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Middle Childhood: Social and Emotional Development

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1 Middle Childhood: Social and Emotional Development
CHAPTER 10 Middle Childhood: Social and Emotional Development

2 Theories of Social and Emotional Development in Middle Childhood

3 Theories of Social and Emotional Development in Middle Childhood
Psychoanalytic theory Freud maintained children are in latency stage Sexual feelings remain repressed (unconscious) Focus is on development of intellectual, social, and other cultural skills Erikson maintained children are in industry vs. inferiority stage Mastery of cognitive and social skills give children sense of industry or competence Children having difficulties with peers or school may develop sense of inferiority

4 Social-Cognitive Theory
Focuses on rewards and modeling during middle childhood Increase from external rewards and punishments to regulation of own behavior Social cognition Perception of the social world Focus is on children’s perspective-taking skills Five levels of perspective-taking skills (Selman, 1976)

5 Table 10-1, p. 209

6 Development of the Self-Concept in Middle Childhood
More abstract internal traits or personality traits play a role 9-year-olds focus on physical traits, such as eye color, in self-definition. 11-year-olds indicate movement toward greater concern with psychological traits and social relationships.

7 Self-Esteem Evaluation of self-worth in multiple areas as children age
Children’s self-esteem declines through childhood and increases again in adolescence. Girls tend to have positive self-concepts in academics and helping others Boys have positive self-concepts in math, physical ability, and physical appearance Children with favorable self-image tend to have parents who are restrictive, involved, and loving. Parents and peers equally influential for self-esteem

8 Learned Helplessness Learned helplessness “Helpless” children
Acquired belief that one is unable to obtain the rewards that one seeks “Helpless” children tend to quit following failure believe that success is more due to ability than to effort tend to have lower grades and lower IQ and achievement test scores Regardless of ability, girls still view themselves as less confident in math.

9 The Family

10 Parent-Child Relationships
Control is gradually transferred from parent to child in a process known as coregulation. Children begin to internalize the standards of their parents Children and parents spend less time together. Parents monitor less and give less direct feedback Children spend more time with mother than father. 10- to 12-year-olds evaluate parents more harshly than they did in early childhood. Still rate parents as best source of emotional support

11 Lesbian and Gay Parents
Psychological adjustment of children growing up with gay parents similar to children growing up with heterosexual parents Sexual orientation of children tends to be heterosexual regardless of sexual orientation of parents

12 Generation X or Generation Ex
Generation X or Generation Ex? What Happens to Children Whose Parents Get Divorced? 1 million American children experience divorce per year. 40% European-American and 75% of African-American children spend at least part of their childhoods in single-parent families as a result of divorce Most divorced women raise their children in poverty . Mother’s time is focused on working Fathers become more absent as time goes by following a divorce. Children of divorce more likely to have conduct problems, lower self-esteem, poor grades, and drug abuse.

13 Generation X or Generation Ex
Generation X or Generation Ex? What Happens to Children Whose Parents Get Divorced (cont’d) Children’s physical health may decline. Fallout of children is worst during the first year after the break up. Children rebound after a couple of years or so.

14 Life in Stepfamilies: His, Hers, Theirs, and...
One in three American children spend part of their childhood in a stepfamily. Stepchildren at greater risk of abuse Physical abuse by stepparent than biological parent Sexual abuse by stepparent by a factor of eight than by natural parent Evolutionary psychologists maintain better treatment of one’s own children increases own genes to flourish in the next generation

15 Should We Remain Married “for the Sake of the Children?”
Severe parental bickering linked to same kinds of problems that children experience when parents are divorced or separated Children exposed to adult or marital conflict display “alarm reaction” Heart rate, blood pressure, and sweating rise sharply Divorce may be positive alternative to family conflict

16 The Effects of Maternal Employment
Maternal employment and nonmaternal care indicated in some negative effects on children Maternal employment makes no difference with delinquent behavior. However, lack of supervision does Daughters of employed mothers are more achievement-oriented and set higher career goals for themselves than daughters of nonworking women. Children of working mothers tend to be prosocial, less anxious, and more flexible in their gender-role stereotypes than other children.

17 Peer Relationships

18 Peer Relationships Peers are more important during middle childhood.
Peers help with practicing cooperation, relating to leaders, and coping with aggressive impulses. Peers help children with appropriate impulses. Peers serve as sounding boards when comparing feelings and experiences, helping friends to understand that they are not alone.

19 Peer Acceptance and Rejection
Popular children tend to be attractive, good at academics or sports, mature for their age Attractiveness more important for girls than boys Children displaying behavioral problems, learning problems, and aggression, and who disrupt group activities are more likely to be rejected by peers. Rejected children tend to remain on the fringes of the group instead of conforming

20 Development of Friendships
Between 8 and 11 years of age, focus on friendship turns to recognition of importance of friends meeting each other’s needs and possessing desirable traits Pick friends who are similar to them In behavior and personality Trustworthiness, mutual understanding, and a willingness to disclose personal information characterize middle childhood friendships and beyond

21 Development of Friendships (cont’d)
Selman (1980) identified five stages in children’s changing concepts of friendship 0) Momentary physical interaction 1) One-way assistance 2) Fair-weather cooperation 3) Intimate and mutual sharing 4) Autonomous interdependence School-age friends are more verbal, expressive, relaxed, and mutually responsive to each other during play than are acquaintances. Boys are more likely to play in large groups than girls; 9-year-olds typically have 4 best friends

22 Table 10-2, p. 214

23 The School

24 The School School readiness/success considers three factors
1) The diversity and inequity of children’s early life experiences 2) Individual differences in young children’s development and learning 3) Degree to which schools establish reasonable and appropriate expectations of children’s capabilities when they enter school Kindergarten teachers report that many children are coming to school unprepared to learn. Lack of language skills, poor healthcare, inadequate stimulation, and lack of support from parents place children at risk.

25 The School Environment: Setting the Stage for Success, or . . .
Effective schools have the following characteristics Active, energetic principal Atmosphere that is orderly but not oppressive Empowered teachers involved in decision-making Teachers who have high expectations that children will learn Curriculum that emphasizes academics Frequent assessment of student performance Empowered students who participate in goal setting, making decisions, and engaging in cooperative learning activities

26 Teachers Teachers with high expectations influence achievement.
Students learn more when actively instructed. Student achievement linked to emotional climate of the classroom Negative responses such as criticism, ridicule, threat, or punishment impede learning. Children learn best in pleasant, friendly atmosphere.

27 Teacher Expectations Pygmalion effect Self-fulfilling prophesy
“You find what you are looking for” Self-fulfilling prophesy Teachers expect higher performance, and the child performs accordingly Teacher expects lower performance, and the child performs accordingly Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968) tricked teachers into believing that one set of children were about to blossom forth intellectually during the current school year. Children made significant IQ gains

28 Teacher Expectations (cont’d)
Teachers expect less from lower SES and minority students. Hence less time is spent encouraging these children To motivate children, teachers can make the classroom interesting ensure all children profit from social interaction have a safe and pleasant classroom understand diverse backgrounds help students take responsibility for their successes and failures, encourage the link between effort and achievement help students establish attainable short-term goals

29 Sexism in the Classroom
Girls treated unequally by their teachers, male peers, and the school curriculum paid less attention to in math, science, and technology subject to sexual harassment from male classmates Teachers ignore it Stereotypical females depicted in textbooks Boys dominate classroom communication, call out answers 8 times more than girls Calling out accepted by boys, girls reminded to raise their hands Teachers unaware until they saw the video of themselves (Sadker and Silber, 2007)

30 Social and Emotional Problems

31 Social and Emotional Problems
Conduct disorders (CD) Child persistently breaks rules or violates the rights of others Exhibits behaviors such as lying, stealing, fire setting, truancy, cruelty to animals, and fighting Emerges by age 8; more prevalent in boys than girls More likely to engage in sexual activity before puberty, more likely to smoke before puberty, drink, and abuse other substances Causes of CD may be genetics, antisocial family members, deviant peers, inconsistent discipline, parental insensitivity to child’s behavior, physical punishment, and family stress Treatment of CD includes parent training, consequences for unacceptable behavior, teaching methods for coping with feelings of anger that will not violate others, and rewards for positive social behavior

32 Social and Emotional Problems (cont’d)
Childhood depression Child feels sad, may show poor appetite, insomnia, lack of energy and inactivity, loss of self-esteem, difficulty concentrating, loss in interest in activities they were once interested in, crying, feelings of helplessness, and thoughts of suicide Origins of depression Complex and varied Psychological and biological A child’s attributional style may contribute to depression: Depressed children more likely to attribute the causes of their failures to internal, stable, and global factors that they are helpless to change

33 Social and Emotional Problems (cont’d)
Depression occurs equally in boys and girls. Can be comorbid with CD Longitudinal studies on children have found problems in academics, socializing, physical appearance, and sports can predict feelings of depression. A child’s attributional style may contribute to depression. Depressed children more likely to attribute the causes of their failures to internal, stable, and global factors that they are helpless to change.

34 Social and Emotional Problems (cont’d)
Heritability of depression was found to be 49% in females and 25% in males (Orstavik et al., 2007). Psychotherapy for depression is mostly cognitive behavioral. Children encouraged to do enjoyable things and build social skills Antidepressants for depression are administered with caution due to link between use and suicidal thoughts.

35 Social and Emotional Problems (cont’d)
Childhood depression can be comorbid with childhood anxiety disorders. Children can suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), phobias, separation anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Children from different cultures more likely to have one disorder than another Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) more common in girls and associated with school refusal; diagnosed when age inappropriate, excessive

36 Social and Emotional Problems (cont’d)
School phobia Fear of school Type of SAD High parental expectations to perform may heighten the phobia, as well as problems with peers Treatment of school phobia Get the child back into school Symptoms disappear once the child is back in school May also consist of antidepressant medication along with cognitive-behavioral therapy Most children in developed nations come through middle childhood quite well and ready for adolescence.

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