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Social Development in Early Childhood I: Self-Concept & Gender Development

by: Cassie Ng

Social Development in Early Childhood I: Self-Concept & Gender Development CPSY 2301

Marketplace > University of Minnesota > Psychlogy > CPSY 2301 > Social Development in Early Childhood I Self Concept Gender Development
Cassie Ng
U of M

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1. How does the self-concept change over the course of early childhood? What are the main influences on this change? What does research suggest about young children’s ability to describe themselv...
Introductory Child Psychology
Henriette Warren
Study Guide
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This 5 page Study Guide was uploaded by Cassie Ng on Sunday November 8, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to CPSY 2301 at University of Minnesota taught by Henriette Warren in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 42 views. For similar materials see Introductory Child Psychology in Psychlogy at University of Minnesota.


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Date Created: 11/08/15
Social Development in Early Childhood I: Self-Concept & Gender Development October 27, 2015 1. How does the self-concept change over the course of early childhood? What are the main influences on this change? What does research suggest about young children’s ability to describe themselves in psychological terms? Self-concept changes: Early self-definitions: - Focus on concrete physical activity­based, & social characteristic  - Often overly positive  Later self-definitions: (adolescence & beyond) - More abstract & psychological  - More aware of multiple selves - More realistic  Influence on self-concept: - Social Interactions with others . Looking­glass self (Mead) (feel insecure, always need to check out his/her  caregivers are there)    Self is ‘mirrored’ in reaction of others   Have parents talk to/treat their children gets incorporated into self­concept  . Chimpanzee study (Gallup, 1970)  Chimps raised in complete isolation, do not recognize selves  - Cognitive changes  . Internalization of thought   Ability to represent alternative experiences  (e.g: taking on different roles in pretend play)  . Advances in memory  particularly autobiographical memories  Research: Preschoolers have psychological conceptions of self long before they can express this in trait-like terms (Eder, 1990) - Answering “Who am I?” is hard! - Preschoolers still have limited language! - Test via procedure that does not require advanced verbal skills  2. How have gender stereotypes changed since the 1960’s, and what evidence do we have that children know these stereotypes? - Identification occurs through modeling, in which children observe & imitate  people of their gender, & through differential reinforcement, in which they are  rewarded for gender­appropriate behavior  Nowadays: - When a girl is presented with a doll, she must first decide if it is specifically relevant to her. She will think “Dolls are for girls” & “I am a girl” & thus conclude that dolls are relevant to her. - “trucks” are for boys” & “I am a girl” & thus conclude that the truck is not relevant to her. As a result, she will avoid the truck & not be interested in knowing anything about it. Asked about these toys later on, she will remember more about the doll than about the truck 3. What gender differences actually exist, according to meta-analytic findings? How large are these differences, in general? Cognitive Abilities: - Verbal ability  . Girls  - Mathematical Ability  . Depends on age   no differences until adolescence than boy, boys increase while they are adult  . Depends on domain  Boys increase arithmetic reasoning   Girls has a better computational skills  - Visual/spatial ability  . Boys  - Academic achievement  . Girls  . By adolescence, girls lose edge in math & science  Social Behaviors: - Aggression  .Stay tuned next time! - Activity level . Boys  - Compliance  . Girls  - Expressing & interpreting emotons  . Girls Differences: - Magnitude of effects is typically small 4. What are the social influences on gender differences? What is known about how parents, teachers, and peers influence the development of gender differences? - Modeling & limitation  - Encouragement  - Reinforcement  Who: - Mums more likely to: . Encourage girls to express feelings . Grant boys more autonomy . Believe math & science are less interesting & more difficult for daughters than sons (Even when girls are getting better grades) - Fathers tend to:  . Discourage boys from playing with ‘girls’ toys  . Use more rough­&­tumble play, esp with boys  - Teachers are more likely to: . Interrupt girls  . Call on boys  . Praise boys for knowledge, girls for neatness  . In class with high gender salience, children report more gender stereotypes &  play less with other­sex peers - Peers: .Children self­segregate by sex from early age:  Playground observations: preschoolers play with same­sex playmates 3.5x as much as opposite­sex­­ by 6 years: 11x as much! . Group norms evolve within same-sex groups  Girls use polite requests/ persuasion, boys use commands   Girls techniques do not work with boys!   Boys tends to dominate in mixed­sex settings!  . Peers react negatively to : gender-inconsistent behavior 5. How do children come to develop a sex-role identity according to psychodynamic theory, environmental learning, cognitive theory, and gender schema theory? Psychodynamic theory: - Differentiation & identification: Boys differentiate from their mothers & identify  with their fathers through resolution of the Oedipus complex. Girls’ resolution of  the Electra complex results in identification with their mother, with the attempt to  differentiate from her being short­circuited  Environmental learning: (Social learning) - Modeling & differential reinforcement: Boys & girls observe & imitate sex­typed  behaviors of males & females, respectively, because they are rewarded for doing  so  Cognitive theory: - Conceptual development: Children develop sex­role constancy (an under standing that their sex remains the same no matter what), & sex­role identity then begins to guide their thoughts & actions  Gender schema theory: - gender schema & observation & imitation: As in cognitive- developmental theory, children form concepts—gender schemes, which they use to process gender-relevant information. As in social learning theory, observation & imitation play a role 6. How does culture influence the development of gender stereotypes? - Mediation: The acquisition of gender roles occurs as children’s activities are  organized by cultural conceptions & stereotypes of gender  - Children who spend time in preschool classrooms that emphasize gender have  higher levels of gender stereotyping than do children in classrooms that are more  gender­neutral  - Children’s behavior is medicated not only by the content of gender categories but  (what sorts of behavior count as specifically ‘male’ & ‘female’) but also by the  rigidness of the categories & the consequence of crossing category boundaries  - In many Western cultures, the stereotypes of the male is defined more clearly­­ &  more rigidly—than the stereotype of the female. In the United States, for  example: this difference is reflected in the relative permissive toward  girls’  engaging in typically male­identified behaviors & much greater intolerance  toward boys’ engaging in typically female­identified behavior  7. Describe the strategies parents use as they discuss issues of ethnicity with their children. What is the evidence linking these approaches to various child outcomes? - Decades of research on ethnic­identity development make clear that  understanding oneself as a member of a particular ethnic group emerges in the  first years of life - In a study of African American preschoolers, Margaret Caughy & her colleagues  (2002) discovered that the vast majority of parents in their sample routinely  incorporated a variety of ethnic socialization messages when interacting with their young children  - Nearly all of the parents (88 percent) communicated messages that emphasized  cultural heritage & pride; the majority also had Afrocentric items in their homes  - Children whose parents promoted ethnic pride & provided a home that was rich in African American culture had stronger cognitive abilities & problem provided  other forms of ethnic socialization, such as “preparation for bias” or “promotion  of mistrust” 8. Discuss the social domain view of moral development. How does this view differ from the cognitive developmental and psychodynamic views of moral development? ­ Social domain theory: Rules that dictate right & wrong fall into three domains, which are at different levels - The social domain view of moral development stands apart from other two views  we have considered because it emphasizes that there are different types of ‘right’  & ‘ wrong’  - Moral rules are the most general; they are based on principles of justice & the  welfare of others. Thus, moral rules specify, for example, that others be treated  fairly, in a way that preserves their rights & avoids causing them harm  - Often believed to derive from a divine source (e.g: to be God’s law), & found in  all societies, moral rules are obligations that are not to be transgressed) - Social conventions—rules that are important for coordinating social behavior in a  given society, such as rules about how men or women should act, or what  constitutes appropriate dress at a house of worship or on the beach, or who has  authority over whom 


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