Children in this stage (aged 4 to 8) understand the world by perceiving it, being influenced by it, and acting on it. In turn, the surrounding world shapes the child. This demonstrates the role of nurture within the child’s
environment, as well as its role in developing behavior patterns
Longitudinal studies have demonstrated that behavior patterns and personality are established during the early formative years. Research suggests that, when children come from unhealthy backgrounds, such as dysfunctional, abusive homes, they are much less likely to develop adequately physically, academically, and emotionally. There is usually an
initializing factor that aids in lifestyle behavior. For example, a child from a family in extreme poverty may face ridicule from his/her peers. Therefore, the child’s behavior may appear blaming, angry or withdrawn.
Three levels of crisis can be used to describe the different influencing factors
during child development. The first level is a normal development crisis, where a child may feel stress due to a change. For example, a child experiencing the birth of a sibling may feel normal stresses. The second form of crisis is situational, which creates stress because of feelings of loss or fear. This type of stress can occur with a death of a relative or the divorce of parents. The last level is high risk, and this level of stress can aid in the development of emotional disorders and cause greater than usual stress. When a child within this age range displays behaviors such as anxiety, impulsiveness, refusal to follow directions, and/or aggressive outbursts, compared to those of his or her healthy, developed counterparts, these are abnormal behaviors and ...
... middle of paper ...
... have had negative maintaining influences in their past never develop a strong
sense of psychological well-being, high self-esteem, or coping and social skills. However, much can be done early to reduce the chances of maladaptive behaviors and to promote mental health and stability in young people. Research suggests that early intervention needs to focus on strengths and to empower youth by placing absolutely no blame on their behaviors
Intervention needs to be tailored to the child’s needs, and effort needs to be placed on restoring the child to normal or optimal state of mental health or behavior adjustment. Intervention needs to focus on problem-solving and cognitive skills, so that children with behavioral problems learn to adjust to, deal with, or resolve conflicting and traumatic factors. Skill development is an essential ingredient of lifestyle intervention.
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