How to write a Developmental Assessment essay in APA format

How to write a Developmental Assessment essay in APA format

Promoting the health and development of children requires regular health assessment. All children should have yearly health maintenance visits to record important health information that could affect their development in the future. School-aged children represent individuals between the age of 5 to 12 years. At this age, most children can provide reasonably accurate medical information that can be used to track their health and make necessary interventions (Riley et al., 2019). This discussion analyzes the development of school-aged children and the assessment techniques that can aid in obtaining necessary physical assessment data for school-aged children.

Physical Assessment and Techniques

The physical examination or assessment is often the first direct contact between the nurse and the child. To ensure the assessment is conducted professionally, the nurse takes into consideration the cultural needs and differences among children (Rubin et al., 2015). Given the range of age for school-aged children, physical assessment can take different approaches. For example, more information about a five-year-old will be obtained from the parent/guardian, unlike a twelve-year-old child who can easily express themselves. The recommended approach for this age bracket is a head-to-toe examination to enable the creation of trustworthy relationships (Riley et al., 2019). School-aged children prefer a simple drape over their underpants or a colorful examination gown. To match the child’s modesty and preferences, the examiner should assess the child’s comfort with their parents during the examination. For example, a five-year-old examination will be more fruitful in the presence of the parent while a twelve-year-old may prefer to be left alone with the examiner.

When performing the physical assessment, the examiner uses four basic techniques including inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation (Riley et al., 2019). The nature of assessment using these techniques varies for school-aged children and some modifications may be required to obtain reasonable data. For example, I would ask the parent to reinforce the child’s participation in the examination. Secondly, I will ask the child questions they can be able to answer and confirm other findings with the parent. In some other cases, standardized tests may be required during the examination of the child. To ensure accurate data is collected, I will read the tests to the child especially those under the age of 9 years while 12-year-old can comfortably read and interpret information.

Typical Developmental Stages

I choose to discuss the developmental stages of a six-year-old child. At this stage, the child has familiarized with schooling making it part of their life. The child begins to develop independence including choosing friends and even clothing (Rubin et al., 2015). At the age of six years, the child becomes more social, has circles of friends, and likes playing. The child begins to build social, emotional, and thinking skills that may be evidenced by crying when denied the time to play or when cheating happens in games. Another developmental stage is the development of feelings including love for colleagues, connecting with family, and jealousy evidenced by sadness and anger (Riley et al., 2019). At the age of six, the child can pay attention for longer, talk to colleagues including talking alone in the room, and exhibits coordinated movements and physical skills. Regarding schooling, the child can read simple pictures, copy letters, copy shapes and draw realistic pictures.

 Erickson’s Developmental Theory

Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development provides a way to view the development of a person throughout their lifespan. A six-year-old child fits in stage four of Erickson’s theory known as ‘Industry Vs. Inferiority.’ This stage is characterized by the child engaging in sports, arts, and other socializing activities (Chung, 2018). Those who have negative experiences at home can develop feelings of inferiority leading to separation and loss of love. To gain the cooperation of a six-year-old during the assessment, I will ensure the parent is present, read and explain tests to the child, and ask simple questions only. Some of the findings I expect include the ability to socialize, talk freely, the name of their best friend, the name of their school, and games they like playing (Chung, 2018). At this stage, the child demonstrates competence and belief in their abilities to handle tasks set before them.



Chung, D. (2018). The eight stages of psychosocial protective development: Developmental psychology. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science8(06), 369.

Riley, M., Morrison, L., & McEvoy, A. (2019). Health Maintenance in School-Aged Children: Part I. History, Physical Examination, Screening, and Immunizations. American Family Physician100(4), 213–218.

Rubin, K. H., Bukowski, W. M., & Bowker, J. C. (2015). Children in peer groups. Handbook of child psychology and developmental science (7th Ed). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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