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PENN STATE / HHD / HHD 129 / What is a psychosocial crisis?

What is a psychosocial crisis?

What is a psychosocial crisis?


School: Pennsylvania State University
Department: HHD
Course: Intro to HDFS
Professor: Molly countermine
Term: Spring 2016
Tags: HDFS
Cost: 50
Name: HDFS 129 Study Guide 2
Description: Study guide for the second exam notes from 2/2-2/18 (notes 5- notes 7)
Uploaded: 02/22/2016
13 Pages 35 Views 11 Unlocks

Sedrick Ward I (Rating: )

Eugh...this class is soo hard! I'm so glad that you'll be posting notes for this class

HDFS Study Guide 2

What is a psychosocial crisis?

Erik Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development ∙ Psychosocial- our psyche interacts w/social forces to form our  personality

∙ Capacities of a person (skills, etc.) + Demands of the  environment (what is expected from parents, society, etc.) =  Emergence of a particular aspect of personality

∙ Psychosocial crisis- unique problem/task we are confronted with  during a specific period of life

o Resolve positively or negatively

 Resolution is NOT an all or nothing matter

o Reach a resolution  becomes part of our personality  develop particular orientation toward life

o Characteristics of a psychosocial crisis:

 NOT a time of disaster

What are the components in social interaction?

 Focus our attention on a particular task

∙ Still can jump from task to task, but a particular

task is at the forefront

 Way in which we resolve the crisis/task at each stage has an effect on subsequent stages

 Resolution can be challenged/shaken at any time in  later development, for better or for worse

Stages of Psychosocial Development

1. Trust v. Mistrust: birth-18 months

a. “Can I trust?” “Is the world a safe place?”

b. Trust – warm, responsive, consistent caregiving Don't forget about the age old question of What is nervous system composed of?

c. Mistrust- unresponsive, harsh, neglectful, abusive We also discuss several other topics like Who are the largest ethnolinguistic group in ethiopia?
If you want to learn more check out What is the social contract?

2. Autonomy v. Shame/doubt: 18 months – 3 yr.

What is reciprocal influence?

a. “Can I do it?”

b. Autonomy- ability to do things for yourself

c. Increase of a child’s own exploration and independence d. Child needs patience and encouragement

i. Doesn’t need belittling, discouragement

3. Initiative v. Guilt: 4-5 yr.

a. “What can I do?”

i. After they know they can do it, what can they do?

b. Curiosity, free play

c. Must allow child to try If you want to learn more check out What market structure has very few large firms?

4. Industry v. Inferiority: 6-10 yr.

a. “Can I keep trying?”

b. Industry- capacity to try, problem solve, and work

c. Perseverance (biggest measurer of success)

i. Child is not afraid to fail b/c they were never made to feel bad for failing

HDFS Study Guide 2

d. Big role for teachers

5. Identity v. Role Confusion: 11-22 yr. We also discuss several other topics like How are president elected?

a. “Who am I?” “Where do I belong?” “What do I believe?” b. Family, friends, teachers, coaches, mentors all contribute  (people who mean the most to you)

6. Intimacy v. Isolation: 22-35 yr.

a. “How do I love?” “How do I want to be loved?” “What do  relationships mean to me?”

b. Applies to romantic relationships and friendships

c. Commitment

7. Generativity v. Self-absorption: 35-65 yr. (middle adulthood) a. “What am I doing with my life?” “What am I giving  back/accomplishing for the community?”

b. “What will outlive me?” (Career accomplishments, kids,  ideas) Don't forget about the age old question of Which type of network covers a large geographical area?

c. As long as you feel generative about something, that thing  makes you generative

8. Integrity v. Despair: 65-85 yr. (old age)

a. “How have I lived my life?”

i. Looking back

b. Finding meaning in one’s life

c. Going within yourself

9. Hope/faith v. Despair: 90 and UP (old old age)

a. Transcendence- being ready to go/move on

Trust v. Mistrust

Trust- an appraisal of another’s dependability and genuineness ∙ For infants: it is a state of feeling confident that they are valued  and that their needs will be met

o Fostered in infancy; established by 18 months

o Fostered through day-to-day interactions of infants and  caregivers

Developing trust

∙ Biologically- we are programmed to be wary of harsh stimuli ∙ Socially- we are or are not protected from harsh stimuli by  caregivers

∙ Psychologically- we learn that the world is generally safe or not  safe

HDFS Study Guide 2

∙ Ability of the caregiver to soothe the infant when in distress is  central to developing trust and an attachment to the caregiver

Components in social interaction

∙ Matching- presence of same/similar behaviors (cooing, smiling,  upsetness)

o Caregiver reflects baby’s feelings/behavior

∙ Synchrony- movement from one emotional state to another in a  fluid pattern

∙ As time goes by, mother and baby both learn to regulate the  amount of time that passes between expression of a need and  satisfying the need

∙ Research shows: babies whose mothers responded quickly and  consistently to their cries in the first few months cried less in  later months


∙ The strong emotional bond that children form with primary  caregivers (typically mother)

∙ An intense emotional relationship that emerges over time o We are not born attached

John Bowlby’s attachment theory:

∙ Babies need 2 factors for survival:

o Protection

 Babies need to keep caregivers nearby

 Babies draw us in with behaviors such as crying,  

clinging, vocalizing, smiling

 Other people are infants’ primary environment

o Exploration

 Leaning independence is necessary for surviving and  thriving

 Learn to be individual by exploring and manipulating  our environment

∙ These factors are at odds with each other.  

How do we balance these factors? Secure base

Secure Base

∙ The way babies reconcile the need to be protected (staying close to mom) and the need to explore (moving away from mom)

HDFS Study Guide 2

∙ Babies learn they can use their parent as their secure base when  their parent is warm, response, and sensitive

Attachment Security

∙ Security of infant attachment is determined by quality of early  caregiving

∙ Security of early attachment effects the child’s later relationships

Four phases of attachment

1. Birth – 2 months

a. Babies attach to any adult

2. 3 – 6 months

a. Babies begin to direct attachment to primary caregivers 3. 7 – 24 months

a. Babies are clearly attached to primary caregivers

4. 24 months and on

a. Children become comfortable with receiving care from  familiar others

Measuring attachment: the Strange Situation (Ainsworth) 1. Observer shows caregiver and child into lab, then leaves 2. Caregiver sits and watches child play

3. Stranger enters, silent at first, then talks to caregiver, then  interacts w/child. Caregiver leaves room

4. First separation. Stranger tries to interact/comfort 5. First reunion. Caregiver attempts to comfort, stranger  leaves. Caregiver leaves again

6. Second separation. Child alone in room

7. Stranger enters and tries to comfort

8. Second reunion. Caregiver attempts to comfort child.  Stranger leaves

***Reunion is what’s important

Categories of Attachment

(What was determined about the kids from the Strange Situation experiment  from notes 5)

∙ Securely attached: 55-60% of children

o Use mother as secure base

o Exhibit distress at mother leaving and stop exploration o Seek contact during reunion

∙ Insecurely attached – avoidant: 15-20% of children o Rarely cry during separation

o Avoid mother at reunion

o Indifferent to or dislike physical contact; fail to cling

HDFS Study Guide 2

∙ Insecurely attached – ambivalent: 10% of children o Ambivalent = conflicted

o Distressed during separation

o Yet not comforted by mother during reunion

o May be angry and hit/push mother

∙ Insecurely attached – disorganized

o Show confusion; freezing behavior

o Highly correlated with abuse/neglect

Parenting behaviors & attachment security

(Type of parenting that usually results in each type of attachment) o Secure children: parent has warm, responsive, consistent,  contingent, lots of physical contact

o Parent responds/reacts to child right away

o Avoidant children: parents are consistently insensitive o Less physical contact

o Ambivalent children: inconsistent parenting

o Sometimes warm, sometimes not

o Parent may be unsure/awkward

o Disorganized children: parent may abuse/neglect

o Too much screen time (for the parent)


(How children of different types of attachments turn out) o Secure

o Less dependent on teachers in preschool

o More cooperative; peaceful, peacemakers

o Responsive to friends’ requests

o Insecure

o More dependent on teachers

o Behavior problems; aggressive with peers

o More withdrawn


o Refers to an innate style of responding to the environment o An infant has a distinct temperament in the first few days and  weeks of life that is independent of parenting style


1. Activity level

2. Rhythmicity (predictability of bodily functions- eat, sleep,  bathroom)

3. Approach/withdrawal (when presented w/something new, do they approach it or withdrawal?)

HDFS Study Guide 2

4. Adaptability (go with the flow or rigid?)

5. Threshold of responsiveness (how much does it take to get a  response?)

6. Intensity of reaction (ex. How much you laugh at jokes) 7. General mood (happy, sad, irritable, etc.)

8. Focus/attention span

Categories of temperament

o Easy (40% of children)

o Approach new events, people, toys, etc. positively o React to novelty in a non-distressed way

o Regular in eating and sleeping patterns

o Generally cheerful and happy (Buddha babies)

o Make parents look like good parents

o Slow-to-warm (15% of children)

o Withdraw form new events, people, toys, etc.

o Uneasy with novelty

o Lower activity levels

o Somewhat fussy

o Difficult (10% of children)

o React negatively and vigorously to novelty

o Generally irritable

o Tend to have high activity levels

o Irregular in eating and sleeping patterns

o Make parents look like bad parents

o The rest (35% of children)

o Have mixed characteristics and cannot be classified

Is temperament stable?

Yes and no

o Development (simply getting older) and environment may  heighten, diminish, or otherwise alter reactions to the  environment

Goodness of Fit

o Creating a child-rearing environment that recognizes child’s  temperament and encourages adaptive functioning

o This is the parents’ responsibility

o The child cannot change their temperament

o Good parenting involves structuring child’s environment to suit  child’s temperament

o Easy baby: easy parenting

HDFS Study Guide 2

o Difficult baby: needs parent to be non-punitive, not harsh,  patient, consistent

o Slow-to-warm baby: needs parent to be patient, low-key, allow  child to adapt at their own pace

Reciprocal Influences

o Individual influences/is influences by his/her environment o Relationship between parents affects the way a parent relates to  the child

Marital relationship Parenting



o Difficult babies are at risk for developing an insecure attachment o Because parents are less likely to be sensitive

o UNLESS, parents of difficult babies view them as challenging rather than difficult

Longitudinal study of temperament

Capsi, 2000

o Children were studied from birth  21 yr.

o Measured participants 9 times across the span

o 1037 kids, 97% retention rate (that’s a lot)

o Representative sample (gender, race, SES)

o Subjective

o Given psychological test, interviews with participants,  parents teachers

o Objective

o Direct observations


o Difficult kids

o Age 3: irritable, impulsive, moody, difficulty staying on  task, behavioral problems

o Age 18: aggression, impulsive, angry, conflict in  

interpersonal relationships

HDFS Study Guide 2

o Age 21: conflict in friendships and romantic relationships;  unreliable, more likely to have substance abuse problems  and to have been fired from a job

o Slow-to-warm kids

o Age 3: shy, fearful, not at ease in new situations,  

uncomfortable w/strangers

o Age 18: over-controlled, cautious, non-assertive; followers  rather than leaders

o Age 21: lower levels of social support; anxious, more likely  to be depressed, less engagement in the world

o Easy kids

o Age 3: getting along well with peers and teachers

o Age 18: doing well in school; good friendships, leaders o Age 21: well-adjusted, happy, successful friendships and  romantic relationships

Does this mean temperament is stable?

o Studies show mixed results

o Hard to measure temperament in adults

o Relative v. absolute terms (have to think about it this way) o Consistency of temperament depends in part on fit between a  child’s nature and a parent’s nature

o A child’s temperament and parents’ responses to the child  interact to produce particular outcomes

Autonomy v. Shame/doubt

Autonomy- ability to behave independently; act on one’s own; to  have a choice; sense of separateness

Shame & doubt- to have self-doubt; to see oneself as incompetent;  to think you can’t do anything right

∙ This has roots in criticism

Kids are ready for this stage…

∙ Biologically- they can talk rather than just babble; motor skills  are rapidly improving (walking rather than crawling)

∙ Socially- because of advancing skills, we become more social;  interactions are more meaningful

∙ Psychologically- our sense of self becomes stronger; desire to  break out dependency on parents

Imitation- observational learning

∙ Observe and imitate behavior of others

HDFS Study Guide 2

∙ Motivation to imitate is to achieve mastery

The Terrible Twos- an almost unreasonable insistence on doing things  by one’s self

∙ “I can do things for myself AND I have an effect on others” ∙ They like to say “NO” a lot and very quickly

Impulse Control- emotional/self regulation

∙ Gaining control over impulses

∙ Kids become increasingly better at controlling themselves as  they age

∙ Marshmallow test

o Little kids are given 1 marshmallow

o Told they can eat that 1, or wait 15 minutes and they will  get a 2nd marshmallow

o How long they wait to eat it is a measure of impulse control

Adults can help with impulse control through…

∙ Modeling  

∙ Reassurance (let them know things are okay, but w/o invalidating how they’re feeling)

∙ Suggestions (tell them of how you like to deal with things)

Initiative v. Guilt

Initiative- ability; power, responsibility; to act/take charge before  others do; to assess and act independently

Guilt- an emotional state of feelings that you did something wrong,  whether you did or not

Feelings v. Behaviors

∙ Do we have control over our feelings? No

∙ Our thoughts? Eh, a little bit more

∙ Our behaviors? Yes

∙ Do not confuse a child’s behavior/actions w/inner  character

∙ Good girl v. good job

o Difference: “You’re good” v. “You did well on that task” o Telling a kid how they work is better than telling them how  smart they are

 How you work is something you can change

HDFS Study Guide 2

o Good job > good girl

∙ The extent to which a child’s attempts at mastery are belittled,  his/her sense of guilt will grow

Industry v. Inferiority

Industry- to keep working; to persevere; to problem-solve until you  get it done

Inferiority- feeling lower in status/quality than others

Evidence is mounting that children’s self-esteem is lower in the latter  years of elementary school than in preschool and kindergarten ∙ Especially true of boys

∙ Girls’ self-esteem plummets more in adolescence

Boys v. Girls

∙ Boys earn 70% of D’s and F’s in school

∙ Boys make up 2/3 of students w/learning disabilities ∙ Boys commit 4/5 crimes in juvenile courts

o Girls are actually just as aggressive as boys, however they  are socially aggressive, which doesn’t get them in legal  trouble

∙ 80% high school drop outs are boys

∙ Boys are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD ∙ Boys are twice as likely to be held back

∙ 11th grade boy = 8th grade girl in writing proficiency ∙ Delayed entrance of boys in kindergarten

∙ Males have more severe physical reactions to distress from  infancy (remember the still face experiment) through adulthood

Friendships in Childhood

What makes a child resilient?

“Friendships in the early school years are one of the key building blocks for relationships in later life, and for the level of one’s self-esteem.” –  Robert Selman

High self-esteem fosters:

∙ Confidence

∙ Competence

HDFS Study Guide 2

∙ Willingness to take chances

∙ Ability to stick up for yourself

∙ Healthy respect for others

∙ Sense of responsibility

Low self-esteem is associated with:

∙ Depression and anxiety

∙ Hostility

∙ Difficulty adapting to new circumstances

∙ Mistrust of others

∙ Feeling like a victim

Possessing social competence helps in developing the skills for having long-term relationships

Why are friendships in childhood so important? ∙ Continuum of attachment

∙ Facilitate separation from family

o You end up forming new families through friendships ∙ Ease transition to adulthood

∙ Validate self-concept through consensual validation o Make you feel good about who you are

o Even in social media through “liking”

∙ Safeguard against feelings of rejection and loneliness ∙ Hone skills for future relationships

∙ Learn importance of emotional commitment

Childhood Friendships

∙ By 8 or 9, children become very selective in their friendships ∙ Children in middle/late childhood (8-11) spend almost half their  day with peers

∙ Children establish a social hierarchy that determines treatment  by peers

∙ Most (75%) have solid friendships

Types of kids

∙ Popular kids

o Popular-prosocial (60%) – performing well in school;  communicate with peers in a positive, friendly way

o Popular-antisocial (15%)- defying authority; aggressive kids who enhance their popularity by manipulation and  

exclusion (Regina George)

HDFS Study Guide 2

∙ Rejected kids

o Rejected-aggressive (6%)- disliked by peers; disruptive;  lack social skills; hostile; interpret others’ acts as  

intentionally aggressive

o Rejected-withdrawn (6%)- socially anxious; expect to be  treated poorly; often bullied

∙ Other kids

o Neglected (5%)- ignored by others; socially skilled but  loners’ do not report being unhappy; considered shy; not at risk; tend to have one friend

o Mixed/controversial (8%)- these kids display a blend of  positive and negative social behaviors, depending on who  they are with; liked by some, not by others

What makes a child popular?

∙ Listening to others

∙ Showing enthusiasm

∙ Happy, cheerful disposition

∙ Communicating clearly

∙ Maintaining conversation with even flow of exchange ∙ Physical attractiveness

Risk factors

∙ Poverty

∙ Neighborhood/school violence

∙ Early neglect, abuse, harsh parenting

∙ Parental absence

∙ Familial instability

These are typically cumulative

What makes a child resilient?

∙ Easy temperament

∙ Girls tend to be more resilient than boys

∙ Physical attractiveness

∙ Oldest child w/no siblings until at least 2 years of age ∙ Recruitment of surrogate parents, adult mentors, friend’s families ∙ Empathy; good listening skills

∙ By high school, evidence of an internal locus of control and  optimistic confidence in ability to shape events

∙ Androgyny- possessing typical characteristics of both genders;  outgoing and autonomous (individual, assertive); nurturing and  sensitive

HDFS Study Guide 2

Poverty v. Privilege

∙ Poverty

o Poor physical health

o Deficits in cognitive development

o Poor academic achievement

o Poor mental health

o Antisocial behavior

o Hostile family interaction

o Less likely to finish college

∙ Privilege

o Less emotional closeness with parents

o Less supervision by parents

o Over-scheduled in activities

o Parents who are less available (emotionally and logistically) o Excessive demands for achievement

Fewer family activities and interactions

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