Introduction to child psychology
Introduction to child psychology

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Introduction to child psychology

3.1 How does socio-cultural context influence development?

Children grow up in specific physical, social, cultural, economic and historical circumstances (their socio-cultural context), all of which will influence their childhood. Research has shown that children’s socio-cultural context can have a large influence on their development. We know that culture influences how children develop; across different cultures, children can develop in quite different ways (Montgomery, 2008). And we know that children who are deprived of care from a primary caregiver can often experience difficulties in later childhood because their early attachment experiences were affected by this (Bowlby, 1980). Development of course involves a process of learning and improvement, and children can only learn when others are there to support them, like parents, teachers and siblings. This does not conflict with Piaget’s stage theory but does extend it to explain how some of the environmental experiences that children receive can allow them to move from one stage to another, in line with Vygotsky’s socio-cultural approach.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus