Developmental psychology: the study of progressive changes in behavior and abilities from conception to death.
Heredity ("nature"): transmission of physical and psychological characteristics from parents to offspring through the genes.
DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid, a molecular structure that contains coded genetic information.
Chromosomes: thread-like "colored bodies" in the nucleus of each cell that are made up of DNA.
Genes: specific areas on a strand of DNA that carry hereditary information.
Dominant gene: a gene whose influence will be expressed each time the gene is present.
Recessive gene: a gene whose influence will be expressed only when it is paired with a second recessive gene.
Polygenic characteristics: personal traits or physical properties that are influence by many genes working in combination.
Maturation: the physical growth and development of the body and nervous system.
Readiness: a condition that exists when maturation has advanced enough to allow the rapid acquisition of a particular skill.
Environment ("nurture"): the sum of all external conditions affecting development, including especially the effects of learning.
Congenital problems: problems or defects in the genes or by inherited characteristics.
Teratogen: radiation, a drug, or other substance capable of altering fetal development in nonheritable ways that cause birth defects.
Sensitive period: during development, a period of increased sensitivity to environmental influences. Also, a time during which certain events must take place for normal development to occur.
Deprivation: in development, the loss or withholding of normal stimulation, nutrition, comfort, love, and so forth; a condition of lacking.
Enrichment: in development, deliberately making an environment more stimulating, nutritional, comforting, loving, and so forth.
Reaction range: the limits environment places on the effects of heredity.
Temperament: the physical core of personality, including emotional and perceptual sensitivity, energy levels, typical mood, and so forth.
Developmental level: an individual's current state of physical, emotional, and intellectual development.
Neonate: newborn infant.
Cephalocaudal: from head to toe.
Proximodistal: from the center of the body to the extremities.
Social smile: smiling elicited by social stimuli, such as seeing a parent's face.
Social development: the development of self-awareness, attachment to parents or caregivers, and relationships with other children and adults.
Emotional attachment: an especially close emotional bond that infants form with their parents, caregivers, or others.
Surrogate mother: a substitute mother (often an inanimate dummy in animal research).
Contact comfort: a pleasant and reassuring feeling human and animal infants get from touching or clinging to something soft and warm, usually their mother.
Separation anxiety: distress displayed by infants when they are separated by their parents or principal caregivers.
Secure attachment: a stable and positive emotional bond.
Insecure-avoidant attachment: an anxious emotional bond marked by a tendency to avoid reunion with a parent or caregiver.
Insecure-ambivalent attachment: an anxious emotional bond marked by both a desire to be with a parent or caregiver and some resistance to being reunited.
Affectional needs: emotional needs for love and affection.
Parental styles: identifiable patterns of parental caretaking and interaction with children.
Authoritarian parents: parents who enforce rigid rules and demand strict obedience to authority.
Overly permissive parents: parents who give little guidance, allow too much freedom, or do not require the child to take responsibility.
Authoritative parents: parents who supply firm and consistent guidance combined with love and affection.
Maternal influences: the aggregate of all psychological effects mothers have on their children.
Paternal influences: the aggregate of all psychological effects fathers have on their children.
Biological predisposition: the presumed hereditary readiness of humans to learn certain ...