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Free Example of Developmental Psychology Project Essay

This project seeks to describe the actual development of a human child from the moment of conception until the middle adulthood. Specifically, the project focuses on the topic of the effect of experiences of the pregnancy period to the later stages of development. This will be discussed in the context of the writer’s personal experience from the time she was conceived to the time she attained middle childhood years. This will be achieved through an interview with the mother, whose responses will be related and analyzed with regard to the writer’s personality and character at middle childhood and later stages. The interview responses will be juxtaposed upon the scholarly writings on the subject matter, especially as presented by Laura E. Berk and Janson and Mathiesen. Thereafter, the writer offers her own opinion regarding the synthesis of the interview and the scholarly concepts. From the interview, it was realized that what the mother experienced during her pregnancy shaped her daughter’s character and personality.

In order to effectively investigate the topic, the project uses a qualitative approach to collect information on developmental psychology. The responses collected from the interview will be synthesized using content analysis. The interview method was preferred, because it gives the interviewer an opportunity to probe and seek for clarification. In this case, interviewing a mother was a reliable source, because she had first-hand experience and an opportunity to observe her daughter grow. Finally, interviewing the mother was a cheap exercise in terms of time and money.

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Interview Summary

The interview was meant to establish the experiences that a pregnant mother goes through and whether they have any relationship with the later character formation. The interview questions were designed in such a way that these experiences would easily be evident in the daughter’s character as opposed to the almost opposite character of the second born son, who was gestated in opposite experiences. In responding to the questions, the mother kept on highlighting the differences in the attitude that she had during the two pregnancies. In responding to the first question, the respondent cited several fears that she had concerning the pregnancy. First of all, the first pregnancy is always filled with anxiety, because the mother does not know what would happen. In this case, the fear of getting fatter as days went by. Her fears were also based on the fact that she had no experience and that she was to give birth to her first child when she was 40 years old.

The interview could best be described as having explored the feelings, or emotions, the attitude, or the psychological aspect, of the respondent during her pregnancy as well as the social component. Examples of questions exploring emotions or feelings included whether she felt any difference between the first and the second pregnancies, how the fear during the first pregnancy was experienced. The psychological domain was explored by questions such as how the two pregnancies were, the actual fears during the first pregnancy and why the first pregnancy was more problematic than the second pregnancy. Questions touching on the social aspect mainly included why she delayed the age of child bearing. In all her answers, there was something that was recurring; that all that mattered was the psyche and the psychological state that her mind was in. Due to the anxieties of the first pregnancy, this was translated into the firstborn’s character and personality. She is usually fearful, afraid of taking risks and needs to be around the mother all the time. On the other hand, the second pregnancy, since she was now experienced, led to the delivery of a confident and emotionally stable boy.

Relationship to Developmental Psychology Concepts

There exist many similarities between the interview results and what developmental psychologists present. There is no doubt that developmental psychology has provided very useful insights into how gestational experiences are reflected in the later life of children. In her Exploring Lifespan Development, Laura Beck explains several aspects of a child development, which include physical development, cognitive development, emotional development and social development. Moreover, the first two chapters offer some fundamental explanations of the content to be released later. Chapter three to chapter ten addresses prenatal development, infancy, toddlerhood, early childhood and middle childhood. Although the interview did not touch on the physical development, it was apparent that emotional and cognitive traits are ingrained during pregnancy. From pages 80-85, Beck (2010) writes that the mother’s experiences during pregnancy are ingrained into the child through reflexes and sensory functions. In pages 49 and 50, the writer describes how the neighbors and people around the pregnant mother contribute to the future life and character of the child.

The respondent did not delve much into the early childhood development other than the fact that the firstborn daughter always liked to be near her mother as opposed to the second born boy. As mentioned earlier, this could be attributed to the fact that the mother was very anxious during her gestation. This fact was also confirmed by Janson and Mathiesen’s (2008) study of temperament profiles between infancy and middle childhood. They found out that ‘cluster analysis of standardized mother reports of activity,  sociability, emotionality, and shyness [were recorded] at ages 18 months, 30 months, 4-5 years, and 8-9 years ’.

My Opinion

By synthesizing the interview results with the scholarly writings, several salient issues came up. It has become clear that the experiences of the mother during her pregnancy usually shape the emotional and personality issues of the child in her or his future life. My opinion is that these differences would be differentially manifested for boys and girls. Perhaps girls would be shaped more by the emotional component while boys by the cognitive component. Most importantly, although the environment and neighbors affect the mother during her pregnancy, I specifically feel that her attitude towards them is what would affect her child more. Therefore, I agree with Beck’s views. However, my only concern is whether the observations made by Janson and Mathiesen are universally replicable.

In conclusion, this research was geared towards establishing the relationship between pregnancy experiences and future character, personality and life in general. To do that, qualitative methods were used to collect and analyze information. An intensive interview was conducted with a mother of two. This is because an interview gave the writer an opportunity to ask more questions. It was also expensive. Comparing the interview results with the writings of Beck and Janson and Methiesen, much semblance was discovered. However, in conducting the interview, the researcher felt that perhaps the respondent could not reveal everything. It is proposed that future research be conducted between researchers and respondents who do not know each other.

Code: writers15

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