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Developmental Psychology Bretherton, I. (1993). Theoretical contributions from developmental psychology. In P. G. Boss, W. J. Doherty, R. LaRossa, W. R.

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Presentation on theme: "Developmental Psychology Bretherton, I. (1993). Theoretical contributions from developmental psychology. In P. G. Boss, W. J. Doherty, R. LaRossa, W. R."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developmental Psychology Bretherton, I. (1993). Theoretical contributions from developmental psychology. In P. G. Boss, W. J. Doherty, R. LaRossa, W. R. Schumm, & S. K. Steinmetz (Eds.), Sourcebook of family theories and methods: A contextual approach (pp ). New York: Plenum Press.

2 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Contributions from Developmental Psychology  James Mark Baldwin:  Social relationships, particularly those with parents and siblings, influence human development.  Multiple social selves: one person has different social selves which are developed in different social relationships.  New experiences are understood in terms of old experiences.  To become a full member of society, people must develop shared social representations of the world.  Impact of different relationships: è Authority figures such as parents contribute to new learning. è Relationships with peers allow the child to practice already-known skills.

3 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Contributions from Dev. Psychology (cont.)  James B. Watson:  A behaviorist who suggested that humans should only be studied by observing their behaviors.  Parenting should be a science based on conditioning principles.  Arnold Gessell: studied the bi-directional influence of the parent-child dyad.  Lewin: also studied bi-directional influence between parent and child, but noted that environment strongly influenced development.

4 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Contributions from Psychoanalytic Theories  Object relations theory suggests that relatedness to others is the most basic need.  Capacity for close interpersonal relationships is influenced by type of care an infant receives (e.g., tender versus anxious) (Sullivan, 1953).  The “good enough parent” (based on Winnicott, 1958):  Provides a “holding environment” so that an infant can become organized as a person.  Two roles of this parent which allow an infant to become attuned to her/his own bodily impulses: è Appropriate and prompt response to child’s needs results in a sense of efficacy. è Place limited demands on the child when not needed so that the infant develops a capacity for aloneness which is central to a stable self.

5 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Contributions from Psychoanalytic Theories (cont.)  Erikson suggested eight major dilemmas that are universally experienced:  Basic trust versus mistrust (infancy).  Autonomy versus shame and doubt (early childhood).  Initiative versus guilt (childhood).  Industry versus inferiority (early adolescence).  Identity versus role confusion (adolescence).  Intimacy versus isolation (youth).  Generativity (being productive -- ambition) versus stagnation (adulthood).  Integrity versus despair (old age).

6 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Assumptions  The parent-child relationship plays a crucial role in the development of a sense of self and the capacity for relatedness to others.  Patterns of social interaction with parents are internalized... [which] affect a person’s capacity for close relationships outside the family.  Parental input operates through the child’s ability to process it.  Cultural values of the elder generation affect the patterning of the parent-child relationship.  Generativity, or the need to nurture, is a critical phase in adult development.

7 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Attachment Theory  Postulate: the human infant is preadapted to respond to it’s caregiver.  Evolutionary function: attachment behaviors promote close proximity to the caregiver so that the child can be protected from danger.  Type of attachment is influenced by caregiving; children can be categorized as:  Secure.  Ambivalent (e.g., seek comfort but show anger or resistance)  Avoidant.  Insecure-disorganized: difficult to classify in one of the preceding categories.

8 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson The Ecological Theory of Human Development  Two important points:  It is important to study human development in it’s broader context.  Research should have ecological validity: “the environment experienced by the subjects in a scientific investigation [should] have the properties it is supposed or assumed to have by the investigator” (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, p. 29; quoted in Bretherton, 1993, p. 286).  Structure of the environment influences development. There are four systems:  Microsystem  Mesosystem  Exosystem  Macrosystem

9 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson The Ecological Theory of Human Development (cont.)  Microsystem:  Face-to-face experiences which feature a pattern of  activities,  roles,  and interpersonal relations  The experiences occur with people who have distinctive characteristics of  temperament,  personality,  and systems of personal belief.  Mesosystem:  A system of microsystems.  The linkage and processed between important settings (e.g., home and daycare or school).  Exosystem:  Two or more settings, but one does not include the child (e.g., parent’s employment).  There is still a direct effect on the child.

10 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson The Ecological Theory of Human Development (cont.)  Macrosystem: the social blueprint for a particular culture which influence through a variety of internal and external processes, including  belief systems,  resources,  hazards,  life styles,  opportunity structures,  life course options,  patterns of social interchange.

11 Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Example of a Contextual Study  Variables:  Exosystem: retrospective evaluation of relationship to parents and social support.  Microsystem: observation of parent-child interactions and measurement of individual qualities.  Findings:  Negative change in marital satisfaction after the birth of the child predicted attachment.  When all factors functioned in a positive, supportive mode, attachment was secure.  Exosystem: mother’s of securely attached children reported having more ego strength and interpersonal affection.


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