Lifespan psychology lecture 4.3


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Lifespan psychology lecture 4.3

  1. 1. Chapter 4: Middle Childhood Module 4.3 Social and Personality Development in Middle Childhood
  2. 2. Erikson – Psychosocial Development <ul><li>Industry vs. Inferiority </li></ul><ul><li>6 to 12 years of age </li></ul><ul><li>Industry = feelings of mastery and proficiency and a growing sense of competence </li></ul><ul><li>Inferiority = feelings of failure and inadequacy </li></ul><ul><li>Characterized by a focus on efforts to attain competence in meeting the challenges related to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>School </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other complexities of the modern world </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. School Age Children <ul><li>During middle childhood, children begin to view themselves: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Less in terms of external physical attributes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More in terms of psychological traits </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Children realize they are good at some things and not so good at others </li></ul><ul><li>Self-concept and self-esteem continue to develop </li></ul>
  4. 4. Development of Self-esteem <ul><li>Children look to others who are similar to themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Children increasingly compare themselves to others </li></ul><ul><li>Children are developing their own standards </li></ul>
  5. 5. Development of Self-esteem <ul><li>Overall, self-esteem increases during middle childhood: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As children progress into the middle childhood years, however, their self-esteem is higher for some areas and lower in others. For example, a boy’s overall self-esteem may be composed of positive self-esteem in some areas (such as the positive feelings he gets from his artistic ability) and more negative self-esteem in others (such as the unhappiness he feels over his athletic skills). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On the other hand, students with high self-esteem travel a more positive path, falling into a cycle of success. Having higher expectations leads to increased effort and lower anxiety, increasing the probability of success. In turn, this helps affirm their higher self-esteem that began the cycle. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Promoting Development of Self-esteem <ul><li>Use authoritative child-rearing style: </li></ul><ul><li>Authoritative parents are warm and emotionally supportive, while still setting clear limits for their children’s behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>In contrast, other parenting styles have less positive effects on self-esteem. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parents who are highly punitive and controlling send a message to their children that they are untrustworthy and unable to make good decisions—a message that can undermine children’s sense of adequacy. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highly indulgent parents, who indiscriminately praise and reinforce their children regardless of their actual performance, can create a false sense of self-esteem in their children, which ultimately may be just as damaging to children. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Race and Self-Esteem <ul><li>Early research found that African Americans had lower self-esteem than whites - Set of pioneering studies a generation ago found that African American children shown black and white dolls preferred the white dolls over the black ones (Clark & Clark, 1947). </li></ul><ul><li>Picture is more complex regarding relative levels of self-esteem between members of different racial and ethnic groups: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>White children initially show higher self-esteem than black children, black children begin to show slightly higher self-esteem than white children around the age of 11. This shift occurs as African-American children become more identified with their racial group, develop more complex views of racial identity, and increasingly view the positive aspects of their group membership. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hispanic children, also show an increase in self-esteem toward the end of middle childhood, although even in adolescence their self-esteem still trails that of whites. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In contrast, Asian-American children show the opposite pattern: their self-esteem in elementary school is higher than whites and blacks, but by the end childhood, their self-esteem is lower than that of whites. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Social Identity Theory <ul><li>Members of a minority group accept negative views held by majority group only if they perceive little realistic possibility of changing power and status differences between groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If minority group members feel that prejudice and discrimination can be reduced, and they blame society for the prejudice and not themselves, self-esteem should not differ between majority and minority groups. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As group pride and ethnic awareness on the part of minority group members has grown, differences in self-esteem between members of different ethnic groups have narrowed. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Children of Immigrant Families <ul><li>More than 13 million children in the U.S. are either foreign born or the children of immigrants—some one-fifth of the total population of children. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tend to have equal or better grades than children with US born parents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often more highly motivated to succeed and place greater value on education than do children in nonimmigrant families </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Show similar levels of self-esteem to nonimmigrant children </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Report feeling less popular and less in control of their lives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The story is less clear, however, when immigrant children reach adolescence and adulthood. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Moral Development: Kohlberg <ul><li>Proposes series of fixed stages in development of moral reasoning </li></ul><ul><li>Uses moral dilemmas to assess moral reasoning </li></ul><ul><li>Provides good account of moral judgment but not adequate at predicting moral behavior </li></ul>
  11. 11. Kohlberg Stages <ul><ul><li>Preconventional Morality (stages 1 & 2): people follow unvarying rules based on rewards and punishments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conventional Morality (stages 3 & 4) is where people approach problems in terms of their own position as good, responsible members of society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Postconventional Morality (stages 5 & 6) is where universal moral principles are invoked and considered broader than a particular society </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Kohlberg Criticisms <ul><li>Based solely on observations of members of Western cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Theory initially based largely on data from males </li></ul>
  13. 13. Carol Gilligan <ul><li>Way boys and girls raised leads to differences in moral reasoning: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Boys view morality primarily in terms of justice and fairness. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Girls see morality in terms of responsibility and compassion toward individuals and a willingness to sacrifice for relationships. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Suggests Kohlberg’s theory inadequate and places girls’ moral reasoning at lower level than boys’ </li></ul>
  14. 14. Gilligan’s Stages of Morality in Girls
  15. 15. Friends in Middle Childhood <ul><li>Provide emotional support and help kids to handle stress </li></ul><ul><li>Teach children how to manage and control their emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Teach about communication with others </li></ul><ul><li>Foster intellectual growth </li></ul><ul><li>Allow children to practice relationship skills </li></ul>
  16. 16. Damon’s Stages of Friendship <ul><li>Stage 1 (ages 4-7 years) </li></ul><ul><li>Children see friends as like themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Children see friends as people to share toys and activities with </li></ul><ul><li>Children do not take into account personal traits </li></ul>
  17. 17. Damon’s Stages of Friendship <ul><li>Stage 2 (ages 8-10 years) </li></ul><ul><li>Children now begin to take other’s personal qualities and traits into consideration </li></ul><ul><li>Friends are viewed in terms of kinds of rewards they provide </li></ul><ul><li>Friendships are based on mutual trust </li></ul>
  18. 18. Damon’s Stages of Friendship <ul><li>Stage 3 (ages 11-15 years) </li></ul><ul><li>Friendships become based on intimacy and loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>Friendships involve mutual disclosure and exclusivity </li></ul>
  19. 19. Status Hierarchies <ul><li>Children’s friendships show clear hierarchies in terms of STATUS </li></ul><ul><li>STATUS is the evaluation of a role or person by other relevant members of a group </li></ul>
  20. 20. High Status Children <ul><li>Form friendships with high status children </li></ul><ul><li>More likely to form exclusive and desirable cliques </li></ul><ul><li>Tend to play with a greater number of children </li></ul><ul><li>Have greater access to resources such as games, toys, books, and information </li></ul>
  21. 21. Low Status Children <ul><li>Form friendships with other lower status children </li></ul><ul><li>Tend to play with a lower number of children than higher status children </li></ul><ul><li>Are more likely to play with younger or less popular children </li></ul><ul><li>Tend to follow the lead of higher status children </li></ul>
  22. 22. Social Competence <ul><li>Social Competence - A collection of individual social skills that permit children to perform successfully in social settings. </li></ul><ul><li>High social competence correlated with popularity </li></ul>
  23. 23. Popular Children <ul><li>Helpful and cooperative </li></ul><ul><li>Good sense of humor </li></ul><ul><li>Good emotional understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for help when necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Not overly reliant on others </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptive to social situations </li></ul><ul><li>Social problem-solving skill competence </li></ul><ul><li>Exception: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Although generally popular children are friendly, open, and cooperative, one subset of popular boys displays an array of negative behaviors, including being aggressive, disruptive, and causing trouble. Despite these behaviors, they may be viewed as cool and tough by their peers, and they are often remarkably popular. This popularity may occur in part because they are seen as boldly breaking rules that others feel constrained to follow. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Unpopular Children <ul><li>Lack social competence </li></ul><ul><li>Immature or inappropriately silly </li></ul><ul><li>Overly aggressive and overbearing </li></ul><ul><li>Withdrawn or shy </li></ul><ul><li>Unattractive, handicapped, obese, or slow academically </li></ul>
  25. 25. Unpopular Children <ul><li>Lack of popularity may take two forms: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NEGLECTED CHILDREN receive relatively little attention from their peers in the form of either positive or negative interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>REJECTED CHILDREN are actively disliked and their peers may react to them in an obviously negative manner </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Teaching Social Competence <ul><li>Several programs teach children set of social skills that underlie general social competence: </li></ul><ul><li>Susan H. Spence. (2003) Social Skills Training with Children and Young People: Theory, Evidence and Practice. Child and Adolescent Mental Health : 2, 84–96. </li></ul><ul><li>Making Friends: Parents Can Teach Children How to Make Friends/Boystown Tip Sheet. Available at: </li></ul>
  27. 27. Bullying <ul><li>160,000 U.S. schoolchildren stay home from school each day because they are afraid of being bullied </li></ul><ul><li>About 10 to 15 percent of students bully others at one time or another. </li></ul><ul><li>About half of all bullies come from abusive homes. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Bullying <ul><li>Some 90 percent of middle-school students report being bullied at some point in their time at school, beginning as early as the preschool years </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics of Bullied Children: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Loners who are fairly passive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often cry easily </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack the social skills that might otherwise defuse a bullying situation </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Bullying <ul><li>Suggested Reading: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School--How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence Barbara Coloroso </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Bullying - Relational Aggression Among Girls <ul><li>Suggested reading: </li></ul><ul><li>Odd Girl Speaks Out: Girls Write about Bullies, Cliques, Popularity, and Jealousy Rachel Simmons </li></ul><ul><li>Mean Chicks, Cliques, and Dirty Tricks: A Real Girl's Guide to Getting Through the Day With Smarts and Style Erika V Shearin Karres </li></ul><ul><li>GirlWise: How to Be Confident, Capable, Cool, and in Control Julia Devillers </li></ul><ul><li>Mean Girls Grown Up: Adult Women Who Are Still Queen Bees, Middle Bees, and Afraid-to-Bees Cheryl Dellasega </li></ul><ul><li>Surviving Ophelia: Mothers Share Their Wisdom in Navigating the Tumultuous Teenage Years Cheryl Dellasega </li></ul>
  31. 31. Sex-Segregated Friendships <ul><li>Avoidance of opposite sex becomes very pronounced during middle childhood </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s friendships are almost entirely sex-segregated </li></ul><ul><li>When sexes interact it is called “border work”, it is often romantic, and helps emphasize clear boundaries between sexes </li></ul>
  32. 32. Boys and Friendship <ul><li>Larger networks of friends than girls do </li></ul><ul><li>Strict DOMINANCE HIERARCHY - which is composed of rankings that represent the relative social power of those in a group hierarchy. </li></ul><ul><li>Attempt to maintain and improve status in hierarchy, makes for a style of play known as restrictive play where interactions are interrupted when status is challenged. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Girls and Friendships <ul><li>Focus on one or two “best friends” of relatively equal status </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicts solved by compromise, ignoring situation, or giving in </li></ul><ul><li>Can be confrontational with other girls not their friends </li></ul><ul><li>Language is less confrontational and direct than boys’ </li></ul>
  34. 34. Cross-Race Friendships <ul><li>Closest friendships largely with others of same race </li></ul><ul><li>Decline with age in number and depth of friendships outside own racial group </li></ul><ul><li>By the time they are 11 or 12, it appears that African American children become particularly aware of and sensitive to the prejudice and discrimination directed toward members of their race. </li></ul><ul><li>At that point, they are more like to make distinctions between members of ingroups (groups to which people feel they belong) and members of outgroups. </li></ul><ul><li>A good deal of research supports the notion that contact between majority and minority group members can reduce prejudice and discrimination (Kerner & Aboud, 1998; Hewstone, 2003). </li></ul>
  35. 35. Cross-Race Friendships <ul><li>Reducing prejudice through contact between groups: </li></ul><ul><li>Must occur in equal status settings </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced through cooperative activities that are important to children </li></ul><ul><li>Must promote equality and disconfirm negative stereotypes </li></ul>
  36. 36. What Parents and Teachers can do to increase social competence: <ul><li>It is clear that building and maintaining friendships is critical in children’s lives: </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage social interaction. Teachers can devise ways in which children are led to take part in group activities, and parents can encourage membership in such groups as Brownies and Cub Scouts or participation in team sports. </li></ul><ul><li>Teach listening skills to children. Show them how to listen carefully and respond to the underlying meaning of a communication as well as its overt content. </li></ul><ul><li>Make children aware that people display emotions and moods nonverbally and that consequently they should pay attention to others’ nonverbal behavior, not just to what they are saying on a verbal level. </li></ul><ul><li>Teach conversational skills, including the importance of asking questions and self-disclosure. Encourage students to use “I” statements in which they clarify their own feelings or opinions, and avoid making generalizations about others. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ask children to choose teams or groups publicly. Instead, assign children randomly: It works just as well in ensuring a distribution of abilities across groups and avoids the public embarrassment of a situation in which some children are chosen last. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Middle Childhood in the 21 st Century <ul><ul><li>Increasing independence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Co-regulation with parents - children and parents jointly control behavior. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sibling relationships and rivalry - Although brothers and sisters can provide support, companionship, and a sense of security, they can also be a source of strife. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increase in the number of parents who both work outside of the home </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increase in divorce rate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increase in single-parent families </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. When Both Parents Work Outside the Home <ul><li>In most cases, children fare quite well </li></ul><ul><li>When parents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are loving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are sensitive to their children’s needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide appropriate substitute care </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Good adjustment of children relates to psychological adjustment of parents, especially mothers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In general, women who are satisfied with their lives tend to be more nurturing with their children. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When work provides a high level of satisfaction, then, mothers who work outside of the home may be more psychologically supportive of their children. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Children with mothers and fathers who work full-time spend essentially the same amount of time with family, in class, with friends, and alone as children in families where one parent stays at home. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Self-Care Children <ul><li>Youngsters who let themselves into their homes after school and wait alone until their parents return from work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consequences of being a latchkey child are not all harmful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some children report being lonely </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some children develop a sense of independence and competence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some research shows latchkey children have higher self-esteem because they are helping family </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. Divorce <ul><li>Only half of children in the U.S. will pass through childhood living with both parents each of whom has been married only once </li></ul><ul><li>School-age children tend to blame themselves for the breakup </li></ul><ul><li>By the age of 10, children feel pressure to choose sides, taking the position of either the mother or the father. Because of this, they experience some degree of divided loyalty. </li></ul><ul><li>For many children, there are minimal long-term consequences. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Immediately after the Divorce <ul><li>Both children and parents may show several types of psychological maladjustments for 6 months to 2 years </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anxiety </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sleep disturbances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phobias </li></ul></ul>
  42. 42. Rediscovering the Status Quo <ul><li>After 18 months to 2 years, most children return to their predivorce psychological adjustment </li></ul><ul><li>Twice as many children of divorced parents require psychological counseling as do children from intact families </li></ul><ul><li>For some children, living in a home with unhappy marriage and which is high in conflict has stronger negative consequences than divorce </li></ul><ul><li>How children react to divorce depends on several factors. One is the economic standing of the family the child is living with. In many cases, divorce brings a decline in both parents' standards of living. When this occurs, children may be thrown into poverty. </li></ul>
  43. 43. Single Parents <ul><li>Almost one-quarter of all children under 18 in the U.S. live with only one parent </li></ul><ul><li>Numbers are higher for minority children </li></ul><ul><ul><li>60% of African-American children live in single parent homes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>35% of Hispanic children live in single parent homes </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. Single Parents <ul><li>In majority of cases, single parent is mother </li></ul><ul><li>Consequences of living in single parent home depend on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Whether other parent ever lived at home </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic status </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amount of time that the parent is able to spend with the child </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Degree of stress in the household </li></ul></ul>
  45. 45. Multigenerational Families <ul><li>Opportunity for rich experiences and conflicts </li></ul><ul><li>Greater among African Americans than among Caucasians </li></ul><ul><li>In some families, cultural norms tend to be highly supportive of grandparents taking an active role </li></ul>
  46. 46. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren <ul><li>In 1980, 2.3 million (4%) children under 18 were living in a grandparent(s)' home </li></ul><ul><li>Now around 4 million (6%) living with grandparents </li></ul><ul><li>  Age: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>48% of grandparent caregivers range between 50 and 64 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>33% under the age of 50 and 19% over the age of 65 </li></ul></ul>
  47. 47. Blended Families <ul><li>I nclude remarried couple that has at least one stepchild living with them </li></ul><ul><li>Experts predict that by 2000, over 50 percent of children born in the last decade will be stepchildren </li></ul><ul><li>Living in blended family involves role ambiguity, in which roles and expectations are unclear </li></ul>
  48. 48. Blended Families <ul><li>School-age children often adjust relatively smoothly to a blended family: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial status of family improves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More people to share household chore </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More social interaction and attention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But…not all children adjust well, especially if the new relationship is threatening </li></ul></ul>
  49. 49. Families with Gay and Lesbian Parents <ul><li>Between one and five million US families headed by two lesbians or two gay parents - some 6 million children have lesbian or gay parents. </li></ul><ul><li>Growing body of research suggests that there is little developmental difference between children whose parents are gay and lesbian and heterosexual parents. </li></ul><ul><li>Most studies find children: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop similarly to children of heterosexual families </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have sexual orientation unrelated to their parents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have no more or less gender-typed behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seem equally well adjusted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have similar relationships with their peers and adults </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have romantic relationships and sexual behavior that are no different from those of adolescents living with opposite-sex parents </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is clearly different for children with same-sex parents is the possibility of discrimination and prejudice due to their parents’ homosexuality. </li></ul><ul><li>As U.S. citizens engage in an ongoing and highly-politicized debate regarding the legality of gay and lesbian marriage, children of such unions may feel singled out and victimized because of societal stereotypes and discrimination. </li></ul>
  50. 50. Race and Family Life <ul><ul><li>African-American families: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequently willing to offer welcome and support to extended family members in their homes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relatively high proportion of families headed by older adults, such as grandparents, and some studies find that children in grandmother-headed households are particularly well adjusted. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Particularly strong sense of family </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hispanic families: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Children are taught to value their ties to their families, and they come to see themselves as a central part of an extended family. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ultimately, their sense of who they are becomes tied to the family. Hispanic families also tend to be relatively larger, with an average size of 3.71. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stress importance of family life, community, and religious organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asian-American families: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Although relatively little research has been conducted on Asian-American families, emerging findings suggest that fathers are more apt to be powerful figures, maintaining discipline. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In keeping with the more collectivist orientation of Asian cultures, children tend to believe that family needs have a higher priority than personal needs, and males, in particular, are expected to care for their parents throughout their lifetimes. </li></ul></ul>
  51. 51. Poverty and Family Life <ul><li>Poor families </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fewer basic everyday resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More disruptions in children’s lives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher likelihood of stress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The stress of difficult family environments, along with other stress in the lives of poor children—such as living in unsafe neighborhoods with high rates of violence and attending inferior schools—ultimately takes its toll. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Economically disadvantaged children are at risk for poorer academic performance, higher rates of aggression, and conduct problems. In addition, declines in economic well-being have been linked to mental health problems. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  52. 52. Group Homes <ul><li>Term “orphanage” replaced by group home or residential treatment center </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group homes used for youngsters whose parents are no longer able to care for them adequately </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The number of children in group care has grown over 50 percent </li></ul><ul><li>About three-quarters of children in group homes are victims of abuse and neglect </li></ul><ul><li>Most will eventually return home, however, one-fourth will be in group care throughout childhood </li></ul>
  53. 53. Group Homes <ul><li>Experts disagree on advantages and disadvantages of group care </li></ul><ul><li>Some see them as solution to unwed mothers who become dependent on welfare </li></ul><ul><li>Many who work in these homes say they cannot provide adequate love and support as family could </li></ul><ul><li>Group homes cost ten times as much as foster care or welfare </li></ul>