CLEP Human Growth and Development: At a Glance

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1 Description of the Examination The Human Growth and Development examination (Infancy, Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood and Aging) covers material that is generally taught in a one-semester introductory course in developmental psychology or human development. An understanding of the major theories and research related to the broad categories of physical development, cognitive development and social development is required, as is the ability to apply this knowledge. The examination contains approximately 90 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of them are pretest questions that will not be scored. Knowledge and Skills Required Questions on the CLEP Human Growth and Development examination require candidates to demonstrate one or more of the following abilities: Knowledge of basic facts and terminology Understanding of generally accepted concepts and principles Understanding of theories and recurrent developmental issues Applications of knowledge to particular problems or situations The subject matter of the Human Growth and Development examination is drawn from the following categories. For each category, several key words and phrases identify topics with which candidates should be familiar. The percentages next to the main categories indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions on that topic. 10% Theoretical Perspectives Cognitive developmental Evolutionary Learning Psychodynamic Social cognitive Sociocultural 5% Research Strategies and Methodology Case study Correlational Cross-sectional Cross sequential Experimental Longitudinal Observational 10% Biological Development Throughout Development of the brain and nervous system Heredity, genetics and genetic testing Hormonal influences Influences of drugs Motor development Nutritional influences Perinatal influences Physical growth and maturation, aging Prenatal influences Sexual maturation Teratogens 7% Perceptual Development Throughout Sensitive periods Sensorimotor activities Sensory acuity Sensory deprivation 12% Cognitive Development Throughout Attention Environmental influences Executive function Expertise Information processing Memory Piaget, Jean Play Problem solving and planning Thinking Vygotsky, Lev Wisdom 8% Language Development Bilingualism Development of syntax 1

2 Environmental, cultural and genetic influences Language and thought Pragmatics Semantic development Vocalization and sound 4% Intelligence Throughout Concepts of intelligence and creativity Developmental stability and change Heredity and environment 10% Social Development Throughout Aggression Attachment Gender Interpersonal relationships Moral development Prosocial behavior Risk and resilience Self Social cognition Wellness 8% Family, Home and Society Throughout Abuse and neglect Bronfenbrenner, Urie Death and dying Family relationships Family structures Media and technology Multicultural perspectives Parenting styles Social and class influences 8% Personality and Emotion Attribution styles Development of emotions Emotional expression and regulation Emotional intelligence Erikson, Erik Freud, Sigmund Stability and change Temperament 8% Learning Classical conditioning Discrimination and generalization Habituation Operant conditioning Social learning and modeling 5% Schooling, Work and Interventions Applications of developmental principles Facilitation of role transitions Intervention programs and services Learning styles Occupational development Preschool care, day care and elder care Retirement 5% Atypical Development Antisocial behavior Asocial behavior, fears, phobias and obsessions Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder Autism spectrum disorders Chronic illnesses and physical disabilities Cognitive disorders, including dementia Genetic disorders Giftedness Learning disabilities Mental retardation Mood disorders Trauma-based syndromes 2

3 Study Resources Most textbooks used in college-level human growth and development courses cover the topics in the outline above, but the approaches to certain topics and the emphases given to them may differ. To prepare for the Human Growth and Development exam, it is advisable to study one or more college textbooks, which can be found for sale online and in most college bookstores. You may also find it helpful to supplement your reading with books and articles listed in the bibliographies found in most developmental psychology textbooks. Parents and others who work with children may have gained some preparation for this test through experience. However, knowledge of the basic facts, theories and principles of child psychology and lifespan development is necessary to provide background for taking the exam. A recent survey conducted by CLEP found that the following textbooks are among those used by college faculty who teach the equivalent course. Most of these have companion websites with practice test questions and other study resources. HINT: When selecting a textbook, check the table of contents against the Knowledge and Skills Required for this test. Belsky, Experiencing the Lifespan (Worth) Berger, The Developing Person Through (Worth) Berk, Exploring Lifespan Development (Allyn & Bacon) Berryman et al., Developmental Psychology and You (Wiley) Boyd and Bee, Lifespan Development (Allyn & Bacon) Brown, Developmental Psychology: A Course Companion (SAGE) Craig and Dunn, Understanding Human Development (Prentice Hall) Feldman, Development Across (Prentice Hall) Harris and Butterworth, Developmental Psychology: A Student s Handbook (Psychology Press) Kail and Cavanaugh, Human Development: A Life-Span View (Wadsworth) Newman and Newman, Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach (Wadsworth) Papalia et al., Human Development (McGraw-Hill) Santrock, Essentials of Life-Span Development (McGraw-Hill) Sigelman and Rider, Life-Span Human Development (Wadsworth) Slater and Bremner, An Introduction to Developmental Psychology (Wiley-Blackwell) Thornton, Understanding Human Development (Macmillan) In addition, the following resources, compiled by the CLEP test development committee and staff members, may help you study for your exam. However, none of these sources are designed specifically to provide preparation for a CLEP exam. The College Board has no control over their content and cannot vouch for accuracy: (Tufts Open Courseware–Human Growth and Development) (Developmental Psychology wiki) Visit for additional human growth and development resources. You can also find suggestions for exam preparation in Chapter IV of the CLEP Official Study Guide. In addition, many college faculty post their course materials on their schools websites. Sample Test Questions The following sample questions do not appear on an actual CLEP examination. They are intended to give potential test-takers an indication of the format and difficulty level of the examination and to provide content for practice and review. For more sample questions and info about the test, see the CLEP Official Study Guide. 1. Charles is a businessman who made a great deal of money over the past 20 years. Throughout his life he has always been self-absorbed and competitive in his business dealings and in social settings. He is now 48 years old and has no spouse or children. Charles has decided to start a charitable foundation for the benefit of needy children. Charles is most likely in Erik Erikson s stage of (A) industry versus inferiority (B) generativity versus stagnation (C) initiative versus guilt (D) trust versus mistrust (E) autonomy versus shame and doubt 2. Which of the following research methods would most likely be used when examining the behavior of a group of children on the playground? (A) Case study (B) Archival (C) Observational (D) Cross-sectional (E) Experimental 3

4 3. According to some researchers, what is the most likely reason that the age of menarche has been decreasing from past decades? (A) An increase in young womens consumption of nutrients and fatty foods (B) An increase in physical activity at earlier ages among young women (C) An increase in the tendency for young women to interact with the opposite sex (D) A decrease in the quality of health care for young women (E) A decrease in exposure to environmental estrogens contained in such things as certain plastics and pesticides 4. A cognitive-developmental-stage theorist like Jean Piaget would expect which of the following to be true? (A) Children perform at a higher stage level when novel tasks and materials are used. (B) Children often skip one stage of development when their IQs fall in the gifted range. (C) Children in different cultures go through the same stages in the same order. (D) Children move from one stage to the next stage more quickly in response to intense training. (E) Children move through the stages more quickly when they are rewarded for successful problem solving. 5. Research suggests that which of the following types of intelligence may increase throughout the life span? (A) Fluid (B) Performance (C) Mathematical (D) Crystallized (E) Spatial 6. Fifteen-year-old Tabatha sees someone steal something from a convenience store. She decides to tell the clerk because she knows that it is important to uphold the laws of society in order to help maintain social order. According to Lawrence Kohlberg s theory, Tabatha is at a level of moral reasoning known as (A) conventional (B) preconventional (C) postconventional (D) formal operational (E) preoperational 7. Timothy is an 8-year-old who gets into a lot of fights at school, does not do well academically, frequently breaks rules and is self-centered. If Timothy s behavior stems from a particular parenting style, his parents style of parenting is most likely to be (A) authoritative (B) permissive (C) authoritarian (D) neglectful (E) autonomous 8. John tends to be hardworking, ambitious and persevering. He rates high on which of the following Big Five personality dimensions? (A) Agreeableness (B) Neuroticism (C) Extraversion (D) Openness (E) Conscientiousness 9. A behaviorist who is studying the link between parenting style and childhood aggression would be most likely to focus on (A) how parents punish their children s aggressive behavior (B) how parents in different communities interpret their children s aggressive behavior (C) what parents believe about their children s aggressive behavior (D) the point at which parents seek professional advice about their children s aggressive behavior (E) whether or not parents emotionally reject aggressive children 10. A community decides to improve its health-care system by creating hospices that provide support to families with terminally ill family members. This type of hospice program is an example of (A) a home health aid program (B) palliative care (C) euthanasia (D) an advance directive (E) a life review 4

5 Credit Recommendations The American Council on Education has recommended that colleges grant 3 credits for a score of 50, which is equivalent to a course grade of C, on the CLEP Human Growth and Development exam. Each college, however, is responsible for setting its own policy. For candidates with satisfactory scores on the Human Growth and Development examination, colleges may grant credit toward fulfillment of a distribution requirement, or for a particular course that matches the exam in content. Check with your school to find out the score it requires for granting credit, the number of credit hours granted and the course that can be bypassed with a passing score. Answers to Sample Questions: 1-B; 2-C; 3-A; 4-C; 5-D; 6-A; 7-B; 8-E; 9-A; 10-B 10b

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