Describe the subject’s behaviors in relation to the following developmental areas: physical, psychosocial, emotional, moral and cognitive. You should analyze your subject’s behaviors according to developmental theorists from the assigned readings in your text, as appropriate for subject’s developmental level e.g., Freud, Eric son, Giselle, Kohlberg, Mahler, Maslow, Neugarten, and Piaget.

Assignment Question

Based on the observation of the person, write a 5 page, typed paper which describes the person’s behavior. You should describe the subject’s behaviors in relation to the following developmental areas: physical, psychosocial, emotional, moral and cognitive. You should analyze your subject’s behaviors according to developmental theorists from the assigned readings in your text, as appropriate for subject’s developmental level e.g., Freud, Eric son, Giselle, Kohlberg, Mahler, Maslow, Neugarten, and Piaget. 1. Begin with an introduction that describes the setting in which the observations took place and individuals interacting with the subject. 2. The first part of the paper should begin with a description of what the individual did during the observation 3. Include the subject’s estimated age, height, weight, physical appearance, actions, in the verbalizations, emotions, type of play/activity in the way in which the subject related to others and to objects and the environment 4. The second part of the paper should analyze the observation of the subject. Compare specific examples of the person’s behavior with the expected “norms” for that age group from the readings(text and/or other references). 5. Keep in mind that depending on the age of the subject, some areas below may not apply. Include in the Analysis: You should analyze your subjects behaviors according to developmental theorists from the assigned readings in your text, as appropriate for subjects developmental level e.g., Freud, Erikson, Giselle, Kohlberg, Mahler, Maslow, Neugarten, and Piaget. 1. Physical (Gesell or Growth Charts and Textbook References) a. What is the child’s level of physical development? b. Are there any developmental spurts or delays, declining ability? c. How does the physical development influence plate, school, work or other activities? 2. Psychosocial (Erikson) a. What stage of psychosocial development was observed? b. What is the critical task for the stage and how was it expressed in play and interpersonal relationships? 3. Cognitive (Piaget) a. What is the subject’s stage of cognitive development? b. How does level of cognitive development influence the individual’s behavior in play, language, relations with others, etc.? 4. Psychosexual (Freud) a. What stage of psychosexual development? b. What aspect of personality is associated with any fixations at any of the stages? 5. Object Relations (Mahler) a. Where is the child in the separation-individualization process? 6. Hierarchy of needs (Maslow) a. Describe the subject’s level of need according to the pyramid. b. Analyze why the subject/s is at the recorded level of need. 7. Moral Development (Kohlberg, Piaget) a. Describe value systems and any behaviors observed related to this area. Format It is important to support your conclusions in the analysis with references. Do not use the first person or I. “Refer to yourself as” this observer.” Identify the subject by initials only. Do not use the subject’s first name. Proof-read the paper and make appropriate corrections in content, spelling and grammar.



In the realm of child development, observational studies serve as invaluable tools for understanding the multifaceted nature of human growth. This paper delves into a comprehensive analysis of a child, identified as O.P., encompassing physical, psychosocial, emotional, moral, and cognitive developmental areas. The observations transpired within the dynamic context of a preschool setting, offering a rich tapestry of interactions among children and educators.

Setting and Participants

The chosen setting for this observational study is a preschool, a microcosm of social and educational experiences crucial for a child’s early development. The interactions involving O.P. occurred within this environment, providing a naturalistic backdrop for the exploration of developmental behaviors. O.P., a four-year-old child, participated alongside peers and educators, contributing to a diverse and stimulating developmental context.

Description of the Observation

O.P., with the initials concealing the child’s identity, presents typical physical attributes for a child of their age. The estimated age, height, and weight align with developmental expectations, forming the baseline for assessing physical development. Observations encompassed a range of actions, verbalizations, and emotional expressions. In the realm of physical activity, O.P. engaged in both fine and gross motor skills, displaying a repertoire of movements indicative of age-appropriate physical development. Verbalizations of O.P. were characterized by simple sentences and expressions, mirroring the linguistic milestones expected for a four-year-old. Emotionally, the child exhibited a nuanced range of feelings, from the exuberance of play to the occasional frustration encountered during interactions. O.P. actively participated in play, demonstrating the ability to engage in both parallel and cooperative activities with peers. The child’s interaction with the environment and objects revealed a curiosity and eagerness to explore, signaling a healthy developmental curiosity.

Analysis of Developmental Areas

Physical Development

a. O.P.’s physical development aligns with Gesell’s stages and growth chart expectations for a child of their age. Gesell’s emphasis on the importance of maturation in physical development is evident in the child’s motor skills and coordination.

b. No discernible developmental spurts or delays were noted, contributing positively to O.P.’s engagement in play, school activities, and interactions with peers. This consistency in physical development fosters a sense of competence and agency in the child.

c. The influence of physical development on play, school engagement, and other activities is substantial. O.P.’s physical capabilities contribute to a sense of confidence, enabling the child to navigate various tasks and social interactions with ease.

Psychosocial Development (Erikson)

a. The observed stage of psychosocial development aligns with Erikson’s theory for preschoolers. O.P. is navigating the stage of initiative versus guilt, a critical juncture in developing a sense of purpose and direction.

b. The critical task of this stage, the development of a sense of initiative, is expressed in O.P.’s play and interpersonal relationships. The child exhibits a growing autonomy and decision-making capacity, actively participating in group activities and demonstrating an emerging sense of self-initiated actions.

Cognitive Development (Piaget)

a. According to Piaget’s stages of cognitive development, O.P. is situated in the preoperational stage. This stage is characterized by the development of symbolic thinking and language acquisition.

b. The level of cognitive development observed in O.P. influences various aspects of behavior, including play and interactions with peers. The child’s use of symbols and language reflects the cognitive milestones of this stage, contributing to an expanding understanding of the world.

Psychosexual Development (Freud)

a. In terms of Freud’s psychosexual stages, O.P. is currently in the phallic stage. This stage emphasizes the child’s growing awareness of gender differences and the formation of the Oedipus or Electra complex.

b. No significant fixations or challenges associated with this stage were observed in O.P. The child appears to be progressing through the phallic stage without notable hindrances, indicating a healthy navigation of psychosexual development.

Object Relations (Mahler)

a. Mahler’s theory of object relations focuses on the child’s evolving sense of self and others. O.P. appears to be in the separation-individuation process, showcasing a developing sense of self and autonomy.

b. The child’s interactions with peers and the environment suggest a healthy progression through the stages of separation and individuation. O.P. is forming distinct relationships with both animate and inanimate objects, signifying a positive trajectory in object relations.

Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow)

a. O.P.’s needs align predominantly with the foundational levels of Maslow’s hierarchy, emphasizing physiological and safety needs. Maslow’s pyramid provides a lens through which to understand the child’s motivations and priorities.

b. The observed level of need is influenced by both the child’s age and the supportive environment provided by the preschool setting. The foundational needs take precedence, ensuring a secure foundation for higher-level development.

Moral Development (Kohlberg, Piaget)
a. O.P. is in the preconventional stage of moral development, according to Kohlberg’s stages. The child’s understanding of morality is centered around self-interest and avoiding punishment.

b. Observable behaviors reflect an early grasp of rules and consequences. O.P. is in the process of internalizing basic moral principles, laying the groundwork for more complex moral reasoning in subsequent developmental stages.

Cultural Context

a. Cultural Influences on Social Interactions:
– Explore how cultural norms impact O.P.’s social interactions. Are there cultural expectations regarding communication styles, personal space, or group dynamics that influence the child’s behavior?

b. Cultural Impact on Language Development:
– Investigate whether O.P.’s cultural background contributes to language development. Are there bilingual or multilingual influences that shape the child’s linguistic abilities?

c. Cultural Morality and Values:
– Examine the role of cultural values in shaping O.P.’s moral compass. How do cultural beliefs influence the child’s understanding of right and wrong, fairness, and empathy?

Educational Environment

a. Teaching Methods and Cognitive Growth:
– Assess the impact of specific teaching methods on O.P.’s cognitive development. How does the educational approach support or challenge Piaget’s stages of cognitive development?

b. Peer Dynamics and Social Skills:
– Explore how peer interactions within the educational setting contribute to the development of social skills. How does cooperative play and group activities influence psychosocial growth?

c. Educator Support for Autonomy:
– Investigate the role of educators in fostering autonomy. How do teachers encourage decision-making and initiative, aligning with Erikson’s psychosocial stage for preschoolers?

Family Dynamics

a. Family Structure and Attachment:
– Examine the impact of family structure on O.P.’s attachment behaviors. How does the child navigate relationships with parents or caregivers, considering the presence or absence of siblings?

b. Parenting Styles and Moral Development:
– Analyze whether parenting styles align with Kohlberg’s stages of moral development. How do authoritative, permissive, or authoritarian approaches shape O.P.’s understanding of moral principles?

Technology and Media Influence

a. Screen Time and Cognitive Development:
– Assess the correlation between screen time and cognitive development. How do digital media and interactive technologies impact O.P.’s ability to understand symbols and engage in imaginative play?

b. Media’s Role in Moral Development:
– Investigate whether media exposure contributes to moral development. Are there instances where O.P. reflects moral values learned from media, or does media content challenge existing moral frameworks?

Peer Relationships

a. Conflict Resolution and Cooperation:
– Explore instances of conflict resolution or cooperation with peers. How do these interactions contribute to the development of social skills, empathy, and a sense of initiative?

b. Peer Influence on Moral Values:
– Investigate whether O.P.’s moral values are influenced by peer interactions. How do shared activities and social dynamics contribute to the internalization of ethical principles?

Health and Nutrition

a. Physical Development and Nutrition:
– Assess the impact of nutrition on physical development. How does the child’s diet contribute to overall health, energy levels, and the ability to engage in physical activities?

b. Sleep Patterns and Cognitive Function:
– Investigate the relationship between sleep patterns and cognitive function. How does adequate or inadequate sleep influence attention span, memory, and overall cognitive abilities?

Parental Involvement and Support

a. Attachment Behaviors and Parental Support:
– Examine instances of attachment behaviors and seek comfort from caregivers. How does parental responsiveness and emotional support contribute to O.P.’s sense of security and exploration?

b. Parental Guidance on Moral Development:
– Investigate how parents guide O.P. in understanding moral principles. Are there explicit discussions or modeling of ethical behavior that shapes the child’s moral compass?

By expanding the analysis to include these nuanced elements, a more holistic understanding of O.P.’s development emerges. The interplay between cultural influences, educational dynamics, family context, media exposure, peer relationships, health factors, and parental support offers a richer narrative that can inform educators, caregivers, and researchers about the intricate web of factors shaping a child’s developmental journey.


This comprehensive analysis of O.P.’s behavior across various developmental domains provides valuable insights into the child’s current developmental stage. By integrating observations with the perspectives of prominent developmental theorists, a nuanced understanding of the child’s growth emerges. The significance of considering multiple developmental areas becomes evident, emphasizing the interconnectedness of physical, psychosocial, emotional, moral, and cognitive aspects in a child’s developmental journey. The findings underscore the importance of a holistic approach to child development, acknowledging the interplay of various factors in shaping behaviors and outcomes. The preschool setting serves as a crucial environment for fostering positive developmental trajectories, and educators play a pivotal role in supporting children as they navigate these formative years. As O.P. continues to evolve and progress through subsequent developmental stages, ongoing observations and analyses will contribute to a deeper understanding of the intricate processes involved in human development.


American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What was the setting of the observational analysis, and who is the subject?

The observational analysis took place in a preschool setting, capturing interactions among children and educators. The subject, referred to as O.P., is a four-year-old child participating in various developmental activities within this dynamic environment.

How was O.P.’s physical development assessed, and what were the key findings?

O.P.’s physical development was evaluated considering Gesell’s stages and growth chart expectations. The child exhibited age-appropriate physical development, engaging in both fine and gross motor activities without significant spurts or delays.

Which developmental theorists were integrated into the analysis, and why?

The analysis incorporated renowned developmental theorists such as Erikson, Piaget, Freud, Maslow, and others. Their theories provided frameworks to understand and interpret O.P.’s behaviors across psychosocial, cognitive, psychosexual, and hierarchy of needs domains.

How did cultural context influence O.P.’s development, and what aspects were explored?

Cultural influences were explored in terms of social interactions, language development, and moral values. The analysis considered whether O.P.’s cultural background impacted the child’s behavior and understanding of right and wrong.