PSY FPX 6025 Assessment 2 Applications of Development Theories

PSY FPX 6025 Assessment 2 Applications of Development Theories

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PSY FPX 6025 Assessment 2 Applications of Development Theories

Student Name

Capella University

PSY FPX 6025 Child Psychology

Prof. Name


Applications of Development Theories

What is Child Psychology?

Child psychology, as defined by Santrock (2021), encompasses the research and study of both conscious and subconscious development in young children. It is well-established that both genetic and environmental factors contribute significantly to child development. Genetic inheritance, referring to traits encoded in DNA and passed from parent to offspring during reproduction, plays a crucial role in this process. Additionally, theoretical approaches can elucidate the connection between a child’s environment and their development. This paper will explore the theories of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, providing an in-depth analysis of their frameworks, strengths, limitations, and their relevance to understanding the interplay between genetic and environmental influences on child development.

Jean Piaget’s Development Theory

Jean Piaget, a renowned Swiss psychologist, made substantial contributions to the understanding of children’s cognitive development (Nortje, 2021). His theory posits that intelligence undergoes qualitative changes as children progress through distinct stages of development. Piaget identified four main stages: the sensorimotor stage (0-2 years old), the preoperational stage (2–7 years old), the concrete operational stage (7-11 years old), and the formal operational stage (11 years old through adulthood) (Nortje, 2021). Each stage is characterized by unique cognitive abilities and developmental milestones.

Piaget emphasized the significance of interaction with the environment in shaping cognitive processes. While his theory highlights the importance of active engagement in learning, it also acknowledges the role of genetic predispositions in influencing behavior. However, Piaget’s theory has been criticized for its limitations, including an overestimation of adolescent abilities and a neglect of cultural and social factors in cognitive development (Babakr, Mohamedamin, Pakistan & Kakamad, 2019). Nonetheless, Piaget’s theory remains foundational in understanding the cognitive development of children.

PSY FPX 6025 Assessment 2 Applications of Development Theories

Lev Vygotsky Development Theory

Lev Vygotsky proposed a socio-cultural theory of development, emphasizing the role of social interaction in shaping cognitive processes (McLeod, 2020). According to Vygotsky, cultural context and social interactions play a pivotal role in shaping an individual’s understanding of the world. He introduced concepts such as the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), which delineates the range of tasks that a child can perform independently and those that require assistance from a more knowledgeable other (McLeod, 2020). Vygotsky also underscored the importance of language as a tool for thought and cultural transmission. While his theory highlights the social nature of learning, it also acknowledges the individual’s active role in constructing knowledge within their social context. Despite Vygotsky’s premature death limiting the full exploration of his ideas, his theory remains influential in understanding the interplay between culture, language, and cognition.


In conclusion, theories of child development, such as those proposed by Piaget and Vygotsky, provide valuable insights into the complex interplay between genetic predispositions and environmental influences. While each theory has its strengths and limitations, they collectively contribute to our understanding of how children grow and learn. By integrating insights from both Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theories, educators, parents, and psychologists can gain a more comprehensive understanding of child development and tailor interventions that support optimal growth and learning.


Babakr, Z. H., Mohamedamin, P., Pakistan, & Kakamad, K. (2019). Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory: Critical Review. Education Quarterly Reviews, 2(3), 517–524. DOI: 10.31014/aior.1993.02.03.84

Barrouillet, P. (2015). Theories of cognitive development: From Piaget to today. Developmental Review, 38, 1–12.

McLeod, S. (2020). Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory of Cognitive Development. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from

Nortje, A. (2021). Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development. Retrieved from

Santrock, J. W. (2021). Children (15th Edition). McGraw-Hill Higher Education (US).

PSY FPX 6025 Assessment 2 Applications of Development Theories

Vygotsky, L. S. (2002). Play and its role in the mental development of the child. International Research in Early Childhood Education, 7(2), 3–25.

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