Section 3 Introduction - Psychosocial development is the umbrella under which the emotional, social, moral, and personality development of human beings is studied. Genetics plays a role, as does brain development, interaction with caregivers, and cultural influences. In this chapter, we will examine the ways in which early bonds are created and how they affect social and emotional growth and relationships. We will also discuss the ways in which the brain matures to regulate emotional development as well as how temperament and stress affect a child’s development. Finally, questions of infancy psychosocial development will be discussed through the lens of psychoanalytic, psychosocial, cognitive, humanistic, and evolutionary theories. A brief discussion of the biblical perspective of each of these theories will also be presented.
From birth onward, babies depend on their caregivers to meet their physical needs as well as their social and emotional needs. Caregivers play a key role in providing interaction and communication to meet their baby’s growing psychosocial needs. In fact, during the first two years of life, the most important factor in a child’s psychosocial development is most likely their interaction with their primary caregiver. Infants are constantly processing information, receiving cues from others, and establishing new social connections based on their perception of what is going on around them. In addition, the primary caregiver has a substantial influence upon the infant’s attachment style, which has been connected to social behavior and parent-child relationships later in life (). The bond that forms between parent and child is the first social connection of a child’s life and forms a foundation for all future relationships.