Chapter 6 & 7

These chapters emphasized the importance of events that occur during our childhood that impact our longevity. Chapter 6 reveals that those who had an early start in their education are not going to necessarily live longer. For example, Phillip lost his playtime when he was enrolled into school at an early age. This may have been connected to his uneven performance at school as playtime is essential for a child’s development. Chapter 7 reveals how parental divorce is related to shorter life spans. Donna and Phillip both died at early ages and were exposed to different stressors related to parental divorce (ie Phillip’s mother and financial struggles).  However, there are others, like Patricia, who lead a long life despite her parents divorcing, possibly hue to her resiliency. Having positive family perceptions is also a strong factor. Chapter 7 is interesting because it shows the dichotomy children may face with parental divorce.  While the children are exposed to new stressors due to parental divorce, their resilience is related to how their life is impacted.

Chapter 6 really captured my attention as I have worked with kids at an early age believing that head starts can improve their life. Working at a daycare center, I would encourage the children to read harder books, build complex buildings out of Legos, and to pretend to be an adult. While all of these activities are all easily done by them, it is important to recognize the social costs of those who are comparatively younger than their peers. It is interesting to see that once age becomes a factor in the child’s success, there are social costs involved that affect the child’s education/longevity.  While this chapter is resourceful, I wish the authors reflected more on the quality of life for the more educated participants. While they did not necessarily live longer, were they happier? felt more fulfilled? feel less regret?


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3 Responses to Chapter 6 & 7

  1. Jasmine Fernandez says:

    Jessica, I agree with your perspective on Chapter 6. I have also worked as a mentor for younger kids and believed that the more developed they are at a younger age, the better off they are in life in general and the more successful they will be. I guess I had never really incorporated longevity into my thoughts, but I would have assumed that a child who learns things faster/earlier would likely live longer than a child who does not. I, too, wish the authors had reflected a bit more on the quality of life for these educated participants. It would be useful to know exactly how fulfilled their lives were and it would have been interesting to consider, in comparison to those who were not early learners. However, I don’t see why these children would have felt regret, other than the fact that they may have spent too much of their time focusing on learning and on school, instead on the value of living life to the fullest, outside of the academic setting.

  2. Jacob Roberson says:

    I agree with your last set of statements regarding quality of life. It is one thing to say someone lived longer, but it is another if they were miserable or genuinely enjoyed the life they lived. I do wonder now a days, given technology and how children are socialized in general, whether or not “advancing” kids will effect them (and their longevity), in similar ways that it did the Terman participants. Many children today (more so in the middle school to high school range) are more technologically advanced than their parents. I’m curious how these variables might affect longevity today.
    In regards to divorce, we touched on it briefly in our discussion in lab. Yeah, divorce isn’t easy for anyone, but it is not surprising that the family life one comes from (seemingly healthy and intact or not at all) accounts for the differences in resiliency amongst individuals.

  3. Alexis Russell says:

    I agree with your final statement regarding the quality of life. Those that start school earlier will develop differently than their peers. While the changes may not be drastic or even affect their social interactions at all, it is something to think about. While academic intelligence is important for the future, social interactions are very important for psychological impacts as well. I would rather my child be in line with their academic careers with their age and have a healthy social life than they suffer from feeling like an outcast yet be further ahead in school. With the recent school shooting, it was interesting that the boy had divorced parents who orphaned him as well as him being older than the other kids. Thus, he developed learning and psychological issues. Whether this was in regards to the divorce and abandonment or the early start, it is hard to tell. I wish the authors went more into the effects psychologically and not just in regards to length of life.

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