Sample Psychology Paper on Developmental Assessment and the School-Aged Child

Developmental Assessment and the School-Aged Child

School-aged children between the ages of five and twelve are in a crucial physical and cognitive development period, where they learn to interact with their environment and develop skills crucial to their future. When assessing School-aged children, the assessment techniques should be matched to the child’s characteristics and level of development, considering the physical and developmental characteristics of nine-year-olds. Therefore, the paper examines the physical characteristics of school-aged children, the developmental stage, and how to modify assessment techniques to match the age and developmental stage of a nine aged child.

Physical Characteristics of a School-Aged Child

At nine years of age, children will have gone through a significant period of physical development and they will have experienced significant physical development, including greater muscle strength and coordination, increased height and weight, improved balance, greater agility and flexibility, improved vision and hearing, increased lung capacity, greater stamina and endurance, and more developed skin, hair, and nails (Virtual Lab School, 2021). When assessing physical, cognitive, and emotional development, evaluation approaches must be tailored to the individual child’s age and requirements, and it is important to provide a supportive and nurturing environment to encourage the child to engage in the assessment (Olson & Innocenti, 2020). For example, it may be beneficial to incorporate games and activities that require the child to use their physical abilities when assessing physical development. More complex activities and tasks may be used to evaluate the child’s reasoning and problem-solving skills for cognitive and emotional development. In addition, it is also essential to be mindful of the child’s emotional state and to provide a supportive and nurturing environment during the assessment. Finally, it may be beneficial to provide rewards or incentives to encourage the child to engage in the assessment. Therefore, by taking into account the physical, cognitive and emotional development of nine-year-old children, it is possible to create an appropriate assessment approach tailored to the individual child’s needs and to ensure a supportive and nurturing environment to promote engagement.

Development Assessment of a School-Aged Child

To provide a clear assessment description, I use a case of John, a nine-year-old boy; he is in a period of rapid physical, cognitive, and emotional growth. According to Erickson’s developmental theory, John is in the fourth stage of development, “industry versus inferiority.” At this stage, children are seeking to achieve a feeling of mastery and competence by exploring their environment and pushing their limitations (Cherry, 2022). It is essential to assess John in a developmentally appropriate way that allows him to gain a sense of mastery and competence.

When assessing John, it is vital to provide developmentally appropriate explanations that take into account his age and level of understanding and also that are clear and concise, enabling John to understand the purpose of the assessment. I would use language that is age-appropriate and that John can easily comprehend. Additionally, I would provide visual aids, such as diagrams or pictures, to help him visualize the assessment process and also ensure that the explanations are given in a manner that is sensitive to John’s level of understanding and that he feels comfortable with the process. Strategies such as providing John with rewards and incentives, engaging him in activities that he is interested in, and creating a supportive atmosphere to encourage John to participate in the assessment. During the assessment, it is essential to observe John’s interactions with other children and his ability to follow instructions and complete tasks. It is also important to assess his motor skills and physical development to evaluate his physical growth (Olson & Innocenti, 2020). However, assessing his cognitive development and ability to reason and solve problems is essential. Finding from the assessment will enable one to understand how age affects individual characteristics; however, some potential findings may include evidence of John’s physical growth, such as an increase in muscle strength and coordination. It may also reveal his cognitive development, such as his ability to reason and solve problems (Choi, 2021). Furthermore, it may reveal evidence of his social development, such as his ability to interact with peers and follow instructions. By assessing John’s physical, cognitive, and social development, medical professionals can better understand a school-aged child’s needs and provide age-appropriate care.


A school-aged child’s physical, cognitive, and social development is essential in providing age-appropriate care; thus, assessing a child involves more than simply evaluating physical growth, in addition it also requires evaluating the child’s cognitive and social development. Therefore, by understanding the developmental stages of a school-aged child, medical professionals can provide comprehensive, age-appropriate care. Thus, assessing a school-aged child’s physical, cognitive, and social development is essential to providing quality care tailored to the child’s needs.




Cherry, K. (2022). Understanding Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development. Verywell Mind.

Choi, M. (2021). Child development: Milestones, ages and stages – children’s Health Orange County. Children’s Health of Orange County. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from

Olson, T., & Innocenti, M. (2020). Developmental assessment. Developmental Assessment – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

Virtual Lab School. (2021). Physical developmental milestones by age.