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PSY FPX 6025 Assessment 2 Applications of Development Theories


Capella University

PSY FPX 6025 Child Psychology

Prof. Name


Applications of Development Theories

What is Child Psychology?

Child psychology involves the investigation and examination of both conscious and subconscious developmental processes in young individuals (Santrock, 2021). It is widely acknowledged that a combination of genetic predispositions and environmental factors significantly influences child development. Genetic inheritance, which encompasses traits encoded in DNA and transmitted from parents to offspring during reproduction, plays a pivotal role in this developmental journey. Moreover, theoretical perspectives offer valuable insights into understanding how a child’s environment interacts with their genetic makeup to influence development. This paper will delve into the theories proposed by Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, providing a detailed analysis of their frameworks, strengths, limitations, and their implications for comprehending the interplay between genetic and environmental influences on child development.

Jean Piaget’s Development Theory

Jean Piaget, a prominent Swiss psychologist, made significant contributions to the understanding of cognitive development in children (Nortje, 2021). His theory suggests that intelligence undergoes qualitative transformations as children progress through distinct developmental stages. Piaget delineated four primary 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 underscored the importance of environmental interaction in shaping cognitive processes. While his theory emphasizes the active involvement of children in their learning experiences, it also recognizes the influence of genetic predispositions on behavior. However, Piaget’s theory has faced criticism for certain limitations, such as an overemphasis on adolescent capabilities and a lack of consideration for cultural and social factors in cognitive development (Babakr et al., 2019). Nevertheless, Piaget’s theory remains foundational in comprehending the cognitive development of children.

Lev Vygotsky Development Theory

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

PSY FPX 6025 Assessment 2 Applications of Development Theories


In conclusion, theories of child development proposed by Piaget and Vygotsky offer valuable insights into the intricate interplay between genetic predispositions and environmental influences. Despite their respective strengths and limitations, these theories collectively enrich our understanding of how children develop and learn. By integrating insights from both Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theories, educators, parents, and psychologists can gain a more holistic understanding of child development and devise interventions tailored to 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

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

PSY FPX 6025 Assessment 2 Applications of Development Theories

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

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