducted on rare + unique occasions
May violate confidentiality, informed consent + right of withdraw of child.
Use of case studies in child psychology
Case studies usually used as an application to help children with existing
To understand and to change problematic behaviour-Axline's study of Dibs.…read more

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Special ethical issues that apply when studying children:
Psychologists need to ask parents/guardians for consent.
They also need to ask children's consent and they choose to explain the study.
Evaluation of observations with regard to ethics.
If an observation takes place in a public place=ethical
Covert- no informed consent, no withdraw right, deceit- debrief needed.
Overt- informed consent, right to withdraw, deceit.
In clinical sets, ethics are very important. Sanctions could be delivered by BPS.
Children's rights- they should give consent too (not only parents).…read more

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It is impossible to control all of the individual/family based extraneous variables-
e.g. family type of child.
There's a high dropout rate, as the study takes on for a long period of time.
Bias- maybe the families that continue in the study and do not dropout have
similar characteristics the rest of families haven't got e.g. confidence in taking
A large sample is needed so generalisation can occur. This, with other factors
(researchers pay, installation rent) may make longitudinal studies
time-consuming and expensive.…read more

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Bowlby's theory of attachment and the Maternal Deprivation
Links to the Psychodynamic and Biological approach
o The first years of life strongly affect later development
o The focus was the importance of forming an attachment in the early
years, especially with the main caregiver (the mother)
o Believed that the child's relationship with his parent affected
development, BUT the actual real rs, not a fantasy one.
o Mother acts as a child's ego and superego.…read more

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Attachment process
First year in the child's development is critical.
During the first 6 months:
o Proximity promoting behaviour to encourage a bond= crying and smiling
o Distress and anxiety shown towards strangers + caregivers are given
During the second 6 months:
o The caregiver= safe base and source of comfort
o Independence is shown if the child is secure enough to have a positive
view of themselves as valuable.…read more


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