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This essay is a critical analysis of Case Study 2. The
case study is about Darcy, who is 6 years old and she is the third children of
Jane and Mike. Her father, Mike has joined the army 12 years ago, whereas, Jane
works part time at the call Centre. Furthermore, they moved house numerous
times in the eight last years due to Mike’s post in the army. Darcy has
recently started school and she seems to play with other children, interacts
with others, however, there are times when she’s unable to concentrate and
becomes tearful. Darcy loves to play in the role play area and is sometimes
quite positive over the dolls there. The assignment will involve an
understanding of child development and a depth discussion based on the case
study, which will also be linked with relevant theoretical perspectives. The
purpose of the assignment is to comprehend how to construct a good child
development at the earliest age.

assignment will include three main areas of understanding and critical
evaluation to identify the different factors that may influence Darcy’s
behavior. The three main areas of child development that I will be
discussing during this assignment are Ecological systems theory
(Bronfenbrenner), Attachment and bonding and Behaviourism. Beginning with a
discussion of how Darcy’s environment is affecting her development by giving a
depth understanding through using Bronfenbnner model. I will explain using
attachment theory the bond that she has with her parents and how is this
impacting on how she is making relationships with others. I will further discuss the behaviorism implications that may have caused
Darcy to become distractions and tearful.

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The first area of child
development starts within the home environment. One of the major influences on
Darcy’s development could have possibly been a lack of attachment with her
Father. As he is a soldier, he can only visit his family one or twice a year,
therefore, it could mean that he had not been in contact with Darcy. This could
lead to Darcy not being emotional attached towards him. Attachment is a strong
bond between a child and a caregiver (Bowlby, 1982).  She’s
missing a father figure and a male role model for a numerous periods of time.
Darcy’s father may have not been able to provide a secure closeness as he might
not be able to visit them regularly to build a strong bond with her however,
she may have not been able to form a secure attachment with her Mother either
as because she has a younger sibling. Darcy’s could have possibly been
neglected by her Mother due a younger sibling therefore this could have led
Darcy to have an insecure attachment with her mother. The caregiver starts to
build a positive caring relationship with the child as because a caring
relationship is essential for healthy development (Bowlby, 1980). Moreover, her
mother may find it difficult to parent all four of her kids along as Mike’s
away from home. Besides, she also works part time hence why it might be
difficult for Jane to stay consistent with her care towards Darcy and She might
pay more attention towards the younger child.

studies suggest that toddlers who have a trusting and secure relationships with
their parents or primary caregivers are likely to experience lower stress
hormone level of activation when they are terrified by an unpredictable event,
whereas, those who may have an insecure relationship with their parents or
caregiver are likely to experience an increase the activation level of the
stress hormone response system (Hunt and Marshall, 1993, p108). Nevertheless,
Bowlby argues that separation from one of their parent would impact their
overall development due to not having a constant care (Bowlby, 1969). This
can lead to transformation of behaviour, anxiety and distress. The linkage
between the child and mother becomes stronger due to not having a father
figure. (Bowlby, 2005, P99-100). Though, when a father becomes engaged with the
children and their well-being. This can give a child a bond a trust and a
secure feeling. Additionally, research suggests that girls who are attached to
their fathers often have a stronger feeling of being self-confident and able to
manage their emotions (KidsMatter, 2011). The caregiver are able to provide a
feeling of safety and security for the infant and infants who have built a
strong attachment are most likely to continue to build a secure attachment as
they grow up; they are likely to maintain a positive relationship with parents,
siblings and peers (, 2017).


major influence on Darcy’s development could be moving to a house. In order to understand
how this might effect on her, it’s vital to discover Bronfenbrenner’s work. The
Urie Bronfenbrenner ecological theory discovers the early childhood
development. The theory states that there are different types of environment
that plays an influential role in a child’s progress (Bowlby, 2005, cited in
Colette Gray and Sean Macblain, 2012, p124). Likewise, the purpose of this
theory is to understand what influences children in various of different

Bronfenbrenner ecological systems theory is strongly linked to Darcy case
study. The second level of ecological from the individual is microsystem and
then, the third level of the ecological is Mesosystem. The theory demonstrates
the different factors can affect a child’s development, which can, also affect
their surroundings (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, cited Reed
and Walker, 2016, p144). The Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model demonstrates
different sections that may have direct and indirect connection with a child.
The microsystem system is linked to the closest people in our life also, known,
as immediate environments, where the child is directly involved e.g. family,
school (Gray and
MacBlain, 2012). The Mesosystem also, relates to the construction of the
bond between, the child and their parents, siblings, the caregivers, etc.
School are also part of microsystem since she interacts with her teacher and
the other children. (Learning theories in childhood; Colette Gray and Sean
Macblain p123). One of these reasons may involve her microsystem, for the
reason the second layer of the theory has a profound connection along with the
Darcy since she’s missing a father figure and her Mother works part time
therefore, she’s mostly likely to have a strong bond with the siblings. 

Mesosystem is the relationship between the microsystems; includes the
individuals and places that the child may not interact as often, however, it
does contribute a major role towards the children’s lives which, is why this
can affect their overall development (learning theories in childhood; Colette
Gray and Sean Macblain p123). Examples of this system may be the linkage
between family and school, family and peers, community and school.
Bronfenbrenner’s ecological perspective argues that early child development
experiences are mostly influenced by the environments. Darcy’s family has
constantly moved to a new house over the years, therefore, it’s difficult for a
child to develop their social skills with new neighbours. In other words, they
would also be influenced by their surroundings therefore, it becomes difficult
to explore environments around them in early childhood due to army context
within the family which, has impacted on the development of the child.
(Understanding child development – Sara Measows p31).


behaviourism theory also has connection with Darcy as it’s mentioned in the
case study, there are some behaviours of her is slightly unusual including her
being quite possessive over the dolls. One of the reasons why she might be
possessive over the dolls, perhaps because she doesn’t have a strong
affectional bond with her Father. Darcy probably plays with dolls as because
that’s the only thing she can have control over whereas she has no control over
her mother inconstant attachment towards her. Additionally, due to Darcy being
possessive over the dolls affects her social and development, since she doesn’t
allow any other children to play with the dolls. Moreover, Darcy has a strong
bond with the dolls maybe because she feels a sense of security and protection
while she plays with the dolls, the girls are naturally drawn to play dolls. These
factors can help to understand Darcy’s behaviour as she might not have a
self-esteem. A self-esteem makes them feel good about themselves and it enables
them to grow their self-confidence (,
Children with low self-esteem are likely to feel insecure. They might feel
insecure as because they are not receiving enough attention their caregiver.
Children may continue to have low self-esteem as an adult due to not receiving
enough nurturing that was needed to boost their self-esteem (, 2017).


In addition, we know that children learn
through play and playing with dolls actually provides an opportunity to learn
the significant emotional skills. Darcy is feeling safe and secure around her
parents, however, when they are not available she tends to replicate the
feeling and the attachment while playing with the dolls. Research
suggests that there are benefits of playing with dolls as it’s educational for
them to learn and develop their skills e.g. they are able to learn social
skills through playing with dolls, since this will help them to understand how
to process emotions. Playing with dolls teaches
them different emotions and relationships as child role plays. Furthermore, playing with dolls offers them opportunities to grow their
imagination meanwhile, playing with dolls helps to develop their language; practice their speech and language skills
(Stoltzfus, 2015). Besides, playing with dolls is
beneficial for children as because it helps them with Cognitive
skills; they are able to learn
the names of body parts. (Childventures,

of the reasons why Darcy might be distracted and tearful could possibly be ADHD
deficit hyperactivity disorder). ADHD is a medical disorder that affects a person’s self-control and their
attention and it can be observed at an early age (,
2016). Children find difficult to stay focused and being easily distracted in addition, it can
also affect their behaviour as it makes it harder for them to control their own
behavior (Hughes and Cooper, 2007, p1 – 3). ADHD affects a child’s health in several ways; Emotional turmoil can
be one of the factors why Darcy gets tearful since, they are not able to
control their own emotions and children with ADHD may find difficult to develop
the skill to manage emotions (Hughes and Cooper, 2007,

conclusion, this essay comprises some of the thing that may have a major
influence on Darcy’s development e.g. missing a father figure, moving house,
lack of attachment with her mother. In order to distinguish what might have an
effect on her, I have discussed about Ecological systems theory (Bronfenbrenner),
Attachment and bonding and Behaviourism to demonstrate the possibilities.  I believe these are the key reasons why Darcy
behaves in a certain way compare to other children who are similar to her age

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