Study Guide for Chapters 9-12

Use these learning objectives to guide you in your study of this chapter.

Chapter 9:  Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood

  • Understand the changes in body size, proportions, and skeletal maturity during middle childhood. (pp. 276–277)
  • Identify common health problems in middle childhood, discuss their causes and consequences, and cite ways to treat them. (pp. 277–281)
  • What are the major milestones of gross and fine motor development in middle childhood, noting sex differences? (pp. 281–282)
  • Understand the qualities of children’s play during middle childhood, along with consequences for cognitive and social development. (pp. 282–283)4
  • Understand the benefits of high-quality physical education during the school years. (pp. 283–284)
  • Summarize the major achievements of Piaget’s concrete operational stage. (pp. 284–286)
  • What are the limitations of concrete operational thought, noting challenges to Piaget’s findings? (pp. 286–287)
  • Understand the information-processing view of concrete operational thought. (p. 287)
  • What are the two basic changes in information processing that occur during middle childhood. (pp. 287–288)
  • List three ways attention changes in middle childhood. (pp. 288–289)
  • What is the development of memory strategies in middle childhood? (pp. 289–290)
  • How do the school-age child’s knowledge base and culture and schooling contribute to memory performance? (pp. 290–291)
  • Understand the school-age child’s theory of mind and capacity to engage in cognitive self regulation.  (p. 291)
  • What applications of information processing to academic learning, noting existing controversies in teaching reading and mathematics to elementary school children? (pp. 291–293)
  • What are the major approaches to defining and measuring intelligence, including Sternberg’s triarchic theory and Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences? (pp. 293–296)
  • Understand the evidence indicating that both heredity and environment contribute to IQ, and discuss cultural influences on mental test scores of ethnic minority children. (pp. 296–299)
  • What are the advances in vocabulary, grammar, and pragmatics during middle childhood, and discuss the advantages of bilingualism. (pp. 299–301)
  • How would you generate solutions for improving the relationship between health care advocates and those families with obese children?
  • Compare and contrast views on the nature of intelligence.
  • What Is Intelligence? (p. 293)
  • Select one of the following health problems of middle childhood: myopia, obesity, asthma, or unintentional injuries. Explain how both genetic and environmental factors contribute to it. (pp. 277–281)
  • What aspects of physical growth account for the long-legged appearance of many 8- to12-year-olds? (pp. 276–277)
  • Mastery of conservation provides one illustration of Piaget’s horizontal decalage.
  • Explain how operational reasoning develops gradually. (pp. 285–286)
  • What is the evidence that specific experiences influence children’s mastery of concrete operational tasks? (p. 286)
  • Cite evidence that school-age children view the mind as an active, constructive agent. (p. 291)
  • Why is teaching both basic skills and understanding of concepts and strategies vital for children’s solid mastery of reading and mathematics? (pp. 291–292)
  • After viewing a slide show on endangered species, second and fifth graders were asked to remember as many animals as they could. Explain why fifth graders recalled much more than second graders. (pp. 289–290)
  • Using Sternberg’s triarchic theory and Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, explain the limitations of current mental tests in assessing the complexity of intelligence. (pp. 294–296)
  • Summarize ethnic differences in IQ, and cite environmental factors that contribute to them. (pp. 297–298)
  • Explain how dynamic testing is consistent with Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development and with scaffolding. (pp. 298–299
  • Give examples of language progress that benefit from school-age children’s greater language awareness. (pp. 299–300)
  • What are ways that bilingual education can contribute to ethnic minority children’s cognitive and academic development? (pp. 300–301)






  • Explain Erikson’s stage of industry versus inferiority, noting major personality changes. (pp. 314–315)
  • Describe the development of the self during middle childhood, noting changes in self-concept and self-esteem, as well as factors that influence children’s self-evaluations. (pp. 315–318)
  • Describe changes in self-conscious emotions, understanding of emotional states, and emotional self-regulation in middle childhood. (pp. 319–320)
  • Trace the development of perspective taking, and discuss the relationship between perspective taking and social skills. (pp. 320–321)
  • Describe changes in moral understanding during middle childhood. (pp. 321–322)
  • Describe changes in peer relations during middle childhood, including characteristics of peer groups and friendships, and explain how these relationships contribute to children’s social development. (pp. 322–324)
  • Describe the four categories of peer acceptance, noting how each is related to social behavior, and discuss ways to help rejected children. (pp. 324–326)
  • Describe changes in gender-stereotyped beliefs and gender identity during middle childhood, noting sex differences and cultural influences. (pp. 326–327)
  • What are changes in the parent–child relationship during middle childhood, including new issues confronting parents and changes in parent–child communication? (p. 328)
  • Describe changes in sibling relationships during middle childhood, and compare the experiences and developmental outcomes of only children with those of children who have siblings. (pp. 328–329)
  • How do children’s adjustment to divorce and blended families, noting the influence of parent and child characteristics, as well as social supports within the family and surrounding community. (pp. 329–333)
  • What is the impact of maternal employment and dual-earner families on school-age children’s development, noting the influence of social supports within the family and surrounding community, and explain issues regarding child care for school-age children. (pp. 333–334)
  • What are common fears and anxieties in middle childhood, with particular attention to school phobia. (p. 334)
  • What are factors related to child sexual abuse, its consequences for children’s development, and ways to prevent and treat it. (pp. 334–336)
  • What are the factors that foster resilience in middle childhood. (pp. 336–338)





  • What are the changing conceptions of adolescence over the twentieth century? (pp. 344–345)
  • Describe pubertal changes in body growth, proportions, changing states of arousal, motor development, and physical activity. (pp. 345–347)
  • Summarize changes in sexual maturity over the teenage years, including individual and group differences. (pp. 347–349)
  • Cite factors that influence the timing of puberty. (pp. 348–349)
  • Discuss adolescents’ reactions to the physical changes of puberty, noting factors that influence their feelings and behavior. (pp. 349–351)
  • Discuss the impact of maturational timing on adolescent adjustment, noting sex differences and immediate and long-term outcomes. (pp. 351–352)
  • Describe the nutritional needs of adolescents, and cite factors related to serious eating disturbances during the teenage years. (pp. 352–354)
  • Explain how factors within the individual, family, and larger culture contribute to serious eating disorders. (pp. 353–354)
  • Discuss social and cultural influences on adolescent sexual attitudes and behavior. (pp. 354–355)
  • Describe factors related to the development of homosexuality, and discuss the unique adjustment problems of gay and lesbian adolescents. (pp. 356–357)
  • Cite factors related to sexually transmitted disease. (pp. 356–358)
  • Discuss factors related to teenage pregnancy, the consequences of adolescent parenthood for development, and prevention strategies. (pp. 358–361)
  • Distinguish between substance use and abuse, describe personal and social factors related to each, and cite prevention strategies. (pp. 361–362)
  • Describe the major characteristics of formal operational thought. (pp. 363–364)
  • Discuss recent research on formal operational thought and its implications for the accuracy of Piaget’s formal operational stage. (pp. 364–365)
  • Explain how information-processing researchers account for the development of scientific reasoning during adolescence. (pp. 365–366)
  • Describe typical reactions of adolescents that result from new abstract reasoning powers. (pp. 367–369)
  • Note sex differences in mental abilities at adolescence, along with biological and environmental factors that influence them. (pp. 369–370
  • List factors that contribute to pubertal timing. Then summarize the consequences of early versus late maturation for adolescent development. (pp. 348–349)
  • How might adolescent moodiness contribute to psychological distancing between parents and adolescents? (Hint: Think about bidirectional influences in parent-child relationships.) (pp. 350–351)
  • Compare risk factors for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. How do treatments and outcomes differ for the two disorders? (pp. 353–35)
  • List characteristics common to effective pregnancy and substance abuse prevention programs. Are these components well-suited to fostering resiliency in at-risk adolescents? Explain. (Return to Chapter 1, page 10, if you need to review factors that promote resiliency. (pp. 360, 362)
  • Using the concepts of hypothetico-deductive reasoning and propositional thought, illustrate the difference between school-age children’s and adolescents’ cognition. (pp. 363–364)
  • Adolescent idealism and criticism, although troublesome for parents, are beneficial in the long run, to both the developing individual and society. Explain why this is so. (p. 368)




  • Discuss Erikson’s theory of identity development. (pp. 382–383)
  • Describe changes in self-concept and self-esteem during adolescence. (pp. 383–384)
  • Describe the four identity statuses, noting how each is related to psychological adjustment, and discuss factors that influence identity development. (pp. 384–387)
  • Describe Piaget’s theory of moral development and Kohlberg’s extension of it, noting research that evaluates the accuracy of each. (pp. 387–390)
  • Discuss sex differences in moral reasoning, with particular attention to Gilligan’s argument. (pp. 390–391)
  • Describe the factors that influence moral reasoning, and discuss the relationship between moral reasoning and behavior. (pp. 391–393)
  • Explain why early adolescence is a period of gender intensification, and cite factors that promote the development of an androgynous gender identity. (p. 394)
  • Discuss familial influences on adolescent development, including the impact of the parent–child relationship, family circumstances, and sibling interaction. (pp. 394–396)
  • Describe the characteristics of adolescent friendships and peer groups, and discuss the contributions of each to emotional and social development. (pp. 396–399)
  • Describe adolescent dating relationships. (p. 399)
  • Discuss the influence of peer pressure during adolescence, noting how parental behavior is related to adolescent conformity. (pp. 399–400)
  • Discuss factors related to adolescent depression and suicide, along with approaches for prevention and treatment. (pp. 400–403)
  • Discuss factors related to delinquency, and cite strategies for prevention and treatment. (pp. 403–405)