Children’s Cognitive Development
Throughout the childhood years, the cognitive functioning of a child goes through dramatic changes and development. Socially, cognition is important because it helps the child understand the actions of others and learn how to interpret their own actions. When in an academic setting, cognitive ability is important as it plays a role in the learning strategies the child uses and enables the student to be able to evaluate his or her own performance. In science, this ability also enables the child to transfer concepts of nature and to be able to use critical thinking skills.
There are three types of cognitive thinking skills: Occurrence knowledge, organizational knowledge, and epistemological thought. Occurrence knowledge is simply the understanding that activities that require cognitive ability occur and usually occurs between the ages of five to seven years old. Around the age of nine or ten children begin to organize their thoughts in patterns similar to adults. Epistemological thought develops around the ages of 13 or 14 and involves the child being able to reflect on what knowledge is and the relationship between reality and one’s knowledge (Pillow, 2008).
Biological Mental Development
Adults that suffer from mental illness have children with a greater risk of suffering from mental illness which may develop during childhood or as an adult. In children, it is common to experience an increase in emotional and behavioral problems as well as delays in cognitive development and the physical growth, especially during infancy. This is of great concern as the percentage of adults suffering from mental health issues continues to grow worldwide. Most studies have focused on women and their mental health issues, in part because they are frequently the primary caregivers and also because they are more willing to participate in research (Ramchandani & Psychogiou, 2009).
Pillow, B. H. (2008). Development of children's understanding of cognitive activities. The
Ramchandani, P., & Psychogiou, L. (2009). Paternal psychiatric disorders and children's
psychosocial development. The Lancet, 374(9690), 646-53. Retrieved from