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The Theoretical Perspectives Associated With Child Development


Several factors affect growth and development of child. A number of theories try to provide us with explanation on how a child grow and develop in his life. Although the theories on child developments are not entirely true, they provide us with an insight on how changes occur in the growth and development of a child.

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Human development can be regarded as a rational study of methodical psychological transformations that take in individual’s life. Traditionally, this field of study was primarily concerned with how child develop, however it has been expand over time to include how mature people develop in their life span (Waller, 2005). Below is a brief explanation of a number of theoretical perspectives of child development.

Maturational theoretical perspectives

This theory observes that, development of physical capabilities is directly related to the degree of neurological development as well as the genetically controlled physiological developments (Waller, 2005). This is demonstrated by how a child’s writing abilities improve all over the schooling period due to the neurological growth that take place at this period. Without question, when a child reaches puberty stages, his or her body begins to physiologically mature.

Psychodynamic theoretical perspectives

This theory argues that when children, as well as youths, confront social decisions, sexuality and aggression impulses control them; however, they are also significantly influenced by their need to contribute to society. When children move through various stages in their life they learn to employ their impulses in an approach that is useful to the society they are living in. This idea is illustrated when a pupil slaps other pupils or quarrels with his teachers. In the process of development, the child gets feedback on his or her actions. As result, the child learns how to tackle his or her impulses in a useful method such as swimming or watching a TV program.

Cognitive developmental theoretical perspectives

This perspective observes that a child increases his or her development mentally. The theory suggests that as a child confronts conflicts in his life, he organizes his perspectives and he intellectually develops emergency techniques of handling conflicts and confronting world conflicts. For instance, when a pupil is confronted with arithmetic, the child intellectually learns a method of remembering and sorting out the mathematic problem. This perspective also observes that young people think differently than grownups. The theory argues that a child’s interactions with other individuals help to mold the growth of his thinking abilities. Hence a child’s development is controlled significantly by his context and the child in turn then affects their context (Lindon, 2005).

Behavioral learning theoretical perspectives

This theoretical perspective argues that a child will toward gaining recognition and getting the things he or she wants in life. The theory observes that a child will learn from experiences, the importance of good behavior and employ these concepts to attain his or her rewards (Lindon, 2005). This is demonstrated when a pupil endeavors to enhance his or her academic performance so as to be given recognition by his teachers and parents/guardians. These perspectives are mainly focused on how environmental interaction affects the behavior of a child and that why they are involved only with observable behaviors.

Evolutionary theoretical perspectives

These theoretical perspectives suggest that children’s behavior and ego may be demonstrated by the fundamentals to survive and be reproductive in their life. It thus argues that children are generally influenced by their genetic will to survive.

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Information processing theoretical perspectives

This theoretical perspective theorizes the way in which children recall and process information/knowledge transforms with time. It, therefore, suggests that as children get older, they learn which information to retain and discard. For instance, an infant is easily confused by instructions than a teen. This kind of perspective is in compliance with the mechanistic world perspective (Waller, 2005). This is illustrated by an analysis of a number of issues as they link to information/knowledge processing and the mechanistic world perspective.

Socio-cultural theoretical perspectives

This kind of theoretical perspective observes that children are significantly influenced by the culture in which they are brought up. The theory suggests that culture directly affects what and how children learn about their surroundings. Without a doubt, a child is active in attitudes that are revered by their family and society. A good example is children who study books since their parents read frequently. This theory also suggests that child relationships with his parent play a significant role in his development and this relationship continues to affect him in his life. This theory also observes that children behave in particular ways so as to avoid being punished by parents or society (Waller, 2005).

Developmental system theoretical perspectives

This theoretical perspective observes that numerous factors inside or outside the life directly impact his or her development. It thus suggests a variety of roads may be chosen to reach a similar objective. It also tells us that children may take one road to attains a variety of goals.

Life span theoretical perspectives

This theory suggests children’s development might be affected by the life-transforming events in their life spans. The theory observes that events may occur globally, locally or on a personal level. A number of events happen through age and occur naturally. This is illustrated when children are affected by the separation of their parents.


The above aforementioned theoretical perspectives hold true concepts with respect to a child’s development. Special attention should be given to these theories particularly when dealing with schooling children. They are also very important to those involved in the study of factors that affect children’s development.

Although the majority of scholars argue that genetics and the environmental experience integrate to bring forth a particular behavior, the level to which these two factors influence a child’s behavior is still not clear. This issue has significant drawbacks on how environmental solutions can help when there are problems related to genetics. For instance, the effect of parental speech and genetic encoding in language attainment has raised many debates in the field of human development. Many efforts should be directed towards understanding the relationship between the two factors.

Reference list

Lindon, J. 2005. Understanding child development, linking theory and practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Waller, T. May, 2005. An introduction to early childhood: A multidisciplinary approach. London: Prentice Hall.

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