sensorimotor stage OF Child Development

According to Overton (2013), the sensorimotor stage is crucial in predicting a child's upcoming developmental stages. According to Jean Piaget's theory on cognitive development, there are four stages of growth and six substages, which are separated by a child's age. The sixth sub-stage, which includes children between the ages of 18 and 24 months, is marked by the formation of long-lasting mental representations and the child's use of their first symbols. (Marbach, 2013). Hall's (2000) depiction of Madeleine's development demonstrates that the child exhibits early signs of the capacity to use symbols and mental representations. Madeleine at eighteen can pronounce the name ""Daddy"" from her previous pronunciation as ""dada."" She uses the word ‘baby’ to mean many different things including Bald Baby and herself. To indicate that indeed she is the one being referred as a baby and not any other object, Madeleine folds her arm backward toward herself.

The stage is further associated with the beginning of insight and creativity which elements are clearly evident in the behavior of Madeleine (Rutherford, 2011). At nineteen months, Madeleine can imitate what her father is doing, when he announced "poop" she would joyfully shout back "poop." At this stage, she can create a vivid picture of what is happening (Keenan, Evans & Crowley, 2016), when his father was removing imaginary diaper from the doll and then put on new diapers without applying some oil to the butt of the doll, she resists until it is wiped to dry. She calls her rocking horse "raw-ch” the same name she uses when referring to the rocking chair.

Question 2

The Erikson’s stages of development are a psychoanalytic theory that discusses the processes through which an individual undergoes from childhood into adulthood. According to the theory, there are eight developmental stages. The stage relevant to Madeleine’s infancy is trust v mistrust (Smith & Elliott, 2011). Madeleine trusts are built by mimicking the act of her father, and she believes that what her parents are doing is the right thing. She is hummed by her mother while dribbling an index finger over lips. She picks this trend and ensures that her father stops whatever he was doing so that he can wave to her with one hand and dribble the lips with the other. Additionally, there are some issues that an infant undergoes during the stage that is related with Madeleine’s infancy (Shabatay, 2000). Some of the issues include having the feeling of being comforted while breastfeeding. The soothing during the feeding process creates a bond between the mother and the child (Whitebread, 2008).

According to Fabrizi, Ito & Winston (2016), the stage of trusts and mistrust is the first stage of infant development. During this stage, the child develops a virtue of hope, and there is a development of affection between the child and the mother. The interaction of Madeline with her mother during her bath is a source of comfort. She ensures that her doll is within her vicinity during her bath, Pamela, her mother, allows her to play with the toy including emerging it in bathing water. Madeline feels a sense of responsibility and perceives her act of immersing the doll in bath tab as washing it. Shaffer & Kipp (2014) argue that the three determinant factors of good care based on the theory is the ability to provide comfort, affection, and food. Madeleine accesses enough food which she sometimes feels she should offer to her doll. She is comfortable with her parents as evidenced by how she plays with her father. The trust is developed because her parents afford her affection, her mother sings to her lullaby songs, "I Gave My Love a Cherry."

Question 3

A study conducted by Fabrizi, Ito and Winston (2016) aimed at investigating the effects of a community playground on the playfulness of children below five years and their response to their caretakers found out that playfulness increased when children met to play as a group. The finding is an indication that when children from different homestead are brought together, they tend to be more playful than when they are alone. This is because the new children bring new ideas and imagination which has to be practiced by the other kids. Parents have different ways of upbringing their children; therefore their level of interaction and playfulness differ.

The researchers found that participation in the playgroup significantly increased child playfulness, but there is no change in caregiver responsiveness. These findings are related to imagination and pretend to play in children meeting of the children during the play session expose them to learn something new from others and thus improves their playfulness (Kail, 2006).

The findings apply to the upbringing of a child. Allowing children from different background exposes the child to new ideas and their activeness increases. It is also advisable to parents to use playgroups in general occupational therapy practice since it aids in early intervention in the development of the child.


Fabrizi, S. E., Ito, M. A., & Winston, K. (2016). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.017012

Hall, B. (2000). Madeleine begins to talk. In D. N. Sattler & V. Shabatay (Eds.), Psychology in context: Voices and perspectives (2nd ed., pp. 137-141). Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin.

Kail, R. V. (2006). Advances in Child Development and Behavior: Volume 34. London, UK: Elsevier Science & Technology.

Keenan, T., Evans, S., & Crowley, K. (2016). An introduction to child development. Los Angeles.

Marbach, E. (2013). Mental representation and consciousness: Towards a phenomenological theory of representation and reference (Vol. 14). Springer Science & Business Media.

Overton, W. F. (Ed.). (2013). Reasoning, necessity, and logic: Developmental perspectives. Psychology Press.

Rutherford, M. D. (2011). Child development: Perspectives in developmental psychology. Don Mills, Ont: Oxford University Press Canada.

Shabatay, V. (2000). Psychology in context: Voices and perspectives. Houghton Mifflin College Division.

Shaffer, D. R., & Kipp, K. (2014). Developmental psychology: Childhood and adolescence. Australia: Wadsworth.

Smith, L. L., & Elliott, C. H. (2011). Child psychology & development for dummies. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Whitebread, D. (2008). Developmental psychology and early years education. London: SAGE.

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