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MSU / Psychology / PSY 244 / What is the development of conceptions of self?

What is the development of conceptions of self?

What is the development of conceptions of self?


Conceptions of self

What is the development of conceptions of self?

− The self

− Self=a conceptual system of ones thoughts and attitudes about oneself

− Can include thoughts about ones own physical being, social roles, and relationships and “spiritual”  or internal characteristics

− Even young infants seem to experience a sense of mastery and control when they can make a  mobile do their bidding by moving their arm

− Development of conceptions of self

− Children’s sense of self

− Emerges in the early years of life

− Continues to develop into adulthood

− Becomes more complex as the individuals emotional and cognitive development deepens − Is enhanced when adults provide descriptive information about the child

What is the meaning of self in infancy?

− The self in infancy

− Infants have a rudimentary sense of self in the first months of life, as evidence by their control of  objects outside of themselves

− Their sense of self becomes more distinct at about 8 months of age when they respond to  separation from primary caregivers with separation distress

− Development of conceptions of self in infancy

− By 18 to 20 months of age

o Ruge test—put something on nose and look in mirror and wipe it of

o Many children can look in to a mirror and realize that the image they see there is  themselves We also discuss several other topics like What is the theoretical foundation's music as discourse?

− By 2 years of age

o Children exhibit embarrassment and shame  

o Self-assertive behavior and use of language also indicate self-awareness

What is the development of conceptions of self in infancy?

− Development of conceptions of self in infancy  

− By 30 months of age

o Almost all children recognize their own photograph

− At age 3 to 4

o Children understand themselves in terms of concrete, observable characteristics related to  physical attributes, physical activities and abilities and psychological traits

o Self-evaluations during the preschool years are unrealistically positive

− In elementary school

− Children begin to refine their conceptions of self in part because they increasingly engage in social  comparison Don't forget about the age old question of What does it mean to say that atoms are not created or destroyed in a chemical reaction?

− Self-concepts are increasingly based on their relationships with others especially peers, and others  evaluations of them, making them vulnerable to low self esteem  We also discuss several other topics like What is the meaning of malingering in psychology?

− Development of conceptions of self in middle childhood

− By middle to late elementary school  

− Development of conceptions of self in adolescence

− Adolescence begin to think of themselves in terms of abstract characteristics that encompass a  variety of concrete characteristics and behaviors We also discuss several other topics like What activity did norman triplett ask children to perform in his first laboratory study of social facilitation?
Don't forget about the age old question of Why do female preferences evolve?

− They can also conceive of themselves in terms of a variety of selves, depending on context − Early adolescence

o Thinking about self is characterized by several forms of egocentrism

 Personal fable

 Imaginary audience

− Middle teen years

o Adolescence often begin to agonize over the contradictions in their behavior and  characteristics

o Most still do not have the cognitive skills needed to integrate their recognition of these  contradictions into a coherent conception of self

− Development of conceptions of self in adolescence

− Adolescents in their middle teens are better than younger adolescents at identifying contradictions in themselves

− Most still do not have the cognitive skills needed to integrate their recognition of these  contradictions into a coherent conception of self

− Development of Conceptions of Self in Late Adolescence and Early Adulthood − In late adolescence If you want to learn more check out What is included in the lab lactic acid bacteria group?

o Individuals conception of self becomes more integrated and less determined by what  others think

o Other adolescents conceptions of self also frequently reflect internalized personal values,  beliefs and standards

− Narrative identity = a story of the self (as agent, actor) with beginning, middle and future − Erikson’s theory of identity formation

− Erik Erikson: identity verses identity confusion crises

o Resolution of many issues is the chief developmental task in adolescence

o Successful resolution of this crisis results in identity achievement

o During late adolescence, re-examination of ones value system is common. Often the  outcome is either renewed commitment to previously held benefits or total rejection of  them

− Erikson’s views: identity versus identity confusion

− Adolescent or young adult either develops an identity or experiences one of several negative  outcomes

o Identity confusion: incomplete sense of self

o Identity foreclosure: prematurely committing to an identity without adequate consideration of alternatives

o Negative identity: choosing identity opposite to the values of the values of important  others

− Erikson’s views

− Erikson argued for the importance of a psychosocial moratorium

o Involves a time-out period during which the adolescent is not expected to take on adult  roles and can pursue activities that lead to self-discovery

o Is only possible in some cultures and only to the more privileged classes

− Marcia’s identity

− Adolescents and young adults who have attained identity-achievement status are socially more  mature and higher in achievement motivation than their peers

− Adolescents and young adults in identity-difusion and moratorium statuses tend to move into  identity-achievement status, whereas those in a foreclosed state often remain there  − Adolescents are more likely to have a foreclosed identity status if their parents are overly  protective or employ a cold and controlling parenting style (ex: authoritarian)

− Ethnic identity

− Refers to the individuals sense of belonging to an ethnic group

− Includes the degree to which children associate their thinking, perceptions, feelings and behavior  with membership in that ethnic group

− Components of ethnic identity in childhood

− Ethnic knowledge

− Ethnic self-identification

− Ethnic constancy

− Ethnic-role behaviors

− Ethnic feelings and preferences

− Examples of components of ethnic identity in preschool and early school years −

− Development of ethnic identity

− Ethnic identity develops gradually during childhood and is not universal

− By the early school years, ethic-minority children:

o Know the common characteristics of their ethnic group

o Start to have feelings about being members of the group

o May have begum to form ethnically based preferences

− Between the ages f 5 and 8 children;

o Tend to identify themselves with their ethic group

o Begin to understand their ethnicity as unchanging (after identification)

− Ethnic identity in adolescence

− Ethnic identity becomes more central in adolescence

− Ethnic-minority youth

o Face special challenges when they become aware of discrimination

o May experience special peer pressures and higher rate of foreclosure  

o May also experience additional difficulties when the values of their ethnic group and those  of the dominant culture clash

o Interventions can help minority youth to integrate counter stereotypic goals and  characteristics into their identity

− Sexual orientation

− A persons preference in regard to males or females as objects of erotic feelings − Core component of adolescent identity

− Dealing with new feelings of sexuality is difficult for many adolescents

− Establishing a sexual identity is much harder for some adolescents than for others − Origins of sexual identity

− Timing

o Puberty is the most likely time for youth to begin experiencing feelings of sexual attraction  to others

− Biology and environment

o Most current theorist believe that feelings of sexual attraction to others are based primary  on biology factors

− Sexual identity in sexual minority

− Sexual-minority youth: include young people who experience same-sex attractions and for whom  the question of personal sexual identity is often confusing and painful

− Disclose this information to others (ex: “coming out”) and are doing so at earlier ages than in  previous cohorts

− Involve an estimated 2-4% of high school students in the US

− The process of coming out

− First recognition

− Test and exploration

− Identity acceptance

− Identity integration

− Ages of identity milestones for gay/bisexual male youth in savin-william’s (1998) study  (all are gay youth who have acknowledged their sexual-minority identity) −

− Consequences of coming out

− Sexual minority youth

o Do not typically disclose their same-sex preferences to peers of siblings until about 16 ½ to 19 years of age

o Do not tell their parents until a year or two later, if at all

o Are often insulted or threatened by relatives or not accepted by heterosexual peers − Self-esteem

− What is self-esteem?

o Ones overall evaluation of the worth of the self and the feelings that this evaluation  engenders

o Related to how satisfied people are with their lives

o Starts to develop early and is afected by a variety of factors throughout life − Sources of self-esteem

− Interaction of nature and nurture, including the sociocultural context

− Heredity

− Gender

− Individual diferences

− Others’ contributions to self-esteem

− Children begin to become concerned about winning their parents love and approval at about age 2 − Accepting parents who use supportive yet, firm, child rearing practices tend to have children with  positive self-esteem

− Parents who reject their children for unacceptable behavior are likely to instill their children with a  sense of worthlessness

− Factors contributing to children’s positive self esteem

− Competence in domains of importanceself-esteemapproval support

− Others contributions to self-esteem

− Over the course of childhood, self-esteem is increasingly afective

− By peer acceptance

− By internalized standards as children approach adolescence

− School and neighborhood effects

− A decline in self-esteem is associated with the transition from elementary to junior high school − Living in poverty in an urban environment is associated with lower self-esteem among adolescents  in the United States

− Self-esteem in minority children

− European American and African American

o Although young European American children tend to have higher self-esteem than their  African American peers, the trend reverses slightly after age 10

− Latino and other minority children

o Less is known about the self-esteem of Latino and other minority children

− Culture and self-esteem

− Asian and western cultures

− Self-esteem scores tend to be lower in china, japan, and Korea than in many Western nations − There appear to be fundamental diferences between Asian and Western cultures that afect the  meaning of self-esteem

Lecture 12

− The family

− Family dynamics

− The role of parental socialization

− Mothers, fathers and siblings

− Changes in families in the united states

− Maternal employment and child care

− Functions of families

− To ensure the survival of ofspring

− To provide children means to acquire the skills to be economically productive as adults − To provide cultural training  

− Then and now!

− Over the past 7 decades there is a rise in age of first marriage

− Family dynamics

− How the family operates as a whole determines to a great extent how well a family fulfills its basic  child-rearing functions  

− Family dynamics

− Family members influence one another directly and indirectly

− Family functioning is influenced by the social support the family receives from the sociocultural − Family dynamics change as children reach diferent ages family dynamics may also be altered by  gradual and abrupt changes in the parents and in the relationships of other family members − Systematic perspective on families

− Family members influence one another directly and indirectly

− Family functioning is influenced by the social support the family receives from the sociocultural  context

− Family dynamics change as children reach diferent ages

− Family dynamics may also be altered by gradual and abrupt changes in the parents and in the  relationships of other family members

− Adolescents and parents

− Adolescents and their parents have fairly frequent disagreements but generally argue over  mundane matters

− A minority of families experience hotter and deeper conflicts, often involving sex, drugs and  children’s choice of friends

− Research has shown that there is actually little increase in reported child-parent conflicts between  grades 6 and 10

− Socialization: process through which children acquire the values, standards, skills, knowledge and behaviors that are regarded as appropriate to their present and future roles in their particular  culture

− The role of parental socialization

− Parents can influence their children’s development through socialization in at least three diferent  ways

o As direct instructors

o As indirect socializers

o As providers and controllers of opportunities

− Parenting styles and practices

− Parenting styles are parenting behaviors and attitudes that set the emotional climate of parent child interactions

− Two important dimensions of parenting style:

o The degree of parental warmth, support

and acceptance verses parental rejection

and nonresponsiveness

o The degree of parental control and


− Baumrind proposed 4 styles of parenting related to

these dimensions of support and control

o Authoritative

o Authoritarian

o Permissive

o Rejecting-neglecting

− Baumrind’s parenting styles

Style Typical parent characteristics Typical child characteristics  Authoritarian (high in  

Nonresponsive to their children’s needs

Low in social and academic  

demandingness and  

low in supportiveness)

Enforce their demands though the  

competence in childhood and  adolescence

exercise of parental power and the use  

of threats and punishment

Are oriented toward obedience and  authority

As children they tend to be unhappy  and unfriendly, with boys afected more negatively than girls in early childhood  

Expect their children to comply without  

question or explanation

Style Typical parent characteristics Typical child characteristics  Authoritative (high in  

Set clear standards and limits for their  


demandingness and  high in  


children and are firm about enforcing  them

Allow their children considerable  autonomy within those limits

Are attentive and responsive to their  children’s concerns and needs, and  respect and consider their child’s  perspective  

− Will listen to why you took the  car but sorry you’re still  




Able to control their own behavior Low in antisocial behaviors in childhood

In adolescence: high in social and  academic competence and positive  behavior, low in problem behavior

Style Typical parent characteristics Typical child characteristics 

Permissive (low in  demandingness and  

Responsiveness to their children needsAs children, they tend to be impulsive,  lacking in self control and low in school

high in  


Do not require that their children  regulate themselves or act in  appropriate or mature ways


As adolescents, they engage in more  school misconduct and drug use than  do those with authoritative parents  

Style Typical parent characteristics Typical child characteristics 

Rejecting-neglecting  (low in  

demandingness and  

Do not set limits for or monitor their  children’s behavior

Infants and toddlers tend to have  attachment problems

low in supportiveness)

Are not supportive of them, and  

sometimes are rejecting or neglectful

As children, they have poor peer  relationships

Tend to be focused on their own needs  

Adolescents tend to show antisocial  

rather than their children’s  

behavior, poor self-regulation,  internalizing problems, substance  abuse, risky sexual behavior, and low  academic and social competence  

− Baumrind is almost all about white middle class people  

− Ethnic and cultural influences on parenting

− Efects of diferent parenting styles and practices vary as a function of ethnic or racial groups o African American families—authoritarian

o European American families  

o Authoritarian child-rearing practices seem to be associated with less negative  consequences in Chinese and first-generation Chinese American families

o Diferent patterns of harsh discipline and acceptance were found between English-speaking Mexican American families and acculturated Spanish-speaking Mexican American families − Parenting styles and ethnicity

− Particular parenting styles and practices may have diferent meanings

o Authoritarian child-rearing practices seem to be associated with less negative  consequences in Chinese and first-generation Chinese American families than in European  American families

o Diferent patterns of harsh discipline and acceptance were found between English-speaking Mexican American families and acculturated Spanish-speaking Mexican American families − The child as an influence on parenting

− Among the strongest influences on parents’ parenting styles are the characteristics of their  children  

− Attractiveness

− Children’s physical appearance influences the way their parents respond to them o Unattractive infants may experience somewhat diferent parenting than attractive infants,  and this pattern continues across development

o The parental-investment theory (chapter 9) might provide one explanation of this influence Quiz 6

1. Which of the following refers to prematurely committing to an identity without fully considering all of  one’s options?

a. Identity confusion

b. Multiple identities

c. Identity foreclosure

d. Negative identity

2. True/False. Most sexual minority youth come out to their parents before disclosing to peers or  siblings.

3. Socialization refers to 

a. Processes by which children acquire skills, values, and knowledge appropriate to  their present and future roles in their culture

b. Mechanisms that encourage children to develop appropriate abilities at interacting socially with  their peers

c. The methods parents use to encourage the development of moral behavior in their ofspring

d. the parts of the attachment system that relate to internal working models of others, and which  help children to develop trusting relationships with new people

4. Name one of the 2 main dimensions that can be used to describe parenting styles. Warmth and control

− A Chinese experiment

− The peoples republic of china announced in 1979 a limit of one child per family in urban population o China now ends its one child policy nearly four decades after it was first adopted − The program represented a natural experiment to study how the structure of the family afects  children’s development

− Recent finding indicate virtually no diferences between “onlies” and other children in regard to  social behavior and personality

− The marital relationship

− Family system models: the couple unit is the key determinant of the health of other systems in the  family (ex: parent-child, sibling, individual functioning)

o Supported by correlational research

− Marriage in social context

o Demographic changes

 Divorce rates have been declining somewhat since the 80s

 Divorce rate is not increasing, maybe because people are getting married later  Over the past 20 years, increase in age at first marriage (associated with better  outcomes){from 21/23 in 1970s to 26/28 in 2009}

 Slightly less than ½ of all marriages end in divorce

o Marital satisfaction declines significantly over the first decade, more slowly thereafter; only begins to increase again after children leave the home

 Having a child will not include your relationship quality

− Interpersonal models of marriage

− Focus on the behavioral interactions and cognitions/appraisals about the relationship in couples − Typically studied by observing couples engaging in conflict or problem-solving discussions − Major findings for martially distressed (vs satisfied) couples:

o Greater negative reactivity and negative reciprocity

o Poor communication predicts poor marital outcomes and premarital interventions that  emphasize communication have long-term benefits  

− Martially distressed couples

− Negative attributions about the spouse and his/her behavior

− Ratio of positive to negative afect during interactions is linked to marital distress − All unhappy marriages are not homogeneous (alike)

o Common types: conflictual, disengaged

− Most common conflict areas: money, intimacy, parenting

− Marital distress is associated with psychopathology, especially substance abuse and depression − Couples who are violent are even more extreme in their levels of anger, negativity and contempt − Contextual influences on marital quality

− Having children in association with longer marital stability, but decreases in quality (especially  when children are young)

o Supportive co-parenting & whether the pregnancy was planned are important mediators

− Economic stress is predictor of marital dissatisfaction

− Mate availability and employment influence the development and course of marriage especially in  low income populations

− Children’s behavior and temperaments

− Diferences in children’s behavior with their parents also afect parenting, and can be due to a  number of reasons

o Genetic factors related to temperament

o Patterson’s coercive processes model

− Bidirectionality of parent-child interactions

− Children elicit positive and negative behaviors from parents


− Children filter and react to parental behaviors based on their own views of these behaviors  − − Socioeconomic influences on parenting

− Parents with low SES

o More likely than higher SES parents to use an authoritarian and punitive child-rearing style − Mothers with higher SES

o More likely to use a style that is accepting and democratic and they use more language  with their children  

− Some SES diferences in parenting are related to diferences in parental beliefs and values o Lower SES parents often value conformity in their children

o Higher SES parents are more likely to want their children to become self-directed and  autonomous

o Education may also be an important aspect of SES associated with diferences in parental  values  

− SES diferences in parenting styles and practices may partly reflect diferences in the environments in which families live

o An authoritarian style may be adaptive in some cases to protect children in unsafe living  conditions

o Terrell Owens—only allowed to leave the house to go to church and to go to school  − Differences in fathers and mothers’ interactions with their children − Fathers tend to participate less than mothers in child care and to interact with their children  diferently

− In industrialized western cultures, fathers spend more time playing with their children and choose  more physically active games than mothers do

− Fathers tend to engage in more physical play with their children than do mothers − Sibling relationships

− Siblings have both positive and negative efects on development and on family functioning o Most children do not have very negative reactions to the arrival of a new sib o Relationships improve in early and middle childhood, siblings get along better if they are  temperamentally similar, unless both have difficult

o Young children are more likely than older children to respond poorly when an infant sibling  receives more attention than they themselves do

− Changes in families in the united states

− Age of first marriage has gone up

− Parental work outside home

− Age at birth of first child

− Divorce rate

− Number of out of wedlock births

− Rate of one parent and step fathers

− Adolescents as parents

− Incidence

o Childbearing in adolescence, although now substantially below the rate in the 1960s, is still higher in the US than in any other industrialized country

 22 births per 1,000 are to females 15-17 years of age

 92% of births in this age group are to unmarried mothers

− Factors that reduce the risk of adolescent childbearing

o Living with both biological parents

o Being involved in school activities and religious organizations

− Adolescent parenting is associated with negative consequences for both the mother and the child − Motherhood curtails the adolescent mother’s opportunities for education, career development, and normal peer relationships

− Children of younger mothers are more likely to exhibit behavior problems and cognitive delays in  comparison to older mothers

− Not all children born to adolescent mothers are destined for poor developmental outcomes − Teenage mothers who have more knowledge about child development and parenting tend to have  children who display fewer problems

− Children of adolescent mothers also have better outcomes if they have a strong attachment to the  biological father or stepfather

− Birth rates for married women by age of the mother

− Older parents  

− Within limits, having children at a later age has advantages

o More financial resources, fewer children, and are more likely to have planned births o More responsive, afectionate and stimulating with their infants

o Less likely to engages in physically exciting activities with their children

o On average, older fathers engage in more verbal interactions with their preschool-aged  children than do younger fathers

− Divorce

− About divorce

− In 2012, 5.4 million US children lived with only their divorced mother

− 1.3 million children lived only with their divorced fathers

− Several million others lived in reconstructed families

− About 40% of remarriages involving children end in divorce in 10 years  

o Efects of divorce and remarriage on children are of great concern

− The potential impact of divorce

− Children of divorce are at greater risk for a variety of short- and long-term psychological, behavior,  academic and relationship problems than are those who live with both biological parents BUT

− Most children whose parents divorce do not sufer significant, enduring problems as a consequence − Effects of marital quality on child outcomes

− Marital satisfaction and divorce are associated with child outcomes, but…

− Efects of divorce are mediated by the health of the rearing environment after the divorce o May be moderated by child temperament

− Efect of marital conflict are small, but are much larger for witnessing partner aggression/domestic  violence

o May be moderated by child age and gender  

− Factors affecting the impact of divorce

− Level of parental conflict prior to, during, and after a divorce

− Stress experienced by the custodial parent and children in the new family arrangement − Age of the child

− Contact with noncustodial parent

− Long standing characteristics of child

− Divorced parents who are single often have to deal with increased levels of stress which can afect  the quality of their parenting

− An alternative to divorce: ongoing marital conflict

− Sometimes the argument is advanced that divorce should be harder to obtain because to obtain  because of the negative efects it has on children

− Because ongoing marital conflict poses a variety of risks for children, the idea of staying married  “for the sake of the children” may be a questionable one

− Stepparenting

− In 2009, 5.6 million children in the US were living with a stepparent

− The entry of a stepparent into the family is often a very threatening event for children o Usually worse for older children—you’re not my real dad

− Factors affecting children’s adjustment in stepfamilies

− Stepfathers

o Very young children tend to accept stepfathers more easily than older children and  adolescents

o Conflict between stepfathers and stepchildren tends to be greater than that between  fathers and biological ofspring

o Children with stepfathers tend to have higher rates of depression, withdrawal and  disruptive behaviors than do children in intact families

− Stepmothers

o Stepmothers generally have more difficulty with their stepchildren than do stepfathers − Adolescents

o Adolescents adjustment difers little from than of intact families if the stepfather has been  parent of the family for many years and if the family contains only one parents children o In complex step families which contain stepsiblings or half siblings adolescents exhibit  more acting-out behaviors

− Lesbian and gay parents

− Incidence it is likely that between 1 and 5 million children have lesbian or gay parents − As in families with heterosexual parents, the adjustment of children with lesbian and gay parents  seems to depend on family dynamics

− A growing body of research suggests that the development of children of gat parents difers little, if at all, from that of children of heterosexual parents

− The effects of childcare

− Child care provided in centers has increased sharply in recent years

− In 2010, 48% of children 4 years old or younger with employed mothers were cared for primarily  by a parent or another relative; nearly 24% were mostly in center based child care; and 13.5%  were cared for by a nonrelative in a home environment

− In 2011, among children in families in poverty, 18% were in center-based care as their primary  arrangement

− In contrast, more children in families at or above the poverty line were in center-based care − Attachment and the parent-child relationship

− Some early evidence suggested that nonparental child care interfered with attachment to the  parents

− A variety of subsequent studies, however, reported no overall evidence that children in child care  are less securely attached to their mothers than other children

− Cognitive and language development

− Overall, the NICHD study found:

o Number of hours in child care did not correlate with cognitive or language development  when demographic variables were taken into account

o Child care may have positive efects on cognitive and that these are larger for higher quality centers

− National Association for the Education of Young Children: Quality of Child Care − Standards for good child care programs

o Caring, sensitive, available and cooperative staf members

o Age appropriate activities and equipment

o Good staf relations with the community

− Minimum standards

o Age appropriate child-to-caregiver ratio

o Maximum group size of six for infants and toddlers, eight for 2-year-olds and fourteen for 3- year-olds

o Formal training for caregivers

Lecture 13

− Peer relationships

− What is special about peer relationships?

− Friendships

− Peers in groups

− Status in the peer group

− The role of parents in children peer relationships

− What is special about peer relationships

− Piaget, Vugotsky, and others argued that peer relationships provide a unique context for cognitive,  social and emotional development

− The equality, reciprocity, cooperation and intimacy that can develop in peer relationships enhance  children’s reasoning ability and their concern for others

− Both disagreement and cooperation within the context of peer relationships have been emphasized by theorists as important contributions to children’s cognitive development

− Friendships

− Friendships are intimate, reciprocated positive relationships between people

− The degree to which the conditions of friendship become evident in peer interactions increases  with age during childhood

− Early peer interactions and friendships

− By or before age 2

o Some researches have argued that children can have friends

− Many 12-18 month-olds

o Children seem to select and prefer some children over others

− Starting at around 20 months of age

o Children also increasingly initiate more interactions with some children than with others − By age 2

o Children begin to develop skills that allow greater complexity in their social interactions − By age 3 or 4

o Children can make and maintain friendships with peers

− By age 3 to 7

o Children can have “best friends” that are stable over at least several months’ time − Peer interactions and friendships

− Between ages 6 and 8

o Children define friendship primarily on the basis of actual activities and view friends in  terms of rewards and costs

− Between the early school years and adolescence

o Children increasingly experience and define their friendships in terms of mutual linking,  closeness and loyalty

− Adolescence

o More than younger children, adolescents use friendships as a context for self-exploration  and working out personal problems

− Developmental changes

− Some researches attribute developmental changes in friendship to advances in the ability to take  others perspectives (Cognitive change enables social development)

− Other researches argue that the age-related changes in children’s conceptions of friendship reflect  diferences in how children think and express their ideas rather than in how they view friendships.  (cognitive changes helps you talk about social development, but it does not cause it)

− Dimensions on which elementary school children often evaluate their friendships

Dimension Indicators

Validation and caring

Makes me feel good abut my ideas.  Tells me I’m good at things

Conflict resolution Make up easily when we have a fight.  Talk about how to get over being mad.

Conflict and betrayal

Argue a lot.  

Don’t listen to me

Help and guidance Help each other with schoolwork a lot. Loan each other things all the time

Companionship and  recreation

Always sit together at lunch.  

Do fun things together a lot

Intimate exchange Always tell each other our problems.  Tell each other secrets


− Functions and friendships

− Friends can provide a source of emotional support and security o Particularly important during difficult transition periods o Serves as a bufer against unpleasant events

o Linked to decreases in adjustment problems when reciprocated

o During the elementary school years, the willingness to lend support and help, including  with homework, becomes a dimension of friendship

− Support and validation

− Adolescents

o Report friends are more important confidants and providers of support than are parents o In highly stressful situation however, support from adults may be more important for  children’s well being than support from friends  

o Adolescent friends are more likely to share confidences with one another than are younger  friends

− Age trends in reports of self-disclosure to parents and peers

− Social and cognitive skills

− Friendships

o Provide context for development of social skills and knowledge needed to form positive  relationships with other people

o Promote cognitive skills and enhance performance on creative tasks

o Provide opportunities to get constructive feedback about their behavior and ideas − Gender differences

− By late elementary school

o Girls feel that their friendships are more intimate and provide more validation, care and  guidance than do boys

o Girls are more likely to co-ruminate with close friends; boys are less socially anxious o Boys’ and girls’ friendships are similar in terms of companionship and recreational  opportunities  

− The possible long-term benefits of friendships

− In elementary school, children who have antisocial and aggressive friends tend to exhibit antisocial and aggressive tendencies themselves

o So…so aggressive friends actually cause children and adolescents to behave aggressively  or do aggressive children gravitate toward one another (selection)?

− Preadolescence

o Reciprocated best friend relates not only to positive social outcomes in middle childhood,  but also to self-perceived competence and adjustment in adulthood

o However, because of the correlational nature of the research a casual relationship is  difficult to establish

− Possible costs of friendships

− The extent to which friends’ use of drugs and alcohol may put an adolescent at risk seems to  depend, in part, on many variables:

o Nature of parent-child relationship

o Selection of friends with similar interests and genetic make-up

o Mutual reinforcement though peer socialization

o Peers can encourage youths to use alcohol, but it also the case that youths who are prone  to drinking may seek out peers who are similarly inclined

− Choice of friends

− Preschool friends

o Proximity is the key in selection

o Similarity in age

o Preference for same-sex friends emerges

o Peers of the same race (to lesser degree)

− By age 7

o Children tend to like peers who are similar to themselves in their cognitive maturity of their play and in their aggressive behavior

− Fourth to eight grade

o Friends are more similar than nonfrineds in prosocial behaviors, antisocial behavior, peer  acceptance and academic motivation

− Adolescence

o Friends tend to have similar interests, attitudes and behavior

− Culture and peer experience

− Cultures difer in terms of the total number of hours tat children typically spend with peers − In many unschooled, nonindustrial populations

o Boys tend to spend more time with peers than girls do, likely because they are less closely  monitored and are allowed greater freedom to be away from home

− European American, African American and European adolescents

o Spend much more time with peers, especially other-gender peers, than Asian adolescents  do

− The nature of young children’s groups

− Preschool groups

o By the time children are preschool age, there is a clear dominance hierarchy among peer  group members

− Middle childhood groups

o By the middle childhood, status in peer groups involves more than dominance and children become very concerned about their peer groups status  

− Cliques and social networks in middle childhood and early adolescence − Cliques are friendship groups that children voluntarily form or join themselves o In middle childhood, cliques tend to include 3 to 9 children who are usually of the same sex and race

o By age 11, much of children’s social interactions occur within the clique

o During the school years, children who are central to the peer group are likely to be popular, athletic, cooperative, and seen as leaders and studious relative to other peers − Cliques and social networks in adolescents

− Cliques

o From ages 11 to 18, there is an increase in the number of adolescents who have ties to  many cliques and an increase in the stability of cliques

o During early and middle adolescence, children place high value on being in a popular  group and in conforming to the groups norms regarding dress and behavior

o Children and adolescence in cliques tend to spend a lot of time together and often dress  similarly

o With increasing age, adolescence are more autonomous and tend to look more to  individual relationships than to group relationships

− Crowds

o Although older adolescents seem to be less tied to cliques, they still often belong to crowds (i.e. groups of adolescents who have similar stereotyped reputations)

− Boys and girls in cliques and crowds

− Gender diferences

o Adolescent girls tend to be more integrated into cliques

o Adolescent boys have a greater diversity of friends

− Dyadic dating

o Starting in seventh grade, girls and boys tend to associate with one another more and  dyadic dating relationships become increasingly common

o By high school, cliques of friends often include adolescents of both sexes

− Romantic relationships

− In the US, 25% of 12-year-olds and 70% of 18-year-olds report having a romantic relationship in the past 18 months

− Between 14 and 18 years, adolescents tend to balance time they spend with romantic partners  and friends

− By young adulthood, time with romantic partners increases to the point that it is at the expense of  involvement with friends and crowds

− Selection criteria

o Young adolescents tend to select partners that bring them status

o Older adolescents are more likely to select partners based on compatibility and  characteristics that enhance intimacy

− Status in the peer group

− Measurement of peer status

− Characteristics associated with sociometric status

− Stability of sociometric status

− Cross-cultural similarities and diferences in factors related to peer status

− Peer status as a predictor of risk

− Measurement of peer status

− Sociometric status

o Ask children to rate how much they like or dislike each other of their classmates to  nominate some of those whom they like the most or least, or with whom they do or do not  like to play

o Information form these procedures is used to calculate children’s sociometric status o This measures the degree to which children are liked of disliked by their peers as a group − Characteristics associated with sociometric status  

− Characteristics of peer status

o Attractiveness

o Athletic ability

o Social behavior

o Personality

o Cognitions about self and others

o Status of the child’s friends  

− Common sociometric categories




Children who receive many positive nominations and few negative nominations


Children who receive many negative nominations and few positive nominations


Children who are low in social impact (i.e., they receive few positive or negative nominations) These children are not especially liked or disliked by peers; they simply go unnoticed.


Children are designated as average if they receive an average number of both positive and negative nominations.


Children who receive many positive and many negative nominations. They are noticed by peers and are liked by quite a few children and disliked by quite a  few others.







− Popular children

− Characteristics of popular children

o Tend to be skilled at initiating interactions with peers and at maintaining positive  relationships

o Tend to be cooperative, friendly, sociable, and sensitive to others

o Are not prone to intense negative emotions and regulate  

o Tend to be less aggressive than average children

− Diferentiation between children who are popular in terms of sociometric measures and those who  are perceived by peers as being popular with others

o Individuals with high status in the peer group are often labeled “popular” by peers, but  tend to be above average in aggression

− Relationship between perceived popularity and aggression is especially high in adolescence o Particularly high-status girls may use relational aggression to hurt others by spreading  rumors or withholding friendship

− Rejected children  

− In a category of sociometric status that refers to children or adoelscents who are liked by few peers and disliked by many peers

− Fall into categories

o Aggressive-rejected  

o Withdrawn-rejected

− Aggressive-rejected children

− Aggressive-rejected children

o Are especially prone to hostile and threatening physical behavior

 About 40% to 50% of rejected children tend to be aggressive

 When they are angry or want their own way, many rejected children also engage in relational aggression

− Aggressive behavior often underlies rejection by peers

o However, not all aggressive peers are rejected; some develop a network of aggressive  friends

− Withdrawn-rejected children

− Withdrawn-rejected children

o Socially withdrawn, warm and often timid

o Make up about 10-25% of the rejected category

− Not all socially withdrawn children are rejected or socially excluded

o Withdrawn behavior combined with negative actions or emotions is correlated with  rejection, although this pattern may change with age

− Social cognition and social rejection

− Rejected children, particularly those who are aggressive:

o Tend to difer from more popular children in their social motives and their processing of  information in social settings

o More likely to attribute hostile motives to others in negative social situations o Have more difficulty than other children in finding constructive solutions to difficult social  situations

− Neglected children

− Involves a category of sociometric status that refers to children or adolescents who are  infrequently mentioned as liked of disliked  

− Display relatively few behaviors that difer greatly from those of many other children − Appear to be neglected primarily because they are not noticed

− Controversial children

− Involve a category of sociometric status that refers to children or adolescents who are liked by  quite a few

− Tend to have characteristics of both popular and unpopular children

− Viewed by some peers as arrogant and snobbish

− Fostering children’s peer acceptance

− Some social skills training programs teach children:

o To pay attention to what is going on in a group of peers

o To rehearse skills related to participating with peers

o To cooperate

o To communicate in positive ways

− Stability of sociometric status

− Over relatively short time periods, children who are popular or rejected tend to remain so, whereas those who are neglected or controversial tend to change their status

− Sociometric stability for rejected children is generally higher than for popular, neglected or  controversial children, and may increase with the age of the child

− Developmental trends

− Researches have noted three patterns of findings:

1. The major predictors of popularity do not seem to change substantially with age (ex: children whoa re selected as popular are viewed as helpful, friendly and considerate across age levels) 2. Although aggression is a frequent predictor of rejection in childhood, overy aggression appears to  play a less important role in peer rejection in adolescence

3. Withdrawn behavior seems to become a more important predictor of peer rejection with increasing  age in childhood

− Cross-cultural similarities and differences

− Although most of the research on peer status has been done in the US similar findings have been  obtained in other countries

− Research has also demonstrated certain cultural diferences in the characteristics associated with  children’s sociometric status

− Children who are well liked tend to have similar characteristics in many cultures, as do children  who are rejected by their peers

− Problems with adjustment

− Internalizing problems

o Peer rejection may also be associated with internally expressed problems such as  loneliness, depressive, withdrawn behavior, and obsessive, compulsive behavior

− Research findings

o Boys and girls who were assessed as rejected in 3rd grade were at risk for developing  internalizing problems years later

o Children in western cultures who are very withdrawn, but nonaggressive with peers, were  also at risk for internalizing problems

− Socially withdrawn children

o Children especially males, who are socially withdrawn with familiar peers may difer in  important ways from their peers even in adulthood

o Men who were withdrawn children have been observed to have less stable careers and  marriages than their peers

o Females who were withdrawn as girls have been characterized as less likely than other  women ro have careers outside the home

− Rejection and victimization

o Rejected children who are victimized or who are targets of their peers’ aggressive and  demeaning bhevaior, amy be especially at risk for loneliness and other internalizing  behavior

o Victimized children tend to be aggressive, withdrawn and anxious

− The role of parents in children’s peer relationships

− Relationships between attachment and competence with peers

− Quality of ongoing parent-child interactions and peer relationships

− Parental beliefs

− Gatekeeping and coaching

− Family stress and children’s social competence

− Security of the parent-child relationship is linked with quality of peer relationships − Early and continuing parent-child attachment has an efect on the quality of the child’s overall  social behavior

− Characteristics of children, such as sociability, influence both the quality of attachments and the  quality of relationships with peers

− Quality of parent-child interactions and peer relationships

− Parent–child interactions are associated with peer relationships in ways similar to attachment  patterns

o Mothers of popular children are more likely than mothers of less popular children to discuss feelings with their children and to use control, positive verbalizations, reasoning and  explanations

o Fathers’ parenting practices in general appear to be somewhat less closely related to  children social competence and sociometric status

− Parental beliefs and behaviors

− Characteristics of parents of children who are socially competent with peers

o Parents believe that they should play an active role in teaching their children social skills o They provide opportunities for peer interactions

− Gatekeeping, coaching and modeling

− Preschoolers whose parents arrange and oversee opportunities for them to interact peers: o Tend to be more positive and social with peers—play date

o Have more companions—if their parents are not overly controlling during the interactions o Parents may contribute to their children’s development of social competence by arranging  opportunities for their children to interact with peers

− Coaching

o Preschool children tend to be more popular if their parents efectively coach them in how  to deal with unfamiliar peers

− Modeling

o Parents also influence their children’s competence with peers by modeling socially  competent and incompetent behaviors

Lecture 14

− Moral development

− Moral judgment

− The early development of conscience

− Prosocial behavior

− Antisocial behavior

− Troubling questions

− Columbine—extreme cases can help understand and prevent future cases − Moral judgment

− Core concepts

o Reasoning behind a behavior is critical for determining whether a given behavior is moral  or immoral

o Changes in moral reasoning from the basis of moral development

− Piagets theory of moral judgment

− In the moral judgment of the child, Piaget described how children’s moral reasoning changes o From rigid acceptance of the dictates and rules of authorities  to an appreciation that  moral rules are a modifiable product of social interaction  

− Piagets method initially involved observing children’s games

o He also conducted open-ended interviews with children in which they were presented with  stories involving children’s behavior and asked to make judgments as to which a child was  naughtier

− Piagets theory of moral judgment

o Morality of constraint

o Transition period

o Autonomous morality

− Morality constraint

− Characterized the moral reasoning of children who have not yet reached the cognitive stage of  concrete operations

− Suggests that what determines whether an action determines whether an action is good or bad is  the consequence of the action not the motive behind it

− The transitional period

− From about age 7 or 8 to age 10

− Children learn that rules can be constructed by the group though increased peer interaction − Children increasingly learn to take one another’s perspective, thereby becoming more autonomous in their thinking about moral issues

− Piagets’ theory of moral judgment

− Autonomous morality: from about age 11 to 12

o Moral relativism emerges, with all normal children reaching this stage

− Children understand

o Rules can be change if a group agrees to do so

o Fairness and equality among people are considered important factors in constructing rules o Individuals’ motives are considered when evaluating crimes

− Evaluation of piagets theory

− Although piagets general view or moral development has been supported by empirical research,  some aspects have not held up well to scrutiny

− For example, young children can sometimes consider intentions and disregard adults’ views when  judging the morality of some actions, such as hurting others  

− Kohlberg’s theory of moral judgment

− Moral judgment is assessed by presenting children with hypothetical moral dilemmas − Children are questioned about the issues involved in the moral judgment

− Kohlberg was strongly influenced by piaget

− Kohlberg’s stages

− Kohlberg proposed three levels. Each level involves two stages of moral judgment o Preconventional: moral reasoning is self-centered, focusing on getting rewards and  avoiding punishment

o Conventional: moral reasoning is centered on social relationships

o Postconventional; moral reasoning is involved with ideals, focusing on moral principles − Kholberg’s theory of moral judgment  

− Stages are universal

o People all over the world go though these stages in the same order, although they difer  with regard to the final stage they attain

− Perspective taking

o Levels of cognitive development, especially individuals’ skills in perspective taking,  determined progress through the stages



1. Punishment and obedience

What is seen as right is obedience to authorities

2. Instrumental and exchange

Morality is defined in terms of one’s own best interest or a tit-for tat exchange of benefits

3. Mutual interpersonal  

expectations, relationships, and interpersonal conformity

Good behavior is doing what is expected by people close to the individual or by fulfilling the expectations of social role

4. Social system and conscienceRight behavior involves fulfilling one’s duties, upholding laws, andcontributing to society or one’s group

5. Social contract or individual  rights

Right behavior involves upholding rules that are in the best  interest of the group

6. Universal ethnical principles

Values and rights are universally right and must be upheld  regardless of majority opinion


− Critique of Kohlberg’s theory  

− Kohlberg’s theory

o Reflects biased, intellectualized western conception of morality that is not applicable to  non-western cultures

o Views moral reasoning development as discontinuous  

o Does not address gender diferences in moral reasoning

 Said women have less moral sophistication

− Carol Gilligan

o Kohlberg’s classification of moral judgment is centered on principles of justice and rights  which are valued more by males than females

o Values of caring and responsibility for others are more central to females

o If steal medicine for sick husband, cant say that helping husband is bad because you steal  because have diferent morals

− Eisenberg’s stages of prosocial behavior

− This pattern of changes has been found in a variety of western countries

o Children from diferent cultures do vary somewhat in their reasoning, reflecting the values  of the culture

o Children using higher-level prosocial in their behavior than children who use lower-level  prosocial moral judgment

− Domains of social judgment

− Moral judgments: decisions that pertain to issues of right and wrong, fairness and justice − Social conventional judgments: decisions that pertain to customers or regulations intended to  secure social coordination and social organization

− Personal judgments: decisions that refer to actions in which individual preferences are the main  consideration

− Children’s use of social judgment

− In many cultures, children begin to diferentiate between moral and social conventional issues as  early as age 3, and see moral transgressions as more serious ofenses

− children even adolescents believe that parents have authority over moral and social conventional  issues in the family, but not over matters of personal judgment  

− The development of conscience

− Conscience

o Involves an internal regulatory mechanism that increases the individuals ability to conform  with standards of conduct accepted in his or her culture

o Primarily reflects internalized parental standards in young children  

− Factors affecting the development of conscience

− In contrast to Freud’s view, children development a conscience slowly over time − Two-year-olds show an appreciation for moral standards and rules and begin to exhibit signs of  guilt when they do something wrong

− As they mature, children are more likely to take on their parents’ moral values if their parents use  rational explanations, rather than harsh discipline and if the children are securely attached − Development of conscience

− Children may develop a conscience in diferent was according to their temperament − Young children often have not internalized some of their parents prohibitions and values. The  degree to which they do so appears to depend on the quality of the parenting they receive and, in  part, on their temperament  

− If kids are fearful, exhibit more guilt and if give them a little fear with guidance wont do it again − If kids aren’t fearful, the need a firm talk and a punishment I don’t like

− Prosocial behavior

− The development of prosocial behavior

− The origins of individual diferences in prosocial behavior

− Cultural contributions to children’s prosocial and antisocial tendencies

− School-based interventions for promoting prosocial behavior

− The development of prosocial behavior

− All children are capable of prosocial behaviors, but children difer in how often they act in prosocial  ways

− Sharing, helping and comforting are examples of developmental consistency in children’s  readiness to engage in prosocial behaviors

− Altruistic prosocial behavior

− Adults generally want children to help others for altruistic motives

o These motives initially include empathy or sympathy for others

o At later ages, the desire to act in ways consistent with ones own conscience and moral  principles

− Empathy is an emotional reaction to another’s state or condition that is similar to that person’s  state or condition

o Your internal state

− Sympathy is the feeling of concern for another person (or animal) in reaction to the other’s  emotional state or condition; often an outcome of empathizing with another’s negative emotion or  situation.

o Taking that feeling and taking it to the other person in some form of behavior  − The origins of altruistic prosocial behavior are rooted in the capacity to feel empathy and sympathy − Altruistic prosocial behavior

− An important factor contributing to empathy or empathy or sympathy is the ability to take  another’s perspective  

o Infants respond to others distress, but may not diferentiate between others emotional  reactions and their own

o At about age 2, children start to more clearly diferentiate between another’s emotional  distress and their own, although their responses may still be egocentric

o In the second and third years of life, the frequency and variety of young children’s  prosocial behaviors increase, although they do not regularly act in prosocial ways  o From the preschool years to adolescence children’s prosocial behaviors increase − Individual differences in prosocial behavior

− Individual diferences: genetic factors

− Modest efects to individual diferences in the propensity to engage in prosocial behaviors (twin  studies)

− Genetic efects on prosocial behavior indirectly form genetically influenced diferences in  temperament  

− Family factors

o Primary environmental influence on children’s prosocial behavior development is their  family socialization

o Values parents convey to their children may influence not only whether children are  prosocial, but also toward whom they are prosocial

− Participation factors

o Experiencing emotional rewards for helping

o Taking others’ perspectives  

o Increasing confidence in their ability to help others

− Parenting and discipline

Parents who are constructive and supportive in their parenting tend to have children who are high in  prosocial behavior and in sympathy


1. True/False. Preschoolers are not capable of developing reciprocated friendships. 2. True/False. As children age, they are less likely to engage in self-disclosure to their friends and are more likely to disclose to their parents.

3. Which of the following characteristics are NOT an important predictor of whom children will select as  friends?

a. Sharing the same gender (i.e., males more likely to be friends with males, females with females) b. Children who are slightly older, which gives children the opportunity to try out new  behaviors

c. Children who have similar attitudes and behaviors to oneself

d. Children who are similar to onself on aggression

4. True/False. Kohlberg studied moral development by asking children to respond to hypothetical scenarios describing morally challenging situations.

− Culture contributions

− In prosocial cultures

o Children often live in extended families

o This helps them learn that they are responsible for others and that helping behavior is  valued

− In cultures in which fathers were closely involved with their wives and children o Children exhibit lower rates of assuring and reprimanding others  

− Antisocial behavior

− The development of aggression and other antisocial behavior

− Consistency of aggressive and antisocial behavior

− Characteristics of aggressive-antisocial children and adolescents

− The origins of aggression

− Biology and socialization: their joint influence on children’s antisocial behavior  − The development of aggression and other antisocial behaviors

− Instrumental aggression is motivated by the desire to obtain a concrete goal, such as gaining  possession of a peer’s toy

− Relational aggression harms others by damaging their peer relationships

o Aggression is behavior aimed at harming or injuring others

− Development of aggression

− Aggressive behavior emerges at around 18 months and increases until about age 2, when it  decreases in frequency

o With the growth of language skills, verbal aggression in creases

− Instrumental aggression is common among preschooler

o Preschool children sometimes use relational aggression also

− Development of aggression

− Physical aggression declines during the preschool and elementary school years o Children use verbal and relational aggression and their developing abilities to resolve  conflicts and control their own emotions

o Some children develop frequent and serious problems with aggression at this age − In adolescence, frequency of overt aggression decreases for most teenagers, although serious acts of violence increase markedly

o At age 17 29% of males and 12% of females report committing at least one serious violent  ofense

− Prevalence of self-reported violence for males and females at diferent ages −

− Consistency of aggressive and antisocial behavior

− Developmental trends

o Many children who are aggressive from early in life have neurological deflects that underlie such problems as difficulty in paying attention and hyperactivity

o Children are aggressive and prone to conduct problems in middle childhood tend to be  aggressive and delinquent in adolescence

o Conduct problems that emerge in adolescence are more likely to be associated with being a  member of an ethnic minority group and interacting with deviant peer groups

o Most adolescents who perform delinquent acts have no history of aggression or antisocial  behavior before age 11

o These adolescents typically stop engaging in antisocial behavior later in adolescence or  adulthood

− Characteristics

o Children who develop problems with aggression and antisocial behavior tend to exhibit a difficult temperament from a very early age

o Combination of impulsivity, problems with attention, and callousness in childhood is especially  likely to predict antisocial behavior and run-ins with the police in adolescence

− Characteristics of antisocial children and adolescents

− Children prone to reactive aggression (i.e., emotionally driven, antagonistic aggression) are particularly  likely to perceive other people’s motives as hostile and to generate and accept aggressive responses to  provocation

− Children prone to proactive aggression (i.e., unemotional aggression aimed at fulfilling a need or desire)  tend to anticipate more positive social consequences for aggression

− Origins of aggression

− Biological factors almost certainly contribute to individual diferences in aggression o Their role is not very clear

o They are neither necessary nor sufficient to cause aggressive behavior in most children  − Origins of aggression: abusive discipline

− Abusive punishment is likely to be associated with the development of antisocial tendencies regardless  of race, ethnicity, or culture

o Parents who use abusive punishment provide their children with salient models of aggression o Children who are low in self-regulation tend to elicit harsher discipline  

− Origins of aggression: inconsistent discipline

− Inconsistent discipline

o Parents who are inconsistent in administering discipline and following through on punishments  are more likely than other parents to have children who are aggressive and delinquent − Children who are frequently exposed to verbal and physical tend to be more antisocial and aggressive  than other children

− Low socioeconomic status is also a risk factor for antisocial behavior in children

− Low socioeconomic status is also a risk factor for antisocial behavior in children

− Having antisocial friends or being part of a an antisocial peer group can contribute to antisocial activities o Aggressive children tend to socialize with other aggressive children  

o The larger per group with whom older children and adolescents socialize may onfleunce  aggression even more than close friends do  

− Origins of aggression

− It appears that children’s susceptibility to peer pressure to become involved in antisocial behavior  increases in the elementary school years, peaks at about 8th or 9th grade and declines thereafter. − An important peer influence on antisocial behavior can be membership in a gang − Biology and socialization: their joint influence

− It is difficult to separate out the specific biological, cultural, peer, and familial factors that afect the  development of antisocial behavior

− Nonetheless, the results of intervention studies support the conclusion that parental treatment of  children clearly afects their antisocial behavior

Lecture 15

− Gender development

− Theoretical approaches to gender development

− Milestones in gender development

− Comparing boys and girls

− Differences: Male and Female

− Some gender diferences in assertion and affiliation are often seen in boys and girls − Assertion: tendency to take action on behalf of the self through competitive, independent or aggressive  behaviors; traditional male role

− Affiliation: tendency to affirm connection with others through being emotionally open, empathetic, or  cooperative; traditional female role

− Collaboration: coordination of assertion and affiliation in behavior, which is associated with gender-role  flexibility; more common among girls than boys

− Perspectives: developmental psychology

− Gender

o Explained on the basis of biological diferences, cognition and motivation, and cultural  diferences  

− Gender development

o Results from the complex interaction of all three factors

− Theoretical approaches to gender development

− Biologically oriented researchers take two diferent approaches to explain gender diferences o Evolutionary approaches

o Neuroscience approaches

− Biological influences

− Evolutionary approaches maintain that sex diferences in behavior emerge because they ofer  reproductive advantages

− The greater male propensity for impulsivity and physical aggression may provide them with reproductive advantages and advantages in hunting

− Females’ tendency to build strong alliances with other females could insure assistance with childcare,  benefiting their ofspring

− Evolutionary approaches: play

− Studies of play behavior in boys and girls show sex diferences consistent with the evolutionary  perspective

− Critics died difficulty in testing claims and flawed circular reasoning in theory

− More rough-and-tumble play is seen in boys and more play parenting in girls

− Biosocial theory: Wood and Wagly (2002)  

o Present alternative evolutionary approach to gender development

o Emphasize human evolution as maximizing capacity for behavioral flexibility in adaptation to  environmental variability

o Focus on physical, rather than dispositional diferences and proposes that these diferences  have behavioral and social consequences

 Biology is not destiny

− Neuroscience approaches

− Hormones and brain functioning

o Focus on testing how hormones and brain functioning are related to variations in gender  development

o Much attention paid to possible efects of androgens, including testosterone

− Hormones and brain functioning

− Hormones can have organizational or activating influences on the nervous system o Organizational influences occur when certain sex-linked hormones afect brain diferentiation  and organization during prenatal development or at puberty

o Activational influences occur when fluctuations in sex linked hormone levels influence the  activation of certain brain and behavioral responses

− Gender identity: biological perspective

− Most children’s gender identification is consistent with their observable genitalia and gender  socialization

o Children with discrepant gender identity are often impervious to parental attempts to socialize  them diferently

 Prefer cross-gender-typed play activities and clothing

 Dislike gender-typed play activities

− Should children with discrepant gender identities be classified as having a psychiatric disorder? o Gender dysphoria disorder

o Transgender youth and adults

o Intersex conditions

 Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)

 Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS)

− Brain structure and functioning

− Male and female brains show small diferences in physical structure

− The corpus callosum, the nerve bundle connecting the hemispheres, tends to be large and more dense in women than in men

− When engaged in cognitive tasks, male brains tend to show more unilateral activation whereas female  brains show more bilateral activation

− Cognitive and motivational influences

− Cognitive theories of gender development emphasize the ways that children learn gender-typed  attitudes and behaviors through observation, inference and practice

o Stress children’s active gender self-socialization

o Emphasize the role that the environment plays in diferent role models, opportunities and  incentives that boys and girls might experience

− Gender schema theory

− Carol Martin and Charles Halverson (1981) proposed gender schema theory to explain children’s gender  development

− Gender typed interests emerge after gender constancy is achieved

− Motivation to enact gender-typed behavior begins soon after children can label other peoples and their  own gender during toddlerhood

− Children’s understanding of gender develops through the construction of gender schemas − Ingroup/outgroup gender schema

o Used to classify other people as being either “the same as me” or not

o Form an own-gender schema consisting of detailed knowledge about hwo to do things that are  consistent with one’s own gender

o Are responsible for bias in processing and remembering information about gender

− Cognitive intervention program (Bigler and Liben, 2002)

o Elementary school children learned that interests and abilities are important fro jobs in gender free examples

o Gender stereotyping decreased and memory for gender-inconsistent stimuli increased o Efects typically fade after intervention

o Children sterotyped beliefs about gender can be changed through cognitive intervention  programs—women are helpers (nurse) boys are saviors (firefighter)

− Social identity theory

− Developmental psychologists have highlighter the importance of gender as social identity in children’s  development

− Children’s commitment to gender as social identity is most readily apparent through their primary  affiliation with same-gender peers

− Taijfel and Turner’s (1979)

o Address the influence of group membership on people’s self-concepts and behaviors with others  Commitment to an ingroup is associated with ingroup bias

 Ingroup bias is related to ingroup assimilation

 Characteristics associated with a high-status group are typically valued more than those of a low status group

− Gender socialization at home

− Parents frequently assign diferent chores to boys and girls

o Boys: tasks performed outside the home that involve tools and machines

o Girls: tasks inside the home, particularly helping to care fro younger siblings

o In most American households children’s chores are assigned in ways that difer by gender  − Another form of gender socialization is conversations between parents and children o Parents often convey messages about gender through gender-essential statements o Parents were more likely to ofer explanations to boys about what they were observing than they were to girls

o Fathers used more instructional talk with sons than with their daughters  

o Parents and other adults are more likely to comment on girls’ physical appearance and attire  than on boys’

− Media and stereotypes

− More major characters in television shows are male than female, and the diference is large well  documented and persistent across time

− Portrayals of males and females still tend to be highly stereotypical

− Diferences in the depiction of gender on television are likely to afect children’s development of gender typical behavior

− Milestones in gender development

− Infants

o Appear to be able to tell the diference between the sexes using multiple perceptual cues  o Capacity to make this distinction does not mean that they understand anything about what it  means to be male or female  

− Toddlers

o Shortly after entering toddlerhood, children begin showing distinct patterns of gender  development

− Infants and toddlers

− By the later half of their second year

o Children begin forming gender-related expectations about the kinds of objects and activities that are typically associated with males and females

− Between their second and third birthdays

o Most children come to know which gender group they belong to and by age 3 use gender terms  (e.g., “boy”) in their speech

o Their behavior also becomes gender-diferentiated, particularly in sex-typed play − Preschoolers

o Children come to show increases in sex-typed play and spend more of their playtime with same sex peers

o Begin avoiding peers who violate gender-typical patterns of behavior  

o Gender segregation appears to be virtually universal across cultures

o Children choose same-sex playmates and spend more of their playtime interacting with other  children of the same sex

o In the united states, children’s play becomes diferentiated by gender during the preschool  period

− Gender segregation

o Focuses on children’s tendency to associate with same-sex peers and to avoid opposite-sex  peers

o Proposes that same-sex playmate choices originate in children’s easy discovery that the play  styles of children of the same gender are more compatible with their own

o Promotes further self-socialization of gender diferences

− Gender segregation in play

this graph reflects the increase in social playtime between preschool and  1st grade that children spent with playmates of their own gender and the decrease in playtime with playmates of the other gender

− Middle childhood

o By around 7 years of age

 Children have attained gender constancy and their ideas about gender are more  consolidated

o Around 9 or 10 years of age

 Children start to show a clear understanding that gender is a social category and  that gender roles are social conventions not biological outcomes

o Children realize that gender discrimination is unfair and notice when it occurs o Several factors afect whether children recognize gender discrimination, including  cognitive factors, individual factors and situational factors

o Boys and girls peer groups tend to establish somewhat diferent gender-role norms for  behavior

o Boys: value self-assertion and peer groups are more likely to reflect norms of dominance,  self reliance, and hiding vulnerability

o Girls: value affiliation or balance of self-assertion and affiliation of peer groups are more  likely to reflect norms of intimacy, collaboration and emotional sharing

o Gender segregation persists through childhood. Cross-gender teasing is used to maintain  gender boundaries

− Adolescence

o For some girls and boys, adolescence abn eb a period of either increased gender-role  felxibility

 Gender-role intensification

 Gender-role flexibility

o During late childhood and adolescence, as children increasingly develop an understanding  that norms about gender roles are social conventions, they may nevertheless endorse the  conventions

− Gender flexibility and asymmetry

− Diference in gender flexibility might be explained by the fact that males avoid feminine stereotyped activities

o Asymmetry in the extent to which most people find it acceptable for boys and girls to  engage in activities deemed more appropriate for the other gender

o Fathers play a particularly active role in instilling male behaviors in their sons and in  enforcing the avoidance of feminine behaviors

o Asymmetry is tied to men’s dominant status in society

− Parents, peers and teachers are much more tolerant of girls who engage in masculine-stereotyped  activities than they are of boys who engage in feminine-stereotyped activities. − Fathers play an important role in encouraging boys to learn masculine stereotyped behaviors

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