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Flashcards in Chapter 7 Deck (54):


*cognitive construction; thus influenced by the child’s level of cognitive development



-Self-system is dynamic & changes throughout development
Initially limited by poor perspective taking & limited ability to integrate context
-Expanded perspective taking allow the child to compare his/her behavior according to others’ standards
-Child’s anticipation of another’s reaction, be it reward or punishment, becomes internalized & later adopted as self-regulatory guidelines
-By adolescence, “contradictory” qualities become further integrated to inform a more complex personality


One’s overall sense of self

a composite of several related, but not necessarily overlapping, elements that are evaluated by the individual to determine self-esteem.


Academic Self-concept

*Further divided into specific school subject areas such as math, science, English, & social studies
*Artistic self-concept more recently proposed


Nonacademic self-concept

*Divided into social, emotional, & physical self-concepts
*Physical self-concepts is further divided into physical ability & physical appearance


Self Esteem

global evaluations of the self; aka self-worth or self-image


Children with high self esteem

*Moderate correlations between school performance & self-esteem
*Have greater initiative (can lead to positive or negative outcomes)
*Are prone to both prosocial and antisocial actions


Harter (1999; 2006) documents the powerful association between physical appearance and overall self-esteem for older children, adolescents, college-aged students, & adults

*Physically attractive people tend to receive a consistently large amount of positive reflected appraisal
*Harter also noted that the greater discrepancy between adequacy in some domain & importance in that domain, the greater the negative impact on self-esteem


Four Ways to Improve Self Esteem

*Identify causes of low self esteem; ID & value areas of competence
*Provide emotional support and social approval; alternatives good
*Help children achieve
*Help children cope; better to face a problem rather than avoid it


Self Efficacy

*Belief that one can master a situation and produce favorable outcomes (“I can.”)
*Students with low self efficacy often avoid challenging activities (Schunk, 2008); students with high efficacy are more likely to expend effort & persist longer at learning


Development of Self Understanding

*During middle and late childhood:
-Defining one’s “self” shifts to using internal characteristics or personality traits.
-Children recognize social aspects of the self (Harter, 2006); socially reference by group affiliation
-Social comparison increases (what can I do compared to him or her?) & is especially strong in the absence of objective standards of performance; children tend to compare themselves to others who are most similar to them


Understanding Others

*Children show an increase in perspective taking
-Especially important for the development of prosocial or antisocial attitudes & behavior
*Children become increasingly skeptical of others’ claims; older children understand that others’ self-reports may involve socially desirable tendencies


Self-enhancing bias

*most people are motivated to maintain moderately positive beliefs about themselve- is good thing in most cases
Strategies for protecting one’s self-esteem differ depending on children’s level of self-esteem
*Low self-esteem-> prefere situations that are rich in positive reinforcement
*High or moderate levelsof self esteem -> less variation in responsiveness to adult reinforcement styles


“Downward” social comparisons

*comparing themselves to less competent or less successful peers when their own self-esteem is at stake
*Protect the child from negative self-evaluations


Self Regulation

*Increased capacity for self-regulation in middle and late childhood
*Characterized by deliberate effort to manage one’s behavior, emotions, & thoughts
*Linked to developmental advances in the prefrontal cortex


Industry vs. Inferiority (Erikson)

*Industry: children become interested in how things work & encouraged in their efforts
*Inferiority: parents who see their children’s efforts as mischief may encourage inferiority
*School is very important in the development of a sense of industry


Emotion Development Changes

*Improved emotional understanding
*Increased understanding that more than one emotion can be experienced in a particular situation
*Increased awareness of the events leading to emotional reactions
*Ability to suppress or conceal negative emotional reactions
*Use of self-initiated strategies for redirecting feelings
*A capacity for genuine empathy


Coping with Stress

Older children utilize more coping strategies (especially cognitive @ age 10--purposeful distraction, reframing) (Saarni & others, 2006)


Coping with stressful events

*Reassure children re: their safety & security
*Allow children to retell events & be patient in listening to them
*Encourage children to talk about feelings as they are ready
*Protect children from re-exposure to frightening situations
*Help children make sense of what happened


Parent-Child Relationships

*Parents spend less time with children during middle and late childhood
*Nonetheless, parents serve as gatekeepers and provide scaffolding as children learn to regulate their own lives (Huston & Ripke, 2006)
-Parents have a strong influence on child’s school achievement and extracurricular activities
-Parents use less physical forms of punishment as children age; instead, deprivation of privileges
-Transfer of control from parent to child results in coregulation


Self-esteem slide

*self-fulfilling prophecy
*Adults who believe that girls have lower self-esteem than boys may convey this impression to girls in subtle but powerful ways.


Current research suggests that there is a slight, but relatively consistent self-esteem advantage for Black Americans

*Crocker & Major (1989) suggested 3 protective processes:
-Attributing negative feedback directed toward the self to the prejudice of society
-Make social comparisons to members of own group rather than members of the majority
-Tendency to enhance the importance of self-concept domains in which members of their group excel


Morality includes social interactive principles

*Concern for others & willingness to act on that concern by sharing, forgiving, & other acts of benevolence
*A sense of justice & fairness, including a willingness to take into account the rights & needs of all parties
*Trustworthiness defined as honesty in dealing with others,
*Self-control is essential; requiring effort & persistence



*It is a capacity to make judgments about what is right versus what is wrong, and…
*It is preferring to act in ways that are judged to be “right.”
*Early on, this is influenced by rewards or punishments from parents, teachers, or other adults
*Gradually, standards and principles—a conscience—are internalized & becomes a primary guide to action


Elements of Morality

*Requires the interweaving of emotions, cognitions, & behaviors, but do not necessarily work together
-Most of us believe that our behavior is consistent with our beliefs or feelings
-Hartshorne & May (1928-1930) concluded that moral conduct is usually determined by the particular situation & is not coordinated with moral reasoning or training; corroborated by Zimbardo (Stanford Prison Experiment & “The Lucifer Effect” 2003)
-More recent research suggests that emotions, cognitions, & actions do tend to become more synchronized with age


Lawrence Kohlberg’s Theory

*Extended Piaget’s basic theory into broad, philosophical issues
*Based 6 universal stages of moral development on interviews using moral dilemmas
*Before age 9, most children use level 1
*Most adolescents reasoned at stage 3
*By early adulthood, a few used postconventional reasoning


Influences on Kohlberg’s Stages

*Cognitive development
*Experiences dealing with moral questions/conflicts
*Peer interaction and perspective taking are crucial


Kohlberg's Preconventional morality

*Elementary school children- preconventional morality: roughly corresponding to Piaget’s heteronomous level, what is right is what avoids punishment, what conforms to the dictates of authority, or what serves one’s personal interests.


Kohlberg's Conventional Morality

*Elementary school children- preconventional morality: roughly corresponding to Piaget’s heteronomous level, what is right is what avoids punishment, what conforms to the dictates of authority, or what serves one’s personal interests.


Kohlberg's Postconventional Morality

Adulthood- Postconventional morality: right is defined by universal principles or by standards of justic, not by the particular rule in question


Criticisms of Kohlberg’s Theory

*Too much emphasis on thought, not enough emphasis on behavior
-Albert Bandura: People engage in harmful conduct after they justify the morality of their actions to themselves
*Stages may be culturally biased (not all achieve each stage)
*Dismissed family relations as a source of morality
*Kohlberg’s theory may reflect a gender bias (Carol Gilligan)
-Kohlberg promotes a justice perspective
-Gilligan argues for a caring perspective
*Gilligan and colleagues found that women consistently interpret moral dilemmas differently than men
-Experts now believe there is no evidence to support Gilligan’s claim


Social conventional reasoning

focuses on conventional rules that have been established by social consensus in order to control behavior and maintain the social system (e.g., don’t cut in line; don’t yell in a doctor’s office; don’t ask strangers personal questions)


Personal Rules

Individual or familial standards, such as choices in friends or recreational activities, not governed by formal social rules


Prosocial Behavior

Behavioral aspects of moral development emphasized, despite what authority figures might say or model (e.g. sharing)


Morality of justice

use a justice focus-male


Morality of caring

Use a caring focus-female


Moral Personality

-Moral identity
-Moral character
-Moral exemplars


Moral identity

moral notions & moral commitments are central to our lives; violations would risk self-integrity


Moral character

people with the willpower, desires, & integrity to stand up to pressure & behave morally (honest, truthfulness, trustworthiness)


Moral exemplars

people who have lived exemplary moral lives


Children's Prosocial Behavior

*Prosocial behavior or altruism- when a child voluntarily acts in ways intended to benefit someone else
*Altruistic behaviors tend to be somewhat stable across age
*There are individual differences in prosocial behaviors & levels of:
-Empathy: “feeling with” another person
-Sympathy: “feeling for” another person; having concern for another but not necessarily sharing the feelings
*Prosocial action is precipitated by empathy & sympathy
-Also, important—perspective taking & increased understanding of another’s thoughts & emotions
*Scope of empathy expands in late childhood
-To whole groups of people or unfortunate circumstances


Needs-based reasoning

(reasoning about other people’s needs) involves weighing own needs against those of another


Hedonistic or self-focused reasoning

*(preschoolers & younger elementary school)
-Individual concerned with own consequences, look for direct self gain


Needs of Others

*Others (young children & elementary)
*Express concern for another, even if other’s needs conflict with own (no guilt or self-reflection)


Approval and interpersonal and/or stereotyped

*(late elementary & high school)
-Consideration of others’ approval important


Empathic (mostly high school)

*Evidence of sympathy, guilt, self-reflective role taking
*Transitional (empathic & internalized) – justifications given for helping others due to internalized norms or values, duty, responsibility


Strongly internalized

*Justifications for helping or not are based on internalized values, norms or responsibilities, the desire to maintain individual and societal contractual obligations & the belief in the dignity, rights and equality of all individuals
*Only a small minority of high school students & virtually no elementary school students.


“Altruistic Personality”

*Relative sociability & shyness (low levels)
*Socially competent children who are popular with peers
*Older children & teens with a positive global self-concept
*A child’s capacity for effortful control, which helps the child regulate or modulate her emotional reactions in order to attend to others


Antisocial behavior

*Distinguished by intent to harm or injure another or by the perpetrator’s disregard for the harm it might cause others
*Might include physical, verbal, or social attacks or acts like cheating, lying, & stealing
*Instrumental aggression: using force or threat to obtain possessions


Effortful control

inhibiting a response that is “dominant” to perform a response that is less compelling


Instrumental aggression

*using force or threat to obtain possession
-Person-directed aggression


Relational aggression/social aggression

aimed at damaging peer relationships


Social information-processing

*interpret others’ behaviors and make decisions about how to respond in social situations


Hostile attributional bias

hostile attribution of intent, characterizes aggressive individuals who tend to perceive threats even in neutral situations