Assignment:Developmental Assessment and the School-Aged Child

Assignment:Developmental Assessment and the School-Aged Child

Assignment:Developmental Assessment and the School-Aged Child

Developmental Assessment and the School-Aged Child

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School-aged children are typically aged 5-12 years. The school-age child’s growth and development is characterized by gradual growth. The purpose of this paper is to describe physical findings within the school-aged child and the typical developmental stages of a 6-year-old and apply a developmental theory in child assessment.


Physical Characteristics/Findings within the School-Aged Child

School–aged children gain about 3.8kg/year, but boys tend to gain slightly more weight through 12 years. The child also gains about 5cm/year in height, and both boys and girls are long-legged. With regards to dentition, permanent teeth erupt during the school-age period, starting from 6 years, usually in the same order in which primary teeth are lost. The child acquires permanent molars, medial, and lateral incisors (Srinath et al., 2019). The vital signs findings in this age group include Pulse 75-105 beats/min, Respirations 18–24b/min, and Blood Pressure 100/60+/-16/10. Fine motor skills improve at this age as well as writing skills. Fine motor skills are refined with more focus on skills, like painting, building models, typing, and using technological devices.

The school-age child usually has smooth and strong motor skills. Nonetheless, their coordination, balance, endurance, and physical abilities vary. Differences also occur in the age at which school-age children start to develop secondary sexual characteristics. Secondary sex characteristics in girls can start from 9 years, and include breast development and underarm and pubic hair growth (Srinath et al., 2019). On the other hand, boys experience growth of underarm, chest, and pubic hair and growth of testicles and penis.

Assessment can be modified to match the age and developmental stage of the school-age child by first ensuring privacy when assessing the child. The examiner must ensure comfort, especially for the older child (8 years and older) by exposing only the body parts being examined and examining the child in their caregiver’s absence (Srinath et al., 2019). Besides, assessment should begin with the least distressing procedures and areas not associated with pain or the chief complaint to foster cooperation.

Typical Developmental Stages Of Children Aged 6-Year-Olds

  The typical motor development in a 6-year-old includes improved locomotor skills. Thus, the child can ride a bicycle, run, jump, climb, and hop. The child also has improved eye-hand coordination. Language development includes following a series of 3 commands in a row, having about 2560 words, and constructing comprehensible 6-7 word sentences. Regarding cognitive development, a 6-year-old typically knows their age, understands the concept of time, and relates words with their use. Furthermore, emotional development milestones include exhibiting self-control skills and emotional stability (Parker et al., 2022). With regards to social development, a 6-year-old typically demonstrates a sense of humor, is peer-oriented, has sibling jealousy, and fears the dark.

Application of Erickson Theory in Developmental Assessment

According to the Erickson Theory, a 6-year-old falls into the Industry versus Inferiority stage of psychosocial development.  A major part of this stage focuses on competition, academics, and social interactions (Chung, 2018). Children at this stage look for recognition from adults and peers, wanting to prove that they are capable. Besides, they learn what they can and cannot achieve; but, their ability is more important through practice and work. Therefore, the Erickson theory can be applied to assess a child’s psychosocial development by assessing the child’s level of confidence and competency when they accomplish or fail to accomplish a given task (Maree, 2021). In addition, I would assess the child if they are struggling with issues related to perfection to establish if they are taking competency to an extreme. Furthermore, I would assess a child’s level of anxiety when they make a mistake.

When examining a 6-year-old I would explain the procedures with simple and short sentences and ask for their consent to foster cooperation. In addition, using polite and non-threatening language would be vital to ease tension and promote cooperation (Srinath et al., 2019). After the assessment, I would report to the child of the assessment findings and explain any abnormal findings, likely causes, and the next steps.


School-aged children have different physical findings in weight, height, vital signs, dentition, and gross and fine motor skills. A 6-year-old typically has improved locomotor skills, eye-hand coordination, self-control skills, emotional stability, and a sense of humor. The Erickson theory can be applied to assess a child’s level of confidence and competency when they accomplish a task.


Chung, D. (2018). The eight stages of psychosocial protective development: Developmental psychology. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 8(06), 369. DOI: 10.4236/jbbs.2018.86024 

Maree, J. G. (2021). The psychosocial development theory of Erik Erikson: a critical overview. Early Child Development and Care, 191(7-8), 1107–1121.

Parker, R., Thomsen, B. S., & Berry, A. (2022). Learning through play at school–A framework for policy and practice. In Frontiers in Education (Vol. 7, p. 751801). Frontiers Media SA.

Srinath, S., Jacob, P., Sharma, E., & Gautam, A. (2019). Clinical practice guidelines for assessment of children and adolescents. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 61(Suppl 2), 158.


The needs of the pediatric patient differ depending on age, as do the stages of development and the expected assessment findings for each stage. In a 500-750-word paper, examine the needs of a school-aged child between the ages of 5 and 12 years old and discuss the following:

Describe the different physical characteristics/findings within the school-aged child. Explain how you would modify assessment techniques to match the age and developmental stage of this child.

Choose a child between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. Identify the age of the child and describe the typical developmental stages of children that age.

Applying developmental theory based on Erickson, Piaget, or Kohlberg, explain how you would developmentally assess the child. Include how you would offer explanations during the assessment, strategies you would use to gain cooperation, and potential findings from the assessment.

You are required to cite a minimum of three peer-reviewed sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years, appropriate for the assignment criteria, and relevant to nursing practice.

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