Psychology | Infant Development
P442 | 3841 | Thelen, E


For this course we will expand the concept of “infant” to include the
preschool years as we address a vitally important issue in
contemporary society: the effect of widespread daycare on early
development. We will start with two very recent controversial
research articles claiming that daycare is stressful for young
children as measured by stress hormones, and that children in daycare
are more aggressive than those reared at home. As we dig deeper into
this research, we will learn about attachment, the physiological
bases of stress-responses, early peer social interaction, issues of
race and class, and the fundamental issue of the effects of early
experience on brain and behavior. We will learn to find, read,
understand, critique, and integrate research on these important
topics. Class is problem-solving, not lecture-based, so students must
be actively engaged in seeking and integrating information. Grades
will be based on written summaries and critiques of research. Some
work will be done in teams. There will be three in-class essays over
the reading and a final integrative paper.