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Chapter 6. Socioemotional Development in Early Childhood PowerPoints developed by Jenni Fauchier, Metropolitan Community College -- Omaha. Self-Understanding. Erikson’s third stage: Initiative versus Guilt

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Chapter 6

Chapter 6

Socioemotional Development in Early Childhood

PowerPoints developed by Jenni Fauchier, Metropolitan Community College -- Omaha

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Self understanding

  • Erikson’s third stage: Initiative versus Guilt

    • children use their perceptual, motor, cognitive, and language skills to make things happen

    • on their own initiative, children exuberantly move out into a wider social world

    • governor of initiative is conscience

    • initiative leads not only to rewards but also guilt, which lowers self-esteem

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Self understanding1

  • Self-understanding --representation of self -- the substance and content of self-conceptions

  • Early self-understanding involves self-recognition

    • Young children think that the self can be described by many material characteristics, such as size, shape, and color

    • About 4 to 5 years of age, they begin to include psychological trait and emotion terms in their own self-descriptions

      (Harter, 2006) (Keller, Ford, & Meacham, 1978) (Marsh, Ellis, & Craven, 2002; Thompson, 2006)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Understanding others
Understanding Others

  • Young children’s theory of mind includes understanding that other people have emotions and desires

  • About 4 to 5 years, they begin to perceive others in terms of psychological traits

  • Some young children are better than others at understanding what people are feeling and what they desire

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Emotional development
Emotional Development

  • Awareness of self is linked to the ability to feel an expanding range of emotions

  • To experience self-conscious emotions, children must be able to refer to themselves and be aware of themselves as distinct from others

  • Important changes in emotional development: increased ability to talk about one’s own and others’ emotions

    • increase the number of terms they use to describe emotions

      (Lewis, 2002)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Emotion coaching and emotion dismissing parents
Emotion-Coaching and Emotion-Dismissing Parents  

  • Emotion-coaching parents monitor their children’s emotions, view their children’s negative emotions as opportunities for teaching, assist them in labeling emotions, and coach them in how to deal effectively with emotions

  • Emotion-dismissing parents view their role as to deny, ignore, or change negative emotions(Katz, 1999)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Emotion and peer relationships
Emotion and Peer Relationships

  • Emotions -- strong role in determining the success of a child’s peer relationships

  • Ability to modulate one’s emotions is an important skill that benefits relationships with peers

    • moody and emotionally negative children experience rejection by their peers

    • positive children are more popular

      (Saarni & others, 2006) (Stocker & Dunn, 1990)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Moral development
Moral Development

  • Moral development -- development of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors regarding rules and conventions about what people should do in their interactions with other people

    • Freudian theory, superego = the moral element of personality

  • Empathy -- responding to another person’s feelings with an emotion that echoes the other’s feelings

    (Eisenberg, Fabes, & Spinrad, 2006)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Piagetian moral development
Piagetian Moral Development

  • Piaget (1932) theorized how thinking about moral issues was stimulated

    • Ages 4 - 7: heteronomous morality -- children think of justice and rules as unchangeable properties of the world, removed from the control of people

    • 7 - 10 years of age, children are in a transition

    • 10 years and older: autonomous morality -- aware that rules and laws are created by people

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Moral behavior
Moral Behavior

  • Behavioral and social cognitive approach -- processes of reinforcement, punishment, and imitation explain the development of moral behavior

  • When rewarded for behavior that is consistent with laws and social conventions, they are likely to repeat that behavior

  • Actions of models who behave morally are likely to be adopted

    (Bugental & Grusec, 2006; Grusec, 2006)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Situational behavior
Situational Behavior

  • Behavioral and social cognitive researchers emphasize that what children do in one situation is often only weakly related to what they do in other situations

  • The totally honest child was virtually nonexistent, as was the totally dishonest child

  • Ability to resist temptation is closely tied to the development of self-control

    (Hartshorne & May, 1928–1930) (Mischel, 2004)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


  • Gender -- social and psychological dimensions of being male or female

  • Gender identity -- sense of being male or female

  • Gender roles --  sets of expectations that prescribe how females or males should think, act, and feel

    • preschool children act in ways that match their culture's gender roles and exhibit a sense of gender identity

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Social theories of gender development
Social Theories of Gender Development  

  • Social role theory -- contrasting roles of women and men

  • Psychoanalytic theory of gender -- Freud’s view -- preschool child develops a sexual attraction to the opposite-sex parent

    • Oedipus (for boys) or Electra (for girls) complex

  • Social cognitive theory of gender -- by observing and imitating and through being rewarded and punished

    (Alice Eagly, 2001) (Bussey & Bandura, 1999)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Parental influence on gender development
Parental Influence on Gender Development

  • By action and by example, parents influence their children’s gender development

    • cultures around the world give mothers and fathers different roles

    • Mothers’ Socialization Strategies -- mothers socialize their daughters to be more obedient and responsible

    • Fathers’ Socialization Strategies -- fathers show more attention to sons than daughters, engage in more activities with sons, and put forth more effort to promote sons’ intellectual development

      (Grusec & Davidov, 2007)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Peer influences
Peer Influences

  • Peers prompt the process of responding to and modeling masculine and feminine behavior

    • playground has been called “gender school”

  • Peers extensively reward and punish gender behavior

    • peers often reject children who act in a manner that is characteristic of the other gender

  • Gender molds important aspects of peer relations

    (Luria & Herzog, 1985) (Leaper & Friedman, 2007) (Matlin, 2004)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Theories of gender development
Theories of Gender Development

  • Social Cognitive Theory

    • mechanisms by which gender develops

      • observation

      • imitation

      • rewards and punishment

  • Gender Schema Theory

    • gender typing emerges as children gradually develop gender schemas of what is gender-appropriate and gender-inappropriate in their culture

    • gender schema -- organizes the world in terms of female and male

      (Ruble & Martin, 2004) (Ruble, Martin, & Berenbaum, 2006)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Parenting styles
Parenting Styles

  • Diana Baumrind (1971) has described four types of parenting styles

    • authoritarian parenting -- restrictive, punitive style demanding obedience and respect

    • authoritative parenting -- encourages independence but still places limits and controls

    • neglectful parenting -- parent is very uninvolved in the child's life

    • indulgent parenting -- highly involved with but place few demands or controls

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Corporal punishment
Corporal Punishment

  • Corporal (physical) punishment historically has been considered a necessary and even desirable method of discipline

  • Use of corporal punishment is legal in every state in America

  • Individuals in the United States and Canada were among those with the most favorable attitudes toward corporal punishment and were the most likely to remember it being used by their parents

    (Curran & others, 2001)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Consequences of corporal punishment
Consequences of Corporal Punishment

  • Corporal punishment is associated with

    • higher levels of immediate compliance, but also with increased aggression by the children

    • lower levels of moral internalization and mental health

    • more adjustment problems

    • spanking before age 2 was related to behavioral problems in middle and late childhood

      (Gershoff, 2002) (Slade & Wissow, 2004)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Reasons to avoid physical punishment
Reasons to Avoid Physical Punishment

  • Parents who spank present children with an out-of-control model which the children may then imitate

  • Punishment can instill fear, rage, or avoidance in children

  • Punishment tells the child what not to do rather than what to do

  • Punishment can be abusive

    (Sim & Ong, 2005) (Ateah, 2005)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Coparenting and alternatives to corporal punishment
Coparenting and Alternatives to Corporal Punishment

  • Handling misbehavior by reasoning and especially explaining the consequences of the child’s actions

  • Time out -- the child is briefly removed from the setting

  • Coparenting -- the support that parents provide one another in jointly raising a child

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Child maltreatment
Child Maltreatment

  • Eighty-four percent of children, who were abused according to a 2002 report, were abused by a parent or parents

  • Laws in many states now require physicians and teachers to report suspected cases of child abuse

  • However, many cases go unreported, especially those of battered infants

    (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Types of child maltreatment
Types of Child Maltreatment

  • Physical abuse

    • the infliction of physical injury

  • Child neglect

    • failure to provide for the child’s basic needs

  • Sexual abuse

    • fondling a child’s genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, etc.

  • Emotional abuse

    • psychological/verbal abuse/mental injury

    • acts/omissions that have caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, or emotional problems

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Developmental consequences of abuse
Developmental Consequences of Abuse

  • Poor emotion regulation, attachment problems, problems in peer relations, difficulty in adapting to school, and other psychological problems such as depression and delinquency

  • Difficulty in establishing and maintaining healthy intimate relationships

  • As adults, they are at higher risk for violent behavior toward other adults, as well as for substance abuse, anxiety, and depression(Cicchetti & Toth, 2005, 2006) (Minzenberg, Poole, & Vinogradov, 2006) (Shea & others, 2005)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Prevention of maltreatment
Prevention of Maltreatment

  • In a recent study, two treatments were effective in reducing child maltreatment:

    • home visitation that emphasized improved parenting, coping with stress, and increasing support for the mother

    • parent-infant psychotherapy that focused on improving maternal-infant attachment

      (Cicchetti, Toth, and Rogosch, 2005)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Sibling relationships
Sibling Relationships

  • Approximately 80 percent of American children have one or more siblings

  • Interactions with siblings include aggressive, hostile interchanges

  • Conflict is only one of the many dimensions of sibling relations

    • sibling relations include helping, sharing, teaching, fighting, and playing

      (Dunn, 2007) (Pomery & others, 2006)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Characteristics of sibling relationships
Characteristics of Sibling Relationships

  • Emotional quality of the relationship

    • many children and adolescents have mixed feelings toward their siblings

  • Familiarity and intimacy of the relationship

    • they can either provide support or tease and undermine each other, depending on the situation

  • Variation in sibling relationships

    • some siblings describe their relationships more positively than others

      (Dunn, 2007)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Birth order
Birth Order

  • First-born children

    • more adult-oriented

    • more helpful, conforming, and self-controlled

    • excel in academic and professional endeavors

    • have more guilt, anxiety, and difficulty in coping with stressful situations

  • Only children often are achievement-oriented and display a desirable personality, especially in comparison with later-borns and children from large families

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Explaining birth order variation
Explaining Birth Order Variation

  • Variations in interactions with parents and siblings are associated with being in a particular position in the family

  • The oldest child does not have to share parental love and affection with other siblings -- until another sibling comes along

  • First-born sibling receives less attention after the newborn arrives

    (Dunn & Kendrick, 1982)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Changing family in a changing society
Changing Family in a Changing Society

  • The United States has one of the highest percentage of single-parent families in the world

  • Among two-parent families, there are those in which both parents work, or have divorced parents who have remarried, or gay or lesbian parents

  • Differences in culture and SES also influence families

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Effects of work on parenting
Effects of Work on Parenting

  • The nature of parents’ work rather than whether one parent works outside the home is significant

    • parents who have poor working conditions are likely to be more irritable at home and engage in less effective parenting

    • because household operations have become more efficient and family size has decreased, it is not certain that American children today receive less attention when both parents work

      (Crouter & McHale, 2005)(Clarke-Stewart, 2006) (Crouter, 2006)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Consequences of divorce
Consequences of Divorce

  • Children in divorced families are more likely to

    • have academic problems

    • show externalized problems (such as acting out and delinquency) and internalized problems (such as anxiety and depression)

    • have less competent intimate relationships

    • drop out of school

    • become sexually active at an early age

    • take drugs

    • have low self-esteem

    • A majority of children in divorced families do not have significant adjustment problems

      (Hetherington, 2005, 2006; Huurre, Junkkari, & Aro, 2006) (Conger & Chao, 1996) (Barber & Demo, 2006)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Divorce adjustment
Divorce Adjustment

  • When divorced parents’ relationship with each other is harmonious and when they use authoritative parenting, the adjustment of children improves

  • Children who are socially mature and responsible, who show few behavioral problems, and who have an easy temperament are better able to cope

  • Children with a difficult temperament often have problems in coping with their parents’ divorce (Clarke-Stewart & Brentano, 2006; Walper Beckh, 2006) (Hetherington, 2005, 2006) (Hetherington, 2000)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Socioeconomic issues of divorce
Socioeconomic Issues of Divorce

  • Custodial mothers experience the loss of about one-fourth to one-half of their pre-divorce income

  • This income loss for divorced mothers is accompanied by increased workloads, high rates of job instability, and residential moves to less desirable neighborhoods with inferior schools

  • Custodial fathers have a loss of only one-tenth of their pre-divorce income

    (Sayer, 2006) (Emery, 1994)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Guidelines for communicating with children about divorce
Guidelines for Communicating with Children about Divorce

  • Explain the separation

  • Explain that the separation is not the child’s fault

  • Explain that it may take time to feel better

  • Keep the door open for further discussion

  • Provide as much continuity as possible

    (Galinsky & David,1988)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Gay male and lesbian parents
Gay Male and Lesbian Parents

  • Approximately 20 percent of lesbians and 10 percent of gay men are parents

  • Many lesbian mothers and gay fathers are non-custodial parents because they lost custody of their children to heterosexual spouses after a divorce

  • Most children of gay and lesbian parents were born in a heterosexual relationship that ended in a divorce

  • Parenthood among lesbians and gay men is controversial

    (Patterson, 2004)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Cultural variations in parenting
Cultural Variations in Parenting

  • Families in many countries are experiencing cultural change because of

    • frequent international travel

    • the Internet and electronic communications

    • economic globalization

    • greater family mobility

    • migration to urban areas

    • separation as some family members work in cities or other countries

    • smaller families and fewer extended-family households

    • increases in maternal employment

      (Kagitcibasi, 2007) (Brown & Larson, 2002)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Ethnic and socioeconomic variations and adaptations
Ethnic and Socioeconomic Variations and Adaptations

  • Families within different ethnic groups differ in their size, structure, composition, reliance on kinships networks, and levels of income and education

  • When children spend time in a child-care center, school, church, or other community setting, they are likely to learn the values and behaviors of the dominant culture

    • they may be expected to adapt to that culture’s norms

    • when they are at home, these norms may not be reinforced

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Differing socioeconomic circumstances
Differing Socioeconomic Circumstances

  • Lower-SES parents

    • more concerned that children conform to society’s expectations

    • create a home atmosphere where parents have authority

    • use physical punishment more

    • are more directive and less conversational with their children

      (Huston & Ripke, 2006; Magnuson & Duncan, 2002)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

  • Higher-SES parents

    • are more concerned with developing children's initiative and delay of gratification

    • create an atmosphere in which children are more nearly equal participants

    • rules are discussed

    • are less likely to use physical punishment

    • are less directive and more conversational with their children

      (Huston & Ripke, 2006; Magnuson & Duncan, 2002)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Peer relations
Peer Relations

  • Peers -- children of about the same age or maturity level

  • Functions of a child’s peer group

    • receive feedback about their abilities

    • can be necessary for normal socioemotional development

    • negotiating roles and rules in play, arguing, and agreeing

    • extensive amount of peer interaction during childhood involves play

      (Ladd, Herald, & Andrews, 2006) (Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 2006)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


  • Play -- pleasurable activity that is engaged in for its own sake

  • Its functions and forms vary

  • Most widely studied types of children’s play

    • sensorimotor and practice play

    • pretense/symbolic play

    • social play

    • constructive play

    • games

      (Bergen, 1988) (Sutterby & Frost, 2006) (Piaget, 1962) (Daniel Berlyne, 1960)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


  • Television is the most influential of the many types of mass media that affect children’s behavior

  • Many spend more time in front of the television set than they do with their parents

    • average of 2 to 4 hours a day

      (Pecora, Murray, & Wartella, 2007) (Comstock & Scharrer, 2006) (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2006)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Effects of television
Effects of Television

  • Negative influence on children by

    • making them passive learners

    • distracting them from doing homework

    • teaching them stereotypes

    • providing them with violent models of aggression

    • presenting them with unrealistic views of the world

      (Dubow, Huesmann, & Greenwood, 2007)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Other media
Other Media

  • Increased concern about children who play violent video games, especially those that are highly realistic

  • Children can become so deeply immersed in some electronic games that they experience an altered state of consciousness in which rational thought is suspended and arousing aggressive scripts are learned

    (Vastag, 2004) (Roberts, Henrikson, & Foehr, 2004)

(c) 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.