Chapter 13 - Emotional and Social Development in Middle Childhood Flashcards Preview

PSYC 3351 Topics in Child Development > Chapter 13 - Emotional and Social Development in Middle Childhood > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chapter 13 - Emotional and Social Development in Middle Childhood Deck (53):

Erikson’s stage

Industry versus inferiority

Redirect from make believe to real accomplishments

Resolved when experienced lead children to develop a sense of competence at useful skills and tasks

Inferiority is reflected in pessimism and little confidence

Developments: positive but realistic self-concept, pride in accomplishment, moral responsibility, cooperative participation.



The energetic pursuit of meaningful achievement

A major change in middle childhood



A part of self understanding

By middle childhood, children
Can describe themselves in terms of competencies and tendencies, rather than just specific behaviours
Mention both positive and negative traits
Use social comparisons as a means of judging themselves


Cognitive, Social, and Cultural Influences on Self-Concept

Decentration allows children to combine typical experiences and behaviours into stable psychological dispositions
blend positive and negative traits
compare themselves with many peers simultaneously

Improvements in perspective-taking skills—the looking-glass self
Internalizing the expectations of others—formation of an ideal self that they use to evaluate the real self
Elaborative parent-child conversations—building more complex, favourable, and coherent self-concepts
Change in relative importance of feedback from parents v friends

Western parents emphasize separateness and self-assertion
Asian parents stress harmonious interdependence


During middle childhood, self-esteem

Becomes more realistic
Differentiates into different aspects of the self
They are able to evaluate these separately, and combine them into an overall self-esteem
Note that the different aspects don’t impact global self-esteem equally


Self-esteem tends to decline during the first few years of elementary school

Children receive more competence-related feedback, and they are often judged in relation to others
Eventually, children balance social comparisons with personal achievement goals
From fourth grade on, self-esteem rises for most young people


Influences on Self-Esteem

Which traits are valued? (physical appearance – self-worth)
Relatively value of confidence v modesty
Gender stereotypes influencing feelings of competence across domains
Contact with extended family, sense of ethnic pride
Extent to which the child’s SES and ethnic groups are represented in his/her school

Authoritative parenting tends to lead to higher self-esteem
Controlling parents communicate a sense of inadequacy to children
Overly indulgent parenting is linked to unrealistically high self-esteem, which can lead to adjustment problems

Achievement and self-esteem is a bidirectional relationship

The attributions we make about our achievements influence our self-esteem
Mastery-oriented attributions
Learned helplessness



Mastery-oriented attributions involve an incremental view of ability, and a tendency to try hard, whether past efforts have resulted in success or failure
Improve by trying hard and cand be counted on when facing new challenges
Learning goals


Learned helplessness

Learned helplessness involves a fixed view of ability, and leads to giving up, and choosing to tackle only the easiest tasks
Attribute failures to ability and successes to external factors like luck
“fixed view of ablitiy” that cant be impoved by hard work
Performance goals


Attribution retraining

Attribution retraining - an intervention that uses adult feedback to encourage learned-helpless children to believe that they can overcome failure through effort
Children are given the opportunity to experience both success and failure, with feedback leading them to understand that both ability and effort (not chance) impact their outcomes
Instruction in effective strategies and self-regulation is often provided


We’re more likely to see a mastery-oriented child when adults

We’re more likely to see a helpless child when adults

We’re more likely to see a mastery-oriented child when adults
Hold an incremental view of ability
Praise or criticize the child’s individual strategies or behaviours

We’re more likely to see a helpless child when adults
Hold a fixed view of ability
Praise or criticize the child as a whole


Self-Conscious Emotions

Self-conscious emotions even when no adult is present to witness their actions (personal responsibility)
Pride in a new accomplishment
Guilt about intentional wrongdoing (but no longer about mishaps)
Specific aspects of self as leading to pride or guilt
Shame when a violation of a standard is not under their control


3 areas of emotional development

Self-Conscious Emotions
Emotional Understanding
Emotional Self-Regulation


Emotional Understanding

In middle childhood, we
Explain emotion by referring to internal states, such as thoughts, rather than to external events
Learn that we can experience multiple emotions at once, and these emotions may be a mix of positive and negative, and of different intensities
Begin to understand that expressions may not reflect true feelings
Can reconcile contradictory facial and situational cues in figuring out another’s emotions
Understand that how we feel about a situation may be altered on what the situation could have been

Adults’ sensitivity to children’s feelings and willingness to discuss emotions are important to development here
Assuming sensitive and open communication, we begin to see an increase in empathy
This is also assisted by improvements in perspective-taking
Note that emotional understanding and empathy are linked to favourable social relationships and prosocial behaviour


Emotional Self-Regulation

By age 10, most children can switch adaptively between these problem-centred coping and emotion-centred coping

School-age children
Are more likely than preschoolers to use internal strategies to regulate emotion
Have learned from others the socially approved ways to display negative emotion
Verbal stratagies


problem-centred coping

Problem-focused coping targets the causes of stress in practical ways which tackles the problem or stressful situation that is causing stress, consequently directly reducing the stress.

Problem focused strategies aim to remove or reduce the cause of the stressor.


emotion-centred coping

Emotion-focused coping involves trying to reduce the negative emotional responses associated with stress such as embarrassment, fear, anxiety, depression, excitement and frustration. This may be the only realistic option when the source of stress is outside the person’s control.


Emotional self-efficacy

Emotional self-efficacy - a feeling of being in control of their emotional experience
we see this in school-age children if emotional self-regulation has developed well
It fosters a positive self-image and an optimistic outlook


Emotional self-regulation is influenced by

Parental responses
Sensitive and helpful responses to distress versus hostile or dismissive attitudes

Focus on controlling emotional behaviour, having a calm and peaceful disposition, or on self-expression


Moral Development

There are great advances in moral development during middle childhood
Internalize rules for good conduct – they become more independent and trustworthy
Children at this age can reason more effectively than can younger children
They have much stronger perspective taking skills


Moral and Social-Conventional Understanding

Flexible appreciation of moral rules
In middle childhood, children’s evaluations of actions become more influenced by intentions and social norms
Judgments of violations of rules or conventions are now based in part on whether or not the rule seems to be purposeful and justified
Context becomes a factor
The knowledge of the transgressor matters in their evaluations


Understanding Individual Rights

In middle childhood, children
Believe that choices of hairstyle, friends, and leisure activities are up to the individual
View freedom of speech and religion as individual rights, even when denied by law
Regard laws that discriminate against individuals as wrong and worthy of violating
Do believe that some decisions should be made by those who are better equipped to make them
Usually choose fairness over personal gain, if the fairness issue is brought to their attention


Cultural and Moral Understanding

Across diverse cultures, children
Believe adults have no right to interfere in children’s personal matters, such as how they spend free time
Believe that a child with no authority should still be obeyed when giving a fair and caring directive
Negatively evaluate an adult’s order to engage in immoral acts


Children pick up information about group status from

Implicit messages


In-group and out-group bias

White see white as better
Minority see white as better

Inner traits become more important with age and negative attitudes towards minority’s decrease

The extent to which children hold racual bias varies based on personal and situational factors:
- A fixed view of personality
- Overly high self-esteem
- A social world where people are sorted in to groups


Reduce prejudice therough

Intergroup contact (cooperitve, long term)


Peer Relations

School age children often spend significant time with peers
Peer contact contributes to perspective taking and understanding of self and others, which then enhance peer interaction
Compared to preschoolers, school age children
Resolve conflicts more effectively, using persuasion and compromise
Share more, help more, and engage in other prosocial acts more
Show declines in aggression, especially physical attacks
Can acquire social skills: cooperation, leadership, followship, loyalty, collective goals, social oginization.


By middle childhood, most children say that excluding someone from a peer group is

Wrong, if it’s based on unconventional appearance or behaviour

Justified, if a peer threatens group functioning by acting disruptively or by lacking skills to participate in a valued group activity

This does not, however, mean that children don’t unjustly exclude others


Peer Groups

Peer groups - social units of peers who generate unique values and standards for behaviour and a social structure of leaders and followers
Peer groups organize on the basis of
Similarity in sex, ethnicity, academic achievement, popularity, and aggression


unjustly exclude others

Some children are denied ‘membership’
Sometimes former ‘members’ are ousted from a group
If they were unkind to outgroup members before, it may be difficult for them to find a new pear group
Socially anxious children often become increasingly peer-avoidant when excluded from a group, and thus more isolated
Excluded children have fewer opportunities to acquire socially competent behaviour, and often decline in class participation and academic standing as well


School-age children’s friendships involve

Mutually agreed-on relationships
Liking each other’s personal qualities
Responding to one another’s needs and desires
Acts of kindness
Violations of trust are considered particularly serious breaches of friendship


Children tend to select friends that resemble them in terms of

Sex race
Peer popularity
Academic achievement
Prosocial behaviour



Friendships are more selective now than they were in preschool
Most children claim fewer friends in middle childhood than they did as preschoolers
Girls tend to have fewer friends than do boys, but their friendships are closer

High-quality friendships are fairly stable throughout middle childhood
Children learn the importance of emotional commitment through long-term friendships
They begin to realize, for instance, that close relationships can survive disagreements in both parties are secure in their liking for one another and consider both parties’ needs in resolving conflict


The impact of friendships on development depends on the friends

Prosocial friends lead to more prosocial behaviour
Antisocial friends lead to more antisocial behaviour
Aggressive girls often have friendships that involve a lot of jealousy, conflict, and betrayal
Aggressive boys often have frequent expressions of anger, coercive statements, physical attacks, and enticements to rule-breaking behaviour


Four basic categories of peer acceptance that 2/3s of children fall in to:

Popular children – positive votes
Rejected children – negative votes
Controversial children – both votes
Neglected children – little votes


Consider, however, that school-age children who have peer-relationship problems have often experienced family stress

Low income
Insensitive child rearing
Coercive discipline
Their outcomes are likely not due entirely to popularity issues


2 types of popular children

Popular children can be popular-prosocial (social and academic competence) or popular-antisocial

Popular-antisocial are admired rather than liked (sophiciticated but devious social skills)
They often become less popular with age, and may eventually be rejected if they remain aggressive


Peer Acceptance

Peer acceptance - the extent to which a child is viewed by a group of agemates as a worthy social partner

Unlike friendship, acceptance and liking aren’t necessarily mutual

Assessments of peer acceptance usually involve measures of
Social preferences (who you like)
Social prominence (who you admire)

Four basic categories of peer acceptance

A rejected status, in particular, is predictive of negative outcomes
Effects on affect and self esteem
Effects on performance, attendance, and behaviour in school
Associated with criminality in emerging adulthood


Rejected children may experience exclusion as early as kindergarten
They then have

Fewer opportunities to learn social skills
Further impairment to their biased social information processing, which can heighten hostility
Lower classroom participation
Higher feelings of loneliness
Faltering academic achievement, and a desire to avoid school


Rejected children, because they’re at risk, are often the focus on study
Interventions for these children often involve

Coaching, modelling, and reinforcing positive social skills
Academic help, to combat low self-esteem and the negative reactions to teachers and classmates this can support
Training in perspective taking and social problem solving (unaware of their poor social skills and do not take responsibility for social failures)
Interventions focused on parent-child interactions


2 types of Rejected children

Rejected children may be rejected-aggressive or rejected-withdrawn

Rejected-aggressive often show a hostile attributional bias (deficient in perspective taking)

Rejected-withdrawn children often hold negative expectations for how peers will treat them


Gender-Stereotyped Beliefs

During middle childhood, stereotyped beliefs spread from activities and occupations to more subtle areas such as personality traits and achievement
Stereotyping of personality traits is adultlike by around age 11
These distinctions arise from observing differences in behaviour and from the way adults treat children and each other
Think about the expectations for behaviour that parents convey to sons versus daughters

Shortly after beginning elementary school, children begin to make judgments about which subjects and skills are “masculine” and “feminine”
Parents tend to perceive their children’s abilities as coinciding with gender stereotypes, and this can influence achievement

Still, children develop a more flexible view of what males and females can do during middle childhood, and become more flexible into adolescence
Sex isn’t a certain predictor of traits or behaviour
Gender typing as social, rather than biological
However, they continue to disapprove of crossing gender lines, especially for boys


Gender Identity and Behaviour

In middle childhood, boys tend to increase in their identification with “masculine” traits, while girls tend to decline in their identification with “feminine” traits

School-age children also begin to develop self-evaluations of their
Gender typicality
Gender contentedness
Felt pressure to conform to gender roles: the degree to which they feel parents and peers disapprove of their gender-related traits


Gender typicality

Gender typicality: the degree to which they feel similar to others of the same gender


Gender contentedness

Gender contentedness: the degree to which they feel comfortable with their gender assignment


Felt pressure to conform to gender roles

Felt pressure to conform to gender roles: the degree to which they feel parents and peers disapprove of their gender-related traits


Peers, Gender Typing, and Culture

Most children in middle childhood regard excluding an agemate from peer group activities on the basis of gender as unfair
They don’t regard it as being as bad as excluding on the basis of factors such as ethnicity, though
Some say that gender differences in interests and communication styles would justify exclusion



Coregulation - a form of supervision in which parents exercise general oversight while letting children take charge of moment-by-moment decision making
This works when
Parents and children have a warm, cooperative relationship
Parents guide and monitor from a distance, and effectively communicate expectations
Children inform parents of their whereabouts, activities, and problems


Parent-Child Relationships

Amount of time spent with parents declines dramatically, though parents still feel a strong need to ‘keep tabs’
Child rearing becomes easier for parents, if they have established an authoritative style in early childhood
Reasoning is more effective with school-age children than with younger children
Note that children are more likely to listen to parents’ perspectives in situations where compliance is vital if the parents have allowed the children some autonomy when feasible

The push for autonomy does not mean a lack of need for parental support, nor do children believe that it does
Children often describe parents as the most influential people in their lives
They turn to parents for affection, advice, enhancement of self-worth and help with everyday problems
Note that parents who are warm and involved, monitor their child’s activities, and avoid coercive discipline, have children who are academically and socially more competent


Fears and Anxieties

In middle childhood, children still may fear the dark, thunder and lightning, animals, and supernatural beings
New fears are added, though
Children often mull over fears at bedtime, leading to
an increase in nighttime fear in the 7-9 age range

Children mentioned fear following exposure to negative information In the media. Parents don’t monitor enough.

Most children can handle most fears constructively
They develop more sophisticated emotional self-regulation strategies in middle childhood, and can use these to handle their fears
Because of this, fears decline at the end of middle childhood, especially for girls



Phobia - an intense, unmanageable fear that leads to persistent avoidance of the feared situation
Seen in about 5% school-aged children
Children with inhibited temperaments experience phobias 5 to 6 times as often as other children


New fears

The possibility of personal harm, through being robbed, stabbed, or shot
War and disasters
Academic failure
Separation from parents
Parents’ health
Physical injuries
The possibility of dying
Peer rejection


Fostering Resilience in Middle Childhood

There’s only a modest relationship between stressful life experiences and psychological disturbance in childhood
There are personal, family, school, and community factors that can foster resilience in children…

Personal factors
Easygoing, sociable temperament
Above-average intelligence
Favourable self-esteem
Persistence in the face of challenge and pleasure in mastery
Good emotional self-regulation and flexible coping strategies

Family factors
Warm, trusting relationship with at least one parent
Authoritative child-rearing style
Positive discipline, avoidance of coercive tactics
Warm, supportive sibling relationships

School factors
Teachers who are warm, helpful, and stimulating, who encourage students to collaborate, and who emphasize effort and self-improvement
Lessons in tolerance and respect and codes against bullying, which promote positive peer relationships and gratifying friendships
Extracurricular activities, including sports and social service pursuits, that strengthen physical, cognitive, and social skills
High-quality after-school programmes that protect children’s safety and offer stimulating, skill-building activities

Community factors
An adult—such as an extended-family member, teacher, or neighbour—who provides warmth and social support and is a positive coping model
Stability of neighbourhood residents and services—safe outdoor play areas, community centres, and religious organizations—that relieve parental stress and encourage families and neighbours to share leisure time
Youth groups—scouting, clubs, religious youth groups, and other organized activities—that promote positive peer relationships and prosocial behaviour