Chapter 10 - Emotional and Social Development in Early Childhood Flashcards Preview

PSYC 3351 Topics in Child Development > Chapter 10 - Emotional and Social Development in Early Childhood > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chapter 10 - Emotional and Social Development in Early Childhood Deck (61):

Erikson’s Theory: Initiative versus Guilt

in Erikson’s theory, the psychological conflict of early childhood
Want a child to have a healthy sense of initiative, and not be too guilt-ridden

Young children have a new sense of purposefulness and make strides in conscience development

Play as a means through which young children learn about themselves and their social world



The development of language enables children to talk about their own subjective experiences




the set of attributes, abilities, attitudes, and values that an individual believes defines who he or she is
Attachment to care giver is important (elaborative reminiscing leads to better autobiographical memory which helps sense of self-concept.)


Foundations of Self-Concept

Preschoolers tend to define themselves in concrete terms, based on physical attributes, abilities, and possessions
• They often understand the meaning of words such as “shy”, but tend not to apply trait labels to themselves
• They can identify their psychological traits in forced-choice paradigms



Self-esteem - the judgments individuals make about their own worth and the feelings associated with those judgments

Among the most important aspects of self-development because they affect our emotional experiences, future behavior, and long term psychological adjustment.

By age 4, preschoolers already have several self-judgments for different domains
They have difficulty distinguishing between their actual and desired competence, though
The typical high self-esteem of preschoolers seems to be adaptive
• It helps them maintain a sense of initiative during a period of development in which many new skills must be mastered


Emotional competence

Emotional competence - emotional abilities such as
• Emotional understanding
• Emotional self-regulation
• Development of self-conscious emotions and empathy


Understanding Emotion

Being able to talk about feelings
Being able to respond appropriately to others’ emotional signals

• Preschoolers refer to causes, consequences, and behavioural signs of emotion
• Preschoolers have some ability to predict future actions of a playmate based on emotional expression
• Preschoolers have difficulty in situations that provide conflicting cues to emotions
• They know that thinking and feeling are connected

• Parent who label emotions, explain them with warmth, use more emotional words, prompting of emotional thoughts, frequently agnonage child’s emotions
• Resolving disagreements where they discussed emotions, negotiated and compromised.
• Make believe play
• They may try to alter another’s emotion


Changes in the way preschoolers refer to causes, consequences, and behavioural signs of emotion

They become more accurate and complex in their judgments over time
By age 4 to 5, they correctly judge the causes of many basic emotions
Preschoolers tend to emphasize external factors over internal states in their explanation, but this balance changes with age


Why do preschoolers have difficulty in situations that provide conflicting cues to emotions

As with other tasks, we see centration
Over time, they get better at finding potential explanations to resolve conflicting cues


Parents can scaffold children’s emotional understanding by:

• By labelling emotions in conversations, and talking about their causes
• By acknowledging the preschooler’s emotions
• By talking about diverse emotions
• By talking about feelings and reaching compromises during family conflicts
• By promoting secure attachment, which is related to warmer and more elaborative parent-child narratives
• By encouraging make-believe play with siblings, which is related to increased understanding of emotions


Emotional self-regulation

Emotional self-regulation - the ability to control the expression of emotion
• Also, to some extent, the ability to control the level of an emotion

Increases as children learn strategies for regulation, including verbal strategies that become possible as their language skills develop

Effortful control, especially the ability to inhibit impulses and shift attention, is also very important in managing emotions

Learn from watching parents and verbal guidence


Effortful control in managing emotions

Effortful control, especially the ability to inhibit impulses and shift attention, is also very important in managing emotions
• 3-year-olds who can distract themselves when frustrated tend to be cooperative at school-age
• Effortful control at 3 predicts skill at portraying an emotion that isn’t felt, as well “masks”


Children who experience negative emotions intensely

• Have greater difficulty inhibiting their feelings and shifting attention away from disturbing events
• Are more likely to be anxious and fearful, or to respond with irritation to others’ distress
• Are more likely to react angrily or aggressively when frustrated
• Are more likely to get along poorly with teachers and peers


Self-Conscious Emotions

Self-conscious emotions emerge, and are linked to self-evaluation by age 3
At this age, though, children still depend on adults to indicate what situations merit different self-conscious emotions

More sensitivity to praise or blame and the possibility of such feedback.

Beginning in early childhood intense feelings of shame is associated with feelings of feelings personal inadequacy and maladjustment, withdrawal and depression as well as intense anger and aggression

Guilt when it is appropriate and not accompanied by shame is related to good adjustment. It helps children resist harmful impulses and motivates a child to repair damage


When parents judge a child’s worth based on performance of a task, we often see

• More intense self-conscious emotions
• More shame in failure situations
• More pride after success


When parents focus on effort and strategy, rather than the child’s worth, we see

• More moderate, healthy levels of pride and shame
• Greater persistence at difficult tasks


Among Western children, shame and guilt is associated with

Among Western children, shame is associated with
• Feelings of personal inadequacy
• Maladjustment—withdrawal, depression, and intense anger and aggression toward people who participated in the shame-evoking situation
Guilt is associated with good adjustment if
• It occurs in appropriate circumstances
• Isn’t accompanied by shame
Guilt may help children resist harmful impulses, and to repair damage when they have misbehaved


Prosocial, or altruistic behaviour

Prosocial, or altruistic behaviour - actions that benefit another person without any expected reward for the self

This can be encouraged or discouraged by empathy, depending on how the person experiences it

Preschoolers start to use more words to communicate empathic feelings – indicates more reflective level of empathy.


Empathy can lead to

• Sympathy - feelings of concern or sorrow for another’s plight
• Personal distress (aka self-oriented distress)


A child who is sociable, assertive, and good at regulating emotion is more likely to…

A child who is less skilled at regulating emotion is more likely to…

A child who is sociable, assertive, and good at regulating emotion is more likely to display sympathy and prosocial behaviour
• Helping, sharing, and comforting

A child who is less skilled at regulating emotion is more likely to react with personal distress and to be overwhelmed by these feelings
• Frowning, lip biting, increased heart rate, and a sharp increase in brain-wave activity in the right hemisphere


Three factors that help the development peer relations in early childhood

During early childhood, children tend to become
• More self-aware
• More effective at communicating
• Better at perspective-taking


Types of play
3 step

1. Nonsocial activity - unoccupied, onlooker behaviour and solitary play

2. Parallel play - a limited form of social participation in which a child plays near other children with similar materials but does not try to influence their behaviour

3. Associative play - a form of true social interaction, in which children engage in separate activities but interact by exchanging toys and commenting on one another’s behaviour


Cooperative play - a type of social interaction in which children orient toward a common goal, such as acting out a make-believe theme or working on a project together

Later steps do not replace earlier ones.


With nonsocial activity in particular, the type of activity is important

Wandering, hovering near peers (without interacting), and functional play involving immature, repetitive motor action, can be cause for concern
• Many parents will then be overprotective and critical, rather than patiently encouraging their children to approach peers

Constructive activities like building, art, puzzles, or reading, are not signs of poor adjustment


Sociodramatic play

An advanced form of coopertave play
Becomes common over preschool years
Supports cognitive, emotional and social development


First Friendships

Preschoolers define friendships differently from older children
• They see a friend as someone you like and spend much time playing with, but don’t necessarily see it as something involving trust and permanence

They are somewhat similar to older children and adults in how they treat, and are affected by friends
• They give and receive more reinforcement with friends
• They play more cooperatively with friends
• They adjust to kindergarten more favourably if they have friends in their class

We see more cooperative participation in classroom activities and more self-directed completion of learning tasks when kindergartners make friends more easily and are accepted by their classmates
• Keep in mind, though, that this is correlational


Social problem solving

Generating and applying strategies that prevent or resolve disagreements, resulting in outcomes that are both acceptable to others and beneficial to the self.


Parental Influences on Early Peer Relations

Direct influences on peer relations
• Arranging informal peer play
• Offering guidance on how to act towards others

Indirect influences on peer relations
• Security of attachment
• Parent-child play


(The Psychoanalytic Perspective)

Induction - a type of discipline in which an adult helps make the child aware of feelings by pointing out the effects of the child’s misbehaviour on others.

When warm, accepting parents use induction to reason with their children at levels their children can understand, we see greater moral maturity.

Works in 4 ways
- Gives children information about how to behave that they can use in the future
- Encourages empathy and sympathetic concern which motivates pro-social behavior
- Giving children reasons for changing their behavior encourages them to adopt moral standards because those standards make sense.
- May form a script of the negative emotional consequences of harming others


The child’s characteristics also have an impact on teaching empathy and prosocial behaviour
(The Psychoanalytic Perspective)

The child’s characteristics also have an impact
Twin studies suggest a modest genetic contribution to empathy and prosocial behaviour

• Requests, suggestions, and explanations work best with anxious, fearful preschoolers
• With fearless, impulsive children, developing a secure attachment, and combining firm correction of misbehaviour with induction works best


teaching empathy and prosocial behaviour
(The Psychoanalytic Perspective)

Induction - a type of discipline in which an adult helps make the child aware of feelings by pointing out the effects of the child’s misbehaviour on others.

Temperament (goodness of fit)
• Requests, suggestions, and explanations work best with anxious, fearful preschoolers
• With fearless, impulsive children, developing a secure attachment, and combining firm correction of misbehaviour with induction works best

Close parent child bond

Inducing empathy-based guilt by explaining to a child that he/she is causing someone else distress can often be helpful

In addition to stopping harmful actions, appropriate levels of guilt can motivate children to attempt to repair damage they’ve caused to others


Social Learning Theory
teaching empathy and prosocial behaviour

One of the best ways to foster prosocial behaviour in children is for adults to model it

Reinforcement for prosocial behaviour can be effective if it involves praise rather than tangible rewards


Most effective at fostering prosocial behaviour when the model
(Social Learning Theory)

• is someone who has been warm and responsive with the child
• is someone the child respects, often due to competence and power
• displays actions and words that coincide


Why harsh punishment tends to be ineffective, and in fact damaging
(Social Learning Theory)

• Physical punishment models aggression
• Harshly treated children tend to feel angry, resentful, and personally threatened, which promotes personal distress over sympathy
• Frequently-punished children learn to avoid the punishing adult, who no longer has opportunities to teach them prosocial behaviour
• Physical punishment is correlated with abuse, and can transfer from one generation to the next


alternatives to harsh and/or punishment
(Social Learning Theory)

There are alternatives to harsh and/or punishment
• Time out - a form of mild punishment in which children are removed from the immediate setting until they are ready to act appropriately
• Withdrawal of privileges, such as television time
• Other technique is to ignore a child’s bad behaviour (when possible), while rewarding incompatible good behaviour


When punishment is used, it’s most effective if
(Social Learning Theory)

1. It’s used consistently
2. The parent-child relationship is a warm one
3. Explanation as to why a behaviour is wrong are provided


IF parents
THEN children
(Social Learning Theory)

It’s also useful if parents
• Build a mutually respectful bond with their children
• Let them know ahead of time how to act
• Praise mature behaviour

Then, we’re more likely to see children
• Express empathy after transgressions
• Behave responsibly
• Play fairly in games
• Consider others’ welfare


The Cognitive-Developmental Perspective
Contrary to Piaget

Although Piaget believed preschoolers judge acts more by the consequences than the intentions, this doesn’t seem to be the case
• As long as intentions are made very clear, they judge those with bad intentions more harshly than those with good intentions

Also contrary to Piaget’s model of moral development, preschoolers can distinguish among
• Moral imperatives – protects rights and welfare
• Social conventions – customs determined by social consensus
• Matters of personal choice – up to the individual

Tend to reason rigidly – making judgments based on salient features and consequences while neglecting other informatrion


Social experience also seems to have a great impact on developing empathy and pro-social behavior

• Disputes with siblings allow preschoolers to work out ideas about justice and fairness
• Watching adults handle rule violations and discuss moral issues provides information
• Having adults talk to them about fighting, honesty, and ownership, tell stories with moral implications, encourage prosocial behaviour, and gently stimulate the child to think about a situation can be helpful



2 purposes
1. Proactive aggression
2. Reactive aggression

Three types
1. Physical (direct or indirect)
2. Verbal (always direct)
3. Relational (direct or indirect)


Proactive aggression
Instrumental aggression

Carried out with a purpose in mind that extends beyond simply harming the victim.


Reactive aggression
Hostile aggression

is primarily intended to cause harm.


Gender typing

Gender typing - any association of objects, activities, roles, or traits with one sex or the other in ways that conform to cultural stereotypes


Gender-Stereotyped Beliefs and Behaviours

As early as 18 months, children begin linking “masculine” items with males
“feminine” items take a little longer, though this is culturally dependent

Before they can even label their own sex consistently

Preschoolers associate toys, articles of clothing, tools, household items, games, occupations, colours, and behaviours with either girls or boys

Age 2 can use gender labeling words correctly

Preschoolers’ gender stereotypes can be quite rigid
• They may believe that a boy “can’t” wear barrettes in his hair
• They often display beliefs that gender-typed behaviours, objects, etc. are what makes a person either male or female


Gender identity

an image of oneself as relatively masculine or feminine in characteristics

Gender identity is a good predictor of psychological adjustment
• “Masculine” and androgynous people tend to have higher self-esteem than “feminine” people



the gender identity held by individuals who score high on both traditionally masculine and traditionally feminine personality characteristics


How does gender identity emerge?

According to social learning theory, gender-typed behaviours precede self-perceptions

Cognitive-developmental theory claims self-perceptions come first


Parental conversations that lead to gender ideas

- Mothers to daughters: supportive statements, encourage participation in household tasks, direct play activities, provide help, refer to emotion

Refer to gender when unnecessary.


Gender constancy

Gender constancy - the understanding that sex is biologically based, remaining the same over time even if clothing, hairstyle, and play activities change
This develops gradually
• First we see gender labelling
• Then gender stability
• Then gender consistency

Cognitive immaturity not social inexperience is responceble for preschoolers difficulty with the constancy of sex.


Emergence of gender identity according to social learning theory

- Behavior comes before self-perception
- First acquire gender-typed responses through modeling and reinforcement
- Later organize theses behaviors into gender linked ideas about themselves.


Emergence of gender identity according to cognitive-development

Self-perception comes before gender linked behavior
Forms gender constancy (appearance-reality problem) (3 steps)


Gender schema theory

Gender schema theory - an information-processing approach to gender typing that explains how environmental pressures and children’s cognitions work together to shape gender-role development
• Children see gender-stereotyped references and behaviours in others
• They begin organizing their experiences in gender schemas, or categories based on gender
• As soon as they can label their own gender, their self-perceptions become gender-typed
• They begin paying selective attention to activities, toys, etc. that they believe to be pertinent for their gender
• Gender-schematic child (behavior result of ideas of gender)
• Gender-aschematic child (behavior rarely based on ideas about gender)
• Gender-salience filter (what fits within a gender identity)


The effects of gender schemas can be so strong that

• Children will choose to play with toys labelled as for their sex, even if the toys labelled as for the other sex are more attractive
• Children will often assume their own preferences (e.g., food preferences) apply to their entire gender
• Children often distort memories of seeing “gender-inconsistent” behaviour in others


Adults can reduce stereotyping by

• Limiting traditional gender roles in their own behaviour
• Providing nontraditional alternatives for children
• Ensuring that children spend time in mixed-gender play activities in the classroom, and in both adult-structured and unstructured activities
• Avoiding language that conveys gender stereotypes
• Keeping children from media presentations that convey gender stereotypes
• Parents and teachers can then help by pointing out exceptions
• Arranging for children to see adults in nontraditional careers, for instance


Child-rearing styles

Child-rearing styles - combinations of parenting behaviours that occur over a wide range of situations, creating an enduring child-rearing climate

The three major features that are consistently considered important are
• Acceptance and involvement
• Control
• Autonomy granting


What Makes Authoritative Child Rearing Effective?

Recall that this is correlational
• Maybe the children’s good behaviour is the root of the positive child-rearing style, rather than vice versa
• But longitudinal research suggests that it is largely the parents’ behaviour influencing child outcomes
• Consider what’s going on in authoritative child rearing


Consider what’s going on in authoritative child rearing

• Parents are modelling caring concern, and usually confident, self-controlled behaviour
• Rules are established in a way that appears fair and reasonable, not arbitrary
• Parents match demands and autonomy granting to children’s abilities, and foster high self-esteem by showing they believe their children to be competent
• Acceptance, involvement, and rational control are known to be a powerful source of resilience


Maltreatment includes

Physical abuse (20%)
Sexual abuse (10%)
Neglect (60%)
Emotional abuse (10%)

Pernts comit 80% of abuse
Mothers engage in more neglect
Fathers engage in more sexual abuse
Physical and emotional abuse is equaly common among mothers and fathers
Infants and preschoolers are at higher risk for neglect
School age are high risk for the other three


Consequences of maltreatment

Impair the development of emotional self-regulation, empathy, sympathy, self-concept, social skills, and academic motivation.

Overtime they show serious adjustment problems including depression, aggressive behavior, peer difficulties, substance abuse, delinquency and violent crime. Central nervous system damage blunts children’s normal physiological response to stress.

Hostile cycles


Preventing child maltreatment

Aim prevention and families, communities, and society as a whole.

- Teaching parents
- Teaching high schoolers
- Improving economic conditions
- Family social services
- Easing parental stress through social supports
- A trusted relationship with other adults reduce social isolation
- Home visitation
- Cognitive training to revaluate negative appraisals of their children


Otitis media

- Ear infection
- Can cause delayed language development in children 6m to 3y
- Risk Factors: Crowded living conditions, child care, cigarette smoke, other pollutants
- Prevented: frequent screening, control in child care settings, verbaly stimulating adult/child interactions, vaccines



Deficits is 3 core areas of functioning: 1. limited ability to engage in nonverbal social behaviors (eye gaze, facial expression, gestures, imitation, and give and take.), 2. delayed and stereotyped language (words that echo what others said to get what he wanted and not to exchange ideas), 3. less make believe play.

Narrow and intense interests

Larger than average brains

Abnormal amygdala growth

Reduced activity in the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in emotional and social responsiveness.

Deficient theory of mind “mindblind”
Impaired executive processing
A style of information processing that prefers to prosses the parts of a stimuli rather then coherent wholes