CHAPTER 11 SOCIOEMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD
EMOTIONAL AND PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT The Self • Initiative vs. guilt – With the increase of energy, children begin to explore their world. Erikson believes that their mistakes, if punished without reason, can unleash guilt, thereby lowering the child’s self-esteem. • Self-understanding – Child’s cognitive representation of self, the substance and content of the child’s self-conceptions. At approximately 18 months of age, the child becomes aware of the self – mostly in physical terms.
Emotional Development • Developmental timetable of young children’s emotion language and understanding – increased use of emotion language – adept at telling their feelings – at four to five years they begin to reflect on their emotions – demonstrate a growing awareness about the controlling of emotions. • Self-conscious emotions – Children being aware of themselves as distinct from others. Pride and guilt become more common in early childhood years. • Regulation of emotion – Children begin to regulate and manage their emotions, especially by shifting the focus of one’s attention. • Helping children understand emotions – Children need to express their emotions in a non-threatening environment; educators must provide outlets and support for studying emotions (books, stories, plays, etc).
Moral Development • What is moral development? – Rules and conventions about what people should do in their interactions with other people. Three domains are examined on this topic with children: how children reason, how they actually behave, and how they feel about moral matters. • Piaget’s view of how children’s moral reasoning develops – Through his observations of children 4 to 12 years old, he concluded that children think in two distinct stages: • Heteronomous morality – displayed by younger children – justice and rules are unchangeable properties of the world outside the control of people’s lives and consequences of the behavior have a great force. • Autonomous morality – displayed by older children – where child becomes aware that rules and laws are crated by people, so one must consider the intentions of the actor as well as consequences. Continued…
Imminent justice – A concept held by the heteronomous thinker that if a rule is broken, punishment is immediate. • Moral behavior – Influenced extensively by the situation – the totally honest and totally dishonest child does not exist as a result. • Moral feelings – In the psychoanalytic view of moral development, self-punitiveness of guilt is responsible for keeping children from committing transgressions; they seek to avoid guilt. Empathy in moral development results when the person can understand how another feels and possibly anticipate a feeling as a result of an action. Some believe that this empathetic ability forms a base for the child’s gradual acquisition of values.
What is gender? – The social and psychological dimensions of being male or female. Gender identity acquired by the age of three is the sense of maleness or femaleness, whereas gender role is a set of expectations that define that identity. • Biological influences – chromosomes, hormones, brain, and evolution. • Chromosomes – 46 – the 23rd pair is either two XXs or an XY – that creates the male. • Hormones – secretion of androgens – male sex hormones that, in low levels, format the female embryo’s sex organs. Estrogens, the main female sex hormones play a role in puberty. Levels of hormones have been found to affect femininity and masculinity in animas, but environmental factors of behavior prevent applying this conclusion to humans. • Brain – sex differences found in the brain (i.e., female processing information in both sides of the brain). • Evolutionary psychology – evolutionary aspects produce differences in gender behavior (i.e., male competitiveness led to male dominance in reproduction, female selection of mates linked to parenting, therefore preferring long-term relationships). • Social influences – The culture imposes aspects of femaleness and maleness on infants and children, thereby establishing the gender separation (i.e., blue for males, pink for females). Continued…
Psychoanalytic and social cognitive theories – Emanates from the Freudian concept of a young child’s sexual attraction to the opposite-sex parent – a concept generally disbelieved today. The social cognitive theory of gender believes that gender characteristics are imposed through reward and punishment and are reinforced by peers. • Parental influences – Children identify with the roles played by their parents, especially by that of the father. Parents often impose gender types through rearing practices (e.g., girls babysitting, boys doing yard work). • Peer influences – Children show a clear preference for being with and liking same-sex peers, and evidence indicate that children teach each other about gender roles. • School and teacher influences – Documentation verifies that boys receive more attention in many aspects of education. • Media influences – The media is a major source of gender stereotyping from television characterization of male/female roles to extensive profiling of femaleness and maleness in print advertising. • Cognitive influences – The cognitive gender developmental theory occurs when children have accepted gender as a concept with specific characteristics. Once the conception is germinated, they organize their world accordingly. The gender schema theory presents gendering as a model followed by beliefs of appropriate and inappropriate practices related to gender. • The role of language in gender development – Speaking and reading to young children often carry cues that are distinctly feminine and masculine and act as reinforcements of the stereotype.
Parenting • Parenting styles – The Baumrind styles of parenting: • Authoritarian – A controlling style of parenting where there are strict limits and consequences. Top-down, there is no discussion. These children are unhappy, fearful and anxious. • Authoritative – Encourages independence but with limits established through verbal interchange. These children are often cheerful, self-directed, achievement-oriented. • Neglectful – Parent is uninvolved in the child’s life. These children are frequently truant, have low self-esteem, and are immature. • Indulgent – Highly involved in the child’s life with few demands or controls. These children often have behavior problems, lack respect, and are low-achievers.
Child Abuse – Within families, child abuse is on the increase in the United States despite a greater focus by law enforcement officials on detection. • The multifaceted nature of abuse – There are many different types of abuse: physical and sexual, lack of supervision, medical, educational, and nutritional neglect. • Severity of abuse – A very small minority of children suffer the vile and unspeakable abuse highlighted in the media; however, the range of abuse is marked by degrees of severity from physical injury to psychological harm. • The Cultural context of abuse – Abuse is high in the United States, possibly because of a cultural perspective that a child’s discipline requires a physical application. • Family influences – How children are disciplined can later influence how they, as parents, discipline their children. Research points to the intergenerational aspect of abuse. • Developmental consequences of abuse – Abused children show the effects in many ways, but especially in attachment, where they appear disorganized and cannot respond competently to distress or positive approaches by peers. Maltreated children also display anxiety, depression, conduct disorder, and delinquency.
Parenting: Nature or Nurture? – It is fairly conclusive that neither parenting nor heredity alone is responsible for development; it sis in interactive process. • Good parenting takes time and effort – Santrock here argues that presently there is an emphasis by parents on “quick-fix” parenting through packaging artificial means of spending time with their children.
Sibling Relationships and Birth Order • Sibling relationships – because more than 80 percent of American children have siblings, there is evidence that these relationships have an impact on development. There is also evidence that in industrialized countries sibling responsibility is less, or different, from that of non-industrialized countries. • Birth order – Birth order certainly creates a variance in relationships within the family. • Firstborns and later-borns – Firstborns tend to receive a great deal of attention until the second child arrives. This places stress on the firstborn and interferes with their routine. It also affects the sibling relationship because the older child is considered dominant and competent. Hence children evolve with different characteristics. • The only child – Contrary to the stereotype, the only child is often achievement-oriented and displays a desirable personality. • Birth order as a predictor of behavior – Researchers conclude that because of the high variability of factors influencing behavior, birth order alone cannot accurately predict behavior.
The Changing Family in a Changing Social World – The United States has the highest number of single-parent families in comparison with most other countries. • Working parents – Today’s parents are responding to a modern culture in which a working mother is an indigenous factor. An incorrect assumption is that time away from home and the child is detrimental.
Effects of divorce on children • Children’s adjustment in divorced families – Children of divorce show greater adjustment problems (i.e., more likely to have academic problems, be anxious, depressed, less socially responsible). • Should parents stay together for the sake of their children? – The prevailing intelligence is that there are too many “ifs” to conclusively answer that question. • How much do family processes matter in divorced families? – The research strongly supports the view that good parenting is key whether within or without a divorce situation. What roles do non-custodial parents play in the lives of children in divorced families? – Greater participation in the child’s activities by the non-custodial parent mitigates some of the negative effects of divorce. • What factors are involved in the child’s individual risk and vulnerability in a divorced family? – Temperament, developmental status, gender, and custody situation are all factors. Children who are socially mature and responsible show less effect. Very young children are sometimes found to e at greater risk than older children. • What role does socioeconomic status play in the lives of the children in divorced families? – Income loss has a double impact on the custodial parent because she or he must leave the home for longer periods to make up for the loss of income, which also creates stress on the order of the family.
Cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic variations in families – What seems to be emerging as a “truism” is that love with moderate control is the successful strategy for effective parenting. The size of families varies with ethnic cultures; large and extended families are more common among Latino families (19 percent vs. 10 percent for White families).
Peer Relations • Peer group functions – Defined as children of about the same age or maturity level, peers provide a source of information and comparison about he world outside of the family. Documented studies have shown that peer relations are necessary for normal social development, but these relations can also be negative. • The distinct but coordinated worlds of parent-child and peer-relations – Evidence supports the view that parental influence can affect peer relations and that parents who model aggression will yield it in their children, whereas parents who show meditation and coaching yield competency in their children regarding social relations.
Play • Play’s functions – Play increases the probability that children will converse and interact with each other. Freud and Erikson believe it is a useful form of human adjustment, helping children to master anxieties and conflicts. Play therapy allows children to work off frustrations and allows the therapist to analyze conflicts and ways of coping.
Parten’s Classic Study of Play • Unoccupied play – child is not engaging – performs actions without goals. • Solitary play – alone and independent and not caring for what others are doing. • Onlooker play – speaks with playing children but does not engage in the activity. • Parallel play – plays separately from others but with toys similar to those being used by the other children. • Associative play – socially interactive where children seem more interested in each other than in the activities. • Cooperative play – interactive play with a sense of group identity and organized activity. This is seen more in middle childhood and less in preschool years.
Types of Play • Sensorimotor play – Is where behavior by infants derives pleasure from exercising their sensorimotor schemas. From the early months through the second year, they enjoy playing with objects in varying ways. • Practice play – The repetition of behavior when new skills are being learned or when physical or mental mastery and coordination are required. • Pretense/symbolic play – In preschool it is the make-believe play engaged in by young children, which both Piaget and Vygotsky agree helps develop children’s imagination. • Social play – An involvement of social interaction with peers from casual to rough-and-tumble. • Constructive play – Combines senorimotor with symbolic representation of ideas. • Games – Activities for pleasure that include rules and often competition.
Television • Television’s many roles – Generally considered to be a negative influence that distracts children from learning through books, affects their views and perspective, deceives, and negatively educates children regarding stereotypes of gender, race, culture, and religion. • Amount of television watching by children – Generally, American children’s television watching is second in number of hours only to sleep. • Effects of television on children’s aggression and prosocial behavior – Many research studies and experiments have demonstrated the negative effects of viewing violence on television on the prosocial behavior patterns of young children. Some evidence suggests that television can also promote good prosocial behavior when programs reflect positive social strategies. • Television and cognitive development – Negative television aids the children’s script and schema development but in ways that are not always desirable. There is great promise for television to promote cognition through extensive use of visual and spatial arrangements.