chapter 7 expanding social horizons socioemotional development in middle childhood n.
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Chapter 7 Expanding Social Horizons: Socioemotional Development in Middle Childhood. Material from Kail & Cavanaugh’s Human Development: A Life-Span View Slides adapted from Ashley Goethe, Theresa Kemp, Danielle Turek , Casey Lin, Julian Thayer, & Dr. Jordan . Guiding Questions.

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chapter 7 expanding social horizons socioemotional development in middle childhood

Chapter 7Expanding Social Horizons: Socioemotional Development in Middle Childhood

Material from Kail & Cavanaugh’s Human Development: A Life-Span View

Slides adapted from Ashley Goethe, Theresa Kemp, Danielle Turek, Casey Lin, Julian Thayer, & Dr. Jordan

guiding questions
Guiding Questions
  • What are some key ways in which the developing child can be influenced by:
    • Family
    • Friends
    • The larger culture
the functions of families
The Functions of Families
  • Protection for human children who develop slowly compared to other species
  • Economic support
  • Emotional support
  • Childrearing (or socialization)
common parenting behaviors
Common Parenting Behaviors
  • Providing direct instruction--telling a child what to do, when, and why
  • Modeling behavior
    • Counterimitation--learning what should not be done by observing the behavior
  • Providing feedback
    • Reinforcement--consequence that increases the likelihood that a behavior will be repeated in the future
common parenting behaviors1
Common Parenting Behaviors
  • Punishment--applying an adverse stimulus (spanking, grounding, scolding, yelling, etc.)
  • Negative reinforcement trap--unwittingly reinforcing a behavior you want to discourage
  • Time-out--punishment that involves removing children who are misbehaving from a situation to a quiet, unstimulating environment
the four parenting styles
The Four Parenting Styles
  • Authoritarian – high control, low warmth
  • Authoritative – combines fair amount of control and warmth
  • Permissive – high warmth, low control
  • Uninvolved – neither warmth nor control
effects of parenting styles
Effects of Parenting Styles
  • Authoritarian:

- Children who are unhappy, have low self-esteem, and are frequently over aggressive

  • Authoritative:

-Is best for “most children most of the time”

-Tend to have higher grades and are responsible, self reliant and friendly

  • Permissive:

-Children tend to be impulsive with little self-control

  • Uninvolved:

-Children often do poorly in school and are aggressive

Balance is key! Children typically thrive on a parental style that combines control, warmth, and affection.

children s contributions
Children’s Contributions
  • Age--parents have to adjust their parenting as children age because the effectiveness of certain types of parenting change
  • Temperament--as parents realize what type of temperament each child has, the style will have to be adjusted
  • Behavior--children’s behavior helps determine how parents treat them, and the resulting parental behavior influences
parenting gone wrong child maltreatment
Parenting Gone Wrong: Child Maltreatment
  • Physical abuse--involving assault that leads to injuries including cuts, welts, bruises, and broken bones
  • Sexual abuse--involving fondling, intercourse, and other sexual behaviors
  • Psychological--involving ridicule, rejection, and humiliation
  • Neglect--children do not receive adequate food, clothing or medical care
the prevalence of maltreatment
The Prevalence of Maltreatment
  • 1 million children annually suffer from neglect or abuse
    • 60% are neglected
    • 15% are physically abused
    • 10% are sexually abused
    • 10% are psychologically abused
who does this
Who does this?
  • Cultural values and social condition in which parents rear their children
  • Social isolation is another factor
  • Cultural factors
why does it occur
Why does it occur?
  • Parents that maltreat children were usually maltreated themselves
  • Often use ineffective parenting techniques and have such high expectations their children could never reach
  • Parental relationship is dysfunctional
  • Children who are often ill are at greater risk for abuse
  • Stepchildren are also at higher risk
effects of abuse
Effects of Abuse
  • Abused children are usually more aggressive
  • Lower performance in school
  • Lower quality peer relationships
  • More likely to become depressed as they reach adolescence
  • Despite the risks of these effects, some children show ego-resilience in the face of this adversity
preventing abuse
Preventing Abuse
  • Acceptable levels of punishment must change
  • Families can be taught more effective ways to cope with stressful situations
  • Early childhood intervention programs
  • Parents who were maltreated need help to have the knowledge to avoid it with their children
parental influence on friends
Parental Influence on Friends
  • Parents exert major influence on their children’s friendships
    • Children cannot drive or legally be on their own
    • Parents organize activities for their children
    • Parents have all the power for a long time in a parent/child relationship
what is friendship
What is Friendship?
  • A voluntary relationship between 2 people involving mutual liking
  • Friendship grows more complex with age
    • Ages 4 –5–-Children like each other and enjoy playing together
    • Ages 8 –11–-Trust and assistance
    • Adolescence–-Intimacy and loyalty
      • Girls usually have more intimate friendships at this stage, but co-rumination can be a problematic factor
who are friends
Who Are Friends?
  • Often similar in age, gender, and race
      • Opposite-sex friendships are rare, but they do exist. However, children who have only opposite-sex friendships tend to be unpopular, to be less competent academically and socially, and to have lower self-esteem.
  • Are typically expected to treat each other as equals
  • Children and adolescents drawn together due to similar attitudes toward school, recreation, and the future
quality and consequences of friendships
Quality and Consequences of Friendships
  • Co-Rumination – Conversations about one’s personal problems, common among adolescent girls
    • Strengthens girls’ friendships, but also puts them at risk for greater depression and anxiety
    • Friendships can also be hazardous when: aggressive children are friends or when teens engage in risky behavior
children with good friends
Children with good friends…
  • Have higher self-esteem
  • Are less likely to be lonely and depressed
  • More often act prosocially by sharing and cooperating with others
  • Cope better with life stresses
  • Less likely to be victimized by peers
popularity and rejection
Popularity and Rejection
  • Popular Children – Children who are liked by many classmates
    • Are skilled academically and socially
    • Are usually friendly, cooperative, and helpful
    • More skillful at communicating and better at integrating themselves
    • Includes physically aggressive boys and relationally aggressive girls
    • Different characteristics unique to cultural setting
  • Rejected Children – Children who are disliked by many classmates
    • Are overly aggressive, hyperactive, socially unskilled, and unable to regulate their emotions
    • More hostile than popular children; they seem to be aggressive for the sheer fun of it
    • Others are shy, withdrawn, timid, and lonely
popularity and rejection1
Popularity and Rejection
  • Controversial Children – Children who are intensely liked or disliked by classmates
  • Average Children – Children who are liked and disliked by different classmates, but with relatively little intensity
  • Neglected Children – Children who are ignored—neither liked nor disliked—by their classmates
causes and consequences of rejection
Causes and Consequences of Rejection
  • Repeated rejection in childhood can have serious long-term consequences, such as dropping out of school, committing juvenile offenses, and suffering from psychopathology
  • Can be traced (in part) to the influences of parents

Parents who are friendly and cooperative with others demonstrate effective social skills for their children

  • Parents who are belligerent and combative demonstrate ineffective social skills
  • Children watch how their parents respond in different social situations and may imitate those responses later in life
  • Disciplinary practices also play a role:
    • Inconsistent forms of child guidance areassociated with antisocial, aggressive behavior
    • Consistent child guidance tied to parental love and affection is more likely to promote social skills (and popularity).
aggressive children
Aggressive Children
  • Instrumental Aggression – Aggression used to achieve an explicit goal
  • Hostile Aggression – Unprovoked aggression that seems to have the sole goal of intimidating, harassing, or humiliating another child
  • Relational Aggression – Aggression used to hurt others by undermining their social relationships

Tendencies to behave aggressively are stable over time

  • Most schoolchildren are the targets of an occasional aggressive act, but a small percentage of children are chronic targets of bullying.
    • Can occur through physical aggression and relation aggression
    • Electronic bullying has become common in recent years
  • Victims:
    • Are often lonely, anxious, and depressed
    • Dislike school and have low self-esteem
    • Feel better if they see others being bullied, because that lets them know that they are not being singled out
  • Why are some children victims:
    • Some are aggressive themselves – they often overreact, are restless, and are easily irritated, making them easy bait for bullies. When attacked, they will probably start a fight even though they are outnumbered.
    • Some are withdrawn and submissive – they are unwilling or unable to defend themselves (referred to as “passive victims.”). When attacked, they show obvious signs of distress and usually give in to their attackers.

Ways to help victims:

    • Encourage them not to respond in kind when insulted and to not show fear when threatened
    • Increase children’s self-esteem
    • Foster their friendships with peers
what s on tv
What’s on TV?
  • Depictions of “real life”
  • Violence, aggression, and cartoon violence
    • 11,000 murders seen by age 12
    • Bobo doll experiment
  • Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory
    • Children learn by observing others; watching and imitating what they see
  • Commercials
criticisms of tv
Criticisms of TV
  • There are several arguments against television itself:
    • A possible contributor to short attention spans and difficulty in school
    • Children may become passive thinkers and lose creativity
      • Neither of these claims has been substantiated by studies or evidence
  • There are some arguments supported by facts:
    • The importance of screening the kinds of programs watched; such as those with cartoon violence, harsh language, inappropriate situations etc.
    • The link between long periods of inactivity associated with television watching and obesity.
tv as an influence on attitudes and s ocial b ehavior
TV as an Influence onAttitudes and Social Behavior
  • Television violence--desensitizes children and instills violent behaviors. A child will witness several thousand murders on television by adolescence. TV violence has been linked to increases in violent crime.
  • Stereotypes--give a slanted view of the world, roles, and peer relationships. Children exposed to television adopt these views and the fiction becomes a reality.
  • Consumer behavior--commercial advertisements often target children. Sugary cereals, toys, and TV programs all indoctrinate children into the world of consumerism and impulse buying.
  • Prosocial behavior--television can be used to teach prosocial skills. Many programs, on stations like PBS, directed at children teach important social skills and simulate human interactions.
tv as an influence on cognition
TV as an Influence on Cognition
  • Educational programs- some television companies, like Children's Television Workshop, produce programs with the purpose of teaching children of all ages.
  • Sesame Street teaches preschool and kindergarten skills, such as letter and number recognition.
  • Bill Nye the science guy taught science and mathematics
  • The Learning Channel, PBS, and Discovery show programs on various informative subjects such as science, culture, and history.
parental involvement with tv
Parental Involvement with TV
  • Children need rules concerning the amount and type of television they are permitted to watch and the rules need to be enforced!
  • Do not let children watch excessive television out of boredom.
  • Adults should watch television, especially a new program, with their children and be active critics of the programming.
    • Ex. If there are only female nurses on the show, comment about how your cousin Josh just got a job as a nurse (though they don’t make him wear pink).
media and stereotypes
Media and Stereotypes
  • Television as a “window on the world” is actually distorted.
  • Jobs being assigned gender roles according to models seen on television
    • “Typical” families
      • Reflection of cultural norms
      • Can teach children prosocial behavior
  • Kimball Canadian study (1986)
    • Studied sex-role stereotypes before and after television was introduced to the community.
developing prejudices
Developing Prejudices
  • A negative view of others based on their membership in a different group

-this often develops once an individual learns of their membership within a group

  • In young children it is not so much a negative view of others as it is an enhanced view of one’s own group

-does not often involve overt hostility at this age, view others as “not as good”

  • As children enter their elementary school years their knowledge of racial stereotypes and prejudices increases

-prejudice tends to decline during these years as children learn that societal norms discourage openly favoring their group over others


During early adolescence prejudice often increases again

    • The resurgence of prejudice is thought to reflect two processes

1) Having been exposed to prejudices some of them are internalized within the child/adolescent

2) In their search for identity, adolescent’s preference for their own group often intensifies

-Greater prejudice at this age usually reflects a more positive view of their own group and a more negative view of other groups

how are prejudices formed
How are prejudices formed?
  • Children form some prejudices as a byproduct of categorizing their social worlds.
    • When children are addressed by race sex or class they attribute those titles and memberships to themselves, and conversely to others.
    • A child will naturally prefer his or her own social group as opposed to others
    • Negative opinions of other groups can emerge if multiple social groups are set in a competitive environment, or if animosity is perceived.
    • Prejudice can be reduced by mixing children into diverse groups and setting cooperative goals.
    • It is also important not to label children as this affects their self image.

Ethical concerns limit studies of prejudice to correlational studies so identifying “how” is challenging

    • Popular Belief: bias and prejudice emerge naturally out of children’s efforts to understand their social world
    • As children’s social horizons expand they continue to categorize and try to decide how different groups of people “go together” ex. race, gender, age

Jane Elliot’s Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Experiment

how can we limit prejudice
How Can We Limit Prejudice?
  • Encourage friendly and constructive contacts between children from different groups

- works best with in a non-competitive activity in which children are pursuing common goals

  • Have children play different roles

- allows them to see how prejudice impacts others, reduces egocentrism

  • Educate children about the racism and/or prejudice experienced by others throughout history

Through these experiences children discover for themselves that each person is a unique mix of experiences, skills, and values.