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PSYCH 212 Chapter 11 Notes

by: Julie Notetaker

PSYCH 212 Chapter 11 Notes Psych 212

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Julie Notetaker
Penn State
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Notes from Chapter 11 of "A Child's World-Infancy Through Adulthood" 13th Edition, by Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman
Developmental Psychology
Dr. Hunt
Class Notes
#earlychildhood, #PsychosocialDevelopment
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This 13 page Class Notes was uploaded by Julie Notetaker on Tuesday June 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 212 at Pennsylvania State University taught by Dr. Hunt in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Developmental Psychology in Psychlogy at Pennsylvania State University.


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Date Created: 06/14/16
Psychosocial Development in Early Childhood Self-concept: sense of self; descriptive and evaluative mental picture of one’s abilities and traits l Children incorporate into their self-image their growing understanding of how others see them l Self-definition: cluster of characteristics used to describe oneself l Around age 5, children are very concrete in thinking. (What he looks like, does, owns, and people in life) l Speak in specifics rather than general abilities l Somewhat inaccurate l Unrealistically positive about abilities l Have difficulty understanding how conflicting emotions can exist in one person l Around age 7children describe themselves in terms of generalized traits (popular, smart, dumb) l Recognize that he can have conflicting emotions l Self-critical while holding overall positive self-concept l Neo-Piagetian analysis describes 5-7 shift as occurring in 3 steps l Single representations: first stage in development of self-definition, in which children describe themselves in terms of individual, unconnected characteristics and in all-or-nothing terms l Indicates cognitive immaturity and lack of ability to decenter l Real self: self one actually is l Ideal self: self one would like to be l Describes themselves as a paragon of virtue and ability l Representational mappings: second stage in development of self-definition, in which a child makes logical connections between aspects of the self but still sees these characteristics in all-or-nothing terms l Still expressed completely positive l Representational systems: middle childhood, when children begin to integrate specific feature of the self into a general, multi-dimensional concept l All-or-nothing declines, self-descriptions become more balanced and realistic l Cultural differences l European American children describe themselves in terms of personal attributes and beliefs, personality traits and tendencies l Put themselves in positive light l Chinese children talk more about social categories, relationships, and overt behaviors l Describe themselves neutrally Self-esteem: judgment a person makes abut his or her self-worth l Generally unrealistically positive l Unidimensional, children believe they are either all good or all bad l Contingent self-esteem l 1/3-1/2 of preschoolers, kindergarteners, and 1st graders show learned helplessness l If self-esteem is contingent on success, children may view failure or criticism as an indictment of their worth and may feel helpless to do better l Preschoolers may interpret poor performance as being “bad”. And this sense of being a bad person may persist into adulthood l Often are demoralized when they fail. They attribute poor performance or social rejection to personality deficiencies, which they believe they are helpless to change. Rather than try new strategies, they repeat unsuccessful ones or just give up l Non-contingent self-esteem l Attribute failure or disappointment to factors outside themselves or the need to try harder l If initially unsuccessful, they preserver until they find a strategy that works l Tend to have parents and teachers who give specific focused feedback rather than criticize the child as a person Understanding and regulating emotions l Emotional self-regulation helps children adjust responses to meet societal expectations l Preschoolers can talk about feelings and discern the feelings of others, and they understand that emotions are connected with experiences and desires l Fundamental shift in emotional understanding between ages 5-7 l When asked to speculate how a young boy would feel if his ball rolled into the street and either retrieved it or refrained from going into the street, 4-5 year olds said he would be happy if he got the ball, and unhappy if he didn’t. Older children and adults aid that breaking the rule about going into the street would make him feel bad, and following the rule would make him feel good l Media can have positive or negative effects depending on content l Conflicting emotions l Individual differences in understanding conflicting emotions are evident by age 3 l Children who come from families that discuss why people behave as they do, are better able to explain conflicting emotions l More sophisticated understanding happens in middle childhood l Emotions directed toward the self l Typically develop by end of 3rd year, after children gain self-awareness and accept the standards of behavior their parents have set l 4-8 year olds were told two stories. In first, the child takes coins from a jar after being told not to. Second, a child performs a gymnastics feat. Each story was presented as either the parent was there or not. l 4-5 they used words like worried, scared, excited, happy l 5-6 they said parents would be ashamed or proud but did not acknowledge feeling these emotions themselves l 6-7 they said they would feel ashamed or proud, but only if they were observed l 7-8 they said they would feel ashamed or proud even if no one saw Erikson l Initiative verses guilt: Erikson’s 3rd stage in psychosocial development, in which children balance the urge to pursue goals with moral reservations that may prevent carrying them out l Virtue is purpose l If not resolved l A child may grow into an adult who is constantly striving for success or showing off l Inhibited and unspontaneous or self-righteous and intolerant l Suffer from impotence or psychosomatic illness l With opportunities to do things on their own, but under guidance and consistent limits, children can attain a healthy balance and avoid tendency to overdo competition and achievement and the tendency to be repressed and guilt ridden Gender identity: awareness, developed in early childhood, that one is male or female l Gender differences: psychological or behavioral differences between males and females l Gender similarities hypothesis: some gender differences are apparent by age 3 but bon average boys and girls tend to remain more alike than different l Sex-typed preferences increase between toddlerhood and middle childhood and the degree of sex-typed behavior exhibited early in life is a strong indicatory of later gender based behavior l Cognitive intelligence differences are small l Intelligence scores show no difference l Both sexes equally capable of learning math l Girls tend to be better on tests of verbal fluency, mathematical computation, and memory for locations of objects l Girls tend to use more responsive language, such as praise, agreement, acknowledgement, and elaboration on what someone else has said l Boys perform better in verbal analogies, mathematical word problems, and memory for spatial configurations l Boys’ mathematical abilities vary more, there are more boys at highest and lowest levels of ability range l Gender roles: behaviors, interests, attitudes, skills, and traits that a culture considers appropriate for each sex l Gender typing: socialization process whereby children at an early age, learn appropriate gender roles l Gender stereotypes: preconceived generalizations about male or female role behavior l Appear at 2-3, increase during preschool, and peak at age 5 l Perspectives on gender development l Biological approach u Existence of similar gender roles in many cultures suggests that some differences may be biologically based u Scientists have found more than 50 genes that may explain differences between male and female mice u By 5, boy’s brains are 10% larger because boys have more gray matter in the cerebral cortex, whereas girls have greater neuronal density u Link between higher testosterone levels and male-typical play u Congenital adrenal hyperplasia CAH, girls have high prenatal levels of androgens (male sex hormones). They tend to turn into tomboys with preference for boy’s toys, rough play, male playmates, and strong spatial skills u Estrogens have less influence on boys’ gender-typed behavior u John Money developed guidelines for infants born with ambiguous sexual structures, recommending that the child be assigned as early as possible to the gender that holds the potential for the most nearly normal functioning u 14 genetically male children born without normal penisestbut with testes were legally and surgically assigned to female sex during 1 month and were raised as girls l Ages 5-16, 8 declared themselves male. 5 declared female but expressed difficulty fitting in with other girls, and 1 refused to discuss the subject n Evolutionary Developmental approach: sees gendered behavior as biologically based, with a purpose u Theory of sexual selection: Darwinian theory, which holds that selection of sexual partners is influenced by the differing reproductive pressures that early men and women confronted in the struggle for survival of the species l Men and women have cognitive adaptations designed to be sensitive to environmental input. Gender roles may change in an environment different from that in which these roles initially evolved n Psychoanalytic approach u Identification: In Freudian theory, process by which a young child adopts characteristics, beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviors of the parent of the same sex l Identification occurs when the child gives up the wish to possess the parent of the other sex and identifies with the parent of the same sex u Influential theory but difficult to test and little research support n Cognitive approaches u Kohlberg’s Cognitive Developmental Theory: gender knowledge precedes gendered behavior l As children come to realize which gender they belong to, they adopt behaviors they perceive as consistent with being male or female l Gender constancy/ Sex-category constancy: awareness that one will always be male or female n Develops in 3 stages u Gender identity: awareness of one’s own gender and that of others, age 2- 3 u Gender stability: realizing that gender does not change l Children may base judgments about gender on superficial appearances and stereotyped behaviors u Gender consistency: realization that a girl remains a girl even if she has short hair and plays with trucks, ages 3-7 n Once children realize their behavior will not affect their sex, they become less ridged in gender norms l Today, theorist no longer claim that gender constancy must precede gender typing. Instead, they suggest that gender typing may be heightened by more sophisticated understanding that gender constancy brings u Gender-schema theory: children socialize themselves in their gender roles by developing a mentally organized network of information about what it means to be male/female in a particular culture l Main proponents are Carol Lynn Martin, Charles F. Halverson, and Sandra Bern l Gender schemas promote gender stereotypes by influencing judgments about behavior l Bem suggest that children who show stereotypical behavior may be experiencing pressure for gender conformity that inhibits healthy self-exploration n Little evidence to suggest that gender schemas are at the root of stereotyped behavior or that children who are highly gender-typed feel pressure to conform l Gender schema theory says 4-6 years children are constructing and then consolidating their gender schemas, and they notice and remember only information consistent with these schemas and even exaggerate it n In fact, children misremember information that changes gender stereotypes n Young children are quick to accept gender labels; when told an unfamiliar toy is meant for the opposite sex, they will drop it quickly and expect others to do the same u Gender stereotyping does not always become stronger with increased gender knowledge l Gender-stereotyping rises and falls in a developmental pattern u 5-6 children develop repertoire of rigid stereotypes about gender that they apply to themselves and others. Boys pay more attention to boy toys and expect to be better at boy things. u 7-8 schemas become more complex and flexible as children take in and integrate contradictory information n Social learning approach u Walter Mischel said that children acquire gender roles by imitating models and being rewarded for gender-appropriate behavior l Children choose models that they see as powerful or nurturing l Gendered behavior precedes gender knowledge u Social cognitive theory: Albert Bandura’s expansion of social learning theory; holds that children learn gender roles through socialization l Observation enables children to learn much about gender-typed behaviors before performing them. They can mentally combine observations of multiple models and generate their own behavioral variations l Children select or create their environments through their choice of playmates and activities l Critics say that theory does not explain how children differentiate between boys and girls before they have a concept of gender, or what initially motivates children to acquire gender knowledge, or how gender norms become internalized l Socialization: the way a child interprets and internalizes experiences with parents, teachers, peers, and cultural institutions, begins in infancy n As children begin to regulate activities standards of behavior become internalized. Children feel good when they live up to their internal standards and feel bad when they do not n Substantial shift takes place ages 3-4 u Family influences l Difficult to separate parent’s genetic influence from the influence of the environment they create n Parents may be responding to rather than encouraging children’s gender typed behavior l Boys more strongly gender socialized concerning play preferences. Girls have more freedom than boys in choice of clothes, games, and choice of playmates n Observational study of 4 year olds in Britain and Hungary, children whose fathers did more housework and child care were less aware of gender stereotypes and engaged in less gender typed play than peers in more gender typical families l 3 year study of first and second born siblings; 2 ndborns tend to become more like st older siblings in attitudes, personality, and leisure activities whereas 1 borns are more influenced by parents and less by their younger siblings n Young children with an older sibling of the same sex tend to be more gender typed than those whose older sibling is of the other sex u Peer influences l By 3, preschoolers play in sex-segregated groups that reinforce gender typed behavior, and influence of peer group increases with age l Peer groups show more disapproval of boys who act like girls who are tomboys u Cultural influences l Children who watch a lot of TV become more gender typed by imitating the models they see on the screen l Children’s books, especially illustrated ones, have long been a source of gender stereotypes n Analysis of top selling children’s books uncovered nearly twice as many male as female main characters and strong gender stereotyping. Female main characters nurtured more, were portrayed in indoor settings, and appeared to have no paid occupations. Fathers were largely absent, and when they appeared they were shown as withdrawn and ineffectual u Strengths of socialization approach include the breadth and multiplicity of processes it examines and the scope for individual differences it reveals u Biosocial theory: psychological aspects of gender arise from interactions between the physical characteristics of the sexes, their developmental experiences, and the character of the societies in which they live Play  Play is important to healthy development of the body and brain o It enables children to engage with the world around them o Use their imagination o Discover flexible ways to use objects and solve problems o Prepare for adult roles o Stimulate senses, exercise muscles o Coordinate sight with movement o Gain mastery over their bodies  Context in which much of learning occurs  UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has recognized it as a right of every child  Trend to full time kindergarten has reduced time for free play  Today, many parents expose young children to enrichment videos and academically oriented toys. These activities may or may not be valuable in themselves, but not if they interfere with child-directed play  Physical play begins in infancy with apparently aimless rhythmic movements. As gross motor skills improve, preschoolers exercise their muscles by running, jumping, skipping, hopping, and throwing. In middle childhood, rough-and-tumble play involving wrestling, kicking, and chasing becomes more common  Evolutionary basis o Takes up considerable time and energy o Shows a characteristic age progression, peaking in childhood and declining with sexual maturity o Is encouraged by all parents o Occurs in all cultures o Animal studies suggest that evolution of play is linked to evolution of intelligence. The most intelligent animals play, whereas less intelligent species do not o The type of play animals engage in maps onto the skills they will need as adults  Predators engage in predatory pray, prey engage in escape/avoidance types of play o Parents encourage play because the future benefits of skill acquisition outweigh any benefits of current productive activity in which children might engage o Locomotor play: common among all mammals and may support brain development o Exercise play: may help develop muscle strength, endurance, physical skills, and efficiency of movement o Play with objects: found mainly among primates, may enable the development of tools o Social play: young mammals and children. Wrestling and chasing each other, which strengthens social bonds, facilitates cooperation, and lessens aggression o Dramatic play: almost exclusively human, universal but less frequent in societies where children are expected to participate in adult work  Cognitive complexity o Smilanskiy identified 4 levels of play o Functional/locomotor play: lowest cognitive level of play, involving repetitive muscular movements nd o Constructive/object play: 2 cognitive level of play, involving use of objects or materials to make something  Children spend 10-15% of time playing with objects o Dramatic/fantasy/pretend/imaginative play: play involving imaginary people or nd situations. Rests on symbolic function, which emerges in last part of 2 year  Peaks during preschool, increasing in frequency and complexity, and then declines as school age children become more involved in formal games with rules  At age 2, play is imitative. By 3-4 pretense becomes more imaginative and self- initiated o Formal games with rules: organized games with known procedures and penalties  Social dimension o 1920s Mildred B. Parten identified 6 types of play ranging from least to most social  Unoccupied behavior: child does not seem to be playing but watches anything of momentary interest  Onlooker behavior: child spends most of time watching other children play. Talks to other children, asking questions or making suggestions, but does not enter into the play  Observes particular groups of children rather than anything exciting  Solitary independent play: child plays alone with toys that are different from those used by nearby children and makes no effort to get close to them  Parallel play: child plays independently but among other children, playing with toys like those used by the other children but not necessarily playing with them in the same way. Does not try to influence the other children’s play  Associative play: child plays with other children. They talk about their play, borrow and lend toys, follow one another, and try to control who may play in the group. All children play similarly, there is no division of labor and no organization around any goal  Child acts as she or he wishes and is interested more in being with other children than in the activity itself  Cooperative or organized supplementary play: child plays in a group organized for some goal. One or two children control who belongs in the group and direct activities. By division of labor, children take on different roles and supplement each other’s efforts o Parten regarded nonsocial play as less mature than social play. She said that children who continue to play alone may develop social, psychological, or educational problems  Certain types of nonsocial play, may consist of activities that foster cognitive, physical, and social development  Ratings from teachers indicate that 2/3 of children who play alone are socially and cognitively competent, they simply prefer to play that way  Solitary play can sometimes be a sign of shyness, anxiety, fearfulness, or social rejection o Today researchers view this as simplistic because all children engage in all categories o Reticent play: combination of unoccupied and onlooker categories, is often a manifestation of shyness  Longitudinal study showed reticent children were well liked and showed fewer behavioral problems  Gender segregation: tendency to select playmates of one’s own gender o Universal o Boys  Play spontaneously on sidewalk streets, or empty lots  Pretend play involves danger or discord and competitive, dominant roles, as in mock battles  More strongly gender typed than girls  Large groups of other boys  Friendships founded on shared activities and interests  Resolve conflicts with physical force  Talk to give information and commands o Girls  Tend to choose more structured adult supervised activities  Engage in more dramatic play than boys  Pretend play involves focus on social relationships and nurturing, domestic roles  Small groups of other girls  Friendships founded on emotional and physical closeness  Resolve conflicts through compromise  Talk to strengthen relationships  Culture o Observational study of Korean American and Anglo American children in separate preschools.  The Anglo American preschools encouraged independent thinking and active involvement in learning by letting children select from a wide range of activities. They encouraged social interchange among children and collaborative activities with teachers  Engaged in more social play  More aggressive and responded negatively to other children’s suggestions, reflecting the competiveness of American culture  Korean American school emphasized developing academic skills and completing tasks. Children were only allowed to talk and play during outdoor recess  Engaged in unoccupied or parallel play  Played more cooperatively, offering toys to other children Parenting  Discipline: methods of molding children’s character and of teaching them to exercise self- control and engage in acceptable behavior o Reinforcement and punishment  External reinforcements may be tangible (treats, more playtimes) or intangible (smile, word of praise. A child must see a reinforcement as rewarding and must receive it fairly consistently and immediately after showing the desired behavior. Eventually, the behavior should provide an internal reinforcement; a sense of pleasure or accomplishment  Punishment, if consistent, immediate, and clearly tied to the offense, may be effective. It should be administered calmly, in private, and aimed at eliciting compliance, not guilt. Most effective when accompanied by a short, simple explanation  Children who are punished harshly and frequently may have trouble interpreting other people’s actions and words; they may attribute hostile intentions where none exist  May later act aggressively or become passive because they feel helpless  Children may become frightened if parents lose control and may try to avoid parent, undermining the parent’s ability to influence behavior o Corporal punishment: use of physical force with the intention of causing pain but not injury so as to correct or control behavior  Includes spanking, hitting, pinching, shaking, and other physical acts  20 states permit corporal punishment in schools  Unlike child abuse, which bears little or no relation to the child’s personality or behavior, corporal punishment is more frequently used with children who are aggressive and hard to manage  Apart from risks of injury or abuse, outcomes may include  In childhood: lack of moral internalization, poor parent-child relationships, increased physical aggressiveness, anti-social behavior, delinquency, and diminished mental health  In adulthood: aggression, criminal or anti-social behavior, anxiety disorders, depression, alcohol problems, and partner or child abuse  Children may imitate the punisher and may come to consider infliction of pain an acceptable response to problems  May arouse anger and resentment, causing children to focus on their own hurts instead of on the wrong they have done to others  Frequent spanking may inhibit cognitive development  Effectiveness diminishes with repeated use; children may feel free to misbehave if they are willing to take the consequences  Reliance on physical punishment may weaken parent’s authority when children become teenagers, too big and too strong to spank even if spanking were appropriate  6 year study says spanking does not predict increase in problem behavior if it is done in the context of a mother’s strong emotional support  Physical disciplines less likely to cause aggression or anxiety in cultures where it is seen as normal o Psychological aggression: verbal attack that may result in psychological harm  Yelling or screaming, threatening to spank or hit the child, swearing or cursing at the child, threatening to send the child away or kick the child out of the house, calling the child dumb or lazy  Almost universal among US parents o Inductive techniques: disciplinary techniques designed to induce desirable behavior by appealing to a child’s sense of reason and fairness  Setting limits, demonstrating logical consequences of actions, explaining, discussing, negotiating, and getting ideas from the child about what is fair  Tend to include appeals to consider how one’s actions affect how others feel  Most effective method of getting children to accept parental standards  Tends to arouse empathy for the victim of wrongdoing as well as guilt on the part of the wrongdoer o Power assertion: disciplinary strategy designed to discourage undesirable behavior through physical or verbal enforcement of parental control  Demands, threats, withdrawal of privileges, spanking, and other types of punishment o Withdrawal of love: disciplinary strategy that involves ignoring, isolating, or showing dislike for a child o For a child to accept the message, the child has to recognize it as appropriate  Parents need to be fair and accurate as well as clear and consistent about their expectations  Discipline must fit the misdeed and the child’s temperament and cognitive and emotional level  If parents are warm and responsive and if they arouse the child’s empathy for someone the child has harmed o Child interprets and responds to discipline in the context of an ongoing relationship with a parent  Parenting styles o Diana Baumrind studied preschool children from 95 families through interviews, testing, and home studies  Authoritarian parenting: parenting style that emphasizes control and obedience  Try to make children conform rigidly to a set standard of conduct and punish them for violating it  Often use power assertive techniques  More detached and less warm than other parents  Children more discontented, withdrawn, and distrustful  Children are so strictly controlled that they often cannot make independent choices about their behavior  Permissive parenting: parenting style emphasizing self-expression and self- regulation  Make few demands and allow children to monitor their own activities as much as possible  Consult with children about policy decisions and rarely punish  Warm, non-controlling, and undemanding, even indulgent  Preschool children tend to be immature, least self-controlled, and least exploratory  Children receive so little guidance that they may be uncertain and anxious about whether they are doing the right thing  Authoritative parenting: parenting style blending warmth and respect for a child’s individuality with an effort to instill social values  Loving and accepting but also demand good behavior and are firm in maintaining standards  Impose limited, judicious punishment when necessary, within the context of a warm, supportive relationship  Favor inductive discipline, explaining the reason behind their stand and encouraging verbal negotiation and give-and-take  Children feel secure in knowing both that they are loved and what is expected of them  Preschoolers most self-reliant, self-controlled, self-assertive, exploratory, and content  Children know when they are meeting expectations and can decide whether it is worth risking parental displeasure to pursue a goal  Expected to perform well, fulfill commitments, and participate actively in family duties as well as family fun  Criticisms  Seems to suggest that there is “one” way to raise a child  Impossible to know whether the children were actually raised in a style  Did not consider innate factors such as temperament, that may have influenced the parents  May not apply to other cultures o Eleanor Maccoby and John Martin added 4 styleth  Neglectful/uninvolved: parents who sometimes because of stress or depression, focus on their own needs rather than on those of the child  Linked with behavioral disorders in childhood and adolescence o Cultural differences  For Asian Americans, obedience and strictness are not associated with harshness and domination but instead with caring, involvement, and maintenance of family harmony  Chinese culture stresses adults’ responsibility to maintain social order by teaching children socially proper behavior. Carried out by firm and just control and governance of the child, using physical punishment if necessary  Though parenting is frequently described as authoritarian, the warmth and supportiveness that characterize Chinese American family relationships may more closely resemble authoritative parenting but without emphasis on American values such as individuality, choice, and freedom, and with stricter parental control  Japanese mother’s parenting practices reflect the search for balance between granting appropriate autonomy and exercising disciplinary control. Mothers let children make own decisions within what they saw as the child’s personal domain (activities, playmates), and the domain increases with child’s age  When health, safety, moral issues, or conventional social rules were involved the mothers set limits or exercised control  When conflicts arose, the mothers used reason rather than power assertive methods or sometimes gave in to the child, apparently on the theory that the issue wasn’t worth struggling over, or that child may be right o Poor neighborhood effects  Residence in poor, disorganized neighborhoods leads to more maternal depression and family dysfunction, which was linked to less consistent and more punitive parenting styles  Less supportive environment and lack of cohesion among residents places higher demands on parents to oversee and protect their children  Fewer positive role models and fewer institutional resources to help families Special behavioral concerns  Altruism: motivation to help others without expectation of reward; may involve self-denial or self-sacrifice  Pro-social behavior: any voluntary behavior intended to help others o Preschoolers who were sympathetic and spontaneously shared with classmates tended to show prosocial understanding and empathetic behavior as much as 17 years later. Preschoolers who were shy or withdrawn tend to be less prosocial, perhaps bndause they hesitate to reach out to others o Before 2 birthday, children help others, share belongings, and food, and offer comfort o 3 different preferred styles for sharing resources  Preference for sharing with close relations  Reciprocity: sharing with those who have previously shared with you  Indirect reciprocity: preference to share with people who have shared with others o Parents who show affection and follow positive disciplinary strategies tend to encourage their children’s natural tendency to prosocial behavior  Parents point out models of prosocial behavior and steer children toward stories, films, and TV programs that depict cooperation, sharing, and empathy and encourage sympathy, generosity, and helpfulness o Media exposure to educational and youth-oriented programs has been shown to have prosocial effects by increasing children’s altruism, cooperation, and tolerance for others o Cultures in which people live in extended family groups and share work seem to foster prosocial values more than cultures that stress individual achievement  Aggression o Instrumental aggression: aggressive behavior used as a means of achieving a goal  Between 2.5-5 children struggle over toys and control of space  Surfaces mostly during social play; children who fight the most also tend to be the most sociable and competent o As children develop more self-control and become better able to express themselves verbally, they typically shift from showing aggression with blows to doing it with words o Boys and girls who were inattentive at age 2 and girls who showed poor emotion regulation at that age tended to conduct problems at age 5 o Children who as preschoolers engage in violent fantasy play may at age 6 be prone to violent displays of anger o Gender differences  In all cultures, and among most mammals, boys are more physically and verbally aggressive than girls  Difference apparent by age 2  Research with genetically engineered mice suggest that the Sry gene on the Y chromosome may play a role  Overt/direct aggression: aggression that is opening directed at it’s target, more common of boys  Preschool aggression tends to be direct and face to face  Relational/ indirect/ social aggression: aggression aimed at damaging or interfering with another person’s relationships, reputation, or psychological well- being; can be overt or covert  Evolutionary perspective  Males are predicted to be more competitive and are more likely to take the risks of physical aggression  Females’ reproductive output is limited by their own bodies; thus the need for physical aggression as a means by which to compete is diminished o Influences on aggression  Children who are intensely emotional and low in self-control tend to express anger aggressively  Among 234 6-year-old twins, physical aggression was 50-60% heritable; the remainder of the variance was attributable to nonshared environmental influences  Social aggression was much more environmentally influenced; the variance was only 20% genetic, 20% explained by shared environmental influences, and 60% by unshared experiences  May result form a combination of stressful and unstimulating home atmosphere, harsh discipline, lack of maternal warmth, and social support, family dysfunction, exposure to aggressive adults and neighborhood violence, poverty, and transient peer groups, which prevent stable friendships  Children model aggression they see in the world  Bandura’s Bobo doll experiment o Culture and aggression  A research team asked samples of US and Japanese preschoolers to choose pictured solutions to hypothetical conflicts or stressful situations, and told them to act out using dolls and props  US children showed more anger, more aggressive behavior and language, and less emotional control than the Japanese children  Fearfulness o Childhood fears  0-6 months: loss of support; loud noises  7-12 months: strangers; heights; sudden, unexpected, and looming objects  1 year: separation from parent; toilet; injury; strangers  2 years: many stimuli including loud noises, animals, dark rooms, separation from parent, large objects or machines, changes in personal environment, unfamiliar peers  3 years: Masks; dark; animals; separation from parent  4 years: separation from parent; animas; dark; noises  5 years: Animals; “bad” people; dark; separation from parent; bodily harm  6 years: supernatural beings; bodily injury; thunder and lightening; dark; sleeping or staying alone; separation from parent  7-8 years: supernatural beings; dark; media events; staying alone; bodily injury  9-12 years: tests and examinations in school; school performances; bodily injury; physical appearance; thunder and lightening; death; dark o Stem from intense fantasy life and tendency to confuse appearance with reality o Young children more likely to be frightened by something that looks scary than by something capable of doing great harm. Older children’s fears are more realistic and self-evaluative o Fears may stem from personal experience or from hearing about other people’s experiences o Parents can allay children’s fears by instilling a sense of trust and normal caution without being too protective, and also by overcoming their own unrealistic fears. Can reassure a fearful child and encourage open expression of feelings o Not helpful  Ridicule  Coercion (Pat the nice doggie)  Logical persuasion o Not until elementary school can children tell themselves that what they fear is not real Relationships with other children  Sibling relationships o Earliest, most frequent, and most intense disputes among siblings are over property rights o Sibling disputes an their settlement can be viewed as socialization opportunities, in which children learn to stand up for principles and negotiate disagreements o Siblings who play pretend develop a history of shared understandings that allow them to more easily resolve issues and build on each other’s ideas o Study of siblings  Pro-social and play-oriented behaviors are more common than rivalry, hostility, and competition  Older siblings initiate more behavior, both friendly and unfriendly, younger siblings tend to imitate the older ones  As younger children reached age 5, the siblings became less physical and more verbal, both in showing aggression and in showing care and affection o Same-sex siblings, particularly girls, are closer and play together more peaceably than boy-girl siblings o Because older siblings tend to dominate younger siblings, the quality of the relationship is more affected by the emotional and social adjustment of the older child o Quality of sibling relationships tend to carry over to relationships with other children o Older siblings who have experienced a good relationship with a friend before the birth of a new sibling are likely to treat their younger siblings better and are less likely to develop antisocial behavior in adolescence  Only children o In US approx. 21% of children under age 18 have no siblings in the home o With respect to academic outcomes and success in work, they perform slightly better than children with siblings. Tend to be more motivated to achieve and have slightly higher self-esteem o Do not differ in emotional adjustment, sociability, or popularity o Evolutionary theory suggest that children do better because parents use all their resources on them o Because most children today spend considerable time in play groups, child care, and preschool, only children do not lack opportunities for social interaction with peers o 1979 People’s Republic of China established policy limiting families to one child  No significant differences in behavioral problems  Only children at a psychological advantage in a society that favors and rewards such a child  Among urban children, those with siblings reported higher levels of fear, anxiety, and depression than only children, regardless of sex or age  Playmates and friends o Toddlers play alongside or near each other but not until age 3 do children begin to have friends o Learn how to solve problems in relationships, put themselves in another person’s place, morals and values, gender-role norms, and see models of various kinds of behavior o Preschoolers like to play with children of their own age and sex and who are similar to them in observable characteristics o Friendships are more satisfying and likely to last when children see them as relatively harmonious and validating their self-worth o 4-7 year olds rate the most important features of friendships as doing things together, liking and caring for each other, sharing and helping one another, and living nearby or going to the same school o Younger children rate physical traits, such as appearance and size, higher than did older children, and they rated affection and support lower o Preschool children prefer prosocial playmates. They reject disruptive, demanding, intrusive, or aggressive children and tend to ignore those who are withdrawn or tentative o Well-liked preschoolers are rated by parents and teachers as socially competent and generally cope well with anger. They respond directly in ways that minimize further conflict and keep relationships going. They avoid insults and threats o Unpopular children tend to hit, hit back, and tattle o Popular children have warm, positive relationships with both mother and father. Parents are likely to be authoritative and children to be assertive and cooperative


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