To make their babies smile as often as possible because this shows that the baby is happy and healthy.

Chomsky’s Theory of Language Development discusses “critical periods” for learning language.  Following from this theory, disruptions during critical periods should negatively affect the development of language.

Unfortunately, there are some examples from real life to demonstrate this hypothesis.  Please link to and read the following regarding both a very recent and an historic case:

Save your time - order a paper!

Get your paper written from scratch within the tight deadline. Our service is a reliable solution to all your troubles. Place an order on any task and we will take care of it. You won’t have to worry about the quality and deadlines

Order Paper Now

Here are some additional, optional resources on Genie:

Obviously, these are both horrific cases of child abuse.

1.)  What does “Genie’s” final outcome tell us about language (and emotional) development?

2.)  What cues can educators take from these tragic cases?


This lesson will explore the emotional and communication development of children. Firstly, we will discuss the theories of emotional development. We will then look at how emotion develops in two main stages: primary emotions which include joy, anger and fear, and secondary emotions which comprise the self-conscious emotions. We will then move onto attachment theory where we investigate how the different kinds of caregiver-infant relationships either create secure or insecure attachments, and the impact of these attachments on child development. In the second part of the lesson, we will explore language and communication development. We will cover how this development is socially facilitated, as well as the components of language and communication. Lastly, we will discuss the social use of language.

Emotional Development


· Emotions

Emotions have many important functions and have a significant impact on child development. Emotions are internal responses to the environment, that are accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes. For instance, sadness may be accompanied by a change in heart rate and release of cortisol, a stress hormone. Learning how to interpret other’s emotions is also a key aspect of development.

Development of Emotional Expression

While most mothers agree that they can detect emotions in the first month of their baby’s life (Johnson, Emde, Pannabecker, Stenberg, & Davis, 1982), the Maximally Discriminative Facial Movement (MAX) coding system developed by Izard, Fantauzzo, Castle, Haynes and Slomine (1995), determines infant emotions based on their body movements and facial expressions.





Fear and Other Emotions





Fear is the second predominant primary emotion. Fear of strangers emerges around the same time that infants begin to show positive emotion to familiar people. According to Sroufe (1996), at around three months, infants begin to be wary when they are exposed to new situations because they have difficulty assimilating and comprehending the unfamiliar. From around seven months, this wariness turns into outright fear and distress.

Knowledge Check


Question 1

Please select the two correct statements that refute the genetic-maturational perspective’s argument that biological factors determine how children react and regulate their emotions.


The   rate of infant smiling is related to the rate of caregiver stimulation.


Babies   begin to smile at 46 weeks from conception, whether they were born premature   or full-term.


Stranger   distress is not universal since it does not occur in cultures in which   caregiving is shared among multiple relatives.


From   about eight weeks, babies begin to look a lot at the mouth and respond to   smiles.

I don’t know

One attempt

Submit answer

You answered 0 out of 0 correctly. Asking up to 1.

Secondary Emotions

Secondary emotions function to identify and coordinate the role of the individual’s responsibility in a situation that involves other factors and/or people. Secondary emotion are self-conscious emotions that describe the individual’s perception of their relatively superior or inferior position. Secondary emotions emerge from around the second year (Saarni et al., 2006).

Emotional reactions differ from child to child, and are a consequence of temperament and environmental factors – particularly parental modeling. High negative emotionality results in more adjustment difficulties, depression and behavioral problems, while children with positive emotionality have high self-esteem, social competence and less adjustment issues.





Identifying Emotions in Others

Infants initially learn to interpret other’s emotions by observing caregiver facial expressions. Research suggests that babies recognize caregiver joy before they are able to recognize anger – similar to how babies first express joy and only later express anger (Izard et al., 1995). As children get older, they more accurately discern between genuine and inauthentic smiles (Del Giudice & Colle, 2007).

Experiences Impact Emotions

Children’s early experiences impact their ability to recognize emotions. For example, children who have experienced high levels of threat and hostility recognize anger more quickly and sadness more slowly than other children (Pollak & Sinha, 2002). Children from cultures that value group harmony and focus on other’s feelings, such as China and Mexico, are more capable than Australian and U.S. children at recognizing other’s emotions (Cole & Tan, 2007).

Emotional Regulation





An important facet of development is learning to regulate and take control of one’s emotional expression. Infants learn that sucking their thumbs is soothing, while older children learn to avoid frightening situations and distract themselves. As children grow up, increased self-control modulates the intensity, frequency and variability of their emotions, and predicts later adjustment (Fox & Calkins, 2003; Saarni et al., 2006). For example, it is normal for two-year olds to have tantrums, but tantrums in older children and adults are not considered normal or healthy.

Watch this video on early childhood self-regulation.

Knowledge Check


Question 1

Caregivers have the following two responsibilities:


To   help children understand and speak about their own and other’s emotions.


To   make their babies smile as often as possible because this shows that the baby   is happy and healthy.


To   ensure children never experience negative emotions like jealousy, shame and   fear, because negative emotions impact development.


To   ensure that parent-child and parent-parent relationships in the home are   supportive and cooperative.

I don’t know

One attempt

Submit answer

You answered 0 out of 0 correctly. Asking up to 1.


Attachment is the emotional bond between the infant and caregivers, and is foundational to the rest of the child’s development. Psychoanalytic and learning theory associate attachment with the satisfaction of the infant’s primary drive of hunger. The cognitive developmental view proposes that attachment teaches infants that others continue to exist even when they cannot be seen. The ethological perspective describes that children and caregivers are biologically programmed to respond to each other and develop a mutual attachment.

Attachment processes continue into adolescence, and determine how adolescents gain independence, form relationships with others and perceive the world. Furthermore, these patterns are generally repeated with our own children when we become parents. This is referred to as intergenerational continuity.

Some people are resilient enough to overcome dysfunctional attachments, and develop secure, satisfying relationships with their spouses and children. These people are referred to as earned secure individuals (Paley, Cox, Burchinal, & Payne, 1999). Professional help can improve parent-child relationships.






Impact Of Attachment on Development





How do you think neural plasticity and the quality of attachment relate?

Research shows that attachments to both mother and father are equally important (Parke & Buriel, 2006). Secure attachment, caregiver responsiveness and good parent-child relationships are related to more complex cognitive development and higher academic achievement and participation (Jacobsen & Hofmann 1997; Stams, Juffer, & van Ijzendoorn, 2002).

Knowledge Check


Question 1

Please select the correct statement.


Children   with insecure-disorganized attachment are probably angry with their   caregiver’s inconsistent availability.


Caregivers   who are unavailable, inconsistent, intrusive, or frightening tend to create   attachment dysfunction in children.


Children   who are sent to daycare are more prone to attachment disorders.


Children   who have attachment disorders will probably never be able to form healthy   relationships.

I don’t know

One attempt

Submit answer

You answered 0 out of 0 correctly. Asking up to 1.

Language and Communication

While humans are genetically predisposed to learning language, social support is crucial when children learn to speak and communicate. Language is a complex system of rules that allows us to send messages to one another through words, symbols and behaviors. We use it to relate, express ourselves, influence, inform others and achieve goals. Language is important to teach children how to regulate their emotions, control their actions and organize their thinking (Parke & Gauvain, 2009).

Communication competence allows children to express themselves in meaningful and culturally relevant ways. Communication is a two-way process, whereby productive language refers to the production of communication, while receptive language refers to understanding other’s communication.





Language Development Theories

We will explore each of these components in more detail, but first, we will discuss the theories of language development.




The learning perspective proposes that children learn language through caregivers who positively reinforce infant babbling that most sounds like speech, and because children learn through imitating and generalizing what they observe and hear from others.

Facilitating Language Development


· Language Acquisition Support System (LASS)

The language acquisition support system (LASS) is the environment provided by caregivers and other people like siblings, in which children learn language (Bruner, 1983). Nonverbal games such as peekaboo have predictable patterns which may lay the foundation for language and communication rules – for example, turn-taking. Parents and siblings usually talk to the child throughout these games, commenting on the child’s actions and what is occurring, and anticipating the child’s needs, thus laying the foundation for language.

Antecedents of Language





Since communication is more than just verbal language, prelinguistic communication such as facial expressions, gestures and movement are important precursors (Adamson, 1995). From three months, infants begin to respond to caregivers with smiles, movements, sounds and gestures, from six months they begin to make pointing gestures at objects and from one year they can follow someone else’s pointing gesture (Fogel, 1993).

Semantic Development

Children understand more than they are able to express. One-and-a-half-year olds typically understand between 50 to100 words and begin to say their first words. Two-year olds understand around 900 words, and six-year olds understand around 8000 words. This increase in vocabulary is referred to as the naming explosion (Bloom, Lifter & Broughton, 1985).

Children learn object words first, probably because it is easier to understand the relationship between the object, concept and word, than understanding actions and abstract concepts (Gentner, 1982). Action words are more easily learnt when it is an action the child can perform, such as running and jumping. Overextension of words occurs when one word is used for many objects. For instance, all animals may be referred to as cat. Underextension occurs when a word is used in a very limited way, for instance if the word cat is used to identify only black cats.


The child’s leap from using single words to full sentences is rapid. Children begin to communicate by using single words that seem to communicate full ideas – for example, if a child says ‘me’ the parent may realize the child is really saying ‘I want to do this myself’. This is referred to as a holophrase.



Two-year olds begin to use telegraphic speech or two-word sentences that contain only the words needed to convey the intended meaning – usually nouns, adjectives and verbs. For example, ‘me play’. This also occurs in two-year olds who use sign language. At this stage, children learn about the correct plural forms, and may overgeneralize rules they have learned. For instance, the plural form -s may be applied to all words: ‘mouses’ instead of ‘mice.’

Learning the Social Use of Language

Since language functions to help us express ourselves, and influence and relate to others, it is a social phenomenon. Pragmatics are thus crucial rules about what kind of communication is appropriate in specific situations.

Children generally begin to learn the first, second and third rules by around the age of two (Dunn, 1988; Wellman & Lempers, 1977). Miller and Sperry (1987) add that children need to learn how, where, when and to whom to express negative feelings such as anger and sadness. As with other social skills, children learn pragmatics from observation, listening, imitation and instruction.

According to Glucksberg, Kraus & Higgins (1975), children must learn the following pragmatics respectively:











Many children grow up learning two languages. In some cases, children learn two languages simultaneously, where perhaps one parent speaks to the child in one language, while the other parent speaks to the child in another language. In other cases, languages may be learned sequentially, where the first language is learned at home and the second at school.

Knowledge Check


Question 1

Which of the following utterances is most typical of a two-year old?




Mommy!   Sweetie me.


Mommy   doesn’t understand me.

I don’t know

One attempt

Submit answer

You answered 0 out of 0 correctly. Asking up to 1.


In this lesson, we covered the emotional development of children, attachment theory and the development of language and communication in children. We began the lesson by discussing the theoretical approaches to emotional development, and then moved on to exploring the development of emotional expression, where we discussed primary and secondary emotions, and emotional regulation. We then investigated how the caregiving style impacts the quality of attachment between children and caregivers, and the impact attachment has on child development. Thereafter, we looked at language and communication development. We briefly explored the main language development theories, and then looked at how language development can be facilitated. Lastly, we looked at the components of language and how they come together to be used socially.



Adamson, L. B. (1995). Communication development during infancy. Madison, WI: Brown & Benchmark.

Ainsworth, M. D. (1973). The development of infant-mother attachment. In B. Caldwell & H. Ricciuti (Eds.), Review of child development research (Vol. 3, pp. 1–94). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Bialystok, E. (1999). Cognitive complexity and attentional control in the bilingual mind. Child Development, 70, 636–644.

Bloom, L., Lifter, K., & Broughton, J. (1985). The convergence of early cognition and language in the second year of life: Problems in conceptualization and measurement. In M. Barrett (Ed.), Single word speech (pp. 149–181). London, UK: Wiley.

Bruner, J. (1983). Children’s talk. New York, NY: Norton.

Clarke-Stewart, K. A., & Allhusen, V. D. (2002). Nonparental caregiving. In M. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting (2nd ed., pp. 215–252). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Cole, P. M., & Tan, P. Z. (2007). Emotion socialization from a cultural perspective. In J. E. Grusec & P. Hastings (Eds.), Handbook of socialization (pp. 516–542). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Contreras, J. M., Kerns, K., Weimer, B. L., Gentzler, A. L., & Tomich, P. L. (2000). Emotional regulation as a mediator of association between mother-child attachment and peer relationships in middle childhood. Journal of Family Psychology, 14, 111–124.

Deacon, S. H., Wade-Woolley, L., & Kirby, J. (2007). Crossover: The role of morphological awareness in French immersion children’s reading. Developmental Psychology, 43, 732–746.

Del Giudice, M., & Colle, L. (2007). Differences between children and adults in the recognition of enjoyment smiles. Developmental Psychology, 43, 796–803.

Denham, S. A., Bassett, H. H., & Wyatt, T. (2007). The socialization of emotional competence. In J. E. Grusec, & P. Hastings (Eds.), Handbook of socialization (pp. 516–542). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

de Villiers, P. A., & de Villiers, J. G. (1992). Language development. In M. E. Lamb & M. H. Bornstein (Eds.), Developmental psychology: An advanced textbook (3rd ed., pp. 313–373). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Diaz, R. M. (1985). Bilingual cognitive development: Addressing three gaps in current research. Child Development, 56, 1376–1388.

Dittrichova, J. (1969). The development of premature infants. In R. J. Robinson (Ed.), Brain and early development. London, UK: Academic Press.

Dunn, J. (1988). The beginnings of social understanding. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Feinman, S., & Lewis, M. (1983). Social referencing at ten months: A second-order effect on infants’ responses to strangers. Child Development, 54, 878–887.

Fogel, A. (1993). Developing through relationships: Origins of communication, self, and culture. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Fox, N. A., & Calkins, S. (2003). The development of self-control of emotions: Intrinsic and external influences. Motivation and Emotion, 27, 7–26.

Gentner, D. (1982). Why nouns are learned before verbs: Linguistic relativity versus natural partitioning. In S. A. Kuczaj II (Ed.), Language development: Vol. 2. Language, thought, and culture (pp. 301–332). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Glucksberg, S., Krauss, R., & Higgins, E. T. (1975). The development of referential communication skills. In F. D. Horowitz (Ed.), Review of child development research (Vol. 4, pp. 305–345). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Goncz, L., & Kodzopeljic, J. (1991). Exposure to two languages in the preschool period: Metalinguistic development and the acquisition of reading. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 12, 137–142.

Harter, S., & Buddin, B. J. (1987). Children’s understanding of the simultaneity of two emotions: A five-stage developmental acquisition sequence. Developmental Psychology, 23, 388–399.

Harter, S. (2006). The self. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Series Eds.), & N. Eisenberg (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology (6th ed., Vol. 3, pp. 505–570). New York, NY: Wiley.

Izard, C. E., Fantauzzo, C. A., Castle, J. M., Haynes, O. M., & Slomine, B. S. (1995). The morphological stability and social validity of infants’ facial expressions. Unpublished manuscript, University of Delaware.

Jacobsen, T., & Hofmann, V. (1997). Children’s attachment representations: Longitudinal relations to school behavior and academic competency in middle childhood and adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 33, 703–710.

Johnson, W., Emde, R. N., Pannabecker, B., Stenberg, C., & Davis, M. (1982). Maternal perception of infant emotion from birth through 18 months. Infant Behaviorand Development, 5 , 313–322.

LaFrance, M., Hecht, M. A., & Levy Paluck, E. (2003). The contingent smile: A meta-analysis of sex differences in smiling. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 305–334.

Lewis, M. (2000). Self-conscious emotions: Embarrassment, pride, shame, and guilt. In M. Lewis & J. Haviland (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (2nd ed., pp. 623–636). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Lewis, M., Alessandri, S., & Sullivan, M. W. (1992). Differences in shame and pride as a function of children’s gender and task difficulty. Child Development, 63, 630–638.

Lewis, M., & Michalson, L. (1985). Children’s emotions and moods. New York, NY: Plenum Press.

Mangelsdorf, S., Watkins, S., & Lehn, L. (1991, April). The role of control in the infant’s appraisal of strangers. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, Washington.

Miller, P., & Sperry, L. L. (1987). The socialization of anger and aggression. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 33, 1–31.

Morgan, G. A., & Ricciuti, H. (1969). Infants’ responses to strangers during the first year. In B. M. Foss (Ed.), Determinants of infant behavior (Vol. 4, pp. 253–272). London, UK: Methuen.

Paley, B., Cox, M. J., Burchinal, M. R., & Payne, C. C. (1999). Attachment and family functioning: Comparison of spouses with continuous-secure, earned-secure, dismissing and preoccupied attachment stances. Journal of Family Psychology, 13, 580–597.

Parke, R., & Buriel, R. (2006). Socialization in the family: Ethnic and ecological perspectives. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Series Eds.), & N. Eisenberg (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 3. Social, emotional and personality development (6th ed., pp. 429–504). New York, NY: Wiley.

Parke, R., & Gauvain, M. (2009).Child Psychology: A contemporary viewpoint  (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Pearson, B. Z., Fernandez, S. C., Lewedeg, V., & Oller, D. K. (1997). The relation of input factors of lexical learning by bilingual infants (ages 8 to 30 months). Applied Psycholinguistics, 18, 41–58.

Pearson, B. Z., Fernandez, S. C., & Oller, D. K. (1993). Lexical development in bilingual infants and toddlers: Comparison to monolingual norms. Language Learning, 43, 93–120.

Petitto, L. A., & Marentette, P. (1991). Babbling in the manual mode: Evidence for the ontogeny of language. Science, 251, 1493–1496.

Pollak, S. D., & Sinha, P. (2002). Effects of early experience on children’s recognition of facial displays of emotion. Developmental Psychology, 38, 784–791.

Saarni, C., Campos, J. J., & Camras, L. (2006). Emotional development. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Series Eds.), & N. Eisenberg (Vol. Ed.). Handbook of child psychology: Vol 3. Social, emotional, and personality development (6th ed., pp. 226–299). New York, NY: Wiley.

Schneider, B. H., Atkinson, L., & Tardif, C. (2001). Child-parent attachment and children’s peer relations: A quantitative review. Developmental Psychology, 37, 86–100.

Sokolov, J. L. (1993). A local contingency analysis of the fine-tuning hypothesis. Developmental Psychology, 29, 1008–1023.

Sroufe, L. A. (1996). Emotional development: The organization of emotional life in the early years. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Sroufe, L. A., Waters, E., & Matas, L. (1974). Contextual determinants of infant affectional response. In M. Lewis & L. Rosenblum (Eds.), Origins of fear (pp. 49–72). New York, NY: Wiley.

Stams, G. J. M., Juffer, F., & van Ijzendoorn, M. H. (2002). Maternal sensitivity, infant attachment and temperament in early childhood predict adjustment in middle childhood: The case of adopted children and their biologically unrelated parents. Developmental Psychology, 38, 806–821.

Tamis-LeMonda, C. S., Bornstein, M. H., & Baumwell, L. (2001). Maternal responsiveness and children’s achievement of language milestones. Child Development, 72, 748–767.

Thevenin, D. M., Eilers, R. E., Oller, D. K., & LaVoie, L. (1985). Where’s the drift in babbling drift? A cross-linguistic study. Applied Psycholinguistics, 6, 3–15.

Thompson, R. A. (2006). The development of the person: Social understanding, relationships, self, conscience. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Series Eds.), & N. Eisenberg (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology (6th ed, Vol 3, pp. 24–98). New York, NY: Wiley.

Tomasello, M. (2006). Acquiring metalinguistic constructions. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Series Eds.), & D. Kuhn & R. Siegler (Vol. Eds.), Handbook of child psychology (Vol. 2, 6th ed., pp. 255–298). New York, NY: Wiley.

Tronick, E. Z., Messinger, D. S., Weinberg, M. K., Lester, B. M., LaGasse, L., Seifer, R., et al. (2005). Cocaine exposure is associated with subtle compromises of infants’ and mothers’ social-emotional behavior and dyadic features of their interaction in the face still face paradigm. Developmental Psychology, 41, 711–722.

Tronick, E. Z., Morelli, G. A., & Ivey, P. K. (1992). The Efe forager infant and toddler’s pattern of social relationships: Multiple and simultaneous. Developmental Psychology, 28, 568–577.

Volling, B. L., McElwain, N. L., & Miller, A. L. (2002). Emotion regulation in context: The jealousy complex between young siblings and its relations with child and family characteristics. Child Development, 73, 581–600.

Walden, T. (1991). Infant social referencing. In J. Garber & K. Dodge (Eds.), The development of emotional regulation and dysregulation (pp. 69–88). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Watamura, S. E., Donzella, B., Alwin, J., & Gunnar, M. R. (2003). Morning to afternoon increases in cortisol concentration for infants and toddlers at child care: Age differences and behavioral correlates. Child Development, 74, 1006–1020.

Wellman, H. M., & Lempers, J. D. (1977). The naturalistic communicative abilities of two-year-olds. Child Development, 48, 1052–1057.