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Adults knowledge of developmental norms.

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Introduction

´╗┐Adults knowledge of developmental norms. Carli Hooton Word count: 1869 ________________ Abstract Many testing techniques have been developed in order to establish developmental norms and to measure the changing abilities of children as they mature e.g. Welscher Intelligence Scales, I.Q. Tests. They are particularly useful when it comes to recognising developmental problems in children. The purpose of this study was to investigate adults knowledge of developmental norms. Undergraduate psychology students (N= 71) were given a questionnaire asking for ages at which infants can complete certain acts, the hypotheses predicted female participants or those with younger sibling would have a enhanced knowledge of developmental norms. The independent variables were the sex and whether or not the participant had siblings, the dependent variable was the total score on the questionnaire. Findings were inconsistent with the hypotheses, the possibility of these results being attributable to the various limitations of this study were then discussed. The relevant use of this knowledge at particular stages in our lives was noted as an important factor when querying the results. Developmental norms are central when it comes to understanding our development, more specifically in this study, the development of children. Developmental norms can act as a dependable guideline when considering childrens? development. Obviously each child is unique and there is no specific age at which they must be able to do certain things, but without these blueprints many children may have serious development related problems with the parents (or teachers) ...read more.

Middle

Participants with younger siblings will have a greater knowledge of developmental norms. There were multiple independent variables in this research. Firstly, whether the participant was male or female, secondly, whether the participant had siblings, thirdly, whether the participant had younger siblings. The dependent variable was the score on the questionnaire. Method Participants The participants were 73 undergraduate Psychology students attending a weekly practical class. 12 were male, 61 were females. For the purposes of the hypotheses these figures were then broken down further. The demographics of the 73 participants were as follows: Siblings = 68 Younger siblings = 40 No siblings = 5 Did not have younger siblings = 3 Apparatus The only apparatus was a 3 page questionnaire, consisting of 33 questions concerning the ages at which infants could perform certain tasks. E.g. When can an average child name 6 numbers? When can an average child do a handstand? An example of the questionnaire can be seen in Appendix A. Procedure The questionnaire was given to all 73 participants, they were instructed to complete all the questions with a number in years and months. If this age fell in the acceptable age range the question was scored correctly. The participants then had to provide information as to their sex, if they had siblings, and if so, if they were younger siblings. The mean average and standard deviation was then calculated for all the data in each group for the three hypotheses (n.b. ...read more.

Conclusion

Consequently male participants may not wish to appear feminine and make frivolous guesses in order to conform to these expectations. Conforming to this may also be seen as a demand characteristic if the males assumed this is the result the experimenter hopes to find. However trivial each of these limitations may appear, it is always possible they may have an impact on the outcome, further research would be useful in this instance to eliminate these weaknesses. To conclude, it has been discussed how developmental norms are significant and valuable to us, there are extensive theories and tests for children to measure their development and for psychologists to assess how abilities change with time. It is therefore plausible that society should be well informed of these developmental norms, especially as the implications for children who do have developmental problems could be very severe if they are not provided with the help required. The results were inconsistent with the hypotheses, it is reasonable to propose that the samples knowledge of developmental norms would be inadequate to recognise problems had the participants been raising children. When discussing this study it may be more useful to consider when in an adults life knowledge of developmental norms is most important. For example in this study the sample was first year undergraduate Psychology students, therefore it is logical to assume the prospect of children is not at the forefront of their future plans, therefore knowledge of developmental norms isn?t a priority. Further research could consequently be to investigate new and expecting parents knowledge of developmental norms and trust their knowledge of these norms is superior to those in this study. ...read more.

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