Family Contexts in Middle Childhood Physical Development (page 2)
Children’s physical growth may be affected by the genetic history of their parents as well as by how well families provide proper nutrition, medical care, and safe and stable homes for their children. Homeless children, for example, have been found to suffer from high levels of stress that ultimately affect their health and school performance (Parrish, 2004). Similarly, exposing children to violence in the home may affect neurological development by modifying children’s arousal levels and ability to react appropriately to stress, elevating levels of neurotransmitters and hormones that affect growth and the timing of puberty, especially in girls, and negatively impacting cognitive development and academic achievement (El-Sheikh, Harger, & Whitson, 2001; Margolin & Gordis, 2000).
Children’s motor coordination and skill level are affected by the opportunities provided by parents. More specifically, parents influence children’s activity choices, such as sports participation, by providing (or not) the means to experience these activities. These might include participating in the activity with the child, buying athletic equipment, and providing or arranging children’s transportation to and from the athletic event (Fredricks et al., 2005). Also, children who are White, from the Northeast and Midwest, from intact families, and whose parents have higher educational levels were more likely to participate in organized sports. Children who come from families with an older brother also participate in sports more, presumably because they are influenced by the participation of their older siblings (Hofferth & Sandberg, 2001; Videon, 2002).
Because parents are responsible for monitoring the amount of time children spend watching television, they can reduce the time spent on this activity and encourage children to engage in more cognitively stimulating activities such as reading. An enriched environment is necessary for optimal brain development. Parents greatly influence the types of physical, intellectual, and motoric experiences children have in middle childhood that ultimately affect development.
© ______ 2009, Allyn & Bacon, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- The Homework Debate
- Social Cognitive Theory
- First Grade Sight Words List
- GED Math Practice Test 1