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Chapter 10 : Social Development of Middle Childhood

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William Cockrell

on 23 March 2018

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Transcript of Chapter 10 : Social Development of Middle Childhood

Chapter 10 : Social Development of Middle Childhood
Industry Vs. Inferiority
Industry vs. inferiority is the fourth stage in Erikson's developmental path. It is heavily influenced by previous success/failures of past stages.
Industry :
refers to the increase in problem solving skills and an increase in self-competency.
For industrialized nations (e.g., United States, Canada, Japan, etc), entering the fourth stage of development and middle childhood typically corresponds with entering school.
Common skills that children learn during this stage of development : reading, writing, commitment, basic responsibility, and group work.
Inferiority :
children that have lower self-esteem who doubt their abilities to succeed. The negative outcome of the fourth stage of Erikson's developmental path.
Family life and social influences can help "push" a child towards industry or inferiority. Children do not develop these characteristics on their own.
Children that develop inferiority typically have problems with these traits
Constant criticism and bullying increase chances of inferiority developing.
our overall personal "value" that we place on ourselves. Our self-concept is typically how we would describe ourselves to another person. Influences self-esteem.
A person's self-concept continuously adapts to a unique situations and experiences.
The younger the child, the more honest they are about their self-concept. As we age, one typically tries to hide negative aspects and highlight positive character traits.
Social Comparison :
very helpful tool to evaluate themselves against others in society. Children aged 4-6 can only compare themselves to one other person. Ages 7+ start developing the skills to compare themselves against groups and averages.
Self-concept develops due to developing cognitive structures in the brain and social learning.
Perspective - taking skills :
this task, coined by George Mead, explains how children improve their social comparison skills and create a more detailed self-concept.
Ideal Self :
This is our "perfect form" that we all strive to achieve. Most people do not measure up to their ideal self because they are often unrealistic expectations. The goal is to slowly try to get closer to your ideal self.
The larger the gap between a person and their ideal self tends to create a reduction in self-esteem.
By middle childhood, children now include social memberships in their self-concept (e.g., I am Girl Scout; I am on the football team; I am a member of the First Baptist Church).
As children progress towards adolescence, their primary reference group becomes their friends instead of family.
Cultural values have a large influence on different countries self-concept ideals.
Development of Self-Esteem
For the most part, preschoolers have the highest levels of self-esteem.
The strongest measurement of self-esteem are (e.g., rate on a scale from 1-10 how much the following statement relates to you: I am a trustworthy person).
Common measurements in self-evaluations : intelligence, social competency, athleticism, and appearance.
Adolescents place the strongest value on appearance whereas adults are more concerned about intelligence and social competency.
The link between amount of television watched and a negative evaluation about appearance has been continuously reported in scientific research.
Self-esteem drops when first entering school but typically increases again around 4-5th grade.
Influences on Self-Esteem
Societies that encourage competition with grades tends to lower self-esteem.
For example, children in China are more likely to evaluate themselves much harder than other people. In America, it is more common to evaluate yourself more positively than how you evaluate others.
Gendered expectations influence self-esteem for specific abilities instead of across-the-board (e.g., girl's self-esteem with appearance and boy's self-esteem with athletics).
Boys usually have slightly higher self-esteems, but the difference is not significant.
African-American children usually have slightly higher self-esteems than Caucasian children. Yet again, the difference is not significant. It is believed this higher self-esteem may be a "buffer" to help protect against social discrimination.
The majority group (be it income, gender, race, sexual orientation, etc) will develop higher levels of self-esteem than the minority group.
The majority group having higher levels of self-esteem is related to the sense of belonging and inclusion that they experience.
Influences on Self-Esteem Continued
Parents who use authoritative parenting styles help children develop higher levels of self-esteem.
Authoritative parents usually provide more feedback for children when discussing behaviors. Children learn these feedback techniques that they use to increase their self-esteem.
Parents who are overprotective or overly critical cause children to develop lower levels of self-esteem.
Parents who are overindulgent (little to no parenting) with their children cause the child to develop inflated, higher levels of self-esteem that may cause narcissistic traits to develop.
Scientific research has found that the self-esteem movement from the 1970s-1990s actually caused more narcissistic people than people with healthy levels of self-esteem.
Children with inflated self-esteem refuse to acknowledge positive criticism and find faults in the activity instead of their own performance.
It has been clearly established that self-esteem, motivation, and performance are all heavily influenced by each other and form a complex interaction of variables.
Achievement-Related Attribution and Self-Esteem
Internal Attributions :
Making the assumption that a person's behavior is based on their personality characteristics (e.g., she failed the exam because she is stupid and lazy).
External Attributions :
Making the assumption that a person's behavior is based on factors outside of their own control (e.g., she failed her test because she was up all night taking care of her sick mother).
We make more external attributions about our own behavior, but use internal attributions to explain other people's behavior.
Mastery-oriented attributions :
success is credited to personal ability and failure is caused by outside factors that can be changed. Children who gain
are more likely to show mastery-oriented attributions.
Learned Helplessness :
attributing failure to internal factors (e.g., I failed because I suck at math) and attributing success to outside factors (e.g., I passed the test because it was easy and I got lucky). Children who gain
are more likely to show learned helplessness.
Attributions & Success
Mastery-Oriented children learn from mistakes and seek how to correct them.
Children with learned helplessness typically give up when they fail a task. They do not try to improve because they believe they will always fail.
Mastery-oriented children want to hear about how they can do better with evaluations.
Learned helplessness causes a child to only want to hear positive feedback since they self-esteem is already lower. They tend to avoid negative feedback.
Attribution Retraining :
Children with learned helplessness can become mastery-oriented IF they receive the appropriate attention.
Attributions & Caregiving
Parents who allow children to give up encourage learned helplessness.
Complimenting success with trait characteristics "you are so smart" tends to promote learned helplessness.
Teachers that are caring, helpful, and promote learning tend to produce children with mastery-oriented attributions.
Teachers that heavily focus on receiving good grades tend to encourage learned helplessness
Girls and minorities have greater chances of developing learned helplessness
Mastery-Oriented Tasks
Tasks :
pick meaningful tasks, make sure they are not too challenging yet not too easy, and matches the child's interests.
Teachers :
Warm, value achievement, form relationship with parents, teach child to overcome failure.
Parents :
be involved in your students homework! Very few parents actually do this!
Evaluations :
make them private and avoid public shaming (e.g., posting class averages). Children this young should not be competing for the top grade.
School setting :
smaller student to faculty ratio, peer tutoring (group work) is very helpful, do not group child by ability, acknowledge cultural differences, and make it clear that ALL children are capable of learning.
Emotional Development
By ages 6-10 children have a much stronger understanding of pride and guilt. They now experience these emotions without prompts from other people.
Children who feel pride are more likely to try new challenging tasks. Children with a lot of shame avoid trying new tasks in fear of failure.
Negative traits that occur due to shame : withdrawal, depression, aggression, and higher rates of failure on tasks.
By middle childhood, children typically are capable of experiencing multiple emotions at the same time. They also can experience
conflicting emotions
simultaneously. Children younger than 6 are not capable of this.
Children in this age group are now capable of noticing when facial expressions and true emotions do not match (they are amateurs at this though).
As children gain this "emotional reading" task, they slowly learn to hide their emotions better also.
The closer the child approaches adolescence, they start developing skills required for empathy. The development of empathy encourages children to start regulating their emotions.
Problem-centered coping :
determination if the problem is fixable, judge the level of difficulty, and figure out how to approach the problem.
Emotion-centered coping :
coping that occurs when problem-centered coping fails or is impossible. This coping helps people "deal" with the unchangeable source of stress (e.g., avoidance or changing perspectives are two common skills).
Perspective Taking
Perspective Taking : the ability to imagine what other people may be thinking and feeling.
Undifferentiated Perspective Taking (Ages 3-6) :
Children now understand people have feelings and thoughts, but they do not understand the difference.
Social-informational perspective taking (Ages 4-9) :
Gaining an understanding that different perspectives may occur due to different experiences or information.
Self-reflective perspective taking (Ages 7-12) :
First "real" stage that is related to taking the perspective of others. Also, notice that this age correlates with the development of empathy.
Third-party perspective taking (Ages 10-15) :
can take the perspective of the "third person" referee during a two-person situation. Are now capable of being mediators
Societal Perspective Taking (Ages 14 - Adulthood):
perspective taking can now occur with more than three people simultaneously and children now keep social factors into mind.
Children that are successful with taking the perspective of others display the following traits : more caring and sympathetic, lower levels of aggression, well liked by teachers, and typically has a larger group of friends.
Children with poor perspective taking skills display the following characteristics: poor social skills, aggression, withdrawal, bullying, and smaller groups of friends.
Moral Development
By ages 7-8 children start acknowledging that many issues in morality are not clearly "right" and "wrong"
The first moral issue that children typically deal with is telling the truth and if it is ever appropriate to lie.
The first aspect of this issue children learn is that it is sometimes okay to tell a lie to avoid hurting a person's feelings.
From 8-10 children are learning to question specific moral statements (e.g., why is it important to stay quiet during a test; why is sharing important, etc).
Contexts and Intentions :
children typically also learn that certain situations or intentions can make moral issues more complicated (e.g., a child now understands that accidents, for the most part, are not the same as intentional acts).
Children also start to acknowledge that sometimes bad behavior is acceptable under important situations (e.g., Robin Hood stealing for the poor from greedy royalty).
Unlike many other aspects, morality does not change much between different cultures and societies.
At first, children only respond positively to following moral imperatives (e.g., pointing out that somebody did something very nice).
As children age, they start responding very negatively to people that commit immoral acts.
Development of Prejudice
Unfortunately, by middle childhood, children automatically associated positive characteristics with white people and negative characteristics with minorities. Even minorities develop this perspective!
Most children actually are NOT taught prejudiced beliefs by their parents, but actually pick these messages up through social statements.
Until around age 7-8 children have no problems expressing racists or prejudiced statements in public. This declines as one ages.
It is
to remember that most people (including children) are not aware of their racist or prejudiced beliefs and behaviors.
For instance, research shows that helping behavior increases when a minority does not confirm a stereotype (e.g., an educated, high class African-American will experience less prejudice than an African-American who is classified as "lazy").
Fixed Personality Traits :
children who believe that personality traits do not change tend to report higher levels of prejudicial expressions (e.g., An adult saying that gay men are always promiscuous and
cannot change
is a person who is supporting fixed personality traits).
Inflated self-esteem :
people with narcissistic tendencies typically report higher levels of racists and prejudiced beliefs. These people are most likely to "provoke" arguments between majority and minority groups.
Segregated social groups :
people with very little contact with other races typically display higher rates of prejudiced beliefs.
Peer Relationships
As children age they tend to become better at resolving conflicts.
Traits that tend to increase as peer relationships form : Sharing, Helping, Empathy, and Sympathy.
The following traits decline as peer relationships form : crying, aggression, and physical attacks.
Peer Groups :
groups of people that have common interests, values, and beliefs. Peer groups must also have a clear hierarchy and structure.
Additional grouping factors for peer groups : proximity, sex, ethnicity/race, popularity, and aggression levels.
Peer groups are not typically "hateful", but the group will become this way if the leader encourages the behavior.
The most common form of bullying is often relational aggression
Official peer groups are often just as helpful for children to develop social skills. These groups are organizations that include parental supervision (e.g., Girl and Boy Scouts, 4-H club, etc.).
Children working towards a common goal really encourages bonding to occur. This is why sports teams typically develop very strong bonds.
Membership in peer groups as a child is believed to predict the quality of social interactions as an adult.
Friendships in Early Childhood
Friendships are smaller, intimate relationships that form from peer group involvement.
Children have more freedom in picking their friendships than compared to peer groups.
The two major components to children friendships are
Major violations of childhood friendships : not helping each other when needed, breaking promises, gossiping about each other, and other actions that violate trust.
Children almost always becomes friends with other kids that are similar on multiple traits. The most common traits being : age, sex, race, ethnicity, popularity, academic achievement, and SES.
Schools that encourage interracial interactions tend to report higher rates of interracial friendships.
50-70% of childhood friendships last about one school year.
Friendships based on aggression and antisocial behaviors usually have the highest rates of dissolution (that anger is typically going to cause them to turn on each other).
Peer Acceptance
Peer Acceptance :
the group consensus of how one particular group member is liked.
Children that are well liked and accepted have the highest rates of friends and positive relationships.
Peer Nominations :
the most common measurement in childhood social experiments. The participants (children) are required to evaluate different classmates against each other or separately (e.g., "Who is the meanest person in your class" or "How much do you like Billie Jean?")
Popular children :
children that are well liked and receive many positive votes.
Rejected Children :
children who get many negative votes.
Controversial Children :
children who get many positive AND negative votes.
Neglected Children :
children that are largely ignored during peer nominations.
2/3 of all elementary children fit one of these classifications. The children who do not are typically average (this is a good thing!)
Peer rejected children display higher rates of poor academic performance, depression, absenteeism, dropping out, depression, etc.
Popular Children
Popular-prosocial children :
children that excel in academics and social situations.
As these children age their popularity typically decreases.
These children are typically warm and caring. Think of the all american nice guy or girl. They are so perfect you want to hate them (but can't).
The most common form of popular children.
Popular-antisocial children :
often labeled "tough kids" by their peers.
These children are often superior athletes that ignore or mock authority.
Popular-antisocial children also harm others to increase their own popularity.
Popular-antisocial children are the smaller percentage of popular children.
Their popularity remains relatively stable throughout school
Eventually most children realize that they main way they gain popularity is through harming others.
Popular-prosocial children
are the best type of children to challenge bullying by
popular-antisocial children.
Girls receive more social sanctions for being popular-antisocial than boys do.
Rejected Children
Rejected-aggressive children :
similar to popular-antisocial children, but they do not have athleticism to use as a buffer. Common characteristics are : higher rates of conflict, hyperactivity, inattentiveness, impulsive behavior, lower rates of emotional regulation and perspective taking skills.
Hostile Attribution Bias :
many rejected children develop this trait. The hostile attribution bias occurs when people attribute all social interactions as hostile behaviors (e.g., somebody bumps into you in a crowded hallway and you think they did it to start a fight).
Rejected-aggressive children are the most common grouping of children to become bullies.
Rejected-withdrawn children :
smaller category of rejected children. These children are most likely to be bullied of any group.
Rejected-withdrawn children display passive and submissive behaviors to all other types of children. They have the highest levels of social anxiety, isolation, and anticipate negative interactions.
Children become rejected as early as kindergarten. When this occurs we typically see participation decrease, academic achievement decrease, and school avoidance.
ALL types of peer acceptance children learn and are heavily influenced by their parent's peer acceptance rates.
Controversial and Neglected Children
Controversial children :
display both prosocial and antisocial characteristics. They usually have normal amounts of relationships.
The most common antisocial behavior they display is bullying. Controversial children primarily use relational aggression
Neglected Children :
unlike their name, these children are better socially adjusted than aggressive children.
Researchers used to believe that neglected children were at the most risk and had the highest chance of becoming at threat to society. This belief has been found faulty.
Neglected children usually choose to be alone.
Peer Victimization :
the scientific term for bullying that describes how certain children are targets of physical and verbal harm by other children.
10-20% of children are bullies and 15-30% of children are bullied.
The stereotypical image of male bullies being physically violent and female bullies being relationally aggressive are accurate. Girls also are now using cyberbullying at higher rates than guys.
Diffusion of responsibility :
social psychological term that supports bystander behavior. The larger the crowd, the less likely a person is to intervene and help a victim.
20-30% of bystanders actually antagonize and encourage the bullying.
Bullies and victims of bullying start displaying similar traits : depression, loneliness, low academic achievement, and school avoidance.
There is an established link between bullies experiencing child abuse at home. In other words, they are socially learning this behavior at home and applying it at school.
Very little research focuses on how to stop bullying; it primarily focuses on how victims can avoid bullying. Parents of bullies are also notoriously noncommittal.
Parent-Child Relationships
During early childhood the time spent between parent and child declines dramatically due to school involvement.
Parents who practice authoritative parenting styles have less problems dealing with their children during this stage than parents who practice other parenting styles.
Coregulation :
the process by which parents slowly relinquish control over basic, day-to-day decisions that children start making (e.g., these decisions typically concern school). Develops into alerting the parent on a "need-to-know basis"
In families with strong gender roles, parents spend more time with the children of their own sex (e.g., father spends more time with sons).
The mother still typically spends the most time with children in a traditional husband/wife family.
Mothers focus on care giving and fathers focus on recreation and achievement.
Sibling Relationships
Parents do actually provide more attention to one child over another quite frequently.
The parent themselves is typically the last person to ever admit this.
Parents comparing sibling achievements is one of the primary ways to create sibling conflict.
This sibling comparison is even worse for siblings of the same-sex and close in age (e.g., two boys aged 10 and 12).
Factors that increase sibling comparisons among parents : divorce, financial stress, marital conflict, social conflict, and single parenting.
Older siblings are a major source of protection for younger siblings who are a source of amusement for the older siblings.
No big surprise, the primary factor that influences the relationship between siblings is through the encouragement of their parents.
Younger siblings usually learn from their older siblings.
In other words, successful older siblings tend to influence their younger siblings to be successful. Delinquent older siblings usually encourage their younger siblings to be delinquent also.
For this strong influence to occur, the siblings have to be close to each other.
Children are very perceptive in detecting marital conflict (or maybe couples aren't that good at hiding conflict).
45% of all American marriages end in divorce --- this is a faulty and unreliable statistic though!!
1/4th of all children live in single parents households in America.
88% of children in single parent homes live with their mother.
Each time a divorced person remarries they are increasing their chances of divorcing again.
Going through one divorce is hard enough on children, going through many creates many negative perspectives of healthy, romantic relationships.
Feminization of poverty :
multiple feminist concepts tie together (income, gender wage gap, child support, patriarchy, etc) to produce the finding that the largest group in poverty is the single mother.
There is a DRASTIC decline in parenting for the father when a family experiences divorce. For the most part the fathers typically undermine whatever the mom is trying to do (e.g., a child with an overeating problem that is being controlled by the mother will be treated to a huge fast food & ice cream outing by the father).
Divorced parents HAVE to work together with child raising if they want to avoid the typical negative outcomes associated with children experiencing their parents divorce.
Roll your eyes at the paragraph describing fathers as the better single parent on page 348.

Prejudice :
attitudes held by a person that is an affect-laden, unjustified opinion of an individual solely based on group membership.
Discrimination :
The outcome of prejudice is discrimination, a behavior. It is typically classified as unjustified, differential treatment to a person based on group membership.
Stereotypes can be
(a positive example would be that "Asian people are the best at mathematics" whereas a negative stereotype would be " All gay men are sexually promiscuous").
Stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination are all products of socialization (Kimmel, 2007; Henslin, 2013).
The belief that certain characteristics apply to every person in a certain group.
Once a person has been exposed to a stereotype enough, these beliefs will become a prejudice (e.g., the person now believes all black men are criminals. This will become a prejudiced belief).
Where stereotypes are highly descriptive, prejudice is usually an automatic positive or negative opinion of a group of people.
Make sure you understand the general "pattern" of the three. Stereotypes form prejudices and prejudices create discriminatory behavior.
Hartley (1946) study on prejudice
Hartley asked participants to rate their opinions on several racial-ethnic groups.
The researcher included three groups that do not exist: Wallonians, Pireneans, and the Danireans.
The participants with the most negative opinions of factual racial-ethnic groups also reported higher negative opinions towards the
Common sense knowledge (read: not supported by science) on racism was that people created negative opinions towards groups they have had negative experiences with on multiple occasions.
Contact theory :
theory that more positive encounters with different groups increase overall positive opinions of the group. So the first step, is to get the different groups to actually interact!
All groups must be on equal status. This is the hard part since rarely does the minority have equal power as the majority.
Must occur frequently (the prejudiced mind recalls negative information quicker than positive information)
This research finding supports the statements that people have more negative opinions about groups they have little interactions with.
Research has consistently shown that isolated individuals and groups tend to have higher rates of prejudice.
Institutional Discrimination :
the structure of society is advantageous to the majority while an obstacle to overcome for many minority groups
Minorities are 60% more likely to be rejected for mortgages (Thomas, 1992)
Minorities experience higher rates of arrest, sentencing and sentence length, higher rates of the death penalty, and less access to criminal representation. We use the term
racial profiling
to describe this.
African-American women and their children experience higher rates of death during childbirth than white women and their children.
African-Americans have a shorter lifespan than white people
These are unintended consequences of social structures that were developed with only the dominant group in mind.
Institutional Discrimination is not performed by a person. It is the outcome of the majority creating social structures with the majority in mind.
On The Nature Of Prejudice
Final Outcome of Discrimination
a scale of personal opinions you hold about yourself. Typically on a range of positive <---> negative.
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