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Milestones of Development: Overview

Milestones of development are major turning points in childhood that help organize or direct other aspects of a child's development. Milestones occur in every area of development: physical and motor, social and emotional, and cognitive. Almost everyone experiences these environmental (e.g., nutrition and culture) factors. Not reaching a milestone or an extreme variation in timing may have an influence on the child's later development. One example of a physical milestone is the development of the ability to walk. Walking, rather than crawling, opens up the toddler's physical and perceptual world. A major social-emotional milestone is the development of an attachment to a major caregiver during the infant's first year. Secure attachment has been found to promote the child's later social and cognitive development.

Bibliography

Abe, Jo Ann, and Carroll Izard. "The Devleopmental Functions ofEmotions: An Analysis in Terms of Differential Emotions Theory." Cognition and Emotion 13 (1999):523-549.

Hay, Dale, and A. Angold. Precursors and Causes in Development and Psychopathology. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1993.

Lee, Kang. Childhood Cognitive Development: The Essential Readings. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2000.

Diane E. Wille

Additional topics

Social Issues ReferenceChild Development Reference - Vol 5