Developmental Changes in Middle and Late Childhood

DevelopmentalChanges in Middle and Late Childhood

DevelopmentalChanges in Middle and Late Childhood


Childrengo through many changes during the period of rapid developmentalgrowth from middle to late childhood. Individual variances inmaturation rates, adult and social influences, and temperaments arecommon within the stages. The kids also develop different trendsregarding their relationship to the parents or other adults. At thisages, there frequent conflicts over forgetfulness regarding chores,messiness, schoolwork as well as sibling rivalry. The parent-childcommunication also tends to suffer in some cases. As such, it isvital to study the commonest changes among children within thesestages.

Thecourse of friendship and peer relations tends to change acrossdifferent stages of growth. They undergo developmental shifts in themiddle and late childhood. Middle childhood is typically between theages of 6 to 13. Early adolescence primarily begins from the age of14. During these years, kids strive to become adults by becomingself-aware, independent, and competent, always involved with otherpeople beyond their families. The cognitive and biologicaldevelopments transform their minds and bodies. Their social roles andrelationship change when they enter school and begin associating withpeers. During middle childhood, kids cultivate a sense ofindividuality and self-esteem likening themselves with their peers.In early adolescence, the desire for autonomy accompanies the socialand physical changes. As such, this essay will examine thedevelopmental stages from middle to late childhood (earlyadolescence). It will also explore anger management and impulsecontrol among middle-aged kids to adolescents and delve into the use,need, and appropriateness of group counseling within the targetpopulation.

Whenadolescents lack what they need, they develop some characters thatcan be detrimental to themselves as well as their peers. As such, howare anger and impulse controlled among the peers in young age?Adolescence is one of the most tumultuous periods [ CITATION Rap l 1033 ].Youths at this stage face numerous intellectual, emotional, andphysical changes that can be rather challenging. Young people alwaysface different challenges while trying to adjust and acclimatize tothesechanges. Chief among them is the anger problem. Although anger maynot be harmful, youths who are not well-resourced to adapt to thesituations may relay it in many ways, resulting in various issues.Some of the problems include suicide, depression, and aggressionamong others. Some of the contributing factors include familyinteractions, bullying, home environment, personality, and socialsupport. The aspects have both negative and positive impacts [ CITATION Rap l 1033 ].

Angercan be described as a critical emotional response provoked by manystimulating circumstances including restraint, overt aggression,frustration, disappointment, verbal attack, or threat. It promptsboth physiological and biological alterations. In 2012, JosephsonInstitute of Ethics that is based in Los Angeles conducted anexperiment involving 23,000 high school students around the UnitedStates. In its survey, the institution wanted to determine the viewsand attitudes on bullying and violence. The findings showed thatroughly 33% of the boys and 17% of the girls acknowledged it was okayto threaten or hit someone who has angered them. 32 percent of thegirls and 30% of the boys affirmed that physical violence was quitecommon in their school [ CITATION Nav12 l 1033 ].

A2012 study in South Africa correlated to the above assertions where22.2% of the students encountered some violence within the school ina year’s duration. Between 2011 and 2012, students in the U.K. weresuspended or expelled on 17,520 occurrences for physically attackingadults. On the other hand, the Australian Institute of Criminologystated that assault rates among kids aged between 10 and 15 are quitehigh as compared to the adults. For instance, in 2011 there were 886assaults per 100,000 juveniles aged between 12 and 16. In the sameyear, there were 85 cases per 100,000 in adults aged between 55 and59 [ CITATION Nel141 l 1033 ].

Asexemplified by these statistics, the kids’ development is bothphysical and mental. The kids are affected immensely by theresponsibilities that come with age. For middle-aged children, theylook on their parents and families for emotional support. Withoutappropriate guidance, they resort to anger as a way of relievingtheir stress. In late childhood, the kids seek emotional support fromtheir peers. Their independent nature starts to develop at thisstage. They would only find conversations with their parents aboutschool and career matters. In the adolescence stage, theirconversations are centered on interpersonal problems and romanceamong others. The change in patterns can be demonstrated as below

Earlychildhood Parents

Middlechildhood Parents

Latechildhood/early adolescence same sexfriend/peer or family

Middleadolescence same sex friend/peer &gtfamily

Emergingadulthood romantic partner &gtfamily

Parentsare fundamental in molding the kids at these developmental stages.Their relationship with the children determines the behaviors.Therefore, anger management begins at a level where parents seek toreduce pressure on their kids. As such, they must secure attachmentwith their offspring to safeguard friendships. Parents also have anindirect influence on the kids’ friends and peer groups. Strikingan understanding with the children lessens the negative attitudeslike anger. Sometimes it is important to practice an authentic styleto strengthen peer relationships. The kids need to have a boundarythat prevents them from disrespecting their parents. However, thereshould be no limitation as to what kind of information they can share[ CITATION Nav12 l 1033 ].

Apartfrom that, counseling should be readily available for kids at thisage. As elaborated above, the rudiments of anger can be quitedevastating to both the child and his/her peers as well as parents.In that regard, group therapy can be availed. Group therapy is themost effective means of dealing with anger among middle-aged toadolescence kids. In practice, the children are informed on how tomanage anger within the school or at home. Group treatment can be inthe form of classroom-based approaches whereby the curriculumincorporates such education.

Thetutors develop a caring classroom community where the students aregiven room to address their issues. In addition to that, a disciplinepolicy can be designed to deal with students who contravene therules. Psychologists suggest that groups may be intimidating but aremore efficient as compared to individual therapy. This is because theteams create a support network. Members within the network help eachother to counter particular challenges. The key objective of grouptherapy is to ensure children can avoid circumstances that fuel anger[ CITATION Nel141 l 1033 ].For example, they can be encouraged to

  • Walk away from conditions that prompt strong emotions

  • Stay a whole day without getting angry or any related mood swing

  • Learn at least two positive anger controlling skills

  • Express anger in mechanisms that can be deemed productive without necessarily destroying properties

  • Learn at least three techniques of communicating verbally when angry [ CITATION Nel141 l 1033 ].


Thestages from middle to late childhood or early adolescent are verycrucial in the molding of a kid. The children develop both physicallyand mentally thereby acquiring different behaviors. At these stages,children begin to feel autonomous, and if not well managed they candevelop detrimental attitudes. One such character is anger. Asillustrated above, anger emanates from different aspects such asbullying, social class, or parental violence among others. Therefore,it is vital to watch the kids and prevent any unfortunate occurrence.That element can be achieved through proper parenting and grouptherapies. When students are grouped, they freely express theirchallenges and help each other in addressing them. They are more openin group therapy than particular kinds where each one of them facesthe counselors separately. Apart from that, listening and talking toothers might help a kid to put his/her issues in perspective. Groupsalso embrace diversity. Students with different backgrounds andpersonalities are brought together. In that regard, when oneindividual sees how the other tackles issues, thereby making positivechanges, he/she can adopt the same. In general, anger managementamong the target group can be appropriately addressed through grouptherapies.


Navis, S. B. (2012). Causes and Effects of Adolescent Anger. Winona, Minnesota.

Nelson, E. G. (2014). Destructive Anger Among Adolescents: Management Strategies for Principals and Teachers. The Journal of Adventist Education, 18-23.

Rapin, R. W. (2010). Professional Standards for the Training of Group Workers. 1-15.