Fifth Edition Jeffrey Trawick-Smith

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Early Childhood Development


Fifth Edition Jeffrey Trawick-Smith



Upper Saddle River, New Jersey Columbus, Ohio

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Trawick-Smith, Jeffrey W. Early childhood development: a multicultural perspective/Jeffrey Trawick-Smith. — 5th ed. p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-13-501646-0

1. Child development. 2. Early childhood education. 3. Multicultural education. 4. Cognition in children. 5. Observation (Educational method) 6. Children with disabilities—Education. I. Title. LB1115.T73 2010 372.21—dc22


Vice President and Editor in Chief:

Jeffery W. Johnston Publisher: Kevin M. Davis Development Editor: Christina Robb Editorial Assistant: Lauren Carlson Senior Managing Editor: Pamela D.


Senior Project Manager: Mary M. Irvin Senior Art Director: Diane C. Lorenzo

Project Coordination: Elm Street Publishing

Services Cover Design: Kellyn Donnelly Cover Image: SuperStock Photo Coordinator: Shea Davis Operations Specialist: Laura Messerly Vice President Director of Sales and

Marketing: Quinn Perkson Marketing Coordinator: Brian Mounts

This book was set in Goudy by Integra Software Services Pvt. Ltd. It was printed and bound by Edwards Brothers. The cover was printed by Phoenix Color Corp.

Photo Credits: Scott Cunningham/Merrill, pp. 3, 279, 355, 368; Barbara Schwartz/Merrill, pp. 4, 16, 35, 42, 160, 171, 182, 373, 448; Anne Vega/Merrill, pp. 11, 27,110, 132, 138, 149, 189, 203, 206, 267, 304, 318, 405, 418, 427, 470; Corbis Digital Stock, p. 15; Bill Anderson/Photo Researchers, Inc., p. 49; Laima Druskis/PH College, p. 65; Knut Mueller/Das Fotoarchiv./Peter Arnold, Inc., p. 76; Blend Images/Alamy, p. 82; Index Open, pp. 87, 169; Laura Dwight/Creative Eye/, p. 92; Susan Leavines/Photo Researchers, Inc., p. 100; Frank Siteman, p. 105; Elizabeth Crews Photography, p. 107; Susan Woog Wagner/PH College, p. 127; Amy Etra/PhotoEdit Inc., p. 156; Krista Greco/Merrill, pp. 197, 295; Pearson Learning Photo Studio, pp. 227, 342; Dan Floss/Merrill, pp. 231, 308; Julie Peters/Merrill, p. 240; Nancy Sheehan Photography, p. 255; Robert Harbison, p. 329; Susan Ragan/AP Wide World Photos, p. 334; Hope Madden/Merrill, p. 393; Bill Bachmann/The Image Works, p. 436; Purestock, p. 463; Myrleen Ferguson Cate/PhotoEdit Inc., p. 481.

Copyright © 2010, 2006, 2003, 2000,1997 by Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. This publication is protected by Copyright and permission should be obtained from the publisher prior to any prohibited reproduction, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or likewise. For information regarding permission(s), write to: Rights and Permissions Department.

Pearson® is a registered trademark of Pearson pic Merrill® is a registered trademark of Pearson Education, Inc.

Pearson Education Ltd., London Pearson Education Singapore Pte. Ltd. Pearson Education Canada, Ltd. Pearson Education—Japan Pearson Education Australia, Limited

Pearson Education North Asia, Ltd., Hong Kong Pearson Education de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. Pearson Education Malaysia Pte. Ltd. Pearson Education Upper Saddle River, New Jersey


is an imprint of


10 9 876543 ISBN 13: 978-0-13-501646-6 ISBN 10: 0-13-501646-0

To my parents, who taught compassion, understanding, and tolerance by living example.

This edition is dedicated to the memory of Phyllis Waite: community activist, strong and loving mother and grandmother, and committed leader of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.


Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, Fifth Edition, is a book about the development of all children in the world. It examines the physical, social, emotional, linguistic, and intellectual characteristics of children of diverse cultural backgrounds within and outside the United States. It discusses typical as well as atypical development; children with challenging conditions are profiled.

The book can be used as the primary text for child development or early child development courses in community colleges or four-year programs in education or psychology. It can also be used as a supplementary text in graduate-level, life-span human development courses where a goal is to promote cultural understanding and sensitivity. Some of my colleagues have used it as a supplement in courses in multicultural education or the antibias curriculum. The book is intended to assist future teachers, child care providers, and family service and mental health professionals in understanding and celebrating the rich diversity of development among children in all neighborhoods in the United States and around the globe.

Text Organization and Features

An initial examination of the contents will show that the book resembles other texts in child development. It includes current and important issues and topics. The book is organ­ized in a conventional ages-and-stages format. A closer look, however, reveals several unique features. First, each topic is examined from a multicultural perspective. Sections on language development, for example, include descriptions of second-language learning and the linguistic development of non-English speakers. Chapters on intellectual development highlight cultural diversity in cognitive styles. Attachment patterns and peer relations among children of diverse backgrounds are explored. Cultural variations in motor play and development are examined.

A second unique feature is that topics in atypical development and special education are smoothly integrated into the core development chapters. For example, autism and serious emotional disturbance are fully examined in sections on social development, and mental retardation and learning disabilities are extensively described in chapters dealing with cogni­tion. One purpose of the text is to assist professionals working with children and families in understanding and appreciating the characteristics of children with challenging conditions who will be increasingly integrated within regular classrooms.

A final important feature of the book is its real-life, practical orientation. It is intended as a hands-on guide, with suggestions for professional practice presented in each chapter. A special Assessing Young Children feature helps professionals interpret the behaviors of children in classrooms and use this information to plan programs, guide classroom in­teractions, and enrich development. Each chapter ends with a Research into Practice section that outlines practical classroom and parenting applications. A Child Guidance


feature in each chapter highlights a proven research-based technique for enhancing chil­dren's social, emotional, cognitive, or language growth. The chapters include numerous stories drawn from diverse cultures within and outside the United States, which bring the­ory and research to life.

Why Study Child Development from a Multicultural Perspective?

Why is a multicultural focus in child development so important? During the 21st cen­tury, traditionally underrepresented groups—often called minorities—will constitute a new majority within the United States. Children from families of historically underrep­resented groups make up a growing percentage of the preschool and school-age popula­tion. Early childhood classrooms are becoming increasingly diverse, and teachers and other professionals must be prepared to meet the unique needs of young children of vary­ing backgrounds. Even teachers of monocultural classrooms must assist their students in understanding and appreciating other cultures. A primary goal in early childhood educa­tion today is to provide the skills, understanding, and sensitivity that children need in a pluralistic society. This textbook is designed to assist professionals in meeting that goal by providing a culturally sensitive account of developmental processes.

New Features in the Fifth Edition

This fifth edition includes many new topics and issues. One new emphasis is on societal trends that influence young children's development. Sections on the effects of electronic media on children's development have been added. Research is presented on how televi­sion, DVDs, and computers can influence language and intellectual and social behavior. The growing problem of childhood obesity is more fully addressed throughout the book. New evidence is included on the factors that lead young children to become overweight— even those factors that occur before birth! Strategies to prevent obesity in the home and classroom are discussed.

The effect of the current standards movement in early childhood education on children's development is explored in this edition. Political and social pressures for accountability and assessment, and their influence on behavior and learning, are examined.

This new edition examines the useful applications of the information processing theory. This is a theory that focuses on how young children attend to, remember, and retrieve information they gather in their lives. New strategies, based on this theory, are suggested for promoting positive relationships with peers and prosocial skills and for reducing aggression. Finally, Chapter 18, "Parents, Families, and Children: A Multicultural Perspective," has been revised to describe the diversity of families in American society and their many strengths and challenges. A special emphasis is placed on family stressors and how children are able to cope with these. The various risk factors that families face and the protective factors that help children to survive are examined. Cultural and socioeconomic influences on family life are more fully explored.

In addition to these new sections, the book contains discussions of more than 800 new research studies and articles on early childhood development that have been published since the last edition. These include recent and remarkable investigations on how the brain works as a child is acquiring new words, becoming attached to parents, listening to music, or interacting with peers. Studies that use new computer technology to explore the precise


ways that children solve problems or learn grammatical rules are presented. Most important, much new research is cited that supports the basic premise of this book: that culture and families influence the ways young children develop.

Supplementary Materials

The following supplements to the textbook are available for download on Simply click on "Educators"; enter the author, title, or ISBN; and select this textbook. Click on the "Resources" tab to view and download the supplements detailed below.

Online Instructor's Manual with Test Bank

An online instructor's manual (0-13-501651-7) includes a discussion of critical topics for each chapter and a set of cooperative learning activities that instructors can use in their classes. Two or more of these activities are provided for each chapter in the book. These creative, field-tested activities may be copied for classroom use. The instructor's manual also contains a test bank with three different types of items: recall, analysis and application, and essay questions.

Online Test Gen

The computerized test bank software, Test Gen (0-13-501649-5), allows instructors to create and customize exams. Test Gen is available in both Macintosh and PC/Windows versions.

Online PowerPoint Slides

The PowerPoint slides (0-13-501689-4) highlight key concepts and summarize text content. These guides are designed to provide structure to instructor presentations and give students an organized perspective on each chapter's content.

Downloadable Course Cartridges

Available for both BlackBoard (0-13-501648-7) and WebCT (0-13-501647-9), the online course cartridges contain the Test Bank content in a format to use with either online learn­ing application.


Writing a book of this kind is a challenge. Such an undertaking is not possible without sup­port and encouragement from many individuals. I would like to thank my family—Nancy, Benjamin, and Joseph—for their patience during my work on this project. They helped me to know when it was time to step away from the computer, put down the manuscript, and take a moment to enjoy fully what is most important in life: their love.

I want to thank Elsa Nunez, the president of Eastern Connecticut State University—a visionary, a leader, and a warm, encouraging colleague—who has recognized, supported, and in­spired my scholarship. I also wish to thank my university colleagues, particularly Leah Barbuto, Theresa Bouley, Diane Ceretto, Julia DeLapp, Patty Gardner, Ann Gruenberg, Jamie Klein, Sudha Swaminathan, and June Wright, who kept me thinking and laughing during the project.


I would like to give a special thanks to Patty Martinez-Meritt from the University of Alaska, who has, with her students, provided so many wonderful ideas and suggestions for the book over the years. I want to thank Rachel Levin for her thorough search for new studies on young children's development.

I would like to acknowledge those individuals who provided the stories, quotes, and cultural descriptions that enrich this book. In particular, I would like to thank Deb Adams, Ingrid Eschholz, Tuala Fitzgerald, Ivy Goduka, Jill Huels, Diana Kimiatek, Hari Koirala, Lirio Martinez, Elsy Negron, Randy Rush, Wilson Soto, and Asomgyee Pamoga. Other people provided technical expertise in the writing of some sections. I want to thank David Trawick for his comments and suggestions on chapters addressing genetics and medical issues. Jeff Danforth provided helpful insights regarding children with ADHD, not to mention a very fine blues tape. June Wright provided materials and ideas on multiple intelligences and brain research, and Ann Gruenberg shared perspectives on atypical development.

I wish to thank Christina Robb and Kevin Davis at Pearson/Merrill for keen professional insights, kindness, and tireless patience. They understand well the emotional needs of an author who is writing a complex textbook. The entire editing, production, and marketing staff of Pearson/Merrill was remarkably helpful and supportive.

The suggestions and comments of the following reviewers of the earlier editions were invaluable: Mae P. Arntzen, Mott Community College; Toni Campbell, San Jose State University; Linda A. Carson, Des Moines Area Community College; Susan Bertram Eisner, Hood College; Kathleen E. Fite, Southwest Texas State University; Rey A. Gomez, Arizona State University; Craig H. Hart, Brigham Young University; Alice S. Honig, Syracuse University; Ivy N. Goduka, Central Michigan University; James E. Johnson, Northeastern State University; Sim Lesser, Miami Dade Community College, Kendall; Jeanne B. Morris, Illinois State University; Cathy Nathan, Texas Tech University; Sherrill Richarz, Washington State University; Barbara J. Rodrigues, University of Central Florida; Bobbie H. Rowland, University of North Carolina, Charlotte; Michelle L. Rupiper, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; and Nancy E. Sayre, Clarion University. I'd like to acknowledge as well the review­ers who made suggestions for improving the previous edition: Christine Chaille, Portland State University; Colleen Finegan, Wright State University; Laura Gruntmeir, Redlands Community College; Cathy Nathan, Texas Tech University; and Michelle L. Rupiper, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. I'd like to thank the reviewers of the fifth edition for their suggestions for improvement: Yash Bhagwanji, Florida Atlantic University; Herman Knopf, University of South Carolina, Columbia; Andrea McCourt, Texas Tech University; Robin Ocheltree, Arizona State University; and Kresha Warnock, Ball State University.

Finally, I would like to thank the children and families whose behaviors and learning serve as the basis for many stories in the book: Benjamin, Joseph, Matthew, Meggie, Sam, Alex, Brenna, and Haley; the children and families of the Child and Family Development Resource Center of Eastern Connecticut State University, the Hartford Public Schools, the Windham Public Schools, the Temple Early Childhood Education Center, the former John Marshall Elementary School in Louisville, Kentucky; the Christian Center Child Care Center in Bloomington, Indiana; the University of Minnesota Child Care Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota; the Oak Grove Montessori School in Mansfield, Connecticut; and the preschool and kindergarten of the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Colegio Universitario Tecnologico de Bayamon, Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

Jeffrey Trawick-Smith

Brief Contents

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