Collectivist Orientation: (ex: Eastern) - promoting the notion of interdependence .
They tend to regard themselves as parts of a larger social network in which they are interconnected with, and responsible to others.
Individualistic Orientation: (ex: Western)- emphasizes personal identity and the uniqueness of the individual.
They are more apt to see themselves as self-contained and autonomous, in competition with others for scarce resources.
View of self family tied
View of self individually directed
Psychosocial Development (cont.)
Becoming their own person
Making own decisions
Shaping kind of person they are becoming
Racial and Ethnic Awareness
By the time they are 3 or 4 years of age, preschool-age children notice differences among people based on skin color, and they begin to identify themselves as a member of a particular group such as “Hispanic” or “black.”
Although early in the preschool years they do not realize that ethnicity and race are enduring features of who they are, later they begin to develop an understanding of the significance that society places on ethnic and racial membership.
The phenomenon in which minority children indicate preferences for majority values or people.
Some studies find that as many as 90 percent of African American children, when asked about their reactions to drawings of black and white children, react more negatively to the drawings of black children than to those of white children.
However, these negative reactions did not translate into lower self-esteem for the African American subjects.
Instead, their preferences appear to be a result of the powerful influence of the dominant white culture, rather than a disparagement of their own racial characteristics.
Sense of being male or female
Well established by preschool years
By age 2 years:
Consistently label themselves and others as male and female
By age 4-5, children develop understanding of gender constancy
Belief that people are permanently males or females because of fixed, unchangeable biological factors
Gender schemas occur well before gender constancy is understood
( Click on the link or copy and paste the URL)
Gender and Play
Differences noted in play of male and female preschoolers
More rough and tumble play
Same sex playmate preference around 3
Organized games and role playing
Same sex playmate preference around 2
Expectations about gender-appropriate behavior more rigid and gender-stereotyped than adults up to 5 years
Gender outweighs ethnic variables
Preschoolers expect boys to demonstrate:
Preschoolers expect girls to demonstrate:
Theoretical Perspectives on Gender
Inborn, genetic factors produce gender differences
Gender related behavior learned from observations of others’ behaviors
Gender schemes form lens through which world is viewed
Social Learning Perspective on Gender
Gender related behaviors and expectations learned from observing others
Books, media, television perpetuate gender related behavior and expectations
Cognitive Perspective on Gender
Gender schema or cognitive framework organizes relevant gender information
Preschoolers begin developing “rules” about what is right and inappropriate for males and females
Preschoolers’ Social Lives
Increased interactions with the world at large
Peers with special qualities
Relationships based on companionship, play, entertainment
Friendship focused on completion of shared activities
View of friendship evolves with age and older preschoolers
See friendship as continuing state and stable relationship
Begin to understand concepts such as trust, support, shared interest
Friendships and Play
Children are interested in maintaining smooth social relationships with friends
Children try to avoid and/or solve disagreements
Play is critical to the overall development of young children
Changes over time
Becomes more sophisticated, interactive, cooperative
Gradually more dependent on social and cognitive skills
How can adults help?
Social skills associated with popularity can be encouraged and taught by parents, teachers, and caregivers.
Social skills are enhanced through warm, supportive home and school environments.
Functional play: simple, repetitive activities typical of 3-year-olds that may involve objects or repetitive muscular movements
Constructive play: activities in which children manipulate objects to produce or build something
By age four, children engage in constructive play that:
Tests developing cognitive skills
Practices motor skills
Facilitates problem solving
Social Aspects of Play Parten (1932)
Children play with similar toys, in a similar manner, but do not interact with each other
Children simply watch each other play
Children play by themselves
Children interact with one another in groups of two or more
Children share or borrow toys or materials, but do not do the same thing
Children play with one another, take turns, play games, and devise contests
Nature of pretend, or make-believe, play changes during the preschool period:
Becomes increasingly un realistic and more imaginative
Change from using only realistic objects to using less concrete ones
At the start of the preschool period, children may pretend to listen to a radio only if they actually have a plastic radio that looks realistic. Later, however, they are more likely to use an entirely different object, such as a large cardboard box, as a pretend radio.
Place little or no limits or control on children’s behavior
Types of Parenting and Discipline Patterns (Baumrind, 1980)
Outcomes for Children
Authoritarian parents = withdrawn, socially awkward children
Permissive parents = dependent, moody, low social skilled children
Uninvolved parents = emotionally detached, unloved, and insecure children
Authoritative parents = independent, friendly, self-assertive, and cooperative.
Outcomes for Children
Children of authoritarian parents tend to be withdrawn, showing relatively little sociability. They are not very friendly, often behaving uneasily around their peers. Girls who are raised by authoritarian parents are especially dependent on their parents, whereas boys are unusually hostile.
Permissive parents have children who, in many ways, share the undesirable characteristics of children of authoritarian parents. Children with permissive parents tend to be dependent and moody, and they are low in social skills and self-control.
Children whose parents show uninvolved parenting styles are the worst off. Their parents’ lack of involvement disrupts their emotional development considerably, leading them to feel unloved and emotionally detached, and impedes their physical and cognitive development as well.
Children of authoritative parents fare best. They generally are independent, friendly with their peers, self-assertive, and cooperative. They have strong motivation to achieve, and they are typically successful and likable. They regulate their own behavior effectively, both in terms of their relationships with others and emotional self-regulation.
Baumrind research findings chiefly apply to Western societies
Childrearing practices that parents are urged to follow reflect cultural perspectives
nature of children
role of parents
No single parenting pattern or style is likely to be universally appropriate or likely invariably to produce successful children
Child Abuse and Psychological Maltreatment
Five children are killed daily by caretakers
140,000 are physically injured
Three million are abused or neglected annually in U.S.
Range of Abuse and Maltreatment of Children in the US
Stressful environments increase likelihood for abuse
High levels of marital discord
Spanking and Child Abuse
Vague demarcation between permissible and impermissible forms of physical violence
Line between “spanking” and “beating” is not clear
Spankings begun in anger can escalate into abuse
Privacy of child care setting
Spanking and Child Abuse
Almost half of mothers with children less than 4 years of age have spanked their child in the previous week, and close to 20 percent of mothers believe it is appropriate to spank a child less than 1 year of age. In some other cultures, physical discipline is even more common.
Spanking is associated with lower quality of parent-child relationships, poorer mental health for both child and parent, higher levels of delinquency, and more antisocial behavior. Spanking also teaches children that violence is an acceptable solution to problems by serving as a model of violent, aggressive behavior. Consequently, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the use of physical punishment of any sort is not recommended.
Cycle of Violence Hypothesis
CYCLE-OF-VIOLENCE HYPOTHESIS - argues that the abuse and neglect children suffer predisposes them as adults to be abusive
Victims of abuse have learned from their childhood experiences that violence is an appropriate and acceptable form of discipline. Violence may be perpetuated from one generation to another, as each generation learns to behave abusively (and fails to learn the skills needed to solve problems and instill discipline without resorting to physical violence) through its participation in an abusive, violent family.
Not all abuse is physical!
Occurs when parents or other caretakers harm children’s behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or physical functioning
May take form of neglect in which parents may ignore or act emotionally unresponsive
Not as easily identified without outward physical signs
Abusive parents may frighten, belittle, or humiliate their children, thereby intimidating and harassing them.
Children may be made to feel like disappointments or failures, or they may be constantly reminded that they are a burden to their parents.
Parents may tell their children that they wish they had never had children and specifically that they wish that their children had never been born.
Children may be threatened with abandonment or even death. In other instances, older children may be exploited. They may be forced to seek employment and then to give their earnings to their parents.
Some children survive and grow into psychologically healthy adults
Others suffer long-term damage:
Low self-esteem, depression, suicide
Underachievement in school
Abuse and Brain Development: A Tragic Relationship
Brains of victims undergo permanent changes
Reductions in size of amygdala and hippocampus in adulthood
Changes due to overstimulation of the limbic system
The stress, fear, and terror produced by abuse may also produce permanent changes in the brain due to overstimulation of the limbic system. Because the limbic system is involved in the regulation of memory and emotion, the result can be antisocial behavior during adulthood.
Warning Signs for Child Abuse
Visible, serious injuries that have no reasonable explanation
Bite or choke marks
Burns from cigarettes or immersion in hot water
Feelings of pain for unexplained reasons
Fear of adults or care providers
Inappropriate attire in warm weather
Fear of physical contact
Ability to overcome circumstances that place child at high risk for psychological and/or physical damage
Exhibit ability to overcome circumstances that place child at high risk for psychological and/or physical functioning
Resilient Children Werner (1995)
Temperaments that evoke responses from wide variety of caregivers
Affectionate, easy going, good-natured
Easily soothed as infants
Able to evoke whatever support available in environment
Socially pleasant, outgoing, good communication skills
Relatively intelligent, independent
Characteristics of resilient children suggest ways to improve the prospects of children who are at risk from a variety of developmental threats.
Successfully Disciplining Children
For most children in Western cultures, authoritative parenting works best
Spanking is never an appropriate discipline technique
Tailor parental discipline to the characteristics of the child and the situation
Use routines to avoid conflict
Not all models are equally effective in producing prosocial responses.
Preschoolers are more apt to model the behavior of warm, responsive adults than of adults who appear colder.
Models viewed as highly competent or high in prestige are more effective than others.
Modeling paves the way for development of more general rules and principles in a process called abstract modeling.
Children do more than simply mimic unthinkingly
By observing moral conduct, children are reminded of:
Society’s norms about importance of moral behavior as conveyed by significant others
Connections between particular situations and certain kinds of behavior
Empathy and Moral Behavior
Empathy —the understanding of what another individual feels.
Empathy lies at heart of some kinds of moral behavior
Roots of empathy grow early
Infants - One-year-old infants cry when they hear other infants crying.
Toddlers - By 2 and 3, toddlers will offer gifts and spontaneously share toys with other children and adults, even if they are strangers.
Preschoolers - During the preschool years, empathy continues to grow as children’s ability to monitor and regulate their emotional and cognitive responses increases.
Emotional self-regulation is the capability to adjust emotions to a desired state and level of intensity.
Preschool children improve in emotional control
Around age 2,
Talk about feelings and engage in regulation strategies
Develop more effective strategies and sophisticated social skills, learn to better cope with negative emotions
Learn to use language to express wishes
Become increasingly able to negotiate with others
Aggression - Intentional injury or harm to another person; relatively stable trait
Early preschool years and aggression
Often addressed at attaining desired goal
Declines through preschool years as does frequency and average length of episodes
Extreme and sustained aggression is cause of concern
Aggression among preschoolers is quite common, though violent attacks are not. The potential for verbal hostility, shoving matches, kicking, and other forms of aggression is present throughout the preschool period, although the degree to which aggression is acted out changes as children become older.
Kinds of Aggression
Instrumental aggression - is aggression motivated by the desire to obtain a concrete goal, such as playing with a desirable toy that another child is playing with.
Motivated by desire to obtain a concrete goal
Higher in boys than girls
Relational aggression - which is non-physical aggression that is intended to hurt another person’s feelings.
Intended to hurt another person’s feelings through non-physical means
Higher in girls than boys
Explanations for Aggressive Behavior Among Children
FREUD: death drive leads aggressive actions and behavior
LORENZ: fighting instinct found in all humans
SOCIOBIOLOGISTS: strengthening species drives aggression
SOCIAL-LEARNING: prior learning shapes aggression
COGNITIVE: interpretation of others’ actions and situations influences aggression
Albert Bandura Social Learning Theory and Aggression
Bobo doll studies:
(click on the link below or cut and paste the URL)
Albert Bandura Social Learning Theory and Aggression
As predicted by social learning approaches, the preschool-age children modeled the behavior of the adult. Those who had seen the aggressive model playing with the Bobo doll were considerably more aggressive than those who had watched the calm, non-aggressive model playing with the Tinkertoys.
Findings have profound consequences, particularly for children who live in communities in which violence is prevalent.
One survey conducted in a city public hospital found that 1 in 10 children under the age of 6 said they had witnessed a shooting or stabbing. Other research indicates that one-third of the children in some urban neighborhoods have seen a homicide and that two-thirds have seen a serious assault. Such frequent exposure to violence certainly increases the probability that observers will behave aggressively themselves.
Television and Aggression
Children’s television programs actually contain higher levels of violence (69 %) than other types of programs (57%)
Results are primarily correlational, the overwhelming weight of research evidence is clear in suggesting that observation of televised aggression does lead to subsequent aggression. Longitudinal studies have found that children’s preferences for violent television shows at age 8 are related to the seriousness of criminal convictions by age 30.
Observation of media violence can lead to a greater readiness to act aggressively, bullying, and to an insensitivity to the suffering of victims of violence.
See APA Online study: http://www.apa.org/releases/media_violence.html
The One-Eyed Monster? Children’s programs contain more than twice as many violent incidents than other types of programs.
How to Increasing Moral Behavior and Reduce Aggression
Provide opportunities for preschool-age children to observe others acting in a cooperative, helpful, prosocial manner. Encourage them to interact with peers in joint activities in which they share a common goal. Such cooperative activities can teach the importance and desirability of working with—and helping—others.
Do not ignore aggressive behavior. Parents and teachers should intervene when they see aggression in preschoolers, and send a clear message that aggression is an unacceptable means to resolve conflicts.
Help preschoolers devise alternative explanations for others’ behavior. This is particularly important for children who are prone to aggression and who may be apt to view others’ conduct as more hostile than it actually is. Parents and teachers should help such children see that the behavior of their peers has several possible interpretations.
Monitor preschoolers’ television viewing, particularly the violence that they view. There is good evidence that observation of televised aggression results in subsequent increases in children’s levels of aggression. At the same time, encourage preschoolers to watch particular shows that are designed, in part, to increase the level of moral conduct, such as Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and Barney.