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  1. 1. PSYC 50 Developmental Psychology SECTION 4: EARLY CHILDHOOD Chapter 9: Socioemotional Development in Early Childhood EMOTIONAL AND PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT The Self  Initiative Versus Guilt o Childrenhave becomeconvincedthat theyarepersons of their own; mustdiscover what kind ofperson they will become. o Children at this stage exuberantly move out into a wider social world. o The great governor ofinitiative is conscience. o Their initiative and enthusiasm may bring them not only rewards but also punishments. o If children aremade to feelthat their motoractivity is bad, thattheirquestions area nuisance,andthattheir play is silly and stupid, thenthey often develop a sense of guilt over self-initiated activities that may persist through life’s later stages.  Self-Understanding is the child’s representation of self, the substance and content ofself-conceptions. o Based on the various roles and membershipcategories that define who children are. o The roots of self-understanding begin with self- recognition, which takes place by approximately 18 months ofage. o Young children distinguish themselves from others through many different physical and material attributes. o The active dimensionis a central component oftheself in early childhood. Preschool children often describe themselves in terms ofactivities such as play. Emotional Development  Young Children’s Emotion Language and Understanding o Between 2 and 3 years ofage, children continue to increase the number of terms they use to describe emotion. o At 4 to 5 years of age, children show an increased ability to reflect on emotions. o They show a growing awareness about controlling and managing emotions to meet social standards.  Self-ConsciousEmotions requirethatchildren beable to refer to themselves and beaware ofthemselves as distinct from others. o Pride, shame, embarrassment, and guilt are self- conscious emotions. o They are especially influenced by parents’ responses children’s behavior. o In one study, girls showed moreshameandpridethan boys.  Emotion-Coaching and Emotion-Dismissing Parents o Emotion-coaching parents monitor their children’s emotions, viewtheirchildren’s negative emotions as opportunities for teaching, assist them in labeling emotions, andcoach them in how to deal effectively with emotions. o Emotion-dismissing parents viewtheirroleas todeny, ignore, or change negative emotions. Approximate Age ofChild Description 2 to 3 years Increase emotion vocabulary most rapidly. Correctlylabel simple emotions inselfand others and talk about past, present, and future emotions. Talk about thecauses andconsequences ofsome emotions and identify emotions associatedwith certain situations. Use emotion language in pretend play. 4 to 5 years Show increased capacity to reflect verbally on emotions and to considermorecomplex relations betweenemotions and situations. Understandthatthesame event may call forth different feelings in different people and that feelings sometimes persist long after the events that caused them. Demonstrate growing awareness about controlling and managing emotions in accord with social standards. Some Characteristics of Young Children’s Emotion Language and Understanding Moral Developmentinvolves the development ofthoughts, feelings, and behaviors regarding rules and conventions about what people should do in their interactions with other people.  Piaget’sView ofMoral Reasoning o 4 to 7 years of age, children display heteronomous morality, the first stage of moral development in Piaget’s theory. Children think ofjustice and rules as unchangeableproperties ofthe world, removed from the control ofpeople. o 7 to 10 years of age, children are in a transition showing some features of the first stage of moral reasoning and some features of the second stage, autonomous morality. o 10 years ofage andolder, children show autonomous morality, the second stage of moral development. They becomeaware that rules andlaws are createdby people, and in judging an action, they consider the actor’s intentions as well as the consequences. o The heteronomous thinkeralsobelieves in immanent justice, Piaget’s concept that if a rule is broken, punishment will be meted out immediately.  Moral Behavior o The process of reinforcement, punishment, and imitationareused to explainchildren’s moral behavior. o Moral behavior is influenced extensively by the situation. The totally honest child was virtually nonexistent; so was the child who cheated in all situations. o Social cognitivetheorists alsobelievethattheability to resisttemptation is closely tied to thedevelopment of self-control.  Moral Feeling o Superego, the moralbranch ofpersonality according to Freud, thatdevelops as thechild resolves theOedipus conflict and identifies with thesame-sex parent in the early childhood years.
  2. 2. o Among the reasons children resolve the Oedipus conflict is thefear oflosing their parents’ love and of being punishedfor theirunacceptable sexual wishes toward the opposite-sex parent. o In the psychoanalytic account ofmoral development, the self-punitiveness ofguilt is responsiblefor keeping the child from committing transgressions. That is, childrenconform tosocietal standards to avoid guilt. o Positivefeelings, such as empathy, contribute to the child’s moral development. Empathy is reacting to another’s feelings with anemotional response that is similar to the other’s feelings. Gender refers tothesocialand psychological dimensions ofbeing male or female. Two aspects of gender bear special mention: 1. Gender identity is thesense ofbeing maleor female, which most children acquire by the time they are 3 years old. 2. Gender role is a set ofexpectations thatprescribes how females or males should think, act, and feel.  Biological Influences o Estrogens, such as estradiol, influence the development offemale physical sex characteristics. o Androgens, such as testosterone, promote the development ofmale physical sex characteristics.  Social Influences o Parents are onlyone ofmany sources through which children learn gender roles. o Social Theories ofGender 1. Social Role Theory, which states that gender differences result from the contrasting roles of women and men. 2. Psychoanalytic Theory of Gender, the child identifies with the same-sex parent, unconsciously adopting the same-sex parent’s characteristics. 3. Social Cognitive Theory of Gender, children’s gender development occurs throughobservation and imitation, and through the rewards and punishments children experience for gender- appropriateandgender-inappropriatebehavior. o Parental Influences o Parents by actionand by example, influence their children’s gender development. o Mothers are more consistently given responsibility for nurturance and physical care. o Fathers aremore likely to engage inplayful interaction and to be given responsibility for ensuring that boys andgirls conform to existing cultural norms. o Fathers seem to play as especially important partin gender-roledevelopment. They are more likely than mothers to act differently towards sons and daughters. o Peer Influences o Gender composition of children’s groups. Around the ageof3, children already show a preferenceto spend time with same-sex playmates. From 4 to 12 years ofage, this preference for playing in same-sex groups increases, and during theelementary school years children spend a large majority of their free time with children oftheir own sex. o Group size. From about 5 years of age onward, boys aremore likely to associate together in larger clusters than girls are. Boys are also more likely to participate in organized group games than girls are. Girls were more likely than boys to play in dyads or triads, while boys were more likely to interact inlarger groups and seek to attain a group goal. o Interaction in same-sex groups. Boys are more likely than girls to engage in rough- and-tumble play, competition, conflict, ego displays, risk taking, and seeking dominance. By contrast, girls are more likely to engage in “collaborative discourse,” in which they talk and act in a more reciprocal manner.  Cognitive Influences o Two cognitivetheories stress thatindividuals actively construct their gender world: 1. CognitiveDevelopmental Theory ofGender states that children’s gender typing occurs after children think of themselves as boys and girls. 2. Gender Schema Theory states that gender typing emerges as children gradually developgender schemas of what is gender-appropriate and gender- inappropriate in their culture. o Schema is a cognitivestructure, a network ofassociations that guide an individual’s perceptions. o Gender schema organizes the world in terms offemale and male. FAMILIES Parenting  Parenting Styles According to Diana Baumrind(1971), parents should neither punitive nor aloof. Rather, they shoulddeveloprules for their children and beaffectionate with them. She identified four types: 1. AuthoritarianParentingis a restrictive, punitive style in which parents exhort the child to follow their directions and respect their work and effort; places limits and controls and allows little verbal exchange;might spank the child frequently, enforce rules rigidly but not explain them, and show rage toward the child; Childrenareoften unhappy, fearful, andanxious; they oftenfailto initiate activity, and have weak communication skills. 2. AuthoritativeParentingencourages children to be independent but still places limits and controls on their actions; extensive verbal give-and-take is allowed; children are often cheerful, self- controlled, self-reliant, and achievement-oriented; maintain friendly relations withpeers, cooperatewith adults, andcopewell with stress.
  3. 3. 3. Neglectful parenting is a style in which the parent is very uninvolved in the child’s life; Children tend to be socially incompetent; may have poor self-control and don’t handle independence well; Frequently have low self-esteem, are immature,andmay bealienatedfrom thefamily. Inadolescence, they may show patterns oftruancy and delinquency. 4. Indulgent Parentingis a style ofparenting in which parents are very involved with their children but place few demands or controls on them. Theseparents let their children do what they want. Childrenrarely learn respectfor others and have difficulty controlling their behavior. They might be domineering, egocentric,noncompliant, andhave difficulties in peer relations. Classification ofParenting Styles Accepting,Responsive Rejecting, Unresponsive Demanding, Controlling Authoritative Authoritarian Undemanding, Uncontrolling Indulgent Neglectful  Punishment Here are some of the reasons whyspanking or other forms ofintense punishment with children should be avoided: o When intense punishment such as yelling, screaming, or spanking is used,the adult is presenting the child with an out-of-control model for handling stressful situations. o Can still fear, rage, or avoidance in children. o Tells children what not to do rather than what to do. o Can be abusive.  Most child psychologists recommend reasoning with the child, especially explaining the consequences ofthe child’s actions for others, as thebestwayto handlechildren’s misbehaviors (Strauss, 2001).  Time-out, in which thechild is removedfrom a setting where the child experiences positivereinforcement, can also be effective.  Child Abuse is a diverse condition, that it is usually mild to moderate in severity, and that it is only partially caused by personalitycharacteristics ofthe parent. The abuser is a raging, uncontrolled physical abuser, in many cases the abuser is an overwhelmed single mother in poverty who neglects the child. o The public andmany professionals use the term child abuse to refer to both abuse and neglect, developmentalists increasingly use the term child maltreatment.  The four main types ofchild maltreatment: 1. Physical abuse is characterized by the infliction ofphysical injury as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, shaking, or otherwise physically harming the child. 2. Child neglect is characterized by failure to provide for the child’s basic needs. a. Physical neglectincludes refusal of, or delay in, seeking health care; abandonment; expulsion from the home orrefusal to allow a runaway to return home; and inadequate supervision. b. Educational neglect involves the allowance of chronic truancy, failure to enroll a child of mandatory school age in school, and failure to attend to a special education need. c. Emotional neglect includes such actions as marked inattention to the child’s needs for affection; refusal of or failure to provide necessary psychologicalcare; spouseabusein the child’s presence; and allowing drug or alcohol use by the child. 3. Sexual abuse includes fondling a child’s genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, exhibitionism, and commercial exploitation through prostitution or the production ofpornographic materials. o Most underreported type of child maltreatment because ofthe secrecy or “conspiracy ofsilence” 4. Emotional abuse (psychological abuse/verbal abuse/mental injury) includes acts oromissions by parents or other caregivers thathave caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, or emotional problems.  Coparenting  Parental cooperation and warmth are linked with children’s prosocial behaviorandcompetence in peer relations.  Good Parenting Takes Time and Effort Sibling Relationships and Birth Order  Sibling Relationships includehelping, sharing,teaching, fighting, and playing. Childrencan act as emotional supports, rivals, and communication partners.  Birth Order  Birth order by itself often is not a good predictor of behavior. The Changing Family in aChanging Society  Working Parents o As Lois Hoffman (1989) commented, maternal employmentis a partofmodernlife. The needs ofthe growing childrequirethemother to loosen her hold on the child. o A number ofresearchers have found no detrimental effects of maternal employment on children’s development.  Children in Divorced Families o Are children better adjusted in intact, never-divorced families than in divorced families?  Most researchers agree that children from divorced families showpooreradjustment.  More likely tohaveacademic problems, to show externalized problems, and internalized problems.  One recentstudy found that 20years after their parents had divorced when they were children, approx.80% ofadults concluded that their parents’ decisionto divorcewas a wise one.
  4. 4. o Should parents stay together for the sake of the children?  Marital conflict may have negative consequences for children in thecontext of marriage or divorce. o How much do family processes matter in divorced families?  A number ofresearchers have shown that a disequilibrium, which includes diminished parenting skills, occurs in the year following the divorcebutthat, by twoyears after the divorce, restabilization has occurred and parenting skills have improved. o What factors are involved in the child’s individual risk and vulnerability in a divorced family?  Child’s adjustment prior to the divorce, as well as the child’s personality and temperament, gender, and custody situation.  Children in join-custody families were better adjusted than children in sole- custody families (Bauserman, 2002).  Gay and Lesbian Parents o Approximately 20%oflesbians and 10% ofgaymenare parents, mostofwhomhavechildrenfrom a heterosexual marriage thatended ina divorce (Patterson, 2002). o An important aspect oflesbianand gay families with childrenis thesexual identity ofparents at the time of a child’s birthor adoption (Patterson,2002). o Another issue focuses oncustody arrangements for children(Peplau &Beals, 2004). o Researchers havefoundfew differences among childrengrowing upwith lesbianmothers or gay fathers andchildrengrowing upwith heterosexual parents (Patterson, 2002). PEER RELATIONS, PLAY, AND TELEVISION Peer Relations  Good peer relations can be necessary for normal social development. Special concerns focus on children who are withdrawn and aggressive. Peers are children of about the same age or maturity level. Play is a pleasurable activity that is engaged in for its own sake.  Play’sFunctions o Play increases affiliationwithpeers,releases tension, advances cognitive development, increases exploration, and provides a safe haven in which to engage in potentially dangerous behavior. o According to Freudand Erikson, play is an especially useful form ofhuman adjustment, helping the child master anxieties and conflicts.  Play therapy allows the child to work off frustrations. o Piaget maintained that play advances children’s cognitive development. Play permits children to practice their competencies and acquired skills in a relaxed, pleasurable way. o Vygotsky also considered play to be an excellent setting for cognitive development. o Daniel Berlyne described play as exciting and pleasurablein itselfbecause it satisfies ourexploratory drive.  Parten’s Classic Study ofPlay (Mildred Parten, 1932) o Unoccupied play. The child may stand in one spot or perform randommovements that donotseemto have a goal. o Solitary play. Happens when a child plays alone and independently ofothers. o Onlooker play. Takes place when the child watches other children play. o Parallel play. Occurs when thechild plays separately from others but with toys like those the others are using or in a manner that mimics their play. o Associative play. Involves socialinteraction with little or no organization. Children seem to be more interested in each other than in the tasks they are performing. o Cooperative play. Consists ofsocial interaction in a group with a sense of group identity and organized activity. Formal games, competitionaimed at winning, and groups formed by the teacher for doing things together are examples ofcooperative play.  Typesof Play o Sensorimotor play is behavior that is engaged in by infants toderivepleasure fromexercising their existing sensorimotor schemas. o PracticePlay involves therepetition ofbehavior when new skills are being learned or when physical or mental mastery and coordination ofskills are required for games or sports. Ex. Running, jumping, sliding, twirling, and throwing balls or other objects. o Pretense/Symbolic Play. Occurs when the child transforms the physical environment into a symbol. Many experts on playconsider the preschool years the “golden age” of symbolic/pretense play that is dramatic or sociodramatic in nature. This type of make-believeplay often appears at about 18 months ofage and reaches a peakat 4 to 5 years ofage, then gradually declines. o Social play. Playthat involves social interaction with peers. o Constructive play. Combines sensorimotor and repetitive activity with symbolic representation of ideas.Occurs when children engage in self-regulated creation or construction of a product or a problem solution. o Games. Are activities that are engaged infor pleasure that includerules and often competition with one or more individuals.  In one study, thehighestincidenceofgame playing occurredbetween 10 and 12 years ofage (Eiferman, 1971).
  5. 5. Television  In the 1990s, children watched an average of 26 hours of television each week, whichis more than any otheractivity except sleep (NationalCenter for Children Exposed to Violence, 2001).  Up to 80% of the prime-timeshows includeviolentacts, including beatings, shootings, and stabbings. The frequency ofviolence increases on theSaturday morning cartoon shows,whichaverage more than 25 violent acts per hour.  Effects of Television on Children’s Aggression and Prosocial Behavior  Exposure tomedia violenceat 6to 10years ofagewas linked with young adult aggressive behavior for both males and females (Heusmann & others, 2003).  There is increased concern about children who play violent video games,especially those that are highly realistic (Vastag, 2004).  Adolescents who frequently play violent electronic games are more likely to engage in delinquent behavior and are rated as more aggressive by their teachers (Anderson & Dill, 2000).  A recent panelofleading experts concludedthat media violencecan haveharmful short-term and long-term effects on children (Anderson, 2003).  Televisioncan also teach children that it is better to behave inpositive, prosocial ways than in negative, antisocial ways ( Wilson, 2001). References: Kail, R. V. and Cavanaugh, J. C. (2013). Human Development: A Life Span View. 6th edition. Cengage Learning Asia Pte Ltd. Santrock, J.W. (2006). Life-Span Perspective.10th Edition. McGraw-Hill. New York. Prepared by: Mrs. Maria Angela L. Diopol Instructor