Infancy: Object Permanence – Assignment Example

The paper "Infancy: Object Permanence" is a great example of an assignment on health sciences and medicine.
Object permanence occurs during infancy when a child comes to the realization that objects exist even when the object has passed out of the infant’s field of vision. Before this stage infants only see objects as they apply to them, and don’t realize that things can exist without their knowledge. “The term object permanence was first coined by psychologist Jean Piaget who believed that children reached this stage at around eight or nine months old” (Knowlton 5014). While this age is most common for children to develop object permanence, it varies depending on each child’s developmental pace. Piaget came to this conclusion by doing simple tests of showing a child a toy and then covering it with a blanket. For children who had developed object permanence, they would still reach for the toy or try and pull the blanket off of it. Children who had not yet reached this stage would often become distressed or cry, fearing that the toy had disappeared.
How Does it Develop?
In the Bioecological Systems Theory of child development, the focus is placed on outside influences and how these factors can both encourage or delay a child’s development of object permanence. Graphically this theory is often represented by depicting rings within rings with each ring representing a different outside influence. The first layer outside the child's circle is the microsystem “which suggests the most influence on the child's development. The microsystem consists of the family, school, child care providers, peers, and all experiences and influences that have a direct effect on the child's immediate environment” (Voldovy 108). The second layer is the mesosystem which “depicts the interactions and linkages of the interconnections of the microsystem (i.e. parents are affected by child care providers and child care providers are affected by parents)” (Sauer 4). The third layer is the exosystem which depicts additional ecological systems that affect child development more indirectly. The exosystem consists of such systems as “legal services, social services, neighbours, extended family, and workplace. Even though that doesn't actually "touch" the child's life, they indirectly affect the child's experiences” (Ayala 168). The last layer in the bioecological system is the macrosystem. This level contains laws, customs, and values of a particular society or cultural system. Even though these institutions don't directly affect the individual child, they can have a strong influence on a child’s development. The chronosystem “reflects the dimension of time in regard to the child's environment and is illustrated with a line that cuts across the entire circle which emphasizes the effect of time across the entire system” (Ortega 48).