Milestones of Various Ages: Comparison

by Thad Wilson, PhD

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    00:00 Now let's compare some milestones at various ages. We're going to go through a lot of information here but what I want to do is provide you kind of an overview and a highlight of certain few items and we'll make comparisons as we go from the first year of life to year 1 and so forth throughout the series of comparisons. So the physical components that could change involve everything from initially trying to put everything in one's mouth to doing things like crawling and having a fear of falling. For 1 year we have things like walking alone maybe even climbing stairs, kicking a ball, throwing a ball. These are all some of the physical adaptations that can occur from that first year of life. Now let's go through some social items.

    00:55 Within the first year, there's always things like stranger anxieties and there are some games that one can play such as Peek-a-Boo. If we go through to some of the social interactions that happen in the first year of life, there still are things like separation anxiety but it's not in the same manner of being scared of a stranger for anxiety it separating from a parent.

    01:24 If we look at verbal and cognitive changes, this could be anything from assimilating new things to starting to do repetitive responding or that's a fun one. If we then look at verbal kind of cognitive changes in year 1, for this you're using some small words now maybe up to 10.

    01:47 If we now compare years 2 and 3, we're going to get to start to have more items that become more complex in nature but still use that physical, social and cognitive/verbal kind of comparison. So comparing from year 2, now you start to be able to do things like walking backwards and even be able to stand on tiptoes. If we compare that to a 3-year-old, they're starting to ride trikes and they may be doing things like drawing recognizable figures.

    02:23 On the social end, you still have a very selfish, self-centered individual and they may use a lot of words such as no, no, no a lot. If you compare that to a 3-year-old, here you start having specific play, they may even start to recognize gender. In terms of the verbal/cognitive components, you can see here they start to use pronouns. It's very exciting sometimes even multiple-word sentences. In the verbal/cognitive for the 3-year-old you see a large increase in the number of words. From a 2-year-old of maybe 50 to a 3-year-old of maybe around 900.

    03:16 It's very interesting as they really start to develop a lot of these new words. In terms of comparing 4-year-old and 5-year-old, the complexity is still building here. For the physical, you start to be able to hop, you can start to be able to do some self grooming while a 5-year-old is starting to do things like being able to catch balls especially with 2 hands. From the social component, you're also starting to take identity roles.

    03:55 You also might have things like nightmares and some fears about monsters. In terms of year 5, some milestones can be things like starting to have interactions with peers in which you want to be like them or we oftentimes refer to that as conformity. For the verbal/cognitive from a 4-year-old to a 5-year-old, here they start to know colors, they can start to use things like plurals. Now if you get to a 5-year-old, they're really starting to know what a word means and are really starting to query what does that word mean, how does it change, in response to different types of cues. If we now compare 6-12 to adolescents, we really have some complex behavior starting to arise and these oftentimes are really starting to become, in especially in adolescents, more like an adult. So what are some of the physical changes between year 6 and 12? Again here, we're starting to refine your motor skills, they're starting to be able to do things like ride a bike, they're gaining athletic skills, they can play various sports.

    05:18 Their coordination is dramatically increasing. In terms of an adolescent, it depends a little bit on their growth spurt. Oftentimes, girls hit their growth spurt a little bit before boys but again that spot is just going to be allowed for large amounts of growth and during that growth spurt there may be issues with coordination but usually that is being able to be developed.

    05:45 The other thing that's starting to occur in adolescents is they're starting to have onset of various secondary sex characteristics and it depends a little on the age and we're going to go through some scales in the future about how you can quantify a couple of these types of changes.

    06:04 In terms of social interactions, you can see that they start to do organized sports between 6 and 12. They are starting to also understand a lot more about competency. They'll be able to do things like understand rules and are really starting to get a good feel for how to do something.

    06:29 In terms of the social interactions of adolescents, they're really working on things like identifying the most important issues, they're also starting to examine a lot of things such as what sort of gender relationships might be developing. There's also a strong need to be of course conformed to the other peers that they're around. In terms of verbal/cognitive things from years 6-12, other things you want to think about are they're starting to think about abstracts. They also really really want to think about items that appear to be somewhat in a logical manner or being able to sequence things and order them. In terms of adolescents, here there are a lot of things that are changing. They can start to handle things that are hypotheticals such as trying to figure something out without a concrete associated with it.

    07:39 That's a little bit harder to do and sometimes not possible for a child in between 6 and 12.

    07:46 They are also starting to adapt various speech patterns and communication becomes very important.

    07:54 To quantify secondary sex characteristics, oftentimes people use Tanner stages. Tanner stages are ways to quantify things like pubic hair, growth of things like reproductive organs as well as secondary sex characteristics for females such as the breast. One of the things associated with Tanner stages is quantifying hair growth. So usually a Tanner stage I has no hair and we would expect someone to usually be below 10. As you can see, you gain small amounts of hair from 11, around 11, 10-11; coarser hair around 11-13 and then more adult-like hair 13-14 years.

    08:40 For the females you can also see the starting ability to form breast. If then you look at Tanner stage V, this is usually greater than 14 years of age. This is adult-like secondary sex characteristics. This gives a physician a little bit of an ability to try to quantify these secondary sex characteristics and Tanner stages because what it allows is some individual variation between each individual person that's visiting your office because some individuals will develop at a slower rate than others and this kind of helps to gauge that in terms of secondary sex characteristics.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Milestones of Various Ages: Comparison by Thad Wilson, PhD is from the course Human Development. It contains the following chapters:

    • Comparison Milestones
    • Tanner Stages

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. 9 months
    2. 4 months
    3. 4 weeks
    4. 12 months
    1. The child can stack 3 cubes.
    2. The child can stack 9 cubes.
    3. The child is toilet-trained.
    4. The child can hop on one foot.
    5. The child can ride a tricycle.
    1. 50
    2. 10-15
    3. 900
    4. 100
    5. >2000
    1. 5 years
    2. 2 years
    3. 7 years
    4. 18 months
    5. 10 years
    1. 10 years
    2. 8 years
    3. 15 years
    4. 13 years
    5. 17 years

    Author of lecture Milestones of Various Ages: Comparison

     Thad Wilson, PhD

    Thad Wilson, PhD

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